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July 2006 Archives

July 30, 2006

Festival Season

I'm a very busy girl in the month of August, and that doesn't even factor in time spent wandering up and down the Mile, people watching and contemplating shows for the Fringe. Nor does it include the Film Festival, now that I think of it. How do people manage to do everything they want to do? I think that next year, if I am living here, I'm just going to take the whole month off and indulge in the Festival Season to its extreme.

If you were intending to buy tickets to the Edinburgh Festivals for GB£142.00, you could instead buy:
  • eleven kilograms of swiss chocolate
  • five cast-iron woks
  • one hundred and forty-two lottery tickets, probably worthless
  • one thirtieth of a high-end liquid-cooled computer with two top-class graphics cards, high-res large LCD display and a physics card
  • six kilograms of silly putty
  • six hundred and thirty-one millilitres of human blood
  • one hour with a London prostitute
  • two thousand, eight hundred and forty carrots
  • six hundred and eighty-three litres of unleaded gasoline (in America)
  • one half of an entry-level desktop computer
What are you thinking of buying?
I might buy for

... which is something to consider, I suppose.

Because it was asked for, here are pictures of us going to see POTC. There are fabulous babes, and corsets, and protesting.

July 29, 2006


Let me tell you a story. One with photos and everything. It will be fun! Let's call this story "The Little Airplane that Could".

Little background to the story: As I've mentioned previously, I hate to fly. But, my parents love me, and decided it would be best if I took a plane from Nanaimo to Vancouver's International Airport, before boarding a flight to Kelowna. Because my parents love me and want to spoil me, and know that long bus rides are many things, but mostly tedious and boring. They love me! Love! Love lots! Thus they put me on a plane! Yeah! *shudder*

Push, Pull, Drag See this plane? Isn't it small? See the man dragging the plane all by himself?

That plane is bigger than the plane I flew across to Vancouver. It's a 15 minute flight, depending on the wind. Sometimes it's longer, and sometimes it's shorter. Because of wind. Because when you're in a nice little airplane, one that could fall out of the sky with ease, the wind makes a *big* different.

Did I mention that I hate to fly?

Before Boarding This is the plane I actually got on. See the plane? See the pilot? Wow, what a small little plane. And it was just me, and the pilot, and my 18 kilograms of luggage. And my purse.

He was a very nice pilot. The safety instructions were very short and to the point. He explained how to open the doors in a crash, and that there was a lifejacket right underneath me. Isn't that great? Yay, lifejacket! Which is good, because did I mention the plane was small and could crash?

Tiny Little Feet These are my tiny little feet in the tiny little plane. Guess what? I got to sit where the co-pilot would! There were levers and buttons and things to push, and a phone! Isn't that great? I could totally have made a wrong move and we would have plummeted into the ocean, or flown to Seattle or something! Isn't that great? Yay for tiny little planes with tiny little people on them!

(I do have tiny little feet - dear god, no wonder I'm clumsy.)

Then the tiny little plane took off. It doesn't need a lot of water to do that - we didn't even get as far as the ferry, and the ferry is pretty close to where the planes take off. They do several trips a day between the island (where my parents live) and Vancouver. I'm impressed, really, that that many people do the trip by plane instead of by ferry. But the ferry is damned expensive, and the plane will take you straight to the airport. So I can see it, I guess, but still. It's *tiny*. And scary.

There were room for two other people in the plane, but there wasn't anyone but me and the pilot.

So, we take this short run up to the sky, and I'm holding onto myself for dear life, convinced that if I grab the wrong thing, the plane will crash. But the take-off was remarkably smooth, and there was none of that sudden vertigo I tend to get during them. Just this woosh as we went up into the air. I grabbed on to the bottom of my seat, and then looked out....

The Air Up There

The view was amazing.

I got up there and thought for a bit: Wow... this is so much nicer than flying commercial planes. You can see out the window, and see all these amazing things. It's loud, but it's not nearly as bad as it could be. I know, I'll get my pilot's license when I can, and then save up and buy a little plane like this, and fly around the world. I'll just land whenever I want, and see all sorts of nifty places. Free as a bird!

Then we landed.

I don't land well.

The plane did not crash, and all was safe, and I even made my flight to Kelowna with 15 minutes to spare before boarding closed, but I was a wreck. Flying = bad! Landing = bad! No more little planes! None none none! Not even with great views of the area! None!

And that's the story of the Little Airplane that Could.

There are some photos of the view... these are the ones that aren't blurry because I was shaking too hard.

(Note: No snakes were harmed in the writing of this entry, as they were not allowed on the plane.)

July 28, 2006

If one were to be, say, looking at a flight to Australia for early January, would one prefer to fly through Hong Kong or Singapore? Should one, you know, be doing that. Not that I am. Because that would be making a commitment, which I do not do.

The Pro in Procrastination

I was thinking that the best way to get over my latest OMG I'M NOT TRAVELLING RIGHT THIS SECOND ARG! angst was to write up a bit more about my latest travels. So, I think about it a bit, and prepare to write something, then think "Oh, but I can't write it up without photos. No one will get the true wonderfulness of what I want to write without photos! Really!"

