Some Random Reasons to Stay Alive

Some Random Reasons to Stay Alive

To take a break from contemplating suicide, I thought I’d brainstorm some ideas to stay alive instead. That’s my notion of testing the power of positive psychology. I believe I’m doing it right, theoretically, but really, I’m not feeling it. Let’s go through the exercise though. Here’s a bunch of random reasons why avoid suicide.

  • People around me would be upset. (They say so, but they might only say so because it’s the right thing to say. They can’t very well tell me to go ahead and risk that I’ll take the advice.)
  • The tenants after me would have trouble cleaning. (I have no previous experience but I suspect that no matter how you do it, it’s bound to be messy. I certainly wouldn’t leave the flat for the occasion, I mean, one step at a time.)
  • The life you save might (not) be your own. (I was told I might live to make someone’s life less miserable. That’s doubtful. I can’t envision how I would help anyone else when I can’t help myself. But let’s keep the option open.)
Time’s ticking
  • I might live to accomplish something useful. (I don’t think so. I’m accomplishing things all the time but I have the unique skill of accomplishing shit that is ultimately perfectly useless.)
  • Other people have it worse, so I should be grateful. (Yeah, sure, but what if I’m not? How do you do grateful? Are there some exercises or something? Besides a gratitude journal, which I’m already keeping, and which clearly isn’t doing the trick.)
  • The cat would be sad. (This is actually legit. The cat would be pissed off and upset in equal proportions. This is probably it. I’d better stay alive because I have responsibility for the cat.)

Well, that didn’t go as expected. Apparently, I have one solid reason to live: the cat. That’s slightly disappointing, but I guess there are worse things and the cat and I should have about half a dozen of good years ahead. Provided that things go well (that is, not worse than the usual bad). What a cheerful post, isn’t it? With a happy ending though! (*Rainbows atop which unicorns are copulating to populate the earth manifest themselves in the sky.*)

My Translating Trick (Which Doesn’t Work)

My Translating Trick (Which Doesn’t Work)

When I’m translating and come across a specific term not listed in a general dictionary, I use Wikipedia. The same Wikipedia that I would tell my students never to use (or should they still feel the compulsion, to limit this activity to the privacy of their home, much like masturbation). I input the term in the English Wikipedia and then look for a Czech mutation of the page. Sometimes I get lucky and get a hit. More often I don’t get lucky, which is where mutations of the page in other languages come in.

First I check other Slavic languages, when available. Slovak is supposed to be the closest language to Czech, but it’s a lie. It has letter accents I don’t recognise and spellings which would be so wrong in Czech. The Slovak equivalent of the term I’m looking for is usually just a bunch of nonsense letters which don’t mean anything to me. Time for Polish, which is supposed to be pretty similar to Czech. Not really. Polish sounds like someone was poking fun at Czech.


In the depths of utmost despair, I turn to Russian. I learned Russian for a few years but what remains from my Russian is a few random words and a limited ability to read the Cyrillic alphabet. It looks like this: I read it out aloud, letter by letter, so that I could hear the result. I also tilt my head like a dog or an idiot because looking at print from an unnatural angle apparently facilitates reading. Typically I end up nodding my head, fascinated but not enlightened.

For the sake of practice, I sometimes skim what other languages are available and click randomly for possible inspiration. Sometimes there’s a version in Latin. What the heck. Are these the Middle Ages? There are also African languages, which I’m sure are thrilling, but not particularly helpful. What’s missing is Klingon. That might have been useful. If you have a more intelligent and effective method for tackling terms in translation, do tell me please.

What a Slavic Girl Wants

What a Slavic Girl Wants

The Slavic girl in the title of the post is me (Heyou!). I have no clue what I want, so you’d be silly to take the following seriously. On top of it, it’s all plagiarised. How so? I came across a new blog the other day with a wonderful click-bait of a page entitled My Girlfriend. Being a creep who’s curious about other people’s girlfriends, I naturally headed there first. Oops though. It threw Error 404! I mean, it literally threw Girlfriend Not Found. Being a person with a perverted sense of humour, I collapsed in convulsions of laughter. I thought this was so brilliant I had to steal the idea. Therewith I declare an advertisement for a boyfriend.

Here’s a (long) list of my demands. You won’t like them. You don’t have to like them though because it’s all hypothetical! However, I’m hypothetically holding your kitten hostage, so your protocol had better comply. Interested candidates may apply in the comments below and must enclose their CV, cover letter and recent photo (preferably fully dressed). No kidding. This is a serious long-term job interview! As to what’s in it for you, besides the kick out of it, this is not the subject of the current post (ha!). So keep your pants on (also literally).

