Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lesson #3: Never leave your mates

After having been on the road for three weeks - ten days in Ireland and ten in Portugal - I was ready to head home to Glasgow, meet up with my mates, have a nice pint (or nine), and relax for a few days before starting to study for my finals. First though, I had to spend one more day in Porto. Having been there for three already, I decided to take things easy - have a nice walk in the morning and then spend the afternoon at the beach. Yeah. That would be nice. Here is what actually happened.


Wake up. Grab free bowl of cereal and an apple from the hostel, then go off with Kelly to find the post. She wanted to mail something before she had to catch a flight with Hadassah back to Glasgow. My flight was early tomorrow morning and Meghan was going a few hours after that - but to London, not Glasgow. I  got to try speaking some Portuguese while looking for the post building. "Onde es el correo?". They look confused but understood what I meant after a few seconds. Maybe 'correo' doesn't translate well from Spanish to Portuguese. Maybe my accent was shite. Probably both


Walk Hadassah and Kelly down to the Metro station and said goodbye. Seemed a bit of a pointless goodbye as I was going to see the both of them tomorrow in Glasgow but goodbyes are always nice. Went back to the hostel, ate some yoghurt and showered.


Meghan is awake and studying downstairs. Time to start my languorous wander about the city.


Text from Hadassah. Turns out that karma didn't like how I had been laughing about my friends who were stuck in Iceland due to volcanic eruption. Kelly and Hadassah's flight was cancelled. Mine might be too. Run back to hostel to tell Meghan. Looks like I'm trading in that day of relaxation for a day at the airport. Fun!


Had a nice 15 minute nap while waiting for Meghan to get all her stuff packed


Left hostel and went to the Metro


Show up at the airport. Hadassah and Kelly are already in the queue to change flights. First I decided to check the internet and then I joined the queue


Finally reached the end of the queue. My flight is still good to go tomorrow morning. Hadassah and Kelly had to change their flight but now they're on the same on to London as Meg. Then they'll just grab another plane to Glasgow. Everything is sorted nicely and best of all, Meg's got Hadassah and Kelly with her in case something goes screwy. They'll be fine. Now I can get some of that relaxing done I'd planned on. But first, tastytimes were in order. The four of us walked down to a cafe. I ate some of that delicious chorizo bread I'd been munching on all throughout Portugal and also two corn/meat triangle things, two fish things and a can of coke.


Went to a tiny supermarket near the cafe to get provisions for spending the night at the airport. I grabbed 1.5L of water, canned pineapple, canned beans and a 1.95 bottle of wine.


Back at the airport and getting some of that relaxing done by laying out in a nice sunny patch of grass. Life is good. Also decided to start in on that pineapple. God I love pineapple. And life. Did I mention that it's good?


Kelly's parents are going to be in Glasgow tomorrow so we got the brilliant idea to swap my flight for Kelly's so that she'd be home quicker and could meet them. Instead, I learn that I am fucked. My flight tomorrow morning is cancelled. Kelly, Hadassah, and Meghan's is still on though.


Finally got through that queue - again. Changed my flight to go to Faro at 7:35am and then from Faro to Dublin at 12:45pm. From Dublin I'd need to figure out how to ferry back to Scotland. It was the best available option I had. Thankfully the others are still okay, and still with each other. Now, time to deal with some stress. Where is that wine?


Realize with Hadassah that we had no corkscrew and can't get into our wine. Luckily, we have metal spoons and I can maybe bash the cork into the bottle


Make new best friend in Elliot, an American who looks and sounds exactly like Seth Rogen and, most importantly, offered his corkscrew to us


Open wine and start to drink with Hadassah. Also, ate a muffin thing.


Wine gone, need more. Sent Meghan to go get the money she owed me before I got drunk and forgot about it and flew away.


Meghan still isn't back. Time to go investigate that supermarket with Hadassah for more wine


The supermarket was closed but we found a semi-fancy looking restaurant that had no problem in selling two bottles of wine to myself and Hadassah. On the way out, we see Meghan and Elliot. They too, are looking for wine.


Open wine on park bench and start drinking before Elliot and Meg come back out from the restaurant


Finish the first bottle of wine before we even get back to the airport. I am respectably drunk now and life is pretty good. Time to eat another muffin thing.


I decide to switch to water for a while and Hadassah decides to pass out. Fair enough, it's been a long rough day.


I found Kelly on the Internet. Decided that now would be a good time to print out my boarding pass for my flight in ten and a half hours. Kelly had made a new friend in Denmark girl.


Elliot is gone now, back to some hostel somewhere in Porto. It's a shame really, I like that guy. Denmark girl has sortof taken his place though. She doesn't look or sound like Seth Rogen but she's pretty and good to talk to so it's a fair trade all in all. Decided to go down to internet some things for a half hour. First though, phoned Steph and also left a message for my parents. My phone died and ran out of credit at the exact same time. I don't think the world wants me to communicate.