Whereas this may be true for my trip to Canada, and this is definately true for my trip to Cornwall, it doesn't actually stand up to anything I did in London most recently. But I really need to stop sitting on the computer and conquoring the world via Civ instead of doing something with the close to 200 photos on my camera. Like taking them *off* the camera.

But, London. This latest trip was a lot different than my other ones, and not just because I wasn't looking forward to the flight to Canada. It's like... well, I know London is huge, and you could live there for ten years and do something different every weekend and never get everything done. But I made such a point the first few times I was there doing the big things that were really important to me, like St Paul's and the Tower of London, that I don't really know what to do with myself when I'm there now. So it wasn't as planned a trip as usual. It was "I should see a church (I did) and take a tour (yup) and maybe do some shopping?" It wasn't terribly well planned.

It felt like what life would be like if I lived in London - yeah, sure, there's stuff to do, but it's so comfy sitting here in the hostel and not going anywhere.

I did make it to the British Musuem again, and forced myself not to spend the whole time in the room with the Elgin Marbles. It was lovely, although very hot and uncomfortable, and I think I would have enjoyed what I saw a lot more if I hadn't been so exhausted from the heat. I know I saw the Lewis chess set (and covet one deeply), but I don't remember much else in that room. I remember what I saw, with the lions and the reliefs and the hunting, but I can't remember what area it was from. It was like the heat leached everything out of me. And it's much warmer now.

I really enjoyed the trip overall, though, because it was so laid back. There was no checking of clocks and tensing about things. The only "scheduled" thing was the walking tour I went on.

I will admit that I was in an Italian restaurant when the Italian team won the World Cup. It was... um... very hard to sleep that night.

Work is about to come claim me again...

July 24, 2006

Not A Mid-life Crisis

I feel so restless. If my passport wasn't currently at the Home Office trying to convince them I'm a nice person, I may have called in dead to work this morning and grabbed the first train to London. But, since I suspect that France will want my passport before they let me in the country (to steal pastry recipies, of course), and that walking to Australia would be difficult from there, I may have to stay put.

I want to go someplace. I want to do something. I don't know what, though, I just want it to be now.

Me: I'm having a mid-life crisis! I don't want to have a mid-life crisis at 30! I don't want to die at 60!

Him: You're not having a mid-life crisis.

Me: If I am, does that mean I have to start dating women half my age? Because, ew... 15.

Him: No, because you aren't having a mid-life crisis.

Me: What about women two-thirds my age? That wouldn't be so bad... And I could get a fast sports car or something!

Him: You can't drive.

Me: Which would make it all-the-more tragic, don't you think?

Him: ... I'll be over here.

I don't know, I just want to go, now. I don't want to wait, and be mature, and do all the right things. I want to get on the first and fastest plane out of here. There's nothing wrong with the UK, and heaven knows I love Edinburgh, but right now... I just feel so restless.

If I had my passport right now, I'd be filling in my paperwork to Aus. As things stand, all I can do is write sad little blog posts.

20 days is a long time without travelling, at least for me.

July 22, 2006

Random Amusing Incidents from my trip to Canada

(With very odd values of "amusing")

This is totally my own fault.

I emailed my mom the details for when I'd be getting in to Vancouver, or so I thought. I hadn't looked at the email from the airline, though, and didn't realise that the only information on it was when I was *leaving*. My poor mother ended up in the airport for several hours waiting for me, and when I arrived (after 11), it was too late to get the last ferry back to the Island. There I am, praying for nothing more than a shower and clean clothes, and my 61-year-old mother says "Oh, yeah, we'll be sleeping in the car in the lineup for the ferry!"

We weren't the only ones - we could have had a party, had I been awake enough to enjoy it.

* * *

I bugged Tom for days before the wedding that if he flubbed up his wedding vows, it would mean the marriage would be cursed. (Damn am I lucky that Tom loves me.) This may be because every other wedding I go to, someone mixes up the vows. And because I am mean.

So, the wedding is happening, and yes, someone did flub up the vows - the Justice of the Peace.

* * *

I wore a corset to the wedding (it's like armor, in a way), and had help getting laced into it.

I failed to remember until I got back to the hostel that I didn't have anyone to help me get out of it.

Asking random French-Canadian boys to unlace you is an excerise in ... fun! Yes, fun!

* * *

Trying to be helpful, I bought the groom and best man a drink before we left for the wedding. Two bottles of coke. I carried them both together, handed them both to them at the same time.

Tom's burst open, spraying coke everywhere. Clay's was fine.

I think it may have been nerves.

* * *

The bride was so beautiful that when the groom stood up to do his toast, he looked at her and forgot all the words.