Gutter to go with my gutter post

The ideal acceptable candidate includes but is not limited to the following features:

  • You gotta be fierce. This is Eastern Europe, and all they say is true (remind me to blog about the cute quirks of local organised crime). No need to wield the sword (so analog), but an ability to use the knife (or a shank) is essential. Your duties will involve, knife-wise, killing, gutting and cooking a carp with your own hands each year at Christmas Eve (that’s what we do here for Christmas, perfectly normal).
  • You gotta know your shit (not to be confused with You gotta know you’re shit). I’ve spent enough time teaching to know that instructing people is a loss of time because they’ll go and do the opposite of what you advise. (People are weird, no? Bonus points if you agree.) Clairvoyance and mind reading skills are not required (because duh, let’s keep it real). Ability to Google is presumed in the successful candidate.
  • Your cat must not hate my cat (my cat hates everyone, so she’s no issue). It is not necessary to own a cat of your own (or be owned by a cat), however, high cat tolerance is crucial. Be advised (which you won’t be because see above for People are weird), anyway, be aware that I’ll probably like my cat better than you (but I like nothing really, so I’m no issue). However, as a gesture of goodwill, I am ready to negotiate and possibly surrender the half of the bed currently used by the cat for the sole use of the successful candidate (the cat must not be harmed in the process).

Okay, I think the above terms and conditions already disqualify about 99% of people (50% of which are already disqualified by virtue of their gender), so let’s call it a day for the first round. Also, as is fashionable to state in a footnote, I’m an equal opportunity employer (I don’t even know what that means, besides declaring not to discriminate openly but shadily instead. Also, are you even allowed to be discriminate in picking a partner these days? I’m concerned it’s not politically correct! Of course, I’m always concerned, so I don’t count).

The main and most important point being: a huge thanks to Shibin for the post inspiration! With hopes you’ll soon get that error fixed, man.

My Corkscrew Got Screwed Up; or, The Worst Christmas Ever

My Corkscrew Got Screwed Up; or, The Worst Christmas Ever

A day before Christmas, something terrible had happened. My corkscrew got screwed – in a bad way – it broke into two pieces as I was diligently applying it to a bottle. I was left in an even worse way, with the prospect of holiday without wine. Fortunately, there was still slivovitz.

A few days later, as I ran out of slivovitz (the horror, the horror!), it occurred to me that I could claim warranty for my newish but already deadish corkscrew. (Also, I switched to rum.) I emailed to my supplier of screws, attaching a graphic image of the subject’s dead body as it was left on the crime scene. I suggested that due to the nature of the damage, I deemed it unnecessary to send the product back.

The crime scene
The crime scene

The seller responded with what looked like an automated reply, requesting that I return the faulty product, fill in the attached form and add a detailed description of what the problem is. (At the point the problem was that I ran out of rum.) The next day, I faced the depressive absence of alcohol in the house, but for an unopened bottle of wine. With determination, I set out to describe my problem in the form provided.

Lacking the booze muse, I hesitated what to write in the MALFUNCTION SPECIFICATION field. It seemed obvious: It’s broken. But I don’t like stating the obvious, plus I don’t want the seller to think that I approach my claim with less than dead seriousness. After all, the corkscrew is dead, Jim.

I was thinking of approaching a technical specialist to help me write my complaint: The product manifests a severe failure of structural integrity when due force (F; also, may the force be with me) of x Newton (N) was applied and caused axis y to detach itself from axis x, the latter of which collapsed, resulting in the absolute annihilation of the product. 

At least that’s what I imagine are scientific terms for the colloquial observation that the corkscrew broke into the handle and the screw (plus the cork, still impaled on it). The screw would make a great prison shank. Regrettably, I’m currently not looking to go in jail. The complaint form remains as yet uncompleted, and I welcome informed advice on how to go about it.


That’s not the end of the story though. Today I was feeling inadvisably crafty and set my mind on creating a home-made corkscrew. What I used: the spiral from the broken screw, a double wrench (size 16 and 17) and some string. How I did that: I tied the corkscrew spiral to the wrench with the string. Did it work: no. So now what: I just pushed the cork into the bottle. Who cares about bits of cork in the wine.


Box It; or, Organising with the Mara Method

Recently I read an interesting post on My Messy World about organising with the Konmari Method. When I saw that Karla used Curver boxes to store her things, I felt compelled to come out to her as an organising freak, Curver ware fan and general box lover. (I love boxes even more than my cat does, which is a lot.)

