Tag Archives: apartment

Facing Fears

Facing Fears

On was on this mission to face my fears. I managed to:
-Handle gardening with huge, meaty Australian spiders in Byron Bay,
-Walk boldly through brown snake infested areas at night with only a flash light
-Not freak out too much after finding a well fed leech glued to my arm in Daintree Rain Forest
-Scuba dive with Reef Sharks and Sea Snakes in the Great Barrier Reef
-Wade in a river where crocodiles have been spotted in the Palm Forest

But I had yet to face the bees. I couldn’t do it alone, so I decided to stay with some Beekeepers for a few days. Luckily, the bees were in the far side of the yard, so for the first day or so, I was out of the hazard and only dealing with the fun aspects of bees: beeswax. I made scented lipbalm, candles, and all sort of little random things these beekeepers sold out of their little shop. But the day came when I had to put on a netted hat, long sleeves and pants, and gloves and take apart some bee hives.

I learned a lot about bees, even that there are bees that do not have stingers! They’re so cute! Little black Nat looking things that make a unique tasting honey. If only all bees didn’t sting.

But talk about riding the fear. They were crawling on me and flying near my face. And here I am listening to my host tell me all these procedural things about dealing with bees, all while desperately holding myself back from sprinting into a chaotic run.

Later they got a call. A bee swarm has overtaken the backyard of a town resident and they wanted the bee keepers to come remove the bees. Upon arrival at the scene, it was clear that removing the bees would be no easy task. Even the bee keeper wasn’t crazy enough to climb the tree and capture the clump of bees that were grouping around their homeless queen. “Give it a few hours,” the bee keeper told the resident, “they might just be stopping for a rest, hopefully they’ll move on.”

He was right, hours later, just as a swarm of bees had moved into the bee keeper’s yard, the resident called to report that the bees had gone.

It is an uneventful story from the outside, but I was proud of myself, because by the time I left I was able to stand in the middle of a bee swarm and without flinching.

On the Magic Tyre Shop

On the Magic Tyre Shop

By the time I got to Christchurch, New Zealand, I was done living in people’s houses. Not because of the people, but because of all the food I felt obligated to eat. I don’t normally eat breakfast, yet house rules require I wake up and join everyone for breakfast and eat it too. So I was intent on staying in a hostel.

Luckily the YMCA (which allows females to stay as well) had open space for the next 5 days with a really reasonable rate. I was in an eight bed female dorm room. I was alone the first night, then the next day I returned from my exploration of the city to find an elderly lady sharing the room with me. Her name was Margret, and she was staying there because she had moved out of her apartment to take a job down south and for some reason needed to stay in the area for a few more days to wait for her place to live down there to be vacated.

She was a nice, talkative lady with heaps of stories to tell. So talkative in fact that I had difficultly telling her that I had to leave to go find dinner because I was starving. She said she had a car and if I wanted she would drive me around the next day and show me the city. I said I’d think about it over dinner and let her know.

At this point in New Zealand I become accustom to trusting strangers. After all she seemed harmless. I came back from dinner to find her sleeping and woke up the next morning to find she had gone out, but had left a note on my night stand.

“Girl, if you’d like, I’d be delighted to take you on a personal tour of Christchurch. I’ll be back around noon, you can let me know then.”

I decided to go. It was a Sunday and everything was closed anyway.

Later I found myself in her car full of all her personal items (remember she was moving down south and had all her things packed in the car, ready to go).

We stopped at the grocery store to pickup snacks, then around the area we went. First stop was the beach which had a long pier. It was cold but she insisted that we walk all the way to end. Along the was she told me about her life: ex husband, daughter, siblings, etc. She told me how when she was 12 her younger brother (who was 10) died in some sort of accident. I said “oh that is so sad,” and she replied, “yeah it was at the time.”

We stopped by her old apartment to get the mail. She wanted me to wait in the car because if I went in her old roommate would talk me ear off and we’d never get out of the place. From there we went to the neighboring mountains along a road that she had never driven on before. There were great views of the city and she was so excited about pointing out where everything was from there and how the landscape all fit together. We stopped at some old Tudor house, which was build only in that style about 50 years ago. It was now a restaurant, but she insisted that I at least peak inside the door to see the decorations.

She filled me in on all her views about life and how it works together and shifts into new forms. How there is always going to be something to look forward to and life often just mends itself.

By dusk we were driving down the mountain. Near the bottom, one of her car tires sounded like it was going flat because there was a reoccurring flapping sound. I told her to pull into a parking lot so I could check it.

I was kind of excited because I was finally going to get to use my tire changing skills, but after checking the tire I realized it wasn’t flat at all. I had her reverse and pull forward just as an extra check to find where that noise was coming from, and nothing seemed wrong. So we figured we’d cautiously drive our way back to the YMCA. As we pulled out of the lot she noticed that it was Tyre Shop parking lot and she exclaimed, “The tyre shop fixed my tyre!” I laughed because, well, it was true, the noise was gone and everything was fine.

In celebration, she bought me an ice cream cone from MacDonald’s and we continued on our way.

Annoying Cultural Stigmas

Annoying Cultural Stigmas

I’m not sure what it is about it that makes me think that I’d rather not belong to something that I have no choice but to be apart of. Much of it has to do with the apathy that fills in the gap between when you’ve just been introduced and before you realize that you actually have something in common. Being stuck in that point for a long period of time just makes me wish I had something better to think about. But that is the thing with meeting and getting to know new people. They are always this figure of light in the shadows, smiling and talking, but nothing makes sense, there is no connection other than the fact that you happen to cross paths.

From my prospective, I tend not to have any noticeable holes to fill until I start to make room for someone, then I realize that it is worth making room and it flows from there. But to have made room and then realized that they’re blocking another door is troublesome. Especially when they bring their friends into the mental sphere and cannot help but show how much more in love with them they are than they are with me. Not everyone does it, so why do some do it? Do they not realize that I’m sitting here wondering when we’re going to exist together in the present? No, probably not. That’s why it doesn’t work, there are too many of them on the periphery, too many comparisons, too many that came before, and too many to take in.

Information overload and “I’m exhausted, leave me alone”. I know to stick to my own introverted kind, but it is the extroverts who speak up and question me and suck me into their world. They enjoy the seeking as much as I enjoy being found.

On How Pick Pockets Aren’t Always after Your Money

On How Pick Pockets Aren’t Always after Your Money

I was walking from Las Ramblas (near the shore front) in Barcelona to my apartment about 10 Spanish blocks inland on a somewhat chilly Wednesday. If you’ve ever been in Spain on a Wednesday, you’ll know what I mean when I say there was no one around. Literally everyone hides inside on Wednesdays, shops are barely open, cafes only open at intermittent times of the day, etc.

So there I was, stretched into my gray jeans and new H&M Jacket I had recently purchased (this was 2004 so H&M had yet to open stores in America) walking along minding my own business.

Ahead of me, I could see two teenage boys and a 10 year old boy were walking along the same side walk going the opposite direction. I walked along the curb to let them pass. The 10 year old had been swinging around each light pole as he came to one, as we passed he intentionally swung around this particular pole next to me twice, which caused him to swing into me so he could wrap his arms around me, face into my chest.

At the moment I found myself in a bear hug starring down at a smiling Catalonian face, one of the older boys reach over and pinched my left butt cheek with a jiggle, then they all ran off yelling something in Catalan.

Despite feeling violated, I couldn’t help but laugh uncontrollably the rest of the way back to my place. I checked for the few items (keys, credit card, and euros) I had taken out for the day, and was relieved that everything was still safely zipped in the inner pocket of my jacket… so the boys got away with nothing substantial except a good pinch.