Open up the last bottle of wine (out of three) with Denmark. She has one glass and I drink about half the bottle. Life is still good.


Hadassah is awake now but still sleepy and cold. I give her my Glasgow hoodie and winter jacket for pillows and warmth. I was the only one out of the group with real 'warm' clothing because I had been in Ireland for ten days before. Everyone else was packed for warm weather and I was packed for gross and rain and cold. It even snowed on me in Ireland. In March. How fucked up is that too. Proper good windy snowstorm too.


Went and found Kelly again. She was cold too so I gave her my hemp hoodie. Had a nice chat a bit before she decided to go to sleep


Chatted with Denmark girl some more. Had some wine some more. Still liked life some more.


Meghan was sleepy now. Gave her my colourful Lisbon hippie hoodie and a towel.


Hungry. Ate the full can of beans and the last two slices of pineapple


Everyone is asleep now. Even Denmark girl. I might as well give it a shot seeing as how I've got nothing better to do with my time


Awake again thanks to sharp pain in my collar bone. Note to self: next time you try sleeping, don't put most of your weight on one of your more delicate bones. You would think I would know how to sleep proper by now but no, this is apparently not the case. Everyone else is still spread out throughout the airport sleeping, except for Meghan, who I cannot find.


Meghan comes back with a chamomile tea, puts it on the ground near where I am sitting and pushes it wordlessly towards me. I am drunk and tired and confused. I look at her. She pushes the tea in my direction some more. I look at it and then at her again. She smiles, I grab the tea without lifting it off the ground and look again. Still smiling and not talking. Finally I think I understand and pick it up. "Thank you". Another smile. It is the nicest thing anyone's done for me


Wait in the now very short line and ask about my flight in two and a half hours. It is still apparently okay. The one from Faro to Dublin is also still apparently okay. I hope so. I don't want to leave the others in case something screws up but they'll have each other if that happens. They'll be fine and I already know I can deal with whatever happens to me on my own. Everything will work out.


One more glass of wine for the road


Goggled Meghan and Hadassah on my way to security. Then they got me right in front of the security guard. Assholes. He understood it was a game though, and was amused by me having to lay down on the ground.


My flight leaves to Faro and I am unconscious for the full hour. Thank you wine and lack of sleep.


Get to Faro and realize my mistake immediately. Right inside the airport is a board with cancellations. My Dublin flight is cancelled. Meg, Kelly and Hadassah's flight is cancelled too. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck, I should not have left them. 

Had a hell of time trying to find the ticket booth. Needed to ask the security guard for directions three times before he just walked me there. To be fair, the airport had a stupid layout but I should have been able to figure it out on my own. This made me realized just how weary only having two hours of sleep and to be still processing the roughly two bottles of wine I drank has made me. Not to mention all the stress.

Eventually find the queue for the ticket desk. It is enormous. Three or four times the size of the one in Porto. Got in line behind an English couple who have a farm north of Faro. An English family soon joins the queue behind me


Still in the queue. Still looks to be about another hour before I get to the desk. Time to start thinking about options. There is still time for me to bus back to Porto. Or I could stick this queue out and bunker down in Faro. I really don't like Faro. Plus, I know that Kelly, Meghan, and Hadassah are probably a mess right now. I prayed that Hadassah could keep it together for the group. I don't pray ever but Hadassah does. Maybe it will help her in a way. I should be there anyways.

 The Farm couple are going to go back to work on their farm until they can fly home. The English family are trying to get back from vacation. They are really nice and I've been having a good chat with them on and off for a few hours. Also, they have a seventeen year old daughter who has been making eyes at me and even said that she wished she had an accent. Fucking funny how she would be the first one in all the time I've spent in Britain to be (noticeably) turned on by my accent.

I could offer to help the Farm couple work on their farm if they let me stay there. Or I could play 'down and out' with the English family and see if they offer to let me stay at their hotel. Their daughter would push for it, I was pretty sure, so it might work. That could turn interesting quickly in who knows how many ways.

Ultimately though, I decide that I need to go back to Porto. Before catching a bus from the airport to Faro, I go to the Vodafone store to charge my phone and get credit for it. The English family looks over my stuff while I'm out of the queue. Spend 4.25 on a terrible ham and cheese sandwich then ring Hadassah to tell her I'm coming back. She sounds relieved. I should never have left.


Catch bus to Porto. Well, to Lisbon really, then I've got to get on a different one to Porto. Slept for two hours. It is beautiful.


Back in Lisbon. Such a beautiful city. Part of me is sad I can't stay here for a day. Well, I probably could but I'm needed elsewhere. Goodbye again, Lisbon.


