Roads, crossroads and shitballs

The road to work is deserted. I love mornings like this, it’s sunny and no wind. I pop in my earphones and start flicking through my Ipod. I only have one brake working, so I am feeling a little stupid when I realise I am holding it in my wrong hand. If something happens now I can’t brake. But, it’s quiet so I go on.

Suddenly a car rushes onto the road from the right, cutting me off. If it wasn’t for my Ipod, I would have seen or heard him coming. Though it’s my bad I still feel a surge of annoyance rise up. The feeling is soon diminished and replaced by a big smile on my face. Half awake, Dick is smiling back at me and rolling down the window. “Morning! I just got your message.”  He slows down and we ride next to each other. His smile changes to a serious face “Ains, I really want to go back so badly.”

Just before I left the house I shared a Timehopp post with Dick. This app shows you all the things you posted on that date. In this case 6 years ago. We had just finished out trip together in Australie. I stayed, his time was up. Dick had posted a message on my Facebook wall, happy for me I had just made it back to Broome. Explaining how he’d love to join me for a sunset. Then saying that he sometimes just lies awake, unable to sleep due to homesickness. Homesickness for a place that was once our home away from home. At that time, I avoided every possible idea of going home. I had just arrived in paradise, I was in no rush to go anywhere else.

But now, I am home. It’s perfect and absolute shit-balls at the same time. For every thing that I am grateful to be here, there is another reason I wish I was somewhere else. We came home after living on another planet. Time passed, but we will never be the people we were before. Not even close.

It is so incredibly frustrating to not be able to explain to anyone what you experienced, because there are no words that come close. The more time passes, the more people expect you to move on, get back to your old life, into the mould of society. That everything will come flowing back to you naturally, but it doesn’t.

It’s my one life experience that connects me to half the world, yet makes me feel like the loneliest person alive. This is why I am grateful to have Dick living right here in my home town. We have been through so much, we just have to look at each other or say hi and for a little while, my loneliness melts away.
One line of “Hey Ains, remember that old piece of shit van we had?” And we can laugh. Knowing we are laughing about the same things, that it’s ok, and that we are not crazy. That it’s only a matter of time that we’ll go back and do it over.

As I am cycling next to the car, there’s a line of cars piling uo behind Dick’s. We’re forced to part again and head back to the normal things in life. We agree to have coffee soon. Not today though, it’s busy at work today. I wave him goodbye, turn my music on with the right hand and ride off to work. Enjoying this road a little more than I did before.

For not all that wander are lost.

dickie

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Sober Bob flashing her undies.

Not drinking is no big deal to me. It’s been so long since I’ve had a drink that I’ve come become quite accustomed to going out amongst alcohol fueled crowd.

Lately, I’ve become almost too busy to go out. Let alone, do my hair properly. It’s always up, and my clothes are easy.  During my traineeship at the vet  I wear old manky stuff that’s ok to get peed on, for work I have to look a certain way which gives me the options: Black shirt #1 or black shirt #2. When I have to go to school I am usually so tired from getting up so early, I just wear what I can find on the floor in the dark.

You can imagine my enthusiasm when I found out I had a wedding to go to soon. Followed by a pang of panic as I found out I was having the every-girl-in-the-world-problem: Nothing to wear. I am not the girliest girl and don’t own a proper dress, my only ‘nice’ shoes are my € 10 h&m heels, which are ruined by mud and candle wax (Don’t ask).  I am made for jeans or shorts, the end. But God forbid that you wear those to a wedding, I found a little strapless pink dress in the end.

The wedding itself was ok, though the more weddings I attend, the more I find I probably won’t get married. Sure, it looks very romantic, but all just a little over the top, to me. Anyway I am not complaining about the parties afterwards. Crazy! Unlimited cola for me, yahoo! Before you know it the carefully picked out dress is covered in beer and your pretty hairstyle sweated out in a wild dance.

Blend in quite alright. I might even be a little crazier than most in the crowd as I am doing this sober and you are in a blur. You can do whatever you want, no one will remember tomorrow but you.

All of a sudden this Dutch song came on, translated as  “I feel sexy when I’m dancing”. Loved this tune and soon one of the guys came over for a dance. As the crowd parted a little I made a bit more of an effort. But seriously, dancing sexy while a crowd is watching, actually thinking about moves,..jeez. Couldn’t somebody have warned me? The guy, Rodney, gave me a twirl and stepped back while holding my hand. I thought it was a great idea to flick up my leg while stopping in this pose in order to spin back on the next beat. And I did spin back. Including my dress that got caught on my heal when I was doing so, resulting in pulling down my whole dress altogether.

I couldn’t have reacted more quickly while stumbling over my own dress that now had hole where my was still stuck. Rodney is a friend, and did what all friends do,..laugh his ass off. I got a hold of my dress and backed off, but there was too much laughing to continue the dance.

This also was my last attempt to ever wear a dress in public again.

So there are those moments where I can look back and cringe. Though I know Rodney remembers far too well, I know no one else will.

