Day 14 - Language Barriers and Broken Cars

Left 2/3
Right 1/3
April 22nd 

I wake up to most of the French guys shuffling about, getting ready for the day. Bags loudly zipping open and closed can be heard from occasion, and the semi-soft murmuring of undeciphered French. “Time for more sleep” I think, and get back to it. That's how I wish it went down. Instead, I threw myself over the edge of the top bunk and started my day. Things on the docket: buy a couple items the pharmacy chemist and some nice new thongs.  

Bizarre Art
No, I haven’t started cross dressing; thongs are sandals. Threw on a cap because I didn’t feel like showering, ate a Nutella ‘sandwich,’ and wandered into town. I decided to talk to three Australians before going back, but none of the conversations were worth mentioning past the fact that I achieved that goal. I found my way to target (it survived here (for now)) and bought some sandals which are the exact same size as my feet. Wearing them looks like I am levitating a centimeter off the ground with straps hanging about.

Andy’s gone now. The vacancies made by my friends leaving have been filled by either French or Italians who don’t speak very much english. I decided to do work. Boring, down day where I’m surrounded by people, yet feel isolated. I feel a kind of a directionless anger, which I can’t quite pin down, but I think it’s because it reminds me of how things felt near the end of the Fall, beginning of Winter. I feel poor, unable to accept offers of adventure because it, and I’m not sure if I'll even have enough to survive 'til the end of this brief stint in the country. Worse, I feel like I'm at a standstill*; the things that I need to feel like I'm moving forward are difficult or temporarily out of reach at the moment. For me, these things are: learning, physical exercise, and taking steps toward my goals. In time, I'll be able to get back to them all, but this feeling is inevitable from time to time while in a foreign country with no solid supports. It will pass, though this is the second time it's reared its fugly head. On a brighter note, Nichole and Yuzu are coming back in the morning! Just one more hurdle: this stupid-ass first aid course I signed up for has an online component that needs to be done tonight.

A woman choking a
crying-boy mask
I procrastinated the online component by agreeing to help Aussie Dean and Peter (who has now moved into the hostel) to help push his son’s car to a better position than where it was struck down in its prime (not really; it was a fixer-upper). The hostel parking lot is quite packed, and difficult to get out of, but Dean is sure he can make it. Peter tells Dean that he’s doing it wrong, and that they won’t make it out with the method he’s chosen to use. Post-backing out, Dean laughingly says “You don’t tell mom how to bake cakes!” to which Peter replies “No, she tells you to get out of the kitchen!” and we all laugh. 

At the grave, we manage to push the car up a hill (with the help of a random passerby) to a more level plane, hoping it will help to feed the engine with fuel. This doesn’t fix the problem. I know nothing about engines (we don't even have the type this car used), leaving me to lean back and listen to the Australian gentlemen discuss what might be wrong with the car, and what to do. This, in itself, is pretty entertaining for me still. We spend a couple hours doing this and that to no avail, push the car to a spot where we can leave it overnight, and return to the hostel around 10pm.

I don't even know, and I looked
at this one for a while
Back to the work at hand: This online component is predicted to take 2-3 hours, right?. Pff, yeah right! I mean, how extensive could it be? FFS, this shit took me FOREVER. I, at first, tried to actually read the material, but it’s so boring to read something you've already seen a few times over the past years. I wound up skipping the material (the second module had 78 goddamn slides!) and skipping straight forward to the little quizzes. The quizzes were alright, but inevitably, you will make at least one mistake (especially when you don’t study the material (hell, even if you do)) and when you do make that SINGLE mistake, the righteous acid rains will be upon you, burning your retinas as you’re forced to go through ALL the slides again to take this mofo once more until you get that little shit perfect. Bad day, totally made better. Meanwhile, I’m trying to sort out banking information and transferring money with my Dad, and people keep trying to talk to me in broken English. I’m venting to a friend back home and she encouraged me to get used to it, and she’s right. This language isolation will only get worse as I move toward China. Italian brothers, Luca and Matteo, keep me company while I work through this shit, both of them on their own respective devices.

At about 1:30am, I finally finish (2h 20min) and watch an episode of Daredevil before passing out in the moist, heaving box.

The Crew
Note: The people in the room are all very nice, I should say, I just think it’s funny to describe it that way (also, I only have a 2'x3' patch of ground to keep my stuff on.)

*: Yes, I realize the irony in feeling like I'm not going anywhere despite having travelled to the opposite side of the planet.

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