Underthecurrent


February 25, 2011, 11:21 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Several steps closer to paperwork that will help me, hopefully, stay in the country unmolested for as long as necessary. It also possibly permits me to get employment somewhere. And the possible pending personal financial crisis has been potentially averted.

Observations. Racism in this country from all directions is super intense, it potentially taints every interaction and all of us have different ways of addressing or not addressing it. While I don’t like it I am glad to have experienced the feeling of being judged for my skin color every day because it has helped me to scratch the surface of better understanding how exhausting that must be for other people, particularly those from large vis-minority immigrant groups at home.

I am glad to have grown up in circumstances that did not allow those kinds of feelings and pressures to shape my everyday responses to people.

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you are here.
February 21, 2011, 7:13 am
Filed under: when I grow up | Tags: ,

This coming live from my house where semi quick internet is now operational. Being, the good news.

The bad news is that a financial reshuffle is currently applying minor degrees of stress and hastening the need with which I need to relocate and start making cash again. A brief period of disasterizing about being a massive failure and how I would never be able to afford to retire or have kids followed, as well as fantasies about having to go home and earn money and running into classmates living more comfortable lifestyles laughing and shunning me. Visions of credit card debt followed.

Delightfully irrational.

The truth is, I have only one friend who fits the definition of mid twenties success and he’s a chartered accountant who lived at home during all of his college career. Even he is tied to a fairly expensive piece of property that may well have depreciated in value over the past few years. Everyone else I know seems to still live in the world of budget vacations (staycations?), roommates, mild to extreme debt, underemployment and generally a life that looks nothing like what our parents had. The list of people unhappy with their circumstances appears fairly long, from this view.

Widen the lens and the young people of this country face daunting odds. LG earns an incredibly small amount of money monthly, feasible only because we have almost no overhead but insufficient to support any kind of property ownership or a family. The average young person in this country did not finish highschool, is unemployed and unemployable. This is a country where a lack of health insurance is dangerous, property can be expensive, and private school is increasingly the only option for many reasons (costing more than university tuition per year). This is far from the only place in the world where such facts are reality.

Life is seriously not so bad.

The disasterizing does serve a function, shots of regular anxiety are a reminder to get back to the classic Scottish financial austerity (read: frugality) I grew up around.



repack
February 16, 2011, 9:45 am
Filed under: nomadisms | Tags: ,

Today I skimmed flights from where I think I will be to a friend’s wedding in November on the Mayan Riviera. Attendance, unlikely, unfortunately. A lot of my classmates have opted for quick destination weddings, meaning few friends end up going. For me, the idea of getting married is not as horribly stress inducing as the idea of figuring out where to get married. So it’s better not to think about it at all…

Looking at flights always gets me thinking about the next step. Even now there’s a critical eye to a suitcase that may need to be packed fully in five months for another intercontinental mission (the last involving hauling all of my worldly goods on New York transit and down about a mile of street searching for accomodation, during a heat wave, not so awesome). Logististics and financing. It gets easier every time, but never really automates. Overall, though, it’s helped trim all the fat from life. I look at what I have, in terms of material goods, and it is so oddly satisfying. The cupboard isn’t bare, but it is well edited and complete. My necessary papers are a very minor folder of accounts, all accessible online. Our house is small but uncluttered, and very functional. Having a certain level of happiness with abbreviated circumstances causes more questions about what is worth the effort to work for, how the economics of owning something play out to improve life. In this country, visible affluence is punished by the need for more security, more risk being incurred. The next step seems like it will just mean more carving out.

At the same time, there are a couple of things I sometimes consider and want, like a new laptop with high speed internet (even a small amount, the new laptop being a Mac), or a bike. It’s really not much.



From absentia
February 14, 2011, 12:24 pm
Filed under: runaway | Tags: ,

So I now live about 5km of highway away from internet, which is sort of expensive anyways, causing my updates to be sporadic. If you must know, I have been spending my time growing a small herb garden and harvesting shellfish and longboarding down my street and trying to master speed Sudoku. Sometimes we take long walks through the nature reserves next door that look like National Geographic could be filming around any rock (think whale bones on vast beaches, green fields, rocking outcroppings and lots of ocean). Sometimes we snorkle in the tide pools, literally the octopus’ garden, checking out the angelfish (and hoping for oysters).

LG passed, his project got high marks, he got a job in the small town where the beach house is and now I guess we sort of live there. We’re hoping to be on the road by the end of July, with a quick stopover home before heading on to further employment pastures for both of us, probably in a big commonwealth country, hopefully a warm one by the sea. We are now both, technically, “professionals” even though I have temporarily given up my membership. If you were to hang out with us in our living room, it would seem impossible that either of us are competent to do the things we are trained to do. I think that’s what makes it great.

We’ve since gone into African desert on a road trip. It was pretty rad, as far as deserts go. There was quadbiking, camping in a game reserve and lots of German-African food involved. Nothing like being woken by a herd of deer springing over and around our 1x.7m tent (technically a “two youth” tent, but we’re small people), which we left the rain cover off of for ventilation. I still want to head up the other coast but am not sure how to swing the timing to do so, and if I can get away with a solo mission.