I have like 15 skirts. Yet I seldom wear them, maybe one once a week. And really there's only 2 I really like, one I bought in February at Zara, the other a while ago at Vancouver's Gsus store. Others I liked when I bought them but not anymore. Or they aren't appropriate for work anymore. So, they just sit in my closet on the pretense that I might wear them again someday. Right. It's like that for a lot of my clothes actually. I wear my newer pieces and my favorite older ones. And yet I am looking forward to going shopping to update my Summer wardrobe. And here in Blanc-Sablon there's no goodwill store. So I'll do the same thing as I did in February. I went to the city with a bag of clothes I didn't want anymore in my suitcase, dropped it off in a goodwill box, and brought back the equivalent in new stuff.
Two days ago, I saw on Facebook a friend I grew up with here in Blanc-Sablon posted some pics. She's away in Western Canada working. So when I saw the pics and the caption that read "Home for Easter," I wrote a little message saying she should have contacted me when she was here! Yesterday I get a phonecall... It's her! She's still here! I suggested she'd come by my place for a visit sometime that evening. Last night it was getting a bit late for me, after a long work-day. So I went to bed, watching tele. She then arrived, as I started drifting off. Happy heard the knock on the door and barked. That woke me. I opened up. We chatted for about an hour, catching up. It was nice. Made me wish I did have a good friend here in Blanc-Sablon. Today I'm supposed to be going to St-Paul's. Except my co-worker took the car. I reserved it from 11h to 16h30. But I told her I would only be leaving at noon. It's now 12h35 and there's still no sign of her... It'll disturb a bit my afternoon... Hope she arrives soon so I can take off!
(Going back in time to February 22nd 2008.) I got up early at 6h30. I got ready for the day (dress/put sunscreen on/pack bag). Then I went to brekky. And I also went to book some of the à la carte restos of the resort for days to come. I then went to get my car at 9h30! It was through REX, a company downtown Varadero. I'd booked an Audi... The first/cheapest automatic car they had. Because all of the smaller models were manuals! Driving in Cuba is fine. The roads are almost empty. Cars really follow the speeding limits. It's fairly safe (where I went anyways)! My destination was the city of Cardenas, less than 20 kilometers away from Varadero. As I arrived in Cardenas I discovered an antique city! The roads were not well maintained, there were horses/carriages everywhere! I didn't know where to park. So I asked a lady. She was wearing her hotel worker uniform from some Varadero resort so I knew she'd speak English! She said it was better for me to go further down to the shops area and park. That way my car would be safer than in this more residential area. That's what I did! I then walked around Cardenas. I saw a man selling plastic bags near the open air market, sitting there, trying to find shade, waiting for people to buy a bag. He counted the bags, placed them neatly in his hand, greeted people passing by. I saw many animals too. Stray dogs everywhere, cow, horses, and a pig being delivered to a house (probably to eat that evening). It was really hot and sunny, I hoped these animals got water somehow. For lunch I stopped at some fast food place and had a sandwich, which was crap! It was a bocadito jamon y queso, so a ham and cheese sandwich. But the lady heated it in the microwave! Heating a hot sammy in the hot weather. Beurk. I walked some more in the arvo. I explored the two major squares, one with a beautiful cathedral and a statue of Christopher Columbus. I also went to visit a museum. The lady wanted me to leave my bag in a ungarded bookshelve near the entrance. She didn't speak English. I tried to explain I didn't find it safe and did not want to leave it there. I convinced her to let me carry my camera around my neck without taking pictures (as it cost an extra 5 CUC to take pics) and she would keep my bag near her desk. I thought that was a good deal. Because apart from the camera, there's wasn't much value in the bag: no money (it was in travel pouch under my pants/on the belly), no electronics (in the hotel's safe), only my notebook and a Cuba guidebook. The museum showcased old Cuban objects and history. Wasn't super interesting. But it felt good to support them and be one of the handful of visitors that day. After that I went a bit further East on the road, passing by tiny villages. There were no lines and no signs (except propaganda ones) on the road. I passed a few people on the road, bikes, horse drawn carriages, old bus... I ended up in a little city. I didn't know where to park because on the main road there was the no parking thing (blue circle with red x), and the side roads were tiny/unpaved/filled with stuff. So I just turned around. I did see a man on a bike with a birthday cake. It was fully iced and yummy looking. But not covered! I wondered how he managed not to make it fall! Back at the resort, I parked the car in front of the hotel. I went to change and at the beach for a late arvo swim! The sea was calmer than the other days and it was a bit cold on the lounging chair without sun. The couple under the parasol/cabana next to mine just had their beach towels stolen. The hotel's ones where you have to pay 25 CUC per towel if lost. Poor them! I overheard their conversation with the beach's security guy who felt really bad. He was away a minute to get water he said. He explained how he makes 27 CUC a month, and works 12 hours shifts. He didn't understand the hotel's policy, as he said you can get towels at the market for 10 CUC! Why charge so much? I was tired from my day of exploring. But I also felt like I wasn't taking full advantage of my car. I ate dinner and went to bed early, sleeping very well because there was no disco. Or maybe it was the wind that was blowing another way, pushing the sound away from my room?
