13 August 2007

Candidly burning bridges

I think egg and watercress is easily my favourite sandwich. I know they have a lot of mayonnaise in them, but they’re no-nonsense in every respect and they seem to do the trick if you’re very hungry.

On the elevator, I realised I’m becoming my father when I noticed how I’ll play with the loose change in my pocket to acknowledge and try and diffuse the awkwardness of being trapped with one other person I don’t know well enough to smile at. Even at work, smiling at strange men when you’re a woman can be misconstrued. I have no real evidence to support this theory, but call it women’s intuition.

The designer calls me by a nickname that only friends back home use. For him, the name saves time, but in my experience, it’s only ever been used to connote familiarity and affection. This tactic disarms me every time and I will pretty much drop anything to answer a question that begins by addressing me in this manner (Bruce has given me brand new names that are more suitable but not easily guessed).

Things are much better at work now that I’ve devised a proper schedule. I can see exactly what needs to be done when, and have even built in time to deal with the many unforeseen issues that can crop up in a week. I’m even busier for this, but I’m working much more effectively and can actually see the impact my work makes here. I fully intend to stay put, if they’ll have me beyond the termination of my temporary contract.

Someone just handed me a template for personal business cards, so I’m assuming I have nothing to worry about on that front (though she also handed the temp a business card template, and the temp handed it right back, so maybe not).

On Sunday we went to the Tate Britain to see an exhibition called How We Are: Photographing Britain. I have to admit - much of it left me cold, especially the older stuff. I’d like to explain why but I’m not sure myself. I’ve always felt this way about history. Maybe the one-dimensional quality of a photograph mirrors the one-dimensional ideology that probably informed these images, which for a long time were posed, stiff and propagandist by necessity (don’t be fooled by the candidness of that featured photograph – there weren’t many like it before 1988).

But afterwards, a holidaymaker gave Bruce and me a bottle of wine he didn’t want to pack or leave behind. It looks pretty good, from what I can tell, and not at all tampered with. It’s not likely someone is going to go through a lot of effort to mock-up a commercial bottle of wine in order to poison a complete stranger, is it?

I’m hoping someone will come over and help me drink it though.

Lots has been going on, none of which I can properly keep up with here. I’m going on holiday in September, to Croatia: where the pizza is lovely, the coast picturesque and the inhabitants vaguely xenophobic (or so I hear). My parents have bought an apartment in Vancouver and are selling my childhood home, which I will never see again. I’m not sure how I feel about that. But our tickets are booked for December and I feel vaguely comforted by the notion that I will see Canada again very soon.

Memories of home are still strong but much less appealing now that I’ve had time to think through things properly. Like I was telling Bruce and Amy, it’s like when you keep outdated food in your fridge to trick yourself into thinking you’re well stocked but only see how truly deprived you were once you clear it all out to make space for new groceries. Small-town Canadian City of my Birth: you were rotten to the core and I’m glad to be rid of you. Sorry, it’s just how I feel.

I don’t know how I’ll feel about Vancouver as a Canadian home base, but I’m looking forward to experiencing superb customer service, which doesn’t exist here.

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