Not knowing what she was asking for, Karla suggested that I share my own ideas for organising. In keeping with the mood of the Boxing Day, here’s my own take on it. It’s organising with the Mara Method, or, when in doubt, box it.

While this is not a sponsored post, I encourage the Curver manufacturer to pay me for this endorsement – preferably with boxes. Also, if you wish to use a free version of the box-it method, cardboard boxes will do just fine. Though the images below may be misleading, please note that a cat is not required for the Mara Method.

Weird Czech Seasonal Traditions; or, Carp in the Bathtub

Weird Czech Seasonal Traditions; or, Carp in the Bathtub

Unless you’re Czech, you’ll be surprised to find that we Czechs have one of the weirdest sets of Christmas traditions ever. They range from tampering with dangerous chemicals (lead pouring), through animal cruelty (carp in the bathtub), to becoming a Christian for one day (atheists attending the midnight mass).

Preparations for Day C aka Christmas Day start with attending a local fair. Here, one gets drunk on mulled wine and mead in plastic cups, eats lángos and crepes with frozen fingers (the fingers are not eaten, but eaten with) and, above all, gets oneself a carp. Now, carp is not slang for a hangover, but the kind of fish that is served with potato salad as the traditional Christmas Eve dish. The catch is that the carp should be obtained live and kept as a pet for a few days, usually in the bathtub (jokes aside, we seriously do this). On the Christmas Morn, the man slays the carp with a mallet for the woman to cook. Alternately, the children take the carp to release it in a river or pond, where it probably dies of thermal shock, while the family dines on fish fingers.

Below is a clip from a classic Czech film, Cosy Dens (Pelíšky, 1999), showing a drunken bet of two brothers competing who can hold his breath longer – and using a bathtub with a carp swimming around in it.

The Christmas Day itself is associated with a number of curious and often apparently pointless rituals. One should starve until the dinner in order to see a golden pig (again, serious). The tradition does not mention what the point of hallucinating a golden pig is. Provided that you observe another Christmas tradition, lead pouring, you could however incur lead poisoning and easily see all kinds of animals as a result. As I never practised lead pouring, I can only speculate that one procures lead on the dark net in order to melt it, pour it in cold water and then guess what shape it is when the lead solidifies. It is not known what this potentially Freudian ritual is intended for, besides revealing one’s dark desires and blaming it on the lead.

Numerous traditions are connected to young girls, whose chief wish for Christmas was supposed to be to secure a husband. An unmarried girl could throw shoes on the Christmas Day, which is different from throwing tantrums in that if the thrown shoe pointed to the door, the girl could hope to be married within a year. It is advisable to remove pets and family members from the door area before attempting the throw and, as a safety precaution, to throw slippers rather than stilettoes. Village girls could also go out in the fields, holler magic formulas and wait from which direction the first dog responds. The girl would be married in that direction (not to that dog, presumably).

A short clip from Cosy Dens again, showing the most popular seasonal tradition: booze.

Many rituals are designed to find out whether a person will live or die anytime soon. An apple would be sliced into halves for each family member, and when the apple seeds formed a star, the person would live, but when a cross showed, the person was as good as dead. This can be rather easily cheated by using good-looking, healthy apples for the slicing. Also, what a waste of a good apple, because who would eat apples where there’s fried fish and baked sweets.

The same slicing could be done to walnuts as well, and the shells would then be equipped with a lit candle for a sail and floated in the basin. For those who are not crafty, like me, floating candles do the same service. When the nut ship stays at the edge, its owner will stay at home; when the ship sails to the middle, the person will become an immigrant. Sadly, the tradition doesn’t specify what happens to the person whose ships sinks in the harbour, as is usually my case.

For the Christmas dinner, a scale or two from the carp are put under the plate to ensure that money will stick to the eater as scales stick to the carp and that there will be as much of it. The dinner itself is a quick business since after the dinner, there come the presents. The father rings a bell, which means that the present planting is done with, and everyone lays siege to the Christmas tree. Presents are distributed by Baby Jesus Schrödinger-style. The baby, just delivered, simultaneously lies in its crib in the nativity scene and tours Eastern Europe, of all places, to forward its own unwanted gifts (now I’m fabricating a little, but Baby Jesus does deliver presents here).

Below is a YouTube for the classic Czech version of Cinderella (Popelka, 1973) with English subtitles.