Stuck in traffic. Because I haven't done enough queuing today. On the other hand though, the sunset is pretty. You know what fuck sunsets. FUCKCOCKASSEATINGFUCKSHITCUNTWHORE.


Back in Porto. Deja Vu. Text Hadassah and she tells me to meet at the Metro. She's found a new hostel for everyone to stay at. Kelly got a hotel because she needs to de-stress and just have some nice relaxing her time. I don't blame her. Met up with Hadassah. Hug.

"I'm so glad you came back"
"Me too. I shouldn't have left"

She told me all about their day. It sounded awful. I should have been there. Though, I was proud of her. It sounded like, for the most part, she held it together for everyone and kept them from going insane - she did my job. I shouldn't have left but she did good and didn't break down until I came back. This was her first chance to break down, really. Strong girl. 

"I shouldn't have left".

Dear Stranger,

There's this poster at the uni cafeteria that says "Your only souvenir will be calluses" or something like that. I don't even know what it's for because every time I see it (roughly once a day) I read it as "Your only souvenir will be calculus" and start wondering what the hell they could possibly be trying to sell before realizing that I'm an idiot who can't read.

I've been wanting to tell that story for a while now but it's really not a good story and honestly no one would care about it so I told you because I never have to see you again if I don't want to.

There was a girl behind me in the queue at the caf who was singing,

" I can see a lot of life in you
  I can see a lot of bright in you".

It figured she'd be singing that. I told her that I liked Sufjan Stevens and she looked at me funny. Not the reaction I was expecting. Maybe I was just hallucinating her singing it. It would make more sense for me to be hallucinating it than for her to be actually singing it. I mean that particular song, seriously? Though, the universe does seem to like to fuck with me - like the girl behind me at the bar from Scotland, Ontario. What a stupid fucking name for a city.

I don't think I would have hallucinated it though because I've actually been getting a reasonable amount of sleep lately (thanks to skipping an unreasonable amount of lectures). So she must have been singing it herself. Strange look though. Weird.

I bet if I told you what I study, you'd tell me you hate it. Most people tell me they hate maths. That pisses me off so much. I hate having to tell people what I study because I never know how to react when they tell me they hate it.

"So what do you study?"
*mumbles* "umm, maths"
"Ugh, I hate math. I pretty much failed it in high school".
"Uh, it's not for everyone. I like it though so..."
"Oh thats good for you but I can't stand it"

What's the worst is that most people haven't even earned the right to hate maths. I don't believe you can properly hate something until, at the very least, you know a little bit about it. At the best, most people can only claim to not understand any math. That I'm okay with, but hate? No. You're not allowed because you don't fucking know anything. For example, here are some different fields in maths I can think of off the top of my head:

Math biology, math ecology, linear programing, non-linear programming, cryptography, cryptoanalysis, real analysis, complex analysis, algebraic topology, differential topology, group theory, Galois theory, chaos theory, fractal geometry, euclidean geometry, non-euclidean geometry, number theory, linear algebra, vector calculus, combinatorics, set theory, optimization, game theory, numerical analysis, mathematical finance, and so on and so on.

You probably can't tell me what happens in a single one of those (very very broad) fields and yet, in a single sweeping statement you claim that you hate them all. You don't have that right. I can claim that I hate analysis because I actually fucking know what it is.

So dear stranger, the moral of the story is that if someone tells you they study something that you know nothing about, don't fucking tell them you hate it. It's fucking rude and it's inaccurate.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dear Dreams,

Dear god you are a scatterbrained bunch aren't you dreams? I think maybe, you ought to pick one thing and focus on that. In the course of a few hours you might look up how to get a job in Antarctica, how to apply for a masters degree in the UK, and even as I write this you're looking at different jobs you can apply for at Last.fm. Make up your fucking mind. Seriously.

I suppose, in general, you do tend to lean towards either writing or travelling - which isn't bad. Those two things do tend to go together pretty well. The problem with that though is that to travel write you need to go places and when I go places I'd rather spend all my time enjoying them rather than write about them. This causes issues you see.

I read something today which went along the lines of "Where do you think this could take you if you kept at it for five years", it was nice and inspirational. Five years is a nice amount of time - I'd still be young but I could actually have accomplished a lot - if I start trying right now. That's a big issue for me: trying. Even writing this just right now is an excuse of getting out of trying. I've got a half written story laying on the floor beside me and instead of writing that, I'm doing this. Go me!

Alternately: Dear Dreams,

Do you remember that one dream I had where I was hanging out with Cody in the Death Star only it was actually a corporate office and we were chilling in Darth Vader's office? That was a cool dream. Could I have it again please?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dear Brother

Have you got any ideas for a good show to pitch to CBC radio? I think we ought to have a sit down and a good think about it and go over the submision rules or whatever. Cause seriously, Uni is sortof a background thing for both of us. I know I'd rather not get a proper job - pretty sure you would to. Radio could be fun. Or whatever too. That could be fun probably.