I finished the slip-cover tonight! With my laptop inside... A pic of Happy, because she's always following me around the house and looking at what I'm doing...
It weights more in English than in French! I realized it this morning when I was making slices of toast.
For a long time I've been wanting to buy a laptop slip-cover, to be able to carry it in my normal backpack and not the laptop-specific backpack. A few days ago I got the idea of making one myself! So I gathered the material... Black/white design fabric for the outside, red inside and batting in between. Tonight I put it together! The only missing thing is a big button for the closing-flap. I'll go hunt for one at mom's place tomorrow. When the slip-cover is done, probably tomorrow, I'll put pics of it online! I like it lots. I'm pretty handy with my sewing machine when I'm in a sewing mood!
Geez, time is going by quickly! I've started planning my next trip to the city. If Happy passes her evaluation, the trip will be when Mira wants her to join the training program. If she fails and is mine to keep, I'd go to Quebec/Montreal end of May/start of June. So I'm planning for if she fails, she'd stay with mom while I'm gone, for example from May 26 to June 9. I'd take the plane from Blanc-Sablon to Quebec, spend a few days there, bus to Montreal in time for the Matthew Good gig May 30th, and in Montreal until the 9th for activities like YULBlog and Formula One Grand Prix. It would be a nice holiday! For lodging, I am torn. I could ask around for a place, like my cousin's or a friend's. But for that long (10 nights) I'd feel like a burden. So I am looking at better places to stay than the hostel but still not too expensive. But already the Grand Prix weekend is starting to be pretty booked! But I can't book anything until I know what will happen with Happy. *** I'm a bit tired of work today, there's only a bit over an hour left thankfully! *** Tomorrow I will bring mom's car, which I am using while I live in Blanc-Sablon, to the garage. For weeks now the heating system has been working on and off. We bring it, they fix it, it stops working, we bring it back, they re-fix it, and so on. The last time the dude said it was because of the REALLY cold weather, and with milder times the heater would start working again. Bollocks! When it was above 0 with rain last week, it didn't work again! So yea... This time he'd better really fix it! It's Winter! I need a heater in the car! Otherwise I'm scared of breathing too much because it created fog in the windshield and I can't see anymore! *** I ordered neat fabric online, I can't wait for it to arrive and to make special sewing projects! I also ordered a new silverchair 2007 Young Modern Tour t-shirt. The one I bought in Montreal at their gig is too small... Buying merch at gigs is always touchy. Anyways, hopefully this shirt one size bigger will fit me better! Mom bought me a DVD I wanted, Atonement. And I asked her to bring me back some tulips from the city. I hope she remembers.
On Friday Happy went out to play in the rain. She came in completely wet. On Saturday I made a banana cake. It was the most delicious one I've ever made. Before I used to bake it in a square glass dish. Now I used a real metal bread pan. Mmmmmmmmm! On Saturday I noticed my geranium plant is about to flower! It'll be nice bright pink! On Sunday I opened mom's Easter basket, she gave it to me before leaving on holiday. Inside were treats, including jelly eggs (beans) which I hadn't eaten in a long time! On Sunday I went to the depanneur to buy some wine. I don't drink it, so buying it is always tough. It's for an Easter dinner I'm going to, got to bring a little something!
Was spent doing stuff around home... Because it was raining all day! Yep... Rain! It just stopped an hour ago... So I scrubbed/cleaned the microwave (something I had not done in a long time... oups!), did some scrapbooking, worked on the translation contract, went to get the mail and visit mom's cat, watched a movie and some tele, did some laundry... Happy had a good day too, I think. This morning, in the rain, I put her out on a cord tied to the balcony. She likes to play outside. When she came back in, she was drenched! Then when the rain stopped, we headed out together. I wanted to walk with her but we didn't go very far as lakes/rivers were formed on the streets! Then Happy's friend came, they played together a lot. Just like back in Montreal at the doggy park. 3 more days off.
