Day 59 - Outlooks

Sneaking up
June 6th, 2015

I’m running out of food. Shimou said she would make dinner today when I came for a haircut from her roommate, Lee. He’s been cutting hair for five years and has more clients than time. I’m lucky to get in - and for only $10! I desperately need it, as it’s gotten to be in the range of “fluffy dome” that it gets to be.

As planned, Mandarin lessons begin today and I learn the different ways of saying a word, and the 4 different meanings of the word “ma.” There are four pronunciations: 1st) flat, 2nd) upward, like a question, 3) down, then up, and 4) down. In most languages, there are 3: flat/statement, upward ending/question, and downward ending/command. I foresee asking questions to be difficult without accidentally changing the meaning of the last word. Anyway, for “ma” the meanings are as follows, respective of the order above: 1) mother, 2) a fabric, flax, 3) horse, and 4) the verb “to swear.” “You look great, mom” could become “you look great, horse” if you’re not careful.

Day 58 - Taka!

Yuzu loves Horses. She should be named Philip.
June 5th, 2015

Oh god, so many backlogged days. Here’s the predicament: if a lot is happening, there more to write up; less time to do it. The flipside is having a more boring time. Ehhh, nah. The past 4 days hadn’t been written up, and they are among some of the more eventful, as you may have seen. In total today, I think it took me 3 hours to write everything up to date.

On the way to the gym, I run into Yuzu, who is returning from somewhere. We chat a bit, she corrects my pronunciation of “hay-ya-ku” (hurry; quickly) and taught me the difference between the phrases “naan des-kah” (what is it/that?) and “so des-kah” (Oh really?). I joked by looking horrified and pointing at her while saying “Naan des-kah!!” She told me that was rude hahah. 

Day 57 - Pizza Heaven

June 4th, 2015

I want to sleep in super late. I really do. But instead, there’s a gaggle of strange women in my kitchen cackling at 9:45am. I pull the covers over my head and attempt to muffle the light and dim the noise. I am aiming to sleep until 12 or 1, but I end up rolling around in that twilight of crap sleep where you’re not sure if you were just laying there, or actually sleeping.

I receive a call from the police department that say that I can get my prints taken today at 1:30pm, but I decline. At this point, I don’t know if this would be a waste of money or not, and I’m kind of hungover. I get moving up, research various things, and finally check my e-mail at 1:40pm. Goddamn it. I had an e-mail saying that a physical copy would do. Great. Ah well, here’s hoping something will work out, or the Aussie clearance will buy me some time.

Day 56 - My Birthday!

Caught in the rain
June 3rd, 2015

I am awoken to my phone exploding. Some of the people from home were call/messaging me, and I know I only have a small time frame to speak with them before they pass out. Good news from the RCMP: they can process the fingerprints within 1 day, if need be (which it very much does), once they get my prints. Hope! I am currently on the waiting list to get finger prints, with the latest time being next Friday. Fingers crossed! Though it is unclear if it has to be digitized or if physical ones will be good enough. Awaiting reply.

The gym hits me, reaching a personal record for deadlifts since dropping the weight and reworking my form. Woot, 120kg (No, not very impressive). Today is a good day, made all the better by how shitty yesterday was! Yin and Yang, brothers and sisters.

Day 55 - Day from Hell

The Great Yuzu Approaches
June 2nd, 2015

Today was a terrible day. Well, the daytime was. Occasionally while I’m sleeping, I’ll grab my phone to see why its been going off all night. There are usualy quite a few notifications because that’s when everyone back home is awake. An e-mail from the school in China glowed on the screen, which probably isn’t good. I open it to see that I have to have my police clearance check to them in 3 weeks in order for my visa to be ready before the training will start.

