Tuesday, January 21, 2014

return to the poutine routine - part i

it's been an intense (almost) week since i left cape town! i guess i got used to being on holiday. the weird part of being on holiday from unemployment is that it was still, in all senses, a holiday. huh?

regarding weather and snowboarding, it turns out i had absolutely perfect timing! after i left the weather became (relatively) warm and rainy, and the first snow opportunity was on the day after i returned. thank you, montreal!

last wednesday:

after posting, i went upstairs to pay my uncle a visit. he's really ill and uncomfortable, but he was only too happy to talk and so we did that for a while. it was interesting to receive support for what had only just become my backup plan; later over drinks with my aunt and tgtbt at the winchester mansions my plan would be received just as warmly. so far the only person who hasn't thought much of it is my cousin in england - he had very valid things to say about it. the decision won't be made lightly, though. and life is funny, there really aren't right answers so i can only do my best. and right now, my best is to not need any damned backup plans!

packing went smoothly, there was no pressure and after drinks my mother drove me to the airport: the sunset was achingly beautiful with a full moon just showing over transcendent purples. it's usually hard to leave cape town, but this time? after three glorious weeks of full-being massage?

my mum and i had just enough time to talk and eat (though the wimpy service was so slow we almost scrapped the eating part), and laugh about the woman who appeared to be smuggling jewelry by disguising it as a boot decoration.


the first thing i saw on the plane was a guy reading maus, which made me smile because tgtbt and i had been using it to explain to her mother why my "comics" don't need to be funny :P

what a difference being able to read my kindle and listen to music during take-off and landing! i can't believe the rules have finally changed, and now that they're official i'm far more comfortable :)

note to self: never again, given the choice, book a seat that isn't near the back of the plane. i had to share four seats with a man on the other end, and he passed out before we even left the ground. that gave me three seats to myself and i made full use of them ^_^


i watched the fifth estate, which wasn't bad - it's a decent story and didn't feel overly treated. it's also very, VERY relevant. we're in trouble, people.. as i've said many times before, internet access and privacy are the weapons of the 21st century; "the right to bear arms" that the americans are all excited about has nothing to do with antiquated bullshit like guns.

i started watching world war z, which i'd finish on the second flight. it's really not a bad zombie movie, but it's Just Another Zombie Flick. what the hell does it have to do with the book of the same name?! it's a completely different take on zombies, the story isn't even similar to *anything* in the text. whether or not you enjoyed the film, if you're at all interested in humans, zombies, humanity in the face of apocalypse or zombie mythology at it's very cleverest you should read the book. the book is brilliant!


changing clothes in london was easy enough. i was asked loads of personal questions coming through immigration, just like before, but again i played nice and they let me through. the long tube ride was just more reason to keep listening to the techno protoplasm had provided me with - that would keep me going for days. it's so good!

it was a beautiful day in london! it did rain a bit, but mostly it was sunny and not very cold :)

the helpful guy at the station didn't know how to get to the specific place i was looking for, but he directed me to what he thought was the right area (turned out it would have been far quicker to walk than take the bus). i loved the fact that he seemed to be caught off-balance by my obvious tourist demeanor and my suddenly british accent. my south african accent may be off, but at least i still have something not-americanized :P

i found myself at a bp station (having just been in one in cape town to fill up the rental, that felt odd) asking for directions, and the guy working the shop was really nice but couldn't find my destination using google maps. fortunately the shop had map books for sale, and he had no problem letting me grab one for a minute - i found the place in a second and thanked the man profusely before heading out. while there, an israeli came in to buy chewing gum. it seemed the most arbitrary place to hear half-asleep hebrew...

i had coffee with my cousin and his son; it was great to see them and we talked until they had to get back to work. i walked back to the subway, decided i needed a bathroom and entered a subway; i'd already ordered my lunch when i realized that they didn't have washrooms at all :(
my brain was mostly offline by that point, i was embarrassed when i realized that i'd asked the guy behind the counter if the veggie patties were vegetarian when i'd meant to ask if they contained any dairy. no matter, he probably wouldn't have known anyway...


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