Once the presents are unwrapped, the telly goes on with the obligatory Cinderella shown on multiple channels. After that, the nice things are over and it’s time for serious business. All mobile family members gather to take a stroll at the cemetery, lighting candles for their deceased. Cemeteries on Christmas Eve are real fire hazard. Finally, the Czechs, statistically proven to be the least religious nation in Europe, attend the Catholic midnight mass. The phenomenon of church attendance at Christmas remains a mystery of faith. However, faithful to the stats ranking the Czech Republic as the topmost country in the world in the consumption of beer per capita, after all the freezing at the cemetery and the church, we go home, grab a bottle and go to bed.

Troubles with Trains, Tribbles and the Whole Universe

Troubles with Trains, Tribbles and the Whole Universe

It’s become a tradition to begin my travel posts with how much I hate travelling. Much to the despair of my cat and more to my own despair, I travel quite a bit. My latest achievement is a completed business trip to Gdansk, Poland, which took twelve hours on the train, and which I survived. I can’t say I survived unharmed.

Three-quarters into the return journey from Gdansk, the train waited in a random station for one hour. Allegedly, the scheduled stop served the mechanics to swap the train engine. I believe that it mostly served the train driver to take a coffee and cigarette break. I joined him, wondering if only staff or also weary travellers are exempted from the smoking ban at the platform. Anticlimactically, there was no one to enforce the law.

As I was getting back on the train, I failed to mind the gap between the carriage and the platform. I fell literally under the train. In shock rather than pain, I climbed up unassisted and was relieved to find that I neither tore my new jeggings nor scratched my favourite boots. I was less satisfied later at home when I stripped and discovered that my leg was swollen and badly bruised. The bruise isn’t going away, but I’m proud to provide the canvas for a colourful work of art.

My next trip was supposed to be a straightforward three-hour stint on a train from point B to point A. However, this is where point C comes in. The trip was doomed from the start, and the universe let me know by preventing my morning alarm from ringing. I woke up an hour later, got bravely ready in half my usual time and off to the train station I ran. The train was forty-five minutes late.

Still not listening to the universe, because who’d believe in such nonsense, I dragged myself and my belongings to the platform as swiftly as I could when the arrival of the train was announced. I double-checked the platform number, minded the gap between the train and the platform and hopped in the carriage. It was a train to point C.

I thought it curious that the seating layout of the train was completely remade since I last saw it, and it was no improvement. I had trouble finding my business class compartment. I walked the length of the train up to the engine, but my seat failed to materialise. With trust, I approached for directions a stiff staff member in a starched uniform. I presented my ticket and seat reservation.

The uniform inspected my ticket with confusion. “What’s that?” he inquired. “What’s what?” I inquired. The man stared. I stared. It was beginning to dawn on me. “Don’t dare to tell me I’m on the wrong train,” I begged. “You’re not only on the wrong train, you’re in the wrong direction with a wrong company, lady.” The man was merciless. I screamed.

The man far from politely suggested that I step aside BECAUSE WE AREN’T DISCUSSING THIS IN THE FIRST CLASS. In the aisle in between the carriages, I went on screaming inwardly and cursing trains, travelling, tribbles, the system, the president and the whole universe. After I finished banging my head against the toilet door, I asked the uninvolved uniform what he was going to do with me. As if I weren’t sufficiently punished for my idiocy already.

I was sold a ticket to the nearest station for double the price, seated in a quiet compartment and warned to keep my mouth shut. No phone calls, not even one call to my lawyer, whom I don’t have anyway. The nearest station was an hour away. While I did allow sufficient time to get in my destination, I didn’t count in a pleasure trip in the opposite direction and back. The original trip was now off.

I considered throwing myself under a train Anna Karenina-style, but I decided it would be reckless towards fellow travellers who could still get in their destinations in time. So on returning to my starting point, I limped home, much to the satisfaction of the cat. As a cute coda to a lovely day, I proceeded to break a website I’m working on and lock myself out of admin. Within a few days, also the mystery of my malfunctioning phone alarm was explained, when my phone collapsed entirely. What a delightful time. I blame the tribbles.

A Vignette from the (Un)employment Agency

A Vignette from the (Un)employment Agency

When I discovered that life was tough, that the system was sick and that no ordinary gainful employment could possibly support a single person living alone in a rented flat, I put my self-respect away to join the skeletons in the closet and went to give myself in at the local employment agency. The institution’s building is a fine example of brutalist architecture, probably designed so as to discourage job seekers from seeking support. Lining the entrance are sickly blue boards advertising employment opportunities. Huddled around them are the smoking and spitting unemployed themselves. Running to and fro and screaming at the top of their lungs are unattended children. I joined the queue, conspicuously well-dressed and with my hair and make-up done, and lit a cigarette to blend in.