It’s 9:30am and there’s no way I’m going back to sleep as I roll around, mentally take the steps needed to solve this problem. I do some RCMP work online, contact everyone I can, but everyone is goddamn useless. Either they point me to a group that is supposed to help, which then doesn’t, or they're clueless. The Canadian Consulate in Perth is just a façade of a consulate, simply pointing you in the direction you should go. Usually this means they will deflect you toward High Commission of Canada in Canberra (Aus Capital). Their hours are open until 4:30 with a break for lunch. I will call them after doing some other things in the more immediate environment.

Day 54 - Age of Ultron

The Brewery Bar next to
June 1st, 2015

I am woken up today around 9am and made to wonder if I should go into my housemates room to see if everything is alright. They’ve been fighting a lot lately, and it’s reached the zone of break-up level fighting. Stuff is thrown, she tearfully screams thats he hates him, but I can’t actually hear him say or do anything. After listening, I fall back asleep after deciding that she is the main aggressor/perpetrator of violence.

Gym, catch up on writing. The problem now is that laziness is prevailing for the writing. I’m falling behind, not because I don’t have time, but because I have too much time and don’t feel like doing it. A constant struggle for us all.

I make curry because the meat is probably near expiry. Yum, stew beef this time! While it’s boiling down, I go on an editing spree to catch up on my releases. 6 releases! 6! ah-ah-ah.

Day 53 - Nerd Day

Sunset from the Horseshoe bridge
May 31st, 2015

I was in the process of making plans for today when I was reminded that I actually already had plans! Damn, my organization is slipping. On, I had committed to playing DnD with a group of guys once every fortnight for 6 hours on Sunday. It’s free, and I figure I’ll meet a couple people in the process of having some fun. French Alex has given me his SmartRider card that allows you to put money on it and swipe to get on the bus/train for 25% less. It costs $10 initial fee, so I wasn’t sure if it was worth it with the amount I use the transport. He bought a car and didn’t need it, so hey, sweet deal.

Day 52 - Break on through

Look what appeared in our back yard!
Admire that luscious grass.
May 30th, 2015

For reasons that I can’t exactly put my finger on (blatant lie), today was one of the lowest points during the trip, least since the hostel. It’s difficult to kick yourself into gear in this state, but I know the steps that I need to take to shake the funk.

I eat some good food, and write. I haven’t read in quite a while, so I grab the book I’ve been meaning to chip away at and set a pomodoro to read out in the sunlight. Afterwards, I eat, meditate, write some more, and head to the gym. 

It’s Saturday night and I should probably go out. This is the absolute last thing I want to do and I come really close to calling it off. I was sitting on my bed, talking to people back home while playing games. I know that if I stay home, the depression will persist and I may even feel worse tomorrow for not taking action. F*ck it, motion creates emotion. Time to move.

Day 51 - Darker than Koko Black

My Chocolate Mousse
May 29th, 2015

I just realized it’s 5 days from my birthday. Huh. Yuzu, still sleeping on my couch, informed me that she has two share houses lined up to check out today, one of which turns out to be Laurens’ place. Strange coincidence; she ends up taking it. She returns from seeing the place, and I introduce her to Alex’s girlfriend, Manee [Mah-knee, apparently]. After discussing the differences between the 4 languages we each speak (Alex included), they excuse themselves to go on some adventure.  I help Yuzu with putting on her giant sack, which is as big as her. She leaves, which I follow shortly after to meet up with Shimou.

Back at ye olde Elephant and Wheelbarrow, reminiscent of the first time we hung out. She’s late, and buys me a drink as an apology. After a bit of sitting there, talking about various topics, we decide to migrate to a different bar/restaurant instead of hanging around in this largely empty “English Pub” (which all the english people openly detest).

Day 50 - Salsa!

Brazilian Side
May 28th, 2015

I awoke today to find Yuzu sitting in the living room on her cell phone. Apparently she had been doing this for 4 hours because she couldn’t access her stuff, which was in my room. She probably didn’t want to be rude, but I had left the door unlocked because I figured she would need it at some point. I made her a grilled cheese - her first ever. She had made me a bracelet, but thought it was too small, and was currently wearing its as an anklet. Let me repeat: she was able to fit it over her foot but didn’t think it would fit over my hand. It did, in fact, fit, but she had been wearing it for two weeks and wanted to make me a new one instead of giving me the ‘dirty’ one.

