T’is the 27th. Last post was the 22nd. Five days! I think that is the longest drought of my nasty, brutish and short writing career. What the hell?
Part of the reason, of course, is what I have been saying lately…….there is little of interest for me in the city. Even though living down here is easy, convenient and quite tasty when you find a few good local restaurants, it is basically unstimulating. Worse, I spend no time building and hours at a time in the seated position. TVs and computers are eating at my life.
“Dave, what the hell is wrong with you? Turn ’em off!”
Yeah. Like that works!
Anyway….five days of city living is almost enough to give me fodder for one day of writing. So, here it is: I met a Ukranian guy. Expressed my sympathy for the trials and tribs his country was going through. He shrugged. I then expressed a bit of support for the pretty, braided Yulia Tymoshenko who had been incarcerated for the past four years. She, it seems, was the rightful leader-of-choice of the people. He shrugged.
“What? You don’t like pretty girls?”
“Oh, I like pretty girls but she bad like others. Just pretty. Still bad. They all bad. Each one just take money from peoples and give to friends and selves. They all bad. Even her. She not bad like others bad but still bad.”
“You think Canada different? It no different! Government take money from peoples give money to friends. You not see?”
“Oh, I see. I see. Don’t get me started. We could be here all day speaking with heavy Eastern European accents, nyet?”
“What you say?”
“I say I share your cynical point of view but, given half a hour’s conversation, I will also share your accent and weird sentence structure. I pick up speech patterns like a sponge. Next thing you know, I am drinking Vodka (which I pronounced Wodka – it was already happening!) and sending out for perogy delivery! I’ll leave drunk, full and with your accent. Where’d you come from, anyway?”
I also met Frank Wang. Nice guy. Also poor English. Chinese herbalist. A friend of mine was wanting some horrible Asian tea-medicine that acts like a tonic and I was in the neighbourhood so I went to pick it up for him. Because of his enthusiastic endorsement of Frank, I stayed for an assessment of my own self (our guest suite does not have a mirror, you see). Frank asked me some questions only half of which I understood and looked at my eyes and throat and then prescribed me some herbs, too. $78.00 later I walked out of the little shop of horrible herbs with a large grocery bag of frog tongues, newt eyes and things necessary to make a tea of double, double toil and trouble. There were a few mushrooms in there too, I think.
Frank looked at me and asked, “You watch TV?”
“Now don’t start with me, Frank……”
“Where you live?”
“On a remote island up the coast. Off the grid.”
“Wha’…? You mean condo?”
“Oh. No. I live in a house. Good Feng Shui.”
“Wha’ you say?”
“Never mind. I live in a house.”
“Eat fast food?”
“No. Once every two months. No more. Always good food. Never processed.”
“OK. No more pizza for you, OK? Not good. No more burgers, OK? Not good. You eat spicy food?”
“Well….yeah…kinda…..you know……I like Chinese food and…..”
“Ha ha. Chinese food not spicy! Ha ha, you make joke with Frank!”
“OK, well then there’s Indian food. I like Indian food. Probably once or twice a month. And I make sushi now and then.”
“Ha ha! You funny guy! Sushi good. Sushi no spicy. Ha ha. But only yellow curry for you, OK? Yellow curry good. Green curry bad. OK?”
I was going to discuss Wasabi with him but decided not to. If Feng Shui didn’t bring us closer, nothing would.
City living, eh? Just one giant international melting pot of herbs, spices and broken English.