Buddha Face

Nothing embarrassing for today. No gynecologist appointments recently, no farting in public. Though I am so glad some other guy farted during yoga last night and not me. I ate beans on toast for dinner and a fart would have been disastrous so to speak.

The yoga school I go to is training me from scratch to be an amazing yoga teacher. I am still extremely excited about this and at the same time terrified. While in one way I am completely devoted to learn anything there is about yoga, and in theory, I understand it all. In real life I find zen a highly foreign word in every sense.

“Buddha face! Do a Buddha face!” A lady explained after class this is how your face should be during poses, no matter how hard they are. Maybe even take this thought with you in daily life. But when I cycle home through the busy city centre, crashing into almost 32 tourist a minute all I am screaming in my head is: “F***ing Idiots! Have you never heard of a pavement?!” “Look first, mate LOOK”! Moments filled with heavy sighs, grunting and ringing my bell like lunatic. There is no Buddha face, nor will there ever be one.

I imagine the perfect yoga teachers almost pirouetting their way through the busy streets with a calm smile on their faces…and then there is me; a stressed out catastrophe. My other job is being a waitress. Another challenge now the days grow sunnier and busier and the people become more demanding. I find myself having a hard time keeping my patience sometimes. Empathy is lacking from both angles and again I feel like losing my calm and swearing under my breath a lot.

So how do people do it? How not to want to punch people in traffic? And my biggest question; How am I going to teach calm without being calm myself first? But doesn’t the most advanced yoga teacher get annoyed about something sometimes? I mean, when you bump your little toe on a leg of a table,..it hurts and even the most together people do a little swear word while jumping around on one leg right? I would…..I do.

The perks of disgustingness

So I am almost 29 and half way through my study to be a veterinary nurse. It sounds very cute and fluffy but really, most my days look like this:                                                                                               Instead of this:  

If anything, people who work in this area have the stronger stomach ever. And I’ve seen some pretty disgusting stuff but last week turned disgusting into a whole new meaning.

I recently started an internship at a local petting zoo/ children’s farm. I needed some experience with animals other than cats and dogs. I had already been turned down by another farm by my appearance. I am 5”2 and look like a 18 year old, which has its advantages, but this farmer just scanned me from top to bottom and said  they were full. (Having just said they were looking for interns a few moments before) So I was really happy that this farm wanted to take me on board.

The most important thing I had to experience was a birth, of any kind, just a birth. Luckily all sheep and goats were with young and due within the next few weeks so I was present with a few.

A very interesting experience obviously. Hard too, because there is no way a goat understands you when you say it’s going to be ok. Talking to goats has become my speciality during this time. And they have been so kind to forgive me of everything I have said to them during  labour, as soon as I presented them their babies.

But as any creature, births are loud and bloody. And a little slimy. To think that humans go through the exact same thing in the same way as sheep and goats is something I’d rather not think too much about at this time. The worst is the ‘afterbirth’. This thick, slimy, bulgy thing mixed with blood and string that sort of hangs out of them for ages. After the whole birthing experience is over we clean up and dump everything on the dung heap.

The next morning all of us working there forget about everything the day before because today we have baby goats and lambs! And every morning as usual, we let out our pigs Haka and Hina. Two very stubborn little Maori-pigs from New Zealand. While we are busy cleaning out stables and before we open to the public they get to run around, eat grass, bug us for food. They usually start with a sprint to the dung heap to sniff out any interesting food. Remember they are pigs, they eat absolutely anything.

After returning with a full wheelbarrow of crap I found Haka and Hina fighting over a bloody piece of afterbirth they had dug up in the hill. Fighting over it like a tug-of-war. Feeling rather sick at the sight I called one of my workmates over. It wouldn’t kill them, but it’s a little unhygienic at the least! Another intern came over and the three of us tried everything to move them out of the dung heap. But pigs are heavy and they just found their gold, they weren’t going anywhere.

So picture three little girls shoving and yelling at two indifferent pigs. Mission impossible. When the other girl finally contained Hina I was giving it everything I had to work Haka out of the heap. Unfortunately as I was pushing him he suddenly moved leaving me face downward in the dung and blood.  Slimy, bloody bits of whatever mixed with shit of at least 15 different animals covered my entire body. I wear huge wellington boots and jeans but I am not prepared for this kind of mess.  The rest of the day I go to smell like sheep ass and look like a chicken during moult.

This week I started my other internship at a vets practice. I was almost relieved that the worst thing that happened on my first day was a dog that pissed on my arm.

It’s a vet nurse’s life for me.

Lady-bits-antics

There is nothing more awkward for any female on this planet than having a full check up at the gynaecologist. Trust me, I can’t think of anything worse, but it’s my annual obligation to check if I don’t have tentacles growing out of my uterus, or a mutated hobbit growing inside me. You know, the usual stuff.

For my last check-up I asked my sister along. She is a med student and watching something like this is, to her, the best thing that could happen this year. Then again, I might as well have someone familiar and honestly interested in my hoo-ha with me for support.