Day 49 - Return of the Yuzu

Hmm, yes.
May 27th, 2015

I woke up late today, and skipped the gym. There wasn’t enough time to do so and make it in time to meet a friend, Aussie/Irish Neev (no idea now to spell her name, that’s how it’s pronounced). I had met her near the yoga/park thing within Northbridge while she was writing poetry and waiting for the salsa lessons at Mustang. We covered a wide range of topics, and she taught me a few interesting things about music, reading, and Game of Thrones. We wandered around once we left San Churro in search of a good people watching spot, but there didn’t happen to be any close by. The topic of “defining moments” came up, as she had given a speech on it at some leadership conference in the recent past. She shared hers, and then it came to mine...

Day 48 - Sober, Depressed, and Alone

I like the Imagery of a Floating City.
It also reminds me of this.
May 26th, 2015
 - Sorry Day

Today was Sorry Day. This is the day where the Government of Oz officially says "sorry about that, mate" to the Aboriginal people of Australia. Honestly, I think they could have come up with a better name for it.

Today was also not a very good day for me. Still down about the events that had happened yesterday, I drag myself to the gym to attempt to kickstart my upward spiral*. It doesn’t really work and the work out suffered because of the mood. But hey, a bad workout (sans injury) is better than no work out. I go home, shower, then make a trip to Tran’s Emporium for some food and snacks. Something significant happened around here, but I haven't decided whether I should include it or not. 

Day 47 - Damn it all

A tea shop I passed (I took this before speaking with Taryn)
May 25th, 2015

I wake up to find out that Liz doesn’t want to go to the zoo as we was planned for the following day, simply stating that she didn't want to anymore. How lame. She had printed off some resumes for me on the weekend and said she’d be dropping them off today around 4 when she got off school. The only thing I had to do was go to the Canadian Consulate to get a clearance check for my Chinese job. I shower and waited for Liz to show up with the things she printed. At 3:15, I get a text that they’re in the mail box. Strange. I call and leave a message.

Day 46 - Dinner at Shimou's

May 24th, 2015

Obviously* today was a late start, waking up at 1:30pm. I was supposed to meet Shimou at 3:30 in a coffee place, but she was going to be late and pushed it back to 4. The cafe had some board games, most of which she had never seen/played before. I showed her the wondrous worlds of Battleship and Guess Who. The loser got drawn on with her eye liner. We both lost, but I was more generous to her, only putting a tiny heart by her eye instead of this big mole thing on the side of my face.

We went to a convenience store to get some Chinese-specific ingredients and then to a grocery store for some more general things because it would be cheaper. Chinese Lee, one of Shimou’s best friends here, met us there. He was cool, somewhat quiet guy, who's english was quite good. He had a slight frame, thick framed hipster glasses, and a small moustache. He also has a set of wheels and is very generous in the rides he gives to his friends. What a champ!

Day 45 - Shaggy Shag

China Town, Across from the bus terminal (Roe Street)
May 23rd, 2015

Liz said she would help me out by printing some of my updated resumes and the fliers I had made up. She worked from 3-8, making me finalize what I wanted to put and shoot them over to her. A friend from home was having a hard time, so I put off showering after the gym to talk her through her situation. This then led to me procrastinating doing anything all day and convincing myself that showering after dark was actually much nicer. There’s this small directional light that gives some cool ambience in the washroom. Yeah, that’s not actually a real reason. I think it’s time to start finding ways to punish myself for days like today.

