Tag Archives: beer

lazy sunday

Today I woke up to the snores of an Irishman. From across the room in the hostel, but still. Very loud. The Americans who woke up to the noise were vocal about their displeasure. I merely lay there waiting and figuring out how to spend my day.

See this is the thing about being in a country that isn’t cheap when you have no real money, you can’t just head off into the void and do whatever, confident in your ability to make it out financially unscathed. Relatively I mean. If you go ahead and crash a scooter even in a country where they’re as cheap as Armenians well yes you do have to pay a bit even then. You need to plan out your day so it’ll work.

Having not a tonne of money in Sydney means I’m spending a lot of time in parks and libraries. It seems a waste to just hang out here at the hostel reading, but too expensive to justify going to have afternoon beers by myself. It’s nice out, 20 degrees during the day, so it’s no great hardship to go sit in the sun. Today I found the local branch of the city public library (as opposed to the state library I was in yesterday) and read some comics.

Also, I got a SIM card and now have a phone number. Not that I use the phone part of my phone very often, especially when I don’t know anyone in this city, but it’s probably good for my future employer (assuming the visa comes through eventually) to have some way of contacting me.

Yesterday I found a really swank comic shop and a decent game store. I’m going to wait until I have an apartment before I start buying books/comics/games, but gamers are the only community I feel any confidence in dropping into. My first forays in Vancouver were to game stores too.

Anyway, I guess the point of this post is that I’m really looking forward to when Holly arrives in a couple of months.

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And my month with Holly is over. Le fucking sigh. The flight from Chengdu to Beijing this morning was nice and smooth, uneventful, but even without problems or delays and such it’s a lot crappier flying alone when you’re not being met by someone wonderful at the other end.

In the last week we celebrated Holly’s birthday at Nanchong’s newest five-star resort. It’d been open for ten days. Holly was getting some flyers for the bakery printed and in the printshop there was a stack of little brochureish things for this resort that they’d been working on. Maybe the stack was like the offcuts or something. I’m not sure. But Holly saw it and said “Hot Springs? Nanchong doesn’t have hot springs!” And then she called to find out if she was reading that wrong or what the deal was. It turned out that there were hot springs (human-created) and that rooms were half-price. So we booked her birthday off from the bakery and went out to live in the lap of luxury for 20 hours or so.

And yeah it was really nice. The hotsprings were outside, but hot enough that I didn’t die. They had like twenty or so different pools where you could soak in water with different stuff in it. We sat in rosepetal water, chrysanthemum, salt, and red wine. We skipped beer and milk. There were more, but we watched the sunset and really that was enough. There were a bunch of rich businessmen and their meinus also taking the waters. Our balcony looked out over the hills and the whole thing was very relaxing.

An interesting thing about the room was the shower. Holly’d seen this before, so it’s more a China thing than a “this hotel” thing. The wall separating the shower from the bedroom had a floor to ceiling window, with a shower curtain on the inside. I don’t think I’d ever really thought about showering as a spectator sport before. Especially not with a Chinese shower and its traditionally fickle hot water supply. My dancing back and forth between scalding and freezing would have been at least as entertaining than anything on the TV.

The rest of the week was mostly at the bakery. We played some Settlers and read some books. I started getting ready for school to start again. And now I’m flying home. Good news though, Holly’s planning to come visit Vancouver in February, so it’s only six weeks. Not too many more long-term departures are left.

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free as in oatmeal stout

After a meh sort of meeting at school today, I stopped off for ice cream and beer, both of which were sorely lacking in my part of the fridge. I’m walking up my street, bag with ice cream in one hand, box of beer in the other, and as I was approaching a skinny woman probably in her 20s, she said “Hey, how’s it going?” I think that’s what she said. I wasn’t sure if she was talking to me. I glanced at her, and she was wearing big sunglasses and clothes that rode that thrift-store-hipster/actual-hobo line pretty well. She had been talking to me, and she eyed my box of beer.

“Hey, umm, would I be able to trade you a pack of smokes for one of your beers? ‘Cause I’m really hung-over and you’d just be saving my life,” she said. I stopped, and kind of made my “I don’t think so” face as I formulated the sentence about me not needing a pack of cigarettes.

“Please,” she continued. “I just need something to drink. I’m so hung over.”

That’s what convinced me. The fact that she felt that her being hung over was a reason that’d convince me to trade beer with her. It just seemed so illogical there was no way I could not reward it. This might seem to contradict completely my denial of Halloween candy to that kid for not having a costume last week, but he didn’t even try to convince me. His heart wasn’t in it. This woman really wanted a beer, and this was her form of legitimate reasoning. She was so convinced it would work, she said it twice. I had to respect that.

So I opened my box of beer and gave her a bottle. She was rummaging for smokes and I told her not to worry about it. She told me karma would smile on me and I told her to have a good afternoon.

And then when I got home I found, not five dollars, but my copies of Machine of Death waiting for me. I’ve only read a couple of stories so far, and I think I’m going to wait till December to really sink into it. I’ve got the electronic version ready to go on my reader so it’ll be good travelling material. If you want to buy a copy, now that the “Let’s Be an Amazon Bestseller for a Day!” push is over, I’d probably get it from Topatoco, where you can buy loads of other books/T-shirts/gewgaws made by other indie creators I’m proud to be, however tangentially, associated with.

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classical labour day

“So. Are ya Riders fans?”

He was a big man doing a dance. It involved shuffling backwards next to slow moving cars, grinning like an Indonesian bomber, and asking a simple question. He’d drank a dozen beers in the past couple of hours and he was sweating off the facepaint. It was almost the end of the Labour Day Classic.

This was long after we’d used his truck to lurk in the reeds next to the Trans Canada highway, only to burst out and chase a Civic that was also on its way from Winnipeg to Regina. There we were, in a mechanical Bomber loving predator pouncing from the ditch, flying our flag, losing our crown, and the bastards in the Civic didn’t even notice.

It was before another of our exploits was mentioned in the Winnipeg Free Press for the second time. Just past the Manitoba Saskatchewan border there’s a sign welcoming the casual motorist to Riderville. When we saw activity by the sign we had to help. One of us donated a roll of duct tape (which would later be used in a fit of violence) to help secure a “Go Blue” banner over the billboard. While we helped (or gawked in a stoned silence) our football team passed by in its bus. Inspirational is what we were. Then we drove on a golf course, honking and screaming.

The dance came 18 hours after an impromptu parade down Regina’s main streets flying that Bomber flag on the end of a golf ball retriever. Police ended the parade by promising custody to protect the paradists from the savage beating they were heading for if they didn’t shut up.

It was only a few hours after he’d sung the worst song in the world (“That Cocksucking Bumfucking Regina Whore!”) while standing in line with a pile of children, and scant minutes since singing the best song in the world (“Cause Rough Riders Suck Cock!”) to saddened folks in green.

He almost got into a fight, which he would have lost, a few minutes after he stopped dancing. His friends pulled him back and he drank from a jug of rye. Not necessarily in that order.

While he danced though you could see why we came. Sure we’re dumb, loud, and oh so gay, but we’re happy.

Bombers 36. Riders 18.

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