The session usually starts with a bunch of questions about your sex life and vagina. Working through them, the gynaecologist  suddenly asked if it would be ok to have an intern to help with the exam. Errr,..  “Yeah I guess”. Students need to learn somehow right?  The more the merrier?

A young guy walks in, not saying a thing and the most serious face you have ever seen. So after the whole ‘drop your pants and sit in this amazing you-can’t-hide-anything chair the gyno-lady starts explaining all the steps in medical terms to the intern, who continues to nod in silent seriousness. To me, this is all quite humorous and awkward at the same time. Somehow his serious face, doesn’t match me half naked with my lady parts on a weird angle. Then she pulls on a glove, letting it slap against her wrist and applies half a tube with lube to her fingers. Let the games begin.

No matter how often you tell yourself ‘ah it’s alright they see this a million times a day’ having three people stare at your vagina, including a spotlight so they can ‘see’ clearer, this is a far from comfortable experience. She starts the manual internal exam and then asks the intern to follow her instructions as h will continue the exam. He gets this speculum so they can have an even closer look and really tries jabbing it in all sorts of angles that hurt so much I want to cry. Finally the gyno- lady takes over and does it properly. This is when my sister jumps up excitedly, shoves the doctors out of the way, gasps and then yells “Omg I can like see your womb!” Note to self: Next time keep it a solo event.

Still leg strapped in the chair, I am down to the last exam, an internal ultrasound. Basically this is just a super expensive dildo with a built in camera. The intern takes a minute to adjust his composure, takes a few deep breaths, squirts the other half of the tube of lube on the device and goes for it. Or so he thinks. Three long minutes pass as he tries to find the right opening and angle. Again I can feel tears start to appear, but not from pain. My sister gives me one look and we both burst out laughing at this guy. I mean how hard can it be,…for a guy!? “How long have you been working here?” I ask. “Oh, this is my first week” he replies smiling.

I eventually leave the room feeling like a complete useless guinea pig. Leaving behind a mortified doctor to be, a fascinated sister and a brand new appointment for next year.

Fartasana

I am pushing my hands into my mat as hard as I can. David, my Ashtanga teacher, is telling me to focus on my breathing, but all I can think of is the burning sensation at the back of my legs. Drops of sweat are making their way up to my hairline and distracting me from “being in the now”. Downward dog is killing me. And so is the battle of keeping my butt-cheeks pressed together like a mother***r to prevent this fart from escaping.

You can laugh all you want. But it’s not like this never happened to you. I know a part of yoga is about detoxifying your body,.. but there is a limit of how much of my detox I want the person next to me to experience.  Yoga just took on a whole new perspective.

Every time I move down into a new version of bending over wide legged I pray to god everything will just stay in place. David makes it worse coming over to adjust my posture by pushing down on my lower back. Meaning well, but inside I am just screaming “GO AWAY!!”

Then, just when the room goes quiet, and I forgot about the trapped air and I felt like I was making this super controlled move,.. It escapes with a noise that’s comparable with the bang a fighter jet makes when it flies through the sound barriers.

I bury my hands in my face wishing the ground would just swallow me up whole right there. But the lady next to me laughs and says: “Ahhh, don’t worry about it. Happens to the best of us.”

If anything, Fartsasana  was the most relieving thing I did in class. I could finally relax, and in complete bliss, thinking to myself, I am so happy it didn’t smell.
Note to self: http://manflowyoga.com/7-poses-that-make-you-art/

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No need for a good deed.

We all have those moments when we feel we are a genuinely good person. Whether it’s because we gave the homeless person on the corner our money for  their bus fare or helped the neighbor unload the shopping, it makes you feel good about yourself. Even though this random act of kindness is directed at someone else, it proves we are not as self-involved as we thought, but maybe even a little heroic in some cases. But who are we really helping out?

One night after I finished work I found the neighborhood cat stuck in the tree. Usually he’s a very cool and frequent visitor at the restaurant where I work. Patiently waiting for scraps of Confit de canard from sympathetic diners. But now he was meowing like mad, clinging on to the branch. As I am studying to be a veterinary nurse I felt this was my calling. Humming the Spiderman tune I began my heroic mission.

I forgot to mention I am little on the short side. The cat seemed relieved with my presence but soon broke into a hysterical meow when he noticed I was not even getting close. No matter how much I reached and stretched out to the cat, me and my 5’ 3” were just not going to happen.

I abandoned my rescue attempt after 10 minutes, frustrated and slightly concerned about my own safety and contemplating to maybe…just…leave it. When suddenly a couple walked around the corner. Excitedly I ran over, rambling about the cat stuck in the tree. Glaring at me, like I was the real life crazy cat lady they went along with my, what I felt was a genius plan.

Unfortunately great plans can also go greatly wrong. The moment we walked over to the tree the cat stopped meowing , calmly jumped down and walked off. That bastard! Feeling like a prize idiot I realized maybe not everyone wants to be saved. Maybe just me,…from that moment.