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a little bit of this and a little bit of that
Here's what happens when i'm busy and i drink less. More stuff, less interesting description of the stuff.

I have been playing phone tag with a plumber all week because my tap has been leaking since the HVAC guy came round to bump the pressure on the water heater the other day. I wish these guys would just use email, because my phone is permanently on silent and even if i see a call i don't pick up because i am almost always busy with something else and talking on the phone is something that should have stopped being a thing when text messages were invented. Like, why do we need to have a voice conversation just to set up a time to come by? Sigh. My kitchen floor is wet.

But enough about my phone anxiety. I have also been trying to freecycle my stuff, which is always tricky because a lot more people are interested in the idea of free stuff than actually going out of their way to get it. But i don't want to sell things second hand because i feel like that's just exploiting the poor when i need to get rid of everything anyway. Might as well give it to people who really need it. Karma will pay me back someday... Anyway, my old router is gone, bed frame and one hat stand are going tomorrow (that was my biggest concern), both chairs and the other hat stand sometime later in the week. After that i can relax a bit, because i will just have a couple mattresses, some pillows and audio and computer gear to get rid of, which i will do at the last minute. Still, it's stressful. Taking photos and sending emails and following up with everyone and making sure i can meet people at the right time. Urgh.

I also got my first round of vaccinations. I need a yellow fever certificate to get through the Suez Canal, but i figured i should also get all the rest this time. I only got the very bare minimum before going to Namibia last year - my doctor actually warned me against going because i dropped in a few days beforehand with no vaccinations bar whatever i got as a kid somewhere in the 80s that i don't remember what it was. So this time i'm getting the full set, partly so there's nothing blocking me getting the "shipworthy" certificate saying i'm in good enough health to travel on a merchant vessel without a doctor for a month.

Because, i'm going on a boat! My booking is locked in to leave Piraeus on May 2nd or 3rd. So that's gonna be interesting, Mayday in Greece. Then it's through the Suez and past all the Somalian pirates i had to sign a waiver for, and on to Taiwan. And then we'll see again. Plenty to do before that. Not least of which is getting my Chinese visa, which is mandatory even if i don't leave the ship. I am legit terrified i won't be granted a visa. That's probably my biggest fear in all of this. God, i fucking hate immigration, customs and border patrol so much. Of all police - who are universally bastards - they are the most intimidating and hold the most power. Unless you are a citizen you are 100% at their mercy. It's a touchy subject for me at the best of times, but right now? Ugh, Jesus, i just hope the visa comes through fine so i can wander around and forget about stupid borders and nations and people who think any of it matters.

Also, i got a couple tattoos yesterday to remember Berlin. I had some ideas of what i wanted, and i did really want to keep to my theme which is all black and very geometric and tribal. But, you know, no one does tribal any more. I guess i could've found somewhere that specialized, but i wanted to go to a local place like i always have done, because tattoos are as much about the time and place that i get them as they are about the actual thing that is tattooed on me. So i got it done at a place right round the corner from my house. Their flash is all old school, and the slogans were largely anti-police, antifa, straightedge and vegan. I'm not quite ready to get ACAB tattooed across my knuckles (there's still time!) but i got a black cat to remind me of the many, many weekends i spent at Katerholzig and a couple black roses because they were black. Well, and romantic, and spookeh, and vaguely anarchist, but most because they were black. So, you know. Up the punx. My arms have immediately become less 1990s and more 1940s. Except, black. So, still pretty 1990s come to think of it.

Amidst all this, there was a pretty major and stressful release that fell in my lap at work because the guy i was pairing with went on vacation. Work was nutz. But then, that's my normal stress level.

As a result of all this insanity (and lack of sufficient alcohol intake), i was desperately hanging for my near-weekly Chinese order, only to find that the only Chinese restaurant that delivers to my house was not delivering this weekend. I settled for "Asia food" - Germany's take on Asian fusion (Vietnamese, plus sushi and kimchi). It's good - i especially love the trend of "bao burgers", which are far and away THE BEST vegan burgers i have ever eaten - but it's not what i needed to satisfy my too-sober, tired-ass self. I wanted peanuts in vinegar and shredded potato and water spinach and bok choy and mustard greens and chilled tofu and i did not get 😞

Instead i binge watched The 100 and The Expanse - the two shows that started up again a month or so back that i hadn't yet caught up on. The 100 was, well, the 100. Lots of moral dilemmas and sadfaces and hot chicks kicking ass. But holy shit, The Expanse is good. I forgot how good. It is just like science fiction IN YER FACE. Not space magic. Not cyberpunk. Not time travel. Not post apocalypse. Unapologetic science fiction, like the stuff you read in books. I watch pretty much every sci-fi show on TV, but this is really elevating it.

Anyway, that is my boring week. Couldn't drink much, too many things to do. Hence no incoherent ranting, no doom and despair, no political soapbox, no music recommendations, just the facts ma'am, exhaustion, can't wait till this damn sabbatical gets started.

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Ooo, freecycling! I usually just donate myself, but I like the sound of it. However having put things on Kijiji for free a few times i can see how it would be frustrating sometimes setting it up.

When I left Canada I called one of those charities that bring a guy with a van to pick up all your furniture, which I think it probably the least stressful way to donate. This time around I don't really have a full apartment's worth of stuff, so I figured it would be manageable to give stuff away directly.

I think two or three pieces of furniture is the limit, though! I am still playing email tag with two people who say they're interested but can't organize a time. I am trying to be patient - I figure people who need free stuff are probably also working far more demanding jobs than I am and can't just take a morning off here or there.

There's a new season of The Expanse? I am all over that, once I'm done with Mr. Robot.

Edited at 2017-02-27 01:22 am (UTC)

Sadly not a full season yet, but they are about 5 episodes in, and it is just as good as the first season. I'm sort of amazed they even got a green light to film it because it feels so much harder than regular TV sci-fi. The good news is it's based on an actual book series, so at least after its inevitable cancellation I'll be able to read the rest of the story.

I've been meaning to read more. Perhaps I'll pick it up. It'd be nice to see the differences and what parts got cut and whatnot. Like that dude that got stabbed early in S1 and then just disappeared. What the hell is his deal?

Glad you figured out what you're doing- I had a feeling you were leaning towards the boat. Seemed like that's where your heart is.

good luck with visa shit. I hate all that noise :\

You gonna post pics of your tattoos?

Hah, you know I never really thought about the fact I can post pictures on LJ. I don't think I ever have before, because by the time I got a decent camera phone, Facebook was already the place to upload them. Though it feels weird to take photos of my tattoos, I'd feel like a morgue photographer.

Actually now I kinda want to.

I want to read all about this voyage. Does it terminate in Taiwan?

No, though I expect I will want a "pit-stop" there for a couple weeks at least.

If the Chinese visa comes through, I will go to Hong Kong and then into mainland China to visit Gaungdong, Gaungxi, Guizhou and Sichuan. I would love to visit Hainan because I like islands and northern China and Mongolia because I love deserts, but that might be too ambitious. Hong Kong to Chengdu is a pretty well-worn road for foodies and other travelers who want to see Guilin etc, so I figure that might be a good route.

If it turns out I love China, I might hop around China/HK/Taiwan for a while. If I don't like it at all then I might just keep going across the Pacific, either to Central America and the Caribbean, or straight to Canada. It really depends how rested I feel, how much I am missing speaking English and how badly I need money/a job. I am leaving it open for now.

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