Thursday, October 30, 2003

there's something silly about how the mere mention of a talented canadian by someone not-from-canada is enough to make me cheer inside, just the tiniest, slightest bit. because i'm not really patriotic, not overtly.

but still. forwarding some old articles i've written and getting back good comments about the don mckellar one in particular is enough to make me smile.

(i think she knows who he is, at least.)

ALSO:
today michael gave me a copy of Kytice, which was one of my favourite movies at the vancouver film festival a few years back. now, after gushing over it to so many people, i get to find out if it's as good as i remember. hopehopehope.

AND:
got busted for not having a metro ticket today. been not-paying since i got here actually, so i had it coming. was forced to pay a fine of.....400Kc!!!! which, in canadian dollars, ends up being......$20!!!!! or less actually, because our dollar's actually stronger than it was this time last year (yay!). so i think tomorrow i'll splurge and buy the month transit pass. which'll cost me....$21. i love the prague transit system.

there's more to say, i know there is. but i'm slightly ill and tired, so i can't remember everything at the moment. perhaps when my throat stops itching.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

my flight left from praha at 11am.

it's 40 minutes after 11 and i'm still in the city.

seems that i'm staying in praha!

job- and flat-hunting time has officially begun.

(but enon is playing in a couple of weeks! must earn money before then...)

Sunday, October 26, 2003

np: M.O.P. - Ante Up
this song has been in my head all afternoon. not even sure why. fortunately i actually do like it, but i still don't know why it's there.


diwali dinner was fun. uneventful. but enjoyable. tasty indian food. surprise dessert. actually had a real conversation with christos - didn't ever expect that.

and then we flicked rice and vegetables at each other and tried to land onion rings on each others' fingers from across the table. and all was right with the world once again.
using a norwegian computer lately and realising that i'm doing pretty good at understanding all the notices and warnings and system info, which is, of course, all in norwegian. nifty.

guess what!!!!

gotten my first snow of the season! yesterday, just as i was going on about how much i wanted it to snow, a few flakes started to fall, so right before lunch we had a mini snow shower all around. and the weather says there may be more tomorrow or monday.

yay snow!!!!

so yes, it's been bitterly cold in prague, and absolutely magnificent. it's smelt and felt like christmas all week long, which should be disturbing, but considering that it's just the normal prague and not due to christmas lights and holiday garbage, it's a good thing. gotten to see most of the people i wanted to, most of whom had no idea i was even in town (always fun seeing the look on peoples' faces when they open the door and see someone they thought was on the other side of the world). visited old hangouts, found new ones, met new people.

realised i really, really don't want to go back to england. was all set to stay in prague an extra week or so (had even bought a concert ticket for after my flight date on wednesday) when i got a message from a resume i sent out to london asking me for an interview on wednesday evening. if i felt confident i'd get the job, i might be a little more excited about going there, but considering that i don't even know where i'm sleeping when i get back (or have anywhere to leave my stuff while i have an interview), i'm not entirely looking forward to going back. realistically, staying here's not such a great idea, i know. i won't earn so much, i can't just stay with friends the whole time but finding a place to live might be difficult.

even though i feel so at home here, even though the concerts and films and art and cafes and everything is so alive (and affordable!) here, even though i feel happy and content while i'm here... rationally it might not be a good thing.

it just depends on the time of day and how much i've eaten whether rationality wins or not.

i just wish that there wouldn't be so many things catching my eye to make me think of ignoring rationality completely. it's incessant, i tell ya! and if only i didn't have debt hanging over my head, i would just make it work here, get a silly waitressing job, make use of as many couches as possible...

credit cards are evil though. and i'm a lazy procrastinating fool who could have mailed cheques to start paying them off days ago but just never got around to it.

but tomorrow. it's saturday night now, i can't do anything about it anyways..

happy hindi new years', by the way. must go doll meself up for fancy dancy indian food dinner tonight!

(my god i love being back here...)

Monday, October 20, 2003

yay, made it to prague in one piece! it feels strangely like home here... very weird.

washed dishes on saturday for 10 pounds and a free meal. it was actually pretty fun - nice chatting with people, good music, and really, i don't mind washing dishes at all. and it was like listening to a mix of all the cd's i've left at home - the people working there had good taste. so strange being a hobo of sorts, but y'know, you really can just get by that way. it's not the end of the world.

course now i'm bumming around with friends for the next while in prague, so we'll see what happens from here. and while i'm here i have a czech phone chip again, although different number. but everyone is once again welcome to send annoying messages from this site to this number: +420 607 994 749

hopehopehope it snows while i'm here. but it prolly won't.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

staying in oxford with a friend. realised that i'm not going to break even money-wise, forgot about taxes being deducted and don't know how to get them back yet. this could be a problem. might spend prague job-hunting down there too, because even though i don't really need much money...i don't want to be owing any.