The crowded hall of the building branched into several corridors and cupboards with desks staffed by the grumpy looking employed. I couldn’t decide if I required employment assistance, social benefits advice, material deprivation aid or a combination thereof. Most people queued at a desk ambiguously signposted as Information. One can never have too much information, so I joined in. Equipped with a file case of filled-in forms which took me about a week to research and complete, I approached the deeply frowning clerk whose substantial upper body protruded threateningly from behind the safety glass. I opened my mouth to speak, breathed in the unhealthy air and fell into a coughing fit. Convulsing with cough, I handed the clerk my paperwork. Unimpressed, she leafed silently through my forms, added a bunch of more on top of them and gestured me away with disgust.

Inexperienced in the inscrutable ways of the system, I failed to bring my own pen. Finding an available pen in the employment agency is even less likely than finding an employment vacancy there. I scurried through the corridors haunted by ghosts of the unemployed past, present and future, and found nothing. Reduced to begging for a pen from the bulky lady whom I coughed at, I humbly curled into a meek ball of wool – since I was wearing my woollen coat – and asked submissively, Could I please borrow a pen? A red vein the size of the Amazon river popped out on the woman’s forehead. BUT.YOU.MUST.RETURN.IT!! she yelled forbiddingly. I carried my prized possession pressed against my woollen heart away into a nook in the corridor, wary lest someone should rob me of it.

I filled in the forms with considerable effort and re-joined the happy hour queue only to notice that the vein woman was kindly filling in forms for a middle-aged male applicant. Maybe she’s misogynist. Or maybe the man is illiterate. Or maybe everything is all right but she just hates me. I re-approached the clerk and returned the pen the first thing, on which she let out a satisfied low grunt. She immersed herself into the mountain of papers the size of Mount Everest. Without looking up, she barked questioningly, Computers? – I stared. Computers? I vaguely echoed, losing it. – Can you work with computers? the woman gave me an impatient deadly look. – Huh, yes, I guess, I ventured. She scribbled into the special skills field: COMPUTERS. I didn’t realise that computers were such a highly marketable skill.

The dog woman handed me the unemployed ID card and forwarded me to another desk. There ensued another happy hour wait in the dimly lit corridor full of coughing people – since the winter is coming. Despite the cold, ceiling fans were on full blast in the building, probably to prevent people from suffocating in the packed place. Then I was admitted to a small office seating two clerks at one table. The unemployed sitting next to me was just in the middle of performing a dramatic story of his severe allergic reaction to the packing material in the business where he worked, for which reasons he quit the job. His clerk looked unsympathetic, but mine looked positively murderous. I think people hate me. My clerk glanced at my papers, dissatisfied. He processed the forms I got and procured another series for me to fill in. Take it home and come on Tuesday at 9:20, he advised. And so I went.

In a Morbid Vein: About Undertakers

In a Morbid Vein: About Undertakers

Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain.
–John Keats

Like John Keats, I’ve been thinking about ceasing and expiring a lot these days. After some twenty-five years spent successively at school, college and university, I ceased to be a proper student. It’s not that I’ve become improper. But I handed in my dissertation and am waiting for the board of aldermen to pretend they’ve read it and put me on trial for it. It’s called the dissertation defence. I have also ceased to be a usable workforce at my department. Since I no more figure as a regular student, they would have to pay taxes for my work. That clearly wouldn’t pay off. Now that I’m irregular, I’m paying my taxes myself. That doesn’t pay off either.

Also, as to expiring, the milk in the fridge expired. It brought about a deeply metaphysical experience when I went out with the milk carton to put it in the bin. Otherwise I’m not going out, in the sense of being romantically involved, with a carton. Unless… Forget it. Hand in hand with the milk carton, I went past a somewhat randomly parked black van in the street. Who would paint a van black, I was thinking, it looks like a hearse! Then I noticed the golden lettering on the driver’s door. In this case, mission accomplished, it was an actual hearse that looked like hearse.

Though I’m dead inside, I’m not comfortable around death. Still, I take perverse delight in morbidity, so I examined the van carefully. I suspected it could be undercover cops or a disguised armoury on wheels. I think I watch too much TV. The back door of the hearse was gaping open to confirm that it was, indeed, a hearse. Two narrow metal trays were protruding from the back of it. The dead must be extremely uncomfortable lying in there.

