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February 02, 2009
Yes, Yes I know.
This is it then, I've been delaying upon delaying upon delaying, due to a combination of poor planning and an inhuman workload; so there really is a great deal of pressure to make this a full and frank disclosure of my adventures as so far. I start, then, with an analogy:
Canada is like the snooker theme tune
You know the one I mean. If you don't, look it up on youtube. Relaxing but adventurous, with a sense of existent familiarity that transcends any actual familiarity. The snooker theme tune isn't quite as fundamentally cold as Canada, and fails to grasp the exact scope of the place being as huge as it is, and I guess it doesn't actually show the massive division of the people between extremes of maturity and immaturity. I suppose, in retrospect, the analogy breaks down. Let me try another one:
Canada is like another hour in bed on a remarkably cold morning.
Comfort and Cold are the two things I've come to associate with this place. Well, that and heaps of work. I suppose if you spent the extra hour in bed working. That, however, would be less comfortable.
I'm not sure I'm trying the right tack at explaining Canada, mostly because my experiences are entirely relative to me. Derren Brown once showed without any tricks or magnetism or double headed coins or camera cut-outs on television himself getting 10 heads in a row, when flipping a coin. This has a probability of one in one thousand and twenty four of happening, yet he still did it. He then showed how.
He spent nine hours in front of a Camera flipping a coin over and over and over and over again until finally a run of ten heads came up. He achieved the probability of one in one thousand and twenty for by performing the act one thousand and twenty four times, approximately. He was making, through what I'm sure was an incredibly tedious route, a point to do with the fact that experience is nothing if you don't know the context in which it was achieved. Unless you understand the perception and bias of the observer, you don't understand the result.
So now I'm going to tell you about myself.
Not the standard things that many, if not all of you, would know about me -- as that would be entirely pointless for them. Instead: I'm going to list ten things that make me me that many of you won't be aware of. Here we go:
1. I don't really care about changing the world anymore. I used to so much it was basically my defining force. Full of ideals, full of revolutions; I was quite ready to get into power and overthrow the shackles of society. Since then, I've become more weary and more passive and more cowardly. I suppose the only positive way to spin this is by telling you that my new wish is to understand the world. Properly. Actually figure out somethings that other people haven't figured out. I hope it will allow people with more fire than me to know exactly HOW to change the world.
2. I'm not as entirely disdainful of people as it may seem. To be honest, the more comfortable I am in insulting and belittling people the closer to them I feel. Knowing a person involves knowing their flaws, and the best way to show this is by exploiting them.
3. I don't actually like Left 4 Dead. I'm sorry.
4. I like being alone, and being with people in equal measures. I think this comes from the bizarre juxtaposition of my parents, but depending on my mood I'm liable to be encouraging a five hour long pub-crawl at 1am on a Tuesday, or sitting in my room sipping at tea and reading Edgar Allen Poe and not answering the phone for the entire night. Hegel said that there was no such thing as the private human, we are utterly and entirely defined by our relations to others. This may be true, but sometimes I quite like not being a person and simply being a vessel for poetry and caffeine.
5. I really miss my Year 12 and 13 days, where everything was a little less complicated. I was too irritating and energetic a child to really fit into a stereotypical idyllic and innocent perception of my younger days, and since then university issues and work have spiralled up like nothing before. Those two years of bomberman in the common room, however, provided a brief respite. Some of my best memories are from that time.
6. I think slightly too much about my hair for a healthy hetrosexual man.
7. I'm beginning to lose my faith in Philosophy. I used to know I was the best of the best, and that I could take on Descartes and Kant in a battle of the rational. I'm less certain these days. Revelations seem to lack the spark they once did, and I don't seem to be able to argue as much. Maybe this is the move into a more regurgatory form of learning in Canada, but I felt it at the tail end of my year in Warwick. We'll see how my final year plays out.
8. I really don't like watching sports of any kind. Except snooker.
9. I'm pretty sure Swearing is God's gift to a pious mankind. It's fucking fantastic.
10. I pretend that girls don't confuse me but they really do. I think they must confuse themselves. They're a personification of Chaos theory.
So there you go. That's me to see, naked and shivering (if indeed any of you would like to see me naked and shivering). Put yourself in that mindset, if you can, and bear with me as I travel over my exploits in Canadaland.
One thing that I have noticed is a lie is the repeated and I think genuinely held proposition that 'Girls dig English Accents'. They really don't guys. The only type of girl swayed enough by a British Accent is the giggly 17 year old blonde type that you daren't put your penis into lest stupidity turn out to be a sexually transmitted disease. Weirdly enough, British Accents aren't enough to turn most girls, or at least mine isn't. My slightly scholarly always sarcastic and wonderfully pronounced accent isn't the type of accent girls are looking for. I simply sound like a Bond Villain. Girls do not want to sleep with Bond Villains, they're always worried about the Magma.
This is not, of course, to suggest that my trip over here has been one long American Pie style quest for booty. If anything, I've been pretty relaxed on that front. I'm not entirely certain why I'm sharing this with you, world, but there you go.
As well as this, I'm spending more and more time with the international students. It may be the sense of shared adventure, or it may simply be the fact that we're all grouped together in one residence and therefore have no choice but to bump into each other; but the fact of the matter is that sometimes the whole Jaunt feels more like Joseph's Techniculture Dreamgroup. I see and know Canadians, but not as well I guess. Not as well as I used to anyway.
I feel very seperated over here, and not just from the Country. Out of all the fantastic Scottish and Irish and Dutch over here I don't feel that there's a single one that actually knows me. This isn't a moan, I'd like you to understand, but simply an observation. I still haven't felt the connection I did at Warwick, or the friends I have in Jersey. All the people here are perfectly eager to invite me out, and I always enjoy their company a lot, they are by no means distant. I realise, in retrospect, that I've been the distant one. I'm alone here. Happy, but alone. There's nothing wrong with that.
But of course, my time here is by no means over and everything here stated could change. I promised you a full disclosure and a full disclosure you have. Of course I've loved my time over here, and if given the chance I'd take it again. But I do miss my friends. Being back in Warwick and Jersey over the Christmas made me realise how much I miss them. Of course, the fantastic thing is I get to see them again, and regale them with tales of adventure and moose. If you are one of them, I'll see you very soon. If not, why haven't you introduced yourself to me?
Whoever you are, see you soon.