thursday = miserable day (you'd think that everything that after a point, an ex-boss couldn't do anything more to you. you'd be wrong. but if this happened in canada, he'd definitely have opened himself up for a lawsuit at this point), ended up in a hostel in cambridge for the night. despite constant additions to the Miserable-Making list (which don't need to be mentioned, no sense dwelling), met katherine, the coolest 14-yr old in cambridgeshire, friendly people on the train. met a good samaritain who gave me a lift to the bus station from the train, bought me some food, and even gave me some money to get me on my way, and all i know is that her name was vicki and she's studying to be a nursery nurse. and even if it was pricey, the hostel was full of friendly people which was what was needed.

and then on friday, the previous night's roommates were driving down to oxford and offered me a lift if i didn't mind sightseeing with them in cambridge first. fine with me, don't want to carry my bags any more than i have to because i have way too many. so for a day, i got to be a chinese tourist, stopping in front of everything to take photos and photos with everyone in them... it was good good fun, actually. {g} the family was a trio from san francisco, but from hong kong before that (i think?) and the mother played the role of the mother with no tact, asking anything and everything and stating her opinion on everything - good company for the day. no sarcasm. {g}

decided that i like oxford a lot - many friendly people here. met a woman who's from montreal but spent her last 10 years in england philosophising and walking and thinking and writing books who i hopefully will run into some other time. stayed in queen's college last night, sleeping tonight in stansted because i changed my ticket for prague because i've got nothing to do here but spend money, so this time tomorrow i'll be staying with friends and all will be good!

too bad i didn't learn more czech while i was there before.. but who knows, maybe i'll be lucky enough to get work anyways. we'll see.
stupid me, i forgot to mention...

october 16 was rebecca's birthday! yay!

at least i remembered to email her, but things should be posted in public, shouldn't they?

Thursday, October 16, 2003

london was exactly what i needed. well, london in the company of another, at least.

spent two hours lying on the floor of lobby looking at the mirrors on the ceiling of the tate modern yesterday with deon. watching ourselves, watching other people making shapes, picking constant new Favourite People To Watch, chatting about anything and nothing. most relaxing thing in a long while, actually. if i lived in london i'd pass days off doing that.

discovered that london with someone else is a ton of fun. london alone.. it's not quite depressing, but it's just lacking something. weather was perfect though, even got 10 minutes in camden, although we missed free music as well as a chance to see the Magnificent Ambersons.

but we spent two hours lying on cement so i'm not complaining. {g}

i'm just sorry i didn't get to know deon better sooner now. fun fella. but that's how things go sometimes. "Way Out" signs are infinitely more amusing now, though. {g}

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

first off, salut stephane, hi marco. hope you guys are doing well. {g}

now.

saw a french film last night. audrey tatou really is one of the most adorable people in the world. almost finished making my poi, thanks to some stolen wire from the oundle physics department (yaaaaay czech friends!). been told about another potential place to work, somewhere that a friend works now. i might be giving up my soul if i worked there (preying on pensioners - hurrah!) but it might be something. either way, it's an option. and with decent pay and free lunches, no less. but we'll see.

aforementioned evil friend and i have gone to london today. he had to come pick up a visa for spending christmas in prague (did you know that even though south africans need visas for pretty much everywhere in the world, they don't have to pay for ones to go to czech? does that seem fair? they still get inconvenienced, having to go to the embassy still, but overall, they actually get an easier ride there. makes up for them not being able to country-hop out here, i suppose. anyways.), mentioned it last night and seeing as i don't have much to do today, figured i'd come. just here looking up plane tickets at the moment, but that's alright.

because i found out that no, i'm not expected to work all week. found out by someone mentioning that they'd seen my name crossed out on the schedule, which i saw later on. with a big black marker, nice and tactful-like. any respect i had for the manager is gone. completely, utterly, and totally. shoulda gone to yorkshire to work afterall, but them's the breaks. this way i get a couple-week holiday, i suppose! might go visit people in leeds or cambridge, we'll see. still have to call about changing the ticket though.

oh! and as a minor aside, but the amusement must be shared: while in bologna, i met a fellow who told met that from the moment he met me, he wanted nothing else than to taste my lips (we were speaking french, so it sounded a little nicer than that). i just found it all extremely amusing and figured he was someone to hang around with for an afternoon, until he got bothersome and started telling me he'd write me and call me and come visit me in england. which was just the slightest bit disturbing, considering i really honestly wasn't doing anything to lead him on in any way - if anything i was telling him to go away to his face. and in the end he left and all was good, for before he left he pointed me in the direction of The Best Gelato Place In Bologna (which it is).

i'd forgotten that i'd given him my cell number so that he could try to make my phone work in italia (coverage was bizarre and spotty). got a voicemail this morning, though, he called to say hi and see how i'm doing.

so i have an italian stalker now! what fun... thankfully he's there and not here, though.