Talking about the dead reminds me of my dad. He’s not dead, but dad sounds like dead. I also used to believe that my father was an undertaker. That’s what happens in beginners English classes at school when one translates the phrase private businessman from my language into English literally. I’m about to become this kind of undertaker myself. I wish I had paid more attention when my father taught me about tunnelling. Not the tunnel digging kind but the fraud kind. While it is somewhat illegitimate, it was a legitimate part of the post-communist culture when I was a kid. I naturally deny any knowledge of such activities.

Another part of my childhood was the advent of commercial TV and of music videos. In keeping with the cheerful note of this post, let’s watch one of the most popular music clips in my country when I was growing up. It might explain a thing or two. It’s called ‘The Undertaker’ and bemoans the arrival of cremation, which takes away jobs from honest grave diggers. It features the characters of an undertaker as undertaker and an undertaker as a private businessman. Here you go.

From Academia to Actual Life; or, The Downward Spiral

From Academia to Actual Life; or, The Downward Spiral

I waited for five years to start serious work on my dissertation. During that time, I became chums with the dean, since I was constantly writing him requests for the extension of my studies. My department was well pleased with the extensions because a student proofreading and editing workforce can be more easily underpaid and overworked than a regular employer. Fair enough. As my fifth year of studies drew to its close, I inquired when the date was set for submitting one’s dissertation. There was no date set, but the committee board was kind enough to contrive a random date for me. This happened to be about a month or two earlier than I reasonably expected. Serve me well for asking.

While I optimistically assumed that there would come the time when I’d be ready to write my 120-page manuscript, it turned out that one was never ready. With the deadline looming in two months, I gathered my research so far and discovered that only my reading notes would provide material enough for several full-length books. Even if boring ones. The idea of a dissertation is to have a main idea called the thesis. It’s rather hard to find a solid main idea in literature, unless the idea is that the writers write. Not much of an original thesis. Equally difficult was to determine the purpose of the dissertation. Besides getting a doctorate, a dissertation in literature obviously has no practical purpose.

To cheer myself up, I paid a social visit to the head of the department to inquire if she’s keeping me as a department member after I graduate. She isn’t, because to get a position in literature, someone has to die to vacate the place, and as to proofreading, the department does not wish to go this way. The latter argument comes across as hilarious: obviously, a proofreader is least wanted at a department dealing with languages and literatures. Perhaps I should try a department of nuclear science. I could proofread their formulas. The news from the department head was slightly in odds with the informal communications I had been receiving from other department members, who expressed their hope that I would like to stay with them in future.

Thus reassured of the pointlessness of my undertaking, I proceeded to painstakingly craft my dissertation. I did not deceive myself in thinking that the examination committee would actually read the piece, but they are sure enough to open it at a random page and tear it into pieces. Not literally, but literary. Curiously, I reached the target page count a week before the deadline. That shocked me out of my senses. I expected to be finishing the morning of the deadline day and having the work bound in hardcover, as required, by using an extra special extra super extra hot extra fast binding service and paying a week’s wages for it. Instead, I casually strolled to the shop and had my order ready three days before the deadline.

Meanwhile, my job hunt wasn’t going well. I applied for several academic positions, all of which required a PhD or a soon completion thereof but for some reason wouldn’t take my promise of graduating soon too seriously. I don’t blame them. Some potential employers abroad were bluntly racist in demanding a previous knowledge of the language of the country, presumably because they wish to teach English literature in a language other than English, so abiding by the laws of logic. It’s not really racist, but it’s languageist for sure. At an interview for an English teaching position in a commutable distance from my home, my academic me was confronted with the actual world. I incurred a few bumps and a lapse back to my smoking habit when I realised that no job in public education would earn me enough to cover the elementary living expenses. This particular job would pay the rent and the commute. But I’m not sure that I can stop eating.

I was chuckling when leaving the interview room because, apart from its being admittedly inconvenient, it’s quite funny how things fail to work. So far, I’m failing to work as well, and I’m looking forward to visiting the labour exchange the first thing in their office hours. Of course, I don’t suspect that they would get me a job, but I expect to have a lot of fun face in face with the clerk. I enjoy not working for a while, but it’s a lot of work to look for work, it’s even more work than an actual work. Besides working on finding a work, I’m working on my own work, which is the implementation of a free-lancing plan. I figure I might just as well be a starving free-lancer in the comfort of my home rather than a starving employee in the friendly and dynamic working environment of a supermarket chain. I’ll keep you posted!