Thursday, January 31, 2008

Everyone Needs

Everyone needs that one friend, that will let them just ramble on.

Everyone needs that one friend, who, no matter what the day, what the time, what the place, can make you feel all cozy and comfortable, like you're back in your parents house listening to Jesse and Jean in the morning and trying to decide which movie to go see on a Friday night.

Everyone needs one friend who just gets you, totally utterly completely, from the moment you open your mouth (to ramble) until the minute you (eventually) finish your thoughts, and as strange and random and most likely unorthodox they will tend to be, she just totally gets it anyway.

No matter how much time has passed. And even, no matter how much you're not making sense and even that exact moment everyone else on the planet is looking at you like you're an alien and have four heads, she'll STILL get you.

Everyone needs one. I'm lucky to be sharing some moments with mine this week.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I'm spending the morning with 10 little dudes under the age of 5.

That should be just like teaching 12 kindergartens right?

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Information Overload

Alright, for all you people who wanted me to get a haircut and get a real job, well, you may have had your wish come true.

Well, sort of.

I have just spent the day reasearching, reviewing and re-writing my resume and I feel as though it's been a full days work.

Part of me even has me scratching my head wondering if I ever really travelled anywhere but this basement computer.

I can't really say I've come any closer to making any official decisions.

I found a lot of information that will help me and a lot of information that will not. But I also found this:

Seen Reading - http://seenreading.blogspot.com

This is the coolest concept I've seen in awhile. And since my brain is fried, take a look at this fantasically funky concept, while I try to find sift through all of this data I've imported today.

Oh my.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Silence

I feel a bit sheepish about the fact that there has not been that much written in this space over the last little while.

As a person who is constantly nattering on about current plans, future plans, even past plans, I feel a bit strange not having put something here.

And it's not just on virtual paper. I can count on my fingers the number of people I've actually spoken to in the last week.

I suppose this is a semi-apology for those I've not yet gotten in touch with - and also those who may not realise we were home.

I did have visions of writing about our last night in England and then our first day back in Canada, but the thing is, it's all a bit stranger than expected.

In a TOTALLY good way. But strange all the same.

I'm still processing the past 18 months - a year in Korea, 6 months on the road. And I guess, finding it all a bit too much to really communicate about.

Which is why I haven't written. Or emailed. Or called.

So, I'm sorry, I wasn't expecting to feel this hermity. I'm really excited to see you all.

It's just, there seems to be so many decisions that need to be made and we haven't even been here a week.

I suppose this is what they call reverse culture shock. When you're finding yourself assimlated back into the world you've always known. So, I'm just gonna ride this wave like I have all the others.

I have had some pretty heartwarming experiences in the past couple of days - spending time with D's nephew and nieces, spending 2 wonderful days with my little nephew Marshmellow.

I'm savouring those and looking forward to more with all the other little people who have arrived since I've been gone.

Bear with me. I'll speak to you soon.

And let me just say this: Being back on Canadian soil? IT IS just as good as I'd hoped it would be.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Home Free...Almost

Our journey across the border from Russia to Helsinki came without any issue. Not one question. Not one query. Even with a joke and a smile.

And while I can confirm now, after going through many MANY customs and immigrations around the world, so far the U.S. and Canada are the most strict, this fact did nothing to alleviate feeling of doom that lingered leading up to the days before we left Russia.

As I've mentioned before, the visa process in Russia is confusing and mostly filled with convoluted information. I'll get into it another time but let me just say, that we were not filled with any sense of confidence that we wouldn't have a problem at the border.

Our last few days in St. Petersburg were spent wandering around to beautiful museums and lovely cafes. We enjoyed recovering from the most wonderful New Year's Eve and popped in and out of our favorite pubs and restaurants.

And as hard as we tried, there was always in the little gremlin in the back of our minds, worrying about the journey across the border. We talked about it with each other, realised that rationally speaking, we should not have any problems.

So, the gremlins took a few thoughts but rationality won out in the end as we sailed through the border in our normal seat carriage, with a tour group from Australia.

Helsinki, I'm sure, is a beautiful city. The children who were skating near the train station looked as though they were having a good time. But I saw mostly the inside of a nice hotel room, with a sauna and fancy restaurant.

And then it was an early flight back to London.

And it was all in English. The announcements. The food. The instructions. The signs. There was no more finger talking with the lady selling the train tickets or pointing to the menu in a foreign language.

It was now, 'can I please have a jacket potatoe with tuna and cheese and if you could please put the cheese on the bottom and the tuna on the top that would be wonderful thank you.'

Or 'what is the fastest way to get to this destination on the tube map because I see there are works going on here causing delays and just wondered if this was the best way to still go?'

It was things that I never thought I would find myself getting giddy over. I think I randomly spoke to about 10 people before we even arrived at our friend's flat where we were staying.

So it feels like we're there. Done. Finished.

There is still, however, one more leap home. And if the last week is any indication, it will take about 8.9 seconds to feel as though we've never left.

Like we've gone to the moon and returned after 18 months, because nothing will have changed but the place that we've come from seems so far away and distant that it must have been somewhere like the moon.

Well, except for those little ones who have grown or arrived. I suppose they'll show me just how much things have changed.

Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

AnotherYear Over...And A New One JustBegun

2007 has come and gone and like everyone else on the planet, D and I have been spending some time reflecting on the past year.

It's quite awesome (awesome in the true sense of the word not that totally-radical-dude-way) that for almost HALF of 2007, I have been living out of a backpack.

I have been finding places to sleep. I have been wandering around temples. I have been beached-out on beaches. I have been learning new languages. I have been trying every kind of food your can imagine from grass pancakes to live squid.

I have been exploring the world.

Suffice to say, I'm very happy with my 2007. There were some triumphs (mostly involving D) and some mistakes (mostly involving alcohol or exhaustion) but for the most part, it was a year I will look back on with great fondness.

We started 2007 off in Tawain, on Green Island, a small little place with some of the most beautiful underwater coral inthe world. It was warm. It was cozy. It was romantic.

2008 began a bit colder, a bit louder but just as romantic. Our hotel arranged for us to go to a party, on a boat, in a perfect position to admire the fireworks.

Not only we were escorted there by the lovely Andre, we immediately became friends with the funnest Russians we have met to date - and considering the Russians have been nothing butfun, this was quite a feat.

There was smoked salmon and roast beef and caviar and champagne. There was dancing and learning Russian and toasts. And therew as fireworks. Many MANY fireworks.

Then there was the walk home. 45minutes down Nevsky Prospekt, the mostfamous street in Russia. Just me and D and about 500,000 other people, making their way back to their homes or other parties.

There were so many people on the street,you would have thought it was 9pm. They're worse than the Koreans. It was 5am. And no one seemed close to finishing the party.

We got back to the hotel, had some tea, drank some water, ate some pretzels and fell alseep, both still in awe of the fact that we just spent New Years in St. Petersburg.

I've never been one for enjoying the going-out part of New Years. My family used to spend it in such a fun way at home, I actually loathe the idea of heading out somewhere.

I can tell you, I finally had a good New Years Eve outside the house.

Who knew all I had to do was come all the way to Russia to find it?

To 2008. May it be filled with as much excitment, wonder and adventure as 2007 was. And may we find a way to fill it this way, without dragging our asses all over the place.