My day at work... It's one of those days where I keep saying to myself... "Only __ hours until I get 4 days off!" And it makes the day looooong. This morning I was the Easter Bunny. I made a little card "Joyeuses Pâques" and put it upstairs in my department near the coffee machine with little chocolate eggs. Later when I walked by, almost all of the chocolates were gone! Hihi... Then I continued work on my services offer/tobacco prevention, with a series of workshops I'm putting together entitled "J'm'oxygène" (in French, English title to come later). It's long work, because I know how I'd do the workshops, but I have to write it all out clearly for someone else who will do them in the future. Continuing in the tobacco prevention theme, I did a Spring cleaning of the stuff we have for the Youth Coalition Against Smoking program. Everything was just a big mix-up. So I sorted through everything, threw some stuff away, and filed the good material in the case divided by language, French on one side, English on the other. I also wrote notes in my client's files, some stuff I've done this week like a meeting and phonecalls. So I guess it was a productive day...
Last night I made scones. I had a recipe from one of my CEGEP English teacher, Mr Hogg. One of the last times I ate a scone was a while ago, in Victoria, in a typical tea house. Mines are yummy, just like these were! Happy is not a picky eater, thankfully! I ran out of her usual Eukanuba dog food. They don't sell that brand anywhere here, so I had to buy another kind. She had a bit of trouble with the first few pieces she ate, but the bowl was empty within 10 minutes as usual. Today is Thursday, but really it's Friday! Tomorrow and Monday are off, so it's a 4-days-week, 4-days-weekend and 4-days-week next week! Yay!
Hmmm... I just watched the 2 last YULBlog videos at ZeLaurent. It's making me miss Montreal and its nightlife. Especially now that Spring/Summer is coming, the best time of the year in Montreal!!! Argh... I want to stay in Blanc-Sablon, I'm comfy, work is good/easy, and I can enjoy all the outdoor activities I love. But it's lonely... The people I know my age don't have the same affinities as I do. I'd like to make friends who enjoy having a drink or two, not twelve, and good conversation, not drunk talk. I'm sure there are some here...
(Back in time to 21 February 2008…) I got up at 6h30, my body being used to it and the light outside waking me... I got ready and went out to brekky at 7h30. I was starving! I liked the brekky a lot! I had croissants with chocolate on top, egg, fruit, yummy orange juice, etc. Then I went to change Canadian money into Convertible Cuban Pesos. I gave 120$ and got 103CUC. I also bought some postcards at the office. I then went to get my towel. There was a strict policy of if you don't bring it back (because it's stolen or lost) you pay 25CUC. It made me worry the whole week about that towel! I then went out at the beach! I sat under the palmtree parasol, read, went to swim... People around me were cowards, saying it was cold, taking forever to get in the water. It just prolongs the agony! Going in quickly and moving around, it helps the water feel warm sooner! That's what I did anyways! At noon, I had a meeting with our holiday operater's representative, Juan Antonio. He came to see us to explain how the hotel worked, how to get around in Varadero, to give his phone numbers if there was any problems, but most of all to sell us tours! I ended up booking a transfer to Havana... In the same bus as a Havana tour, but they let me free in the city the whole day, for 44.50CUC. Then I had lunch, lasagna and dessert from the buffet. And I went on the Varadero tourist bus, one that does a looooong circle all around the Varadero peninsula, stopping at major sites and hotels. It cost 5CUC. It was nice, except for the most annoying driver ever! I can't stand peolpe who whistle. They think they are whisteling a nice song, but it's just like a crazy/sick bird! I couldn't wait to reach the flea market and get off! Downtown Varadero is the first place I saw a bit of Cuba outside of the resort. I liked seeing more life... The Cubans sitting outside their porch chatting, school kids walking back home in their uniform, etc. I went to the flea market, which is more of a tourist souvenir market, and browsed around. I bought a little handmade book and some postcards. I took the bus back to the resort. There I went for a late arvo swim, at 17h. From the sky 6 parachutes were slowly falling towards the Earth, it seemed like a fun activity. Someday. Then I went to dinner and packed my stuff for the next day: with my rented car!
My boss helped me get a little contract, doing translation from English to French for a local organization. I studied Languages and Translation in CEGEP, and she remembered that! I'm happy! It's going to give me something to do when I get bored at home. And the rate per word is quite good!
I don't know why people don't like doing their income tax and think it's a burden! I just spoke with the dude who prepares mine... I'm getting a lot back! Yay! It'll be enough to do a nice trip to Spain in September (if I keep on working in Blanc-Sablon) or a nice stage abroad (if I go back to school). Makes my day!