Day 44 - Drowsily Flying Solo

We're not the only ones
May 22nd, 2015

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Based on the group I had met yesterday, I decided to write up flier for tutoring english and posting them around Northbridge area. Then, the idea struck to make TWO fliers! A-ha! I’ll make one expensive, more professional looking one, and one less expensive, more casual looking one and put them around town near one another. I put my e-mail on the one and my phone on the other, going as far as putting a different name on the e-mail so that I can know exactly what they’re messaging about. My Aussie friends gave me advice on what to do, and my foreign/english student friends say what they would be willing to pay. Cool. Who knows how this will work out, but I can only see it helping my chances. Fun little experiment, let’s hope I don’t put them in stupid spaces that get them immediately torn down.

Day 43 - Wild Horse Games

Dat Ginger
May 21st, 2015

When I was younger, I used to hate the idea of having schedules that you had to do over and over. Having to do something made it a chore, and who the hell enjoys chores? They were the chains that I tried to avoid and that has caused me to waste a lot of time. As the years have gone on, I’ve realized that consistency is the key to anything, which will require you to have some level of mundane ritualism in your daily routines. Without ritual you’ll spin your tires - progress, switch focuses, regress, repeat. With the stability that has come from the share house and having the gym nearby, I’ve got my stability on which I can base my rituals. I need to get back into the productive mindset.

Day 42 - Getting Connected

Only One
May 20th, 2015

Happy Birthday to my Sister!

It's the first day back to the Gym since being sick and it feels gooooood. I research a few things online before taking a shower, then take 40 damn minutes to finally finish my police check online. It can be a pain in the ass to not have a printer or scanner, so much so that I almost considered actually walking 15 minutes to the police station just to get it done there instead of online. I don’t, but I think about it.

Around 2, I head over to the grocery store, seeing Alex on my way out. He said he didn’t have time to drive me again, which is fine since I need to be more independent, anyway. I return an hour later, laden with some delicious groceries waiting to be cooked up. Not tonight. No, not tonight.

Day 41 - Being Hip with E

Haters gon' hate
May 19th, 2015

The morning isn’t really worth mentioning, so I'm skipping it. Everything was finally in gear by 4:30pm to get to the recruitment place before they close at 5.

Tonight, the plan is to head to Leederville (Village of Leaders (I made that up, but it sounds plausible)) to a bar called “Hip-E Bar.” It’s backpacker night, which means 1) free drink, 2) free sausage, 3) lots of other foreigners. Thor knows where the place is, so he's the man in charge tonight.

Day 40 - To the Moon with a Brass Monkey!

Filler Pic
May 18th, 2015

Still sick, I skip the gym today and make a light breakfast. Videos on youtube are too enticing. I get sucked in for a couple hours before I buckle down and get to work applying/calling up on jobs that i have applied to. My god, they don’t seem to like this very much. They seem to think I’m calling for questions on the position, which are all clearly listed on the website. They then seem to take the enthusiasm/hunger as an annoyance and rebuff me back to the standard application process. Really? You don’t want someone who actually wants the position enough to follow up? Alright, then.

The recruitment agency called up and said I had to figure out this “superannuation” shit, yet they don’t really give me a clear reason as to why it’s necessary or what exactly it is. It seems like a number of places have talked about this, and the best answer I could get was from outsourcing the question to Eloise. What I gathered from what she said is that it’s like the retirement plan here where you can choose your own and the deals that it includes. Since I’m a foreigner, it doesn’t make sense to do anything with the premiums (income protection, life insurance) so I should go for the lowest. I get this back when I leave the country, whatever's left of it.

Day 39 - The War Continues...

This is an Accurate Representation
of Yuzu's workplace in Japan.
May 17th, 2015

Slightly more sick, I actually get up, have a shower, and head to Tran’s for some more groceries and easy-to-make food to get dat energy. It’s wartime, and an army marches on it’s stomach. The war, however, is microbial. It’s not very entertaining to witness, let me tell you.