We should stop being so lazy and maybe once a week (or every other week? I know you're almost as busy as I am) and make something. Doesn't matter what. Stories, sketches, songs, whatever. That could be fun I think


PS - You should get a job and come to Glasgow with me this summer?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Parents,

University is nice. Please send money


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dear Crush

This is an exceptionally difficult letter for me to write because, frankly, you don't exist. However, being non-existent as you are, I trust that you won't get angry if the quality of this letter is not quite up to your expectations. As well, I apologize for not knowing your name. Though, to be fair, it really is your fault for not introducing yourself - that's just basic etiquette, you bitch.

Well you know what? You are a bitch sometimes. There I said it and and I don't even care that's how fed up I am with you. Remember that time I went to meet you at the mall and you didn't even bother ringing me to say you wouldn't be there? That shit happens all the time and I'm sick of it. I do so much for you and you can't even be fucked to tell me your name? Oh, bullshit. Just yesterday I cleaned the flat, not that it mattered cause you didn't fucking come over. Again.

I'm trying to work on my swearing okay!? I'm just a little emotional right now so occasionally a swear is going to slip out, ALRIGHT. If you can't have the maturity to look past that and focus at the issues at hand here, well then you can go fuck a cunt. Yes. You heard exactly what I said. FUCK A CUNT.

Fuck it. I'm through with this shit.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dear Best Friend

It is kindave interesting the relationship we have. For one, we haven't actually lived in the same place for over three years. That's probably not going to change anytime ever either. Lately we've been fighting more than usual. I mean, we've always fought, it's why we've been such good friends. There's no one else I could take a swing at and have everything be cool ten minutes later. I think we've both been strained though, had other things to fill our heads with. You've got a girlfriend now which is actually really cool and it's great to see you as happy as you are. I can't really blame you for focussing so much more importance on that than other things. Given the chance, I'd jump right back across the ocean without even thinking about it and stay for years possibly. The only difference is that your love is a girl - mine is a place.  So please, enjoy it as much as you possibly can.

Anyways, you know that ultimately I'll always be around and I know that ultimately you'll always be around which is a pretty big source of comfort. Have a good one.

Love Me

30 Days of Letters

I saw this somewhere and decided that it might be fun to try. At the very least, it would get me writing more which is something I really need to work on. I don't know if I'll have time to do one every day, but I'll do my best.

Day 1 — Your Best Friend
Day 2 — Your Crush
Day 3 — Your parents
Day 4 — Your sibling (or closest relative)
Day 5 — Your dreams
Day 6 — A stranger
Day 7 — Your Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/love/crush
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to
Day 11 — A Deceased person you wish you could talk to
Day 12 — The person you hate most/caused you a lot of pain
Day 13 — Someone you wish could forgive you
Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from
Day 15 — The person you miss the most
Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country
Day 17 — Someone from your childhood
Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be
Day 19 — Someone that pesters your mind—good or bad
Day 20 — The one that broke your heart the hardest
Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression
Day 22 — Someone you want to give a second chance to
Day 23 — The last person you kissed
Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory
Day 25 — The person you know that is going through the worst of times
Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to
Day 27 — The friendliest person you knew for only one day
Day 28 — Someone that changed your life
Day 29 — The person that you want tell everything to, but too afraid to
Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An open forum for all foreign countries.

Oh, hi guys, I'm super glad you could all come here today. Israel... c-could you please stop kicking Palestine under the table. No, I-I can see you. You just di... you're still doing it. Okay, whoever thought it would be funny to have these two sit together, I will find you. Oh, it was me you say? Well, it is kindave funny.

What he doesn't know is that
Palestine put itching powder under that hat
Anyways, more to the point. There's something important I'd like to ask of you. Can I have a passport? America, put back the forklift. I don't want to do any paperwork. Or pay any money. And no Guatemala, I don't want a fake one. I would like a proper one with my own face and name.

This will get you into most South American countries

Canada, get back here, I've already got one of your passports. No, that's fine, you don't need to apologize. Though, if it isn't too much trouble, could you maybe look into joining the EU. Their money has ridiculous colours like ours so it'll hardly be any difference. Or could you maybe even give up sovereignty and go back to being owned by Britain? That would be just as good - even easier too, seeing as how the queen is still our head of state.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is, I want to hang out with you all, I really do. Yes, even you Burkina Faso. Of course I remember your name, just because no one else does doesn't mean you're not important. But really, you are making it really difficult. I'm doing my best here but, honestly, the vibes I'm getting is that you'd really prefer for me not to come over. And I don't think anyone wants that. So, please mail me passports. Passports that are 100% real and have my very own name and picture. Thank you.