my backstop - returning to cape town - seems more unreasonable the further away i physically get from there. the economy is crumbling, crime is perpetually rising but at the same time it's a place i'm happy to be, it's a magical place where people are mostly free even if you do have to work considerably harder in order to enjoy that freedom.
my alternative - returning to israel - would be spiritual suicide but at least i'd have better options. or would i? what's worth my general discomfort with the ever-present war and my subjection to a military state that i feel has betrayed me?
yet here i am, living in montreal, living off a bank account that's an hourglass with the coins slowly dropping down into the base. this country's not interested in me, regardless of the value i can bring; if i learn french then any potential employer would only have to wait two months for me, if i look elsewhere it could be up to six months and in that time i would be unable to leave the country... or work...
i'm standing beside my grave, as i have been for many years, eulogizing. was i the man who got his shit together to change his life and live out his dreams in north america? or was i the loser who returned after a year and a half with his tail between his legs to an angry existence amongst barbarians*? or to a happier, more relaxed world with a potential future to match zimbabwe? i don't want my children to be refugees.
and it's all here. right now. it's me writing my story, but severely limited by resources and bureaucracy that my personal ideology cannot and will not fathom.
* that's not a political statement, i'm not referring to how israelis behave in war. that's one sphere that they're too decent for their own good. which is ironic.
just before sparring last night i spoke to my toronto cousin who informed me that i need to "pull my finger out my ass"; on the one hand he's kinda right, on the other, well, i'm not in full control of my situation. perhaps i just need to believe i am? anyway, between that and my earlier test failure i wasn't in the greatest of moods when i hit the gym.
the first round of sparring wasn't particularly interesting. the second, though, was very exciting! i was working with the beast, and was in such good control of the ring that i deliberately maneuvered myself onto the ropes in order to test out the new technique i'd learned from badger. and i pulled it off! and she'd just walked in and witnessed it :D
there's nothing quite like the elation of stepping into the ring and getting a new trick right!
in the third round, after watching the dude i was up against sparring at full power and beating the crap out of the guy, i was a little more cautious. and by cautious, i mean scared. which is a terrible thing, because instead of moving in and keeping my eyes focused on his chest, i stepped back and blinked at *just* the wrong time. fortunately for me the right that landed was a setup for the left, because even with no power everything went black, i heard a loud crack from my jaw and felt my feet lift. the sensation of being airborne for a moment before landing in a heap was not a pleasant one. i was so shocked by what had happened that i had to roll out under the bottom rope and it took a while to shake it off.
there's nothing quite like being informed by someone's fist that you're doing something very, very wrong.
i feel really bad for bailing on the guy, and even worse because *he* feels so bad because he thought it was his fault :(
i wasn't hurt, just shocked and embarrassed, and i'm very glad that he's agreed to drill with me during the week because even the ten minutes of practicing facing the beast's punches afterwards couldn't be the same as working with the guy who put me down.
i felt stupid for the rest of the evening. stupid, and angry with myself.
i began the day by hitting the gym without any caffeine (there's pride in that statement!). i stalked there determined to do something about the previous night's situation, but there was nobody to work with so for an hour or so i drilled footwork on the punching bags instead. i even did some weights, which i'd almost regret in the evening when i had to carry heavy shopping home :P
i paid a visit to godmother, who warned me not to let things get me down, after which i headed to the french conversation meetup. there was a crazy wind blowing today, although it wasn't as cold as it's been the past few days, and it's been snowing a lot. on the way downtown i was waiting for the bus when a car drove past and covered a few of us with slush: i was not amused, especially as this was after we'd had to wait for a second bus because the first was full :(
the meetup wasn't bad, though my listening skills... not only was it hard for me, but i kept getting distracted. it's hard to keep focus when you're not getting the full details.
i had a great falafel at la panthère verte, came home, shopped, then sat down in front of downton abbey with chips and chocolate. the series is so ridiculously good! i've just finished the first season, and already i'm disappointed that netflix doesn't have the third yet.