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.