Sunday, May 21, 2006

Well it's been over a month since I last posted a blog! I didn't think I'd be away this long.

I was on the verge of posting a few times. One of them started out like this:

I'm not in a good mood. I'm tired –- Drop-off-the-face-of-the-earth and sleep 72 hours tired. I'm tired of reading/hearing opinions of overly pompous literary critics, self-professed, angst-ridden neurotic artistes and egotistical, pseudo-intellectual blowhards who think others are stupid just because they don't agree with their enlightened opinions . . .

You can see why I decided not to post for awhile.

I was tired from working 12 to 14 hour days for 15 days straight. It was the kind of tired that makes me very, very irritable – a can't see the end of it, what's the fricking use kind of tired; a don't you dare walk in my shadow, can't you see I'm tired, get out of my way or I'll rip your head off and feed it to the garbage disposal kind of tired.

Soooo, I thought it best to save you all from this kind of drivel and keep the vexation and self-pity wallowing in my handwritten personal journal.

Now, I'm back from a relaxing two week vacation and feel much better. I've spent the last couple of days trying to catch up on various forums and blogs, but wanted to touch base with the few of you who emailed and wondered what happened to me.

One of my favourite parts of vacationing is meeting different people and observing behaviour. I seem to have the kind of face that encourages people to talk to me and coupled with my innate curiosity, I can't help but start conversations with fellow travellers. The best conversations are those that go beyond, where are you from, what do you do. I like to find out about how people got to their current stage in life, what they think about world affairs, politics, and religion.

I've learned a fascinating thing about the people I've met in this way: the most reticent to start, often turn out to be the most interesting; and the most vocal and opinionated are the least interesting. My theory is that people who have a simplistic view of the world tend to state things categorically with no ifs ands or buts. They "know" they're right, so the discussion ends. There is no give and take of ideas, no sense of a conversation. Others, seemingly quiet at first, feel out the situation and see if you're really interested in their opinion before saying anything in depth.

Along the same lines, appearances are often deceiving. My dh and I met one of the most interesting couples at dinner one night. They sat at the next table. The tables being only 6 inches apart, out of courtesy we all exchanged brief hellos, isn't this lovely and where are you froms while ordering. We then continued on to have dinner in the usual "I know you're there and you know we're here, but we'll pretend we can't hear each other chew and swallow" attempt at privacy.

I had formed a mental image of them as a conservative, retired couple from Florida with nothing in common with us. I was wrong. After dinner, knowing we were from Canada, the husband made tentative enquiries about what we thought about the president. Hubby and I looked at each other and didn't answer immediately. The husband from Florida said, "Your response tells me everything I need to know." We proceeded to have one the most pleasant and stimulating after-dinner conversations of our trip. It turns out they had retired to Florida, but were originally from New York and are unaffiliated, small D democrats who had worked on fundraising and civil rights initiatives in the 60s. They were the complete opposite of what I'd imagined.

A few others we met: A couple from South Africa who had immigrated to a small west coast Canadian fishing village. They'd fled S Africa during the unrest and violence of the 80s to the UK, but when they applied to Canada for immigrant status, they and one child were accepted, but the oldest teen (at 19) wasn't. It took them a number of years before they were reunited; A couple living in Mexico – she is Mexican, he is American but commutes back and forth for work. They have sons who are applying for Canadian citizenship because (grandfather was Canadian) and they think it might be a good idea for them to have an alternate citizenship for travel; A gay couple living in Palm Springs, originally from San Francisco, but won't go back to visit anymore (a long story); and many more. All in all, an intriguing mix.

BTW, I should mention that I tend to forget (ignore) the complainers and whiners along the way, figuring they're not worth ruining my vacation time over, so I come back with a fairly rose-coloured experience. VBG

I've rambled long enough for today. I still have more catching up to do on my favourite blogs.


Anonymous said...

Great to see you back blogging again. And I am very glad that you were able to have such a wonderfully relaxing and interesting holiday.
I hope that you don't have to get back into the crazy schedule that you had before.
Keep taking care of you, Ell.
Look forward to hearing more from you.


Anonymous said...

Loving catching up with you, Ell!

Glad to hear that you had a good vacation--I really enjoyed your stories (though I would have hated that dining arrangement--we went to a comedy club once where we were crammed in like sardines and HAD to talk to the couple next to us--practically sitting at the same table--lovely people but I'm just not capable of decent smalltalk!). It sounds like you met some great people--I'm glad that you told us about them.

Take care, and I'm with JTL, hope that your schedule doesn't become crazy again! xo

Anonymous said...

Thanks JTL. Thanks Cate. Hope to be around a bit more.