Intended to post last night but decided in favour of
Am back on campus, foliage and water and cabins all around. It was a rejuvenating week; I have decided living a city like Victoria pleases my small heart immensely, the accessibility of shops, how unassuming the streets and the tiny tucked away shops are, how like raspberries the little restaurants and thrift shops and bookstores have to be plucked from the rows of buildings, how easily walkable the clean lines are. Yesterday the three of us, Larissa, Yukiko and I went on a bona fide outing, food + shopping. We went to La Senza (I bought pretty underwear! I never understood the appeal before but it was exciting, I suppose.) and Sirens, this shop selling pretty party dresses that was having end-of-season sales, where I fulfilled half a decade’s longing to have a Long, Flowy Dress. Then we went to an amazing Japanese restaurant for lunch and dinner, because it was that good, and watching Yukiko descend into throes of delight over the Japanese food was quite an edifying experience, I must say, (I was also enthralled by the way she spoke Japanese to the servers; the deferential undertone to spoken Japanese is intensely pretty, especially the way Yukiko talks.) After, we walked 40 min to the new mall, Uptown (so named because it’s not downtown, get it?) to get frozen yogurt, which, needless to say, was sublime. I got two cups, one after the other, paid $15.50 in total, which at $1.59 per 100g means I ate nearly a kg of yogurt, mmhm. We walked back. I love walking in cool countries, walking with people with whom you can talk and not-talk at intervals. In total, according to Yukiko’s phone, I must have walked around 10 km that day, at least.
Japanese in a Japanese restaurant with Japanese food !
Part of Uptown.
I got three hours of sleep the night before: I was supposed to go out for dinner with my group at 7.30 pm but they took too long deciding where to eat and they only sat down to order at 8.45, so I left, because I was meeting Farah at 9. We spent a long 40 min in the supermarket because we were distracted horribly by the sheer number of options for dinner we could make, in turn; fish, chicken, spaghetti, lasagne, sandwiches, egg omelette (I vetoed) and stuffed mushrooms. We went with the last in a burger, and then met up with a couple more people after that at midnight in the hostel (cooking in the kitchen we were talking and there was a cute guy there laughing at what we were saying; we should probably have talked to him), and went out to play pool. Four of us left at around 2 am and I went to sleep over at another host family. We were walking on the streets at 3 am, another thing I’ve always wanted to do, without the sobering effort of walking back home alone. Something funny happened at a traffic light; the light was flashing but we were taking our time, and this impatient driver waiting to make the turn rolled her window now and yelled something like you guys should learn how to walk or go back to your home country, which was so ineffectual and clumsy that it startled a laugh out of me. It must have been one of the first genuinely racist thing chucked at me, though I had my hood up and I was walking with a German-Nigerian, an Arab and a Nepali, so I guess I didn’t catch the brunt of it. It was hilarious, nonetheless. We made it home safely. I went to bed at maybe 5.30, woke up at 8.30 to meet the girls. Had Starbucks, that goes without saying.
The official part of my Project Week was great, too; I feel like farming satisfies me, working with earth and growing things. We spent five days, four hours each time, digging, tilling, hoeing, pulling up weeds, pruning weeks, chopping thin trees, shovelling compost, making raised beds, planting seedlings, wheelbarrowing, picking worms out of compost (:D) and squelching around in wellingtons (we call them gumboots). A quarter of the links I put down for my summer service is farming-related. Physical labour is satisfying in a way academic work isn’t; the ache and the tightness and the ravenous appetite. Sometimes I feel like I wouldn’t mind having a farm, though starting it up would be complex and a headache, but two things: maybe I only enjoy it as an interlude, not daily work, and the irony of it sits uncomfortable with me sometimes: my parents and my grandparents worked hard so I wouldn’t have to work as a farmer, though again farming is a very different practice here and in China.