Do You Speak English?

31 07 2008

Winston Churchill once said that the Americans and British are two peoples separated by a common language. The more countries I visit, the more this seems to be true all over the globe. For better or worse, English has become the second language for most of the world.

However, I have found that an accent can make quite a difference.

About a year ago, my boyfriends rugby team was hosting a Welsh team. Obviously, after the rugby game ends its common practice to go out to a pub and celebrate with a few pints (this I think will ring true no matter where you are from). Growing up in Russia, I thought I was pretty decent at picking up linguistics and accents. Oh boy. I was wrong. I had absolutely NO clue what the conversation was going on about. I was definately pulling out the “smile and nod” strategy way more than necessary. Thinking back to this frightful (but very entertaining) night, I all of a sudden find myself a little jittery. Given – I’ll be living in London, not Wales, BUT the thought of not being able to uphold a full conversation in my native language is a bit odd, no?

Take for example: a fanny pack. A very common noun here in Canada, meaning nothing more than a pouch/wallet that you clip around your waist. I believe in England it is called a “butt pack” (confirm?). Harmless? No. Sources have told me that the word “fanny” in England actually means …ahem…a girls nether regions…ahem. Making the concept of a “fanny pack” something extremely odd and perverted.

My goal: to have my Londoner friends saying the word “eh” at the end of every sentence…If “eh” is, indeed, a word outside of Canada.

Don’t worry though, I’ll be bringing my jumpers and knickers in the boot of my bloody car.

*shoves you with elbow* Eh? Eh? Getting good, no?

Check out this VIDEO here. I need to hire her as my coach.

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I’ve Moved…Help Me!

30 07 2008

[Update]: Email is fixed thanks to the kind people at WordPress. Also, I pose a fifth question: Is it normal for the pictures on my posts just to randomly disappear sometimes and reappear magically?

I did it. I made the plunge into WordPress from Blogspot. And I must say I like it – minus a few things I just can’t figure out. Although I consider myself a kind of “cool techy geek,” I’m still kind of a noob at WordPress.

For one, why can I not seem to turn off the comment moderation? For two, what is that HTML code above the box where you can leave comments after the posts? (this one is making me angry…and you don’t want to make Anna angry. – that was a Hulk reference FYI) For three, since I was stupid and accidentally registered my email address as my work email it is not allowing me to switch back to my personal account (seeing as my work address expires as of tomorrow, you can sense my dilemma). I already switched my email once before and it worked fine, but it is not emailing me the confirmation link to my personal account. Please tell me that you are allowed to switch the email more than once. Please, Please, Please. For fourth (and final), is it possible to set my old blogspot page to automatically redirect peeps here?

I think that is all.

I promise I will write about actual meaningful things like travel and such tomorrow, but for now please allow me a day to get accustomed to WordPress. Much Love.





Should I Switch to WordPress?

29 07 2008

Yay or Ney?

Is WordPress better than Blogger?

I have been thinking lately that I should switch my site over from Blogger to WordPress, but for some reason there is still something holding me back.

There are a few reason I wanted to switch. First and foremost is that if I ever wanted to host my own website (depending on if people think I’m cool enough for them to read my blog..TBD), most hosts come with a WordPress 1-click install. WordPress also seems to have better layouts that allow for static pages and “prettier” themes. All in all it seems more user friendly.

I have had absolutely no issues with Blogger thus far (except for the AdSense not wanting to show up). I consider myself tech savvy enough to be able to make the transition relatively painless (as I can just redirect the blogspot page to the wordpress page). However, I do like that Blogger has the ability of storing pictures instead of just linking to them (or can you do that in WordPress now?) Also, spell checker is KEY.

So, I turn to you dear readers to help me answer this question. Why or why not should I switch to WordPress?





The Art of Packing, Unpacking and then Repacking Again

28 07 2008

My thought process:

Morning: “BoooOOooo-urns, I don’t want to go to work. These last 3 days are never going to end.”

Afternoon: “YAY! I only have to do this for another 3 days!”

Early Evening: “Packing?”

Evening (while looking at the catastrophic mess in my apt): “You mean I actually have to try to move all of this back into my folks house into my tiny little single sleeper room?”

Bedtime: “I’ll start tomorrow. There really isn’t THAT much stuff, right?”

Repeat.

I love living in downtown Toronto. Everything I could ever ask for is at my fingertips. There is a constant influx of people, a never ending list of new restaurants to try, a night life that will leave you asking for more, and enough shopping to leave you broke and penniless. It’s no wonder they call it “the mini New York.” I’ve lived here for about a little over a year now and I have not even begun to indulge in everything this beautiful city has to offer. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that I have mixed emotions about leaving it behind. I’m happy because I get to embark on a new journey (with a temporary 4 month layover at my folks house), and I’m sad because I have made so many close connections here with both the people and city. Even though I’m only moving an hour away, visiting it and living in it are two completely different things.

I think the biggest difference will be the energy. Toronto is young, vibrant