jueves, 8 de marzo de 2012

a day in my life

as I go about my day on a particular Monday, I do as little talking as possible. I have mastered the sort of facial expressions that render talking unnecessary. On this day, most of my socializing will happen with Corinne, the checkout lady at the supermarket. M and I have a list of 18 things to get. We're tight on time, so we decide to divide and conquer. Now, to most people, that would mean nine items each, but because he knows me too well, and I know me to well, we settle on 16/2.

M knows that I dawdle and that I'm prone to distraction by shiny things, he knows I get overwhelmed by too many choices, so I get stuck finding rice and bread. This should be easy. If I was sent to find any loaf of bread, it might take hours, but M has specific bread, of a specific brand, of a specific color. I don't even know what the brand is, I just know where to look. We need two loaves; I find one. This is a problem. You see, in mundane situations like this, my brain finds no motivation to be decisive. I stand and look at the empty shelf for too long. I find an employee by the milk and decide to talk to her (against all my insticts):

me: "hi there. Do you think you might have more of these in the back?"
employee: "did you find that in the international isle?"
my head: "why is that relevant?"

without saying anything else I decide she's useless and walk away. Now on to the rice. Again, there's specific rice I should be getting; again, I have no idea what the brand is, I just know it's orange. The bread is purple and the rice is orange, I feel like a pre-schooler. There's no orange on the shelf. I have no idea what sort of rice it is: long grain, short grain, medium grain. When where all these developed? Why do we need all these options in our lives? I pick up a blue packet...yes, I'm like a five-year-old and pick things based on color. I make my way to the check out and my boy's beat me to it. That he got all our shopping before I managed to get my two items is a surprise to noone. I didn't even get what I was supposed to get really, but this is not rare and it doesn't matter. One loaf will do and rice is rice, so there you go.

1.35 pm -- the bus leaves at 1.40 pm, we did well. The lady in front of us seems confused about life, and M points out to her where she should enter her pin in order to process the payment. How people get through life without our help is beyond me.

1.36 pm -- we're cutting it close, but I'm optimistic. M's losing hope. I move forward to bag our items...everyone else just does it wrong. The bagging lady looks me up and down and says: "I hope you're aspiring to more than this." I don't know how to take that considering it's her profession of choice.

1.37 pm -- I look over at M and know he's cursing Corinne in his head as she goes into some story or other that makes it impossible to also do her job, further delaying the process.

1.38 pm -- "I use to go home in tears when the supermarket started charging people for plastic bags. People got really intense!" M and I stand there. We don't care. Why people never pick up on the fact that I don't care about their stories is beyond me.

1.39 pm -- I subtly reach for the tomatoes Corinne is weighing and I'd like to think she got the hint. We pay and start walking off. Corinne yells after us: "You'll need your receipt for the car park." We keep walking and with this we say: "We don't drive, we don't have cars. We're done with you Corinne; you're a nice-enough person, but I've decided that our relationship os over.

martes, 6 de marzo de 2012

los indigentes como nosotros

el saque mi cuaderno en público significa, sin duda, que alguien va a venir a curiosear. Nunca falla, es naturaleza humana; y yo, como he dicho antes, atraigo desconocidos y curiosos.

mientras observo a los viejitos de Céret jugar bolas criollas, Miguel se me acerca y se queda viendo lo que estoy dibujando. Miguel es Catalán y entre los dos no juntamos mucho mas que "Bon jour," asi que una vez establecido que el español es nuestro campo común, se instala y conversamos (él habla) un rato. No sé en que momento asumió que yo era pobre y sin hogar, pero lo hizo y me empezó a dar consejos (no solicitados) para los "indigentes como nosotros." ¿Qué hizo que Miguel pensara que yo era parte de su club de indigentes? No estoy segura, pero, ¿para qué corregir? Me dijo donde puedo recibir mi correo (¿los indigentes reciben correspondencia?), y donde me dan carne gratis (no, gracias), también me informó donde quedan los baños públicos (no le paré a la explicación...tipo normal) y lo difícil que es abrir una cuenta bancaria en Francia (¿no hay que tener dinero para necesitar una cuenta corriente?). Un dato mas útil hubiera sido donde dormir, pero como yo no hago preguntas, la cosa se quedó asi. Los viejitos tenían pinta de que estaban por terminar y yo estaba perdiendo luz, asi que sutilmente empecé a dibujar de nuevo, como diciendo: "gracias por tus consejos, pero ya me fastidié."

Miguel entendió, o se fastidió también y siguió su rumbo. Yo me quedé sentada observando viejitos bajitos y gruñones, todos con ropa que parece ajena, y zapatos deliciosos.

jueves, 1 de marzo de 2012

diary of a hitchhiker I

january 23, 2012

interesting day for hitchhiking. Started in Dunedin, where Thommy picked me up after two seconds with my thumb out. Good start. Thommy is from India and I'm pretty sure he suffers from something along the lines of short-term memory loss. Every now and then he'd sort of reset and start asking me things we'd already talked about. It could also be that Thommy does not listen; one of those people that asks questions for the sake of asking and then wander off in their brains with no intention of listening to the answer...like me when I ask for directions.

For the whole 40 minutes we rode together, I'm pretty sure these three questions summarize our conversation:

-"Where are you from?"
-"Where are you going?"
-"Do you want some lollies?"

After the fourth time, I had to ram a chocolate bar in my mouth, just to have him ask, seconds later, if I wanted some lollies.

I'm always tempted to start making things up, but I never actually do it...Our conversation could have gone like this:

T:"Where are you from?"
A:"A little underwater colony near the Seychelles."
T:"Where are you going?"
A:"Outer space. I'd like to buy a property closer to the sun."
T:"Do you want some lollies?"
A:"Sure, but I better warn you that I have this condition that will probably make me throw up all over your dashboard."

What would they say if I answered these things? Actually Thommy probably wouldn't mind because he's not listening anyway. The reason I never actually say these things is because I know I can't keep a straight face, I can't commit to being in character. That's how I know I'll never be an actress.

sábado, 25 de febrero de 2012


I don't go out much. Anything putting me in contact with other humans I consider socializing. I might not actually speak to these humans, but them being there, present in my bubble, is somewhat social and therefore, unsettles me.

I find most people obnoxious; them, their behaviour, their speech, whatever, it annoys me. Yet, depending on my mood, it can also amuse me. If I'm bored, I go see people. I use "see" in a literal sense, the way you go see elephants at the zoo. I don't want these people to speak to me, or interact with me in any way, I just want to observe them.

What most people find normal, I find, depending on the mood, either peculiar or plain right absurd. If I'm in a "peculiar" mood, I'll go around being baffled and intrigued by people's day-to-day actions; if I'm in an "absurd" mood, I'll find everyone ridiculous and out of their minds.

None of these thoughts get verbal expression because I was raised with "good manners" and the such, which include taking part in these inane rituals of daily life, and keeping what you actually think bottled up inside.

domingo, 12 de febrero de 2012

some people

some people need detailed maps. Some people need detailed plans. Some people need to make decisions. Joseph is one of these people. I am not one of these people. This is why me and Joseph should not travel together. I take pit stops as an opportunity to ponder the possible existence of a secret sweater-wearing mob of kangaroos, he takes them as a chance to further kill my spontaneous spirit by yet again planning something I consider absurdly unnecessary.

J: "What's the plan?"
A: "Drive north"
J: "But where are we going?"

I point north...I don't see the issue, I don't know why anything else needs to be decided

J: "Where should we stop?"
A: "Wherever we feel like it"
J: "That's not a place"
A: "It will be"