(but really. me. having a stalker. or whatever you'd call him. this is utterly hilarious to me. hee. {g})

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

guess who got fired today.

reasons were given. some had some merit, i suppose, but most were garbage. and ultimately, not allowing a person a chance to fix things and getting rid of them immediately is not cool in the least.

problem is, i already have a week's trip to prague planned and paid for, leaving next tuesday night. so now i don't know what to do, whether to even try to find work at the moment, considering that most jobs offering accomodation (yay more bar work, but it's only for a couple more months) want people immediately - at least, this is what i learned when i tried to set something up in advance before i left norway in august.

not even sure if i'm supposed to work this week or not. wasn't told anything either way, more than the fact that because my accomodation is provided with my job here, i'll need to make arrangements as soon as possible, and was basically told to get lost as soon as possible. which i don't think is legal, going to have to talk to someone about that. but waiting to talk to the assistant manager instead, because it appears that sense and rationality is something lacking with the manager.

already bitched about it to a couple people so i'm managing not to turn this all into a rant. but it's prolly for the better in the end, i suppose. it's no good trying to work somewhere where you're not trusted in the least, although what i did to deserve such a lack of trust, i have no clue. and at least i know that other than the manager, everyone there likes me and is on my side. little condolence, but it's one nonetheless.

so! find a cheap place to stay and try to do temp work for the month and a half when i get back from prague, or try to find work in prague, even, or try to set up another proper job for under two months until christmastime? that's what i have to figure out now.

i hate managers on power trips. and i can never fully disguise that fact, either, which tends to make things worse. fortunately most people are good people though.

Monday, October 13, 2003

yesterday was the conkers world championships in ashton, near oundle. alas, i didn't get to go, although heard about it from a number of people. maybe next year...?

conkers, though! such a silly british thing.. and the worry that was in the media a couple weeks ago because they were afraid that there wouldn't be enough conkers for the championships because the weather was making them fall from the trees too early this year? tragic!

{g}

also noticed today that i pass Rockingham Forest on the busride to Peterborough. alas, there was no one around to share the amusement with. and i live near Rutland, for anyone who cares (::cough::rebecca::cough::). and i found a Wombles LP today, but there's absolutely no one who cares about that except for me.

trying to make my own poi today. found almost everything i need, but stuck trying to find wire. hoping that when i actually do get it all put together, that the weights don't end up flying off and killing someone. that would be a bit of a bother...

oh, and a complete aside, today i went to throw some trash in a bin while i was walking down the main square in peterborough. there was an elderly gentleman sitting on the bench who looked at me and told me i was absolutely gorgeous and that he only gave out compliments when they were real ones. and then he told me to have a lovely day. {g} random compliments really are the best ones...
i lovelovelove italia. well, every part of it save milano. bologna was wonderful though - bee-you-tiful city, so warm, good food, nice people... spent at least an hour every day sitting around the piazza maggiore either people-watching or meeting new people. met a german judge who was on a holiday (only 35! and in the german system, there's no jury, so the final decision is his alone! bizarre..), a bolognese who told me that all he wanted to do from the moment he saw me was to taste my lips (hah!), swiss folk who taught me some juggling techniques, was invited to dinner at the house of other italians with 8 dogs running about.... wonderful time though. didn't want to leave. got more of a tan again. got another scarf to add to the ever-growing collection. and beginning to build up a jewelry collection.

oh, and saw fidel castro riding around on the bus wearing an adidas cap. hope he had a good vacation.

after i get norwegian down pat, gonna start working on learning italian, i think.

Monday, October 06, 2003

oh yeah! PSA: NaNoWriMo's coming up! registered again, might actually do it this time!
post must be short, can't type well today - two fingers bound together on the right hand. dunno what happened, just been hurting a bunch lately. was almost gone then pain came back tenfold 2 days ago, along with nifty purple blotch on the spot where it hurts. starting to think that i really did break a bone in there. ah well. strangely, no pain when playing piano. getting people to sign my "cast" - don't i feel cool.

extreme lack of sleep, but birthday day is good so far. even got a wish the second the clock turned midnight, always nice. got a welcome to the Old Folks Home promising me the requisite cane and oatmeal-eating utensils. i'm thrilled. Insurance Number people in peterborough were super nice and wished me a happy birthday the second they walked into the room. and called me "dearie" and "love" and "pet" and even said "cor blimey". ahh, england! getting haircut - first in 2 years! splurging a bit, but happy birthday me! snagged a cheap flight to bologna for this week, 3-day quicktrip, hurrah! gotta work 630am - 10pm tomorrow to get the 3 days off in a row, but it'll be worth it. weather there's even supposed to be good!

befriended czechs and slovaks and (more) south africans living in oundle. broke into physics dept at oundle school to watch Life Of Brian and old russian cartoons last night. good times. it's nice hearing czech/slovak.

oops, gonna be late for hair appt. did i say a short post?

Thursday, October 02, 2003

today i learned that it's remarkably easy to resize a leather belt. watched the guy do it right in front of me. suddenly made belt-buying a ton easier - usually they're all too big for me.

fascinating stuff.

i look splendid today, by the way. it doesn't happen so often, but it has today.

i really don't have much to say. found The Great Gatsby and a douglas coupland book at the library today. bought new music that cost way too much, but i had to get something - been dying for new music. may actually have my first haircut in 21 months on monday. costs a little, but when you average at one haircut every 2 years, you're allowed to splurge a little, right?

also found licorice tea and licorice root to chew on. such excitement.

the fact that i spent money at all's completely forgiven by the fact that today i also applied for the national insurance number to work here, and found out how to reclaim taxes taken off my earnings when i go home. it's nice to be earning money again...