Again, it’s raining today, but harder and more consistently than yesterday. Alex and I were hanging around the house, and I had an hour-long phone call with Rochelle about things back home. Alex was watching Breaking Bad in the seldom-used living room on the big(ish) screen, but I thought I should actually put the words down for the journal before it gets even further away from me. Consistency, bro. Do you have it? Not enough, no....

Day 38 - Howdy, Neighbours

Ginger Beer
It's like Ginger Ale, but more of
that lovely ginger BURN!
May 16th, 2015

I arise from my bed, feeling a little off. I write this off to a slight hangover when I notice that my throat is scratchier than usual, and the symptoms are generally different. Great, I think I may actually be sick. This would explain the fatigue of the past few days that seemed to be more impactful than usual. I was going to go to the gym with Thor, but decide it might be best to take the day off. I hate this. One day off leads to two, leads to three, leads to forever. The alternative would be to go anyway, infect other people, subpar workout, and possibly delaying the illness’ expiry. Also, it’s raining, which are the best days to stay in bed.

Instead, I eat the curry from the day before (Yum, vitamins!) and read comics. I am a 6 year old boy. Since I was hanging around and felt like talking to some people, I stop over at the neighbours for the first time and see if French Stephen is around. He’d given me free bread and said Hi a few times throughout the week. He wasn’t, but I met his roommate, French Thomas. French Gaspar came out of his room, we talked for a bit, then hung out on the front step while Gaspar smoked. He’s been here a while, lives with his Thai girlfriend, and has a great sense of humour.

Day 37 - The Married Woman

May 15th, 2015

Gym, online work for the temp agency, then met up with Australian Kirah at the little bird cafe. I’m trying to hit up most of the cafes around town to see what they’ve got going for them, and what I can take. Still a lot to hit up, but I’ve got some time still. We grab lunch at Flipsides, which is the supposedly “healthy” burger place. I'd recommend it, though I think we’re lying to ourselves if we start considering burgers to be healthy.

We say goodbye, and I head back to my place for a nap, as I still hadn’t caught up on any Z’s. It’s always confusing to fall asleep during daylight and wake up with the sun down. I contemplate going back to bed, but decide I should get up and get moving if I want to get myself in the mood for some wild horses. I attempt the curry again, this time with the proper spice package, and it’s leaps ahead. So damn good, though I put too much water in the rice. Who cares, any food is great when you're starving!

Day 36 - Caffeine Sickness and Cheap Pizza

Must Get.
May 14th, 2015

Usual song and dance with the bars and weights, I meet up once again with Aussie Pam. We talk about feminism, Australian politics, and coffee shops. My lack of sleep seems to be catching up with me, as I’m falling asleep the entire time we hang out. Even though we cafe hop, I end up having a lot of caffeine and very little water, which results in a really hard caffeine crash. She, on the other hand, is bouncing off the walls. We check out one of the cafes that had been suggested to Andy and I so long ago, “Addison and Steele.” This is the place where they have coffee testings based around themes. Totally taking that idea. Every first Thursday they have a themed tasting - we just missed the one a week before, Columbia-themed. Pam bounces to go see her parents, and I wish to take a nap.

Day 35 - Homeless Attack!

May 13th, 2015

“Bike!” the woman shouted at me as we almost intersected. It shook me a little closer to reality than the walking dissociation I had previously been enveloped in. I had been autopilot scanning the car traffic for a window to climb through, which made me overlook the bike lanes I was standing in. I hardly see bikes actually frequenting them, so I completely overlooked them. I laugh it off and quickly fall back into pace, once more losing myself in thought. I pass through the ‘park’ that’s right beside my gym, Russel Square, and notice a large group of aboriginal people getting wasted in the centre structure. This isn’t exactly out of the ordinary, so I ignore it and keep my pace. Just past the group, on the green on the far side of the walkway from me, is a visibly drunk aboriginal man. He’s holding his right arm extended in my general direction, yelling something incoherent, and shambling quickly in my direction like a zombie. Great.