stationary, sleepovers and pop records
August 25, 2011, 11:15 am
Filed under: nomadisms, popconsumption | Tags: , , ,

Collecting papers and pictures, about to make this work, this relocation new-passport project. The hardest part is variability in processing time, anything between six months and a year and a half. The second hardest part is figuring where, exacty, we will go.

I sort of love when the NY Times gives a go at examining “my generation”

While the study purported to put a name to the phenomenon and to describe it, it did not look at the overall incidence of stayovers or examine their trajectory over time. It’s possible that stayovers have been around for decades and that they exist beyond the confines of the young college-educated couples Ms. Jamison examined.

I’m listening to Jack Johnson with the door open, sunlight streaming in, afternoon onshore yet to start sucking on. I recently read an interview with a band I like that talked about how ‘that’ songwriter genre was dead and they didn’t want to get lumped in with the Ben Harpers and Jack Johnsons of the world. I listen to Jack Johnson and I also listen to Jimmy Buffet and in the mental album catalogue of my mind I happily house them together, drinking pina coladas and eating banana pancakes.


August 22, 2011, 8:12 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Whales are in the bay, swimming long lengths, waving tails, making babies. The ocean is glassy and almost warm again, the sun has been out everyday in spite of rainy forecasts.

This weekend we drank wine with friends and had a fire, watched some Tri-Nations rugby, visited a water treatment plant in the middle of nowhere, spent a lot of time in the ocean, had burgs at the harbour and watched the seals bob around, ate breakfast in bed and read the paper. Small town life.

Before I go I am supposed to have everything in order. A residency application for LG. Another document for my residency application. Everything I will need to slam through my first few days in Perth, arranging things like a bank account and tax number. A connecting bus ticket (oops!). So much paper, as yet so disorganized.

Big Waves and Leaky Wetsuits
August 16, 2011, 2:54 pm
Filed under: unrelated thoughts, waves | Tags:

Normal winter, slightly cool sunny days and long walks on the beach at dusk, is back. Still not enough time in the ocean – too cold, too big. Yesterday on the wild side waves were twenty to thirty foot faces, full tide, breaking hard on the rocks. Boom, boom, boom. Spectacular to watch. The weekend was back to glassy days but constant drizzle and a nagging sore throat kept me mostly out of the water. Also, three and a half years later, my wetsuit has gone colander – all the warm water runs out. Of course, forty years ago, guys didn’t have wetsuits and (apparently) just coated themselves in vaseline, so there are always options.

At the moment, avoiding laundry and other domestic duties. Worst housewife ever! Wishing someone would make me… french toast.

Charming Customs and Thinking Australia
August 10, 2011, 8:09 pm
Filed under: nomadisms | Tags: , ,

Hello, beautiful

Flash of a gold toothed smile, instant stamp, no questions. After thirteen hours of delay and two blown connections, a break. The fastest I have ever been processed through customs, anywhere.

Leaving the country there were more questions than usual, an ugly fine the veiled threat behind direct demands as to whether my prior holiday visa had been an actual holiday. On the way back in, a flip through the document would have revealed what the airline noted when I was on my way out: it looks a lot like I’m returning home.

Customs strikes fear in my heart. It’s why when a few years ago a guy told me to take down my hair, shake it out and take off my glasses then stared at me awkwardly for a couple of lecherous minutes, I gladly complied. It’s why I didn’t mind some dude picking me out of a line up only to half open my suitcase and ask me if I was enjoying the book I was carrying. I’ll pick lame flirtation over interrogation any day, probably -10 on the good feminist scale.

I’m not worried about the next trip because I’m well within the stamp and the Aussie WHV process sounds, by all accounts, to be a pretty easy thing. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. If any country understands flexible longterm travel plans it’s probably the Aussies.

Today I started mentally listing some of the other stuff I already know Australia and I have in common to take the edge off our impending sort-of blind date. First, Australia and I are apparently both pro-zinc, as in sunscreen. Australia also produces a number of bands I’ve liked for a long time, including Angus and Julia Stone, and might just have the sleepy music hole bars I’ve been missing. It turns out Australia makes my current favorite tshirts, so maybe we will be swapping clothes. Finally, appears Australia and I have both been known to unashamedly drink cheap wine when the mood strikes.

Yep, this might just go alright.

Packing for Perth
August 9, 2011, 3:15 pm
Filed under: voyageur | Tags: ,

TB scans clean, found, and sent to the right spot after a middle of the night cross world consulate phone call. Visa confirmed.

So, at the end of this month, I will probably be in Perth. Perth or Sydney, the debate continues.

Perth is right there, off the plane. Worst case scenario, I find myself spending three months in some kind of veggie growing commune and at the end of it all can hitch my way back to the airport and home. Things like free public transit zones and accessible beaches sound about right. The only person I know in Perth is a girl I met in Paris and later had a very mellow mushroom infused night with in Amsterdam and she is having a baby momentarily.

I can’t shake something about Sydney, though. The 24 hour world class city hum beckons. Even though everything I hear is that it will be more expensive, harder to find work, and possibly overwhelming. Even though I know the nightlife on offer is from a past life for me, that I’m probably done with shots until three and work again at eight.

The inner pragmatist has already decided to check out Perth, for awhile. There will be time for Sydney later.

Eating North America
August 6, 2011, 10:38 pm
Filed under: nomadisms

In North America, we mostly ate. Junior bacon cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizza, small mountains of fries. Hersheys. Filter coffee. Giant cinnamon rolls, footlong subs, wings. LG had his first poutine and Slurpee, and a fast food taco. Pierogies, horseradish, blueberry pancakes. Then we laid in the cool basement and had several trashy reality tv marathons.

Have you noticed everyone here looks the same?

The shopping, however limited in that small city, was enough to send LG into a retail trance wandering the discount store aisles. So much, so cheap. Doggie bathing suits. 3D TV. He bought a pair of Levis, I bought a tube of moisturizer to try and revive my airplane inland crocodile skin.

If you’re not from the prairie

People who have been to Africa for two weeks-six weeks-never want to tell us things about Africa. They ask me if I speak Swahili yet, I explain they don’t speak Swahili where we live and never have. They say something negative about white Africans, oblivious to my relationship with my future in-laws. They want to know if we will stay long term, this is the sole question.

Ironically, I know I am not entitled to express my private observations about where I’m from, that the reflections so much distance brings are unwelcome from a traitor like me. I am often expected to beat the drum of nostalgia when asked about missing Home, a lost daughter dreaming of childhood fields and sunshine. But the truth is the greatest gift that town gave me was probably the sense of restriction that made everything in the world out there so bright, that there are fields all over the world, and that the sun shines pretty much everywhere sometime.

I watch the patchwork farms
slow fade into the oceans arms

That salt water air is like breathing freedom.