Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Countdown

A month and a half left.

I spend my days in pyjamas, typing frustrated nonsense (robots, dwarfs, Atlantis,) sipping hot milky tea. Resisting (sometimes successfully) the escapist lure of computer games, waiting, waiting, waiting.

Courtney feels it too, her job is monotony, life is just waiting.

Caught somewhere between the anticipation of Prague and the sadness of leaving Albuquerque, the days go by too quickly and not quickly enough.

So that's the report from the greys. In the full color version of my life:

I’m trying to sell my car, since the price of a ‘91 Honda Civic can apparently keep a person alive for several months in Czecha. This is stressful. I’m falling victim to a typical “counting chickens before they’re hatched” fallacy, and tallying up exactly how much easier my life will be once I sell the car. Then, I get freaked out by the thought that I might not be able to.

But I’ve had several people come by and look at it, and the experiences have mostly been positive, I’m betting it will sell fairly soon. Please, God, let it sell fairly soon.

Worst Car Selling Incident So Far:

A young couple came by, they were very nice and very excited about the car, even stating that “All we’re looking for is something reliable, something that we can take to school and back, it doesn’t have to be real pretty.”

Perfect. 31-38 mpg, never had a mechanical problem, but the little grey civic isn't all that pretty.

They look it over, they’re happy with the appearance, still very positive. I offer to let them drive it. They get in, put the key in the ignition-

It doesn’t start.

It frigging bloody damn hell freaking doesn’t start.

We try to jump it, nothing.

Shame. Embarrassment. Vision blurring.

They leave, rather graciously asking me to call them when I know what’s wrong.

Courtney comes home a little while later. We try to jump it again-

Starts right up. Little bastard.

We drive it to Sears to get the battery checked out and recharged. It’s working fine, just got drained from sitting out there for a couple of weeks without being driven.

I call them back, leave a message, and never hear back from them.

Nightmare.

But basically harmless. The car is still in good shape, no serious work needed, no cost to my strained bank account. Just humiliation.


Dreadful burning humiliation.

-Ty

Friday, November 14, 2003

Passport

This week marks two seminal events in our preperation for travel: the arrival of our passports, and the subsequent purchase of our plane tickets.

Wow. Suddenly it seems that This Is Really Happening. Looking at these two black booklets, the American Eagle embossed in gold on the vinyl covers (and seeming far more regal than it ever does on the beat up quarters you buy soda with or the torn soiled bills you so casually throw down for a quick burger or whatever,) I'm a little overwhelmed.

Maybe I'm fetishizing the passports, but these little collect-a-stamp booklets are going to allow Courtney and I to gain entry to (upswell of strings, please) a Whole Other Country, with a Whole Other System of Government, and a Whole Other Frigging Language For God's Sake.

Now, I'm not totally inexperienced in travel, I've been to Mexico, spent a few days in Chihuahua, a week in Cabo Lobo (a tiny finishing village on the west Sonoran coast,) and Courtney and I went up to Canada over the summer. So, we've crossed borders before, and dealt with language barriers and so forth. But never have we travelled as far, and never for as long as we are currently planning.

There's a very 'through the looking glass' feel to the enterprise. A change in environment acts upon one's perspective, even upon one's personality, and I'm curious, yes, excited to see what changes this soon-to-be-slightly-skewed perspective will bring.

Soon after the passports arrived we purchased our tickets from British Airways. We're leaving in mid January and that doesn't seem nearly as far off as it did a week ago.

-Ty

Friday, November 07, 2003

A Simple Statement of Purpose

OR

Why Am I Here?

I am still trying to decide exactly how and why I wish to post my Adventures (currently Adventures in Unemployment, soon to be Ex-Pat Adventures in Prague,) in full view of a massive and apathetic public. Well, "full view" if anyone cares to look, that is. So, today's entry is nothing more than a consideration of Why Am I Doing This, written for my own benefit.

My basic conception of what this site should be is a touch-point for my friends and family who whish to know how Courtney and I are getting on in the wild/wooly Czech Republic.

But, of course, there is more to it.

Practice, for one thing. A regular writing project (updated once a week,) to hone and develop my skills in preparation for some unspecified journalistic outlet in the future. I view this as more of a 'column' than a diary, a weekly editorial with a specific audience in mind, and as such I wish to focus on an interesting aspect of my experiences for each entry, rather than take a "here's what I'm thinking at 4AM" approach. I believe that providing myself with some constraints, and commiting to preparing a 'column' each week will be helpful for my development as a writer. Not to mention the fact that it will make for more interesting reading. I hope.

Today, and probably for the next several entries as well, I'm focusing on gaining a feel for the format. I haven't told anyone how to get to this site, so I'm not really worrying about the 'audience' yet. At this point, I am the audience.

Ty

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Ty and I will share this 'blog. We'd love to see this become a nice way for family and friends to keep up with our activities as we move overseas. We'll see how well we're able to keep it up! -Courtney
This post is just a test. If you are reading it, you are an intruder and will be exterminated. As soon as I plunk down the $50 for the deathray feature. Stupid Blogspot, gotta pay extra for anything useful.

Ty