Never Go Home Again

I've been really busy this week, because all the really cool people were apparently born in July. It's been a great week, although incredibly hot, and coming right on the heels of the trip to Canada, I've been too tired to think straight. But content. Very content. I've got people coming over tonight to formally celebrate the death of my youth, with friends from Canada having contributed recordings to be played as people eulogise me. It may not been a surprise trip to Bali, but it'll do. *smile*

My trip to Canada (just BC - some people thought I'd breezed through Alberta and not called them. I felt so bad!) has left me in a bit of a state. It was little things that kept calling to me - like sitting in the hotel lobbey and having country music playing in the background. I love country music, and I listen to it a lot at home, but there's something nice about just catching a familiar song out of all the noise. I don't get that much here.

I had drinks I grew up around (my mom bought a whole bottle of Rye for me on the last night I was with her, and then we each only had one glass. (I bought myself a little bottle to take home, and someone drank a bunch of it at the wedding. And it wasn't the groom. Or the bride.), and lots and lots of steak. Everything in Canada smells different than it does here. And in Canada, right now, I'm the distant traveller, whereas in the UK I'm considered poorly travelled, having only been to France and China. It was nice.

A lot of things were nice.

But it really was a frustrating trip, with this constant sense of waiting to get back to Edinburgh. I was so impatient in the Gatwick Airport that I started singing songs (Canadians ones, naturally) to pass the time, bouncing on my heels as though sheer force of will could make the plane land faster so I could get on it. Finally getting to the city, and I felt this rush of relief. I was home.

I know it sounds silly, since I keep coming back to this point, but I was actually afraid I'd get back to Canada, have some Timbits, and never want to leave again. I love my friends, and I miss them a lot. But really.... they should just come here more.

July 18, 2006

Sweet Home

There's nothing like 24 straight hours of travel to make you realise what type of person you are. Me? I'm a very tired person.

But I'm alive again, full of stories about Canada's Okanagan Valley and about my latest trip to London, and my birthday is in two days, and I still have stuff to write about Cornwall. I can't wait to get back in the swing of things.

The wedding was lovely, and my next jaunt back to Canada is for next July, when my friend turns 30.

Must go back to work this morning....

July 3, 2006

And the Thunder Rolls...

It's the middle of the night and I can't sleep. For the second time today, storms are rolling through the city, thunder and lightning chasing after the rain. I can't remember ever hearing thunder here before, and right now it seems ominious. Earlier it just seemed exciting.

I've been here for a year, and in a week I go back to Canada for Tom's wedding. My parents will pick me up at the airport. In that year, so many things have changed, and I'm not sure I want to see that right now. My dad tells me my mom has lost a lot of weight, my best friend from high school send me baby pictures of her son born just last month, and Tom is getting married. It's not that I think life in Canada should stop when I'm not there, but it feels a bit like the time is passing through my fingers too quickly to get a sense of it, like water rushing down a mountainside.

I really hate to fly.

Right now I'm trying to focus on the things worth looking forward to. I love the ferry ride from Vancouver to Nanaimo, and I haven't seen Gastown in long enough that I might be able to appreciate it for something other than it's tacky-tourist-ness. I can't wait to see my mom, and Tom, and Jenn, and Crash, and Linette. My parents live on a quiet street, and right now part of what's got me awake is the loud noises that come up from Commercial Street, drunks wandering home and loudly announcing how they aren't drunk, and the click-clack of shoes that makes people sound like horses, and the buses that go by every 10 minutes, even at 2:30 in the morning. Seagulls are arguing outside my window, reminding me once again how close I am to the ocean.

I really hate to fly, and I don't like the idea of going to a wedding where there will be so few friendly faces.

My parents have arranged for me to fly from Naniamo out to Kelowna. That's two planes, one a pontoon plane back to the mainland, and then another short jaunt to Kelowna. It's faster, less time on the road to brood about how different my life is now from people I used to be completely in sych with. I'm so happy Tom and Carla are getting married, settling down, but I feel so very confused. Jenn's having a baby, and it's widening the gulf that started with "So I'm going to college in Alberta", got larger with "I hear Scotland is nice this time of year", and now seems insurmountable with "Baby Ewan was born on June 21st".

I'm happy for everyone involved with this - God, Tom's so happy he's putting the sun to shame, and Jenn's wanted a child for a very long time. But it just feels like it's going to get even harder now to find people with whom I can explain why some days I want to go back to Edmonton and kick people in the head, and other days I want to go back to calling Edmonton home, and a lot of days I don't even think of it at all, and how that makes me feel. And I may know that the only people who really get that are other expats, but more often now I'm finding them hard to meet. Which is ridiculous - there are so many people here from elsewhere that I know more of then than I do people from Edinburgh. I have hundreds of places I could go online to talk to expats about these things. But so many of them are either where they want to live and settling down, or planning on going back to their home country, and I feel odd in that I don't know where home will end up being, and the next jaunt could be next week, or could be next year. Or could be never. And I don't know.

I really hate to fly, and I don't like the idea of going to a wedding where there will be so few friendly faces, and I hate waking up in the middle of the night crying and not knowing why.

About July 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Anna Overseas in July 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2006 is the previous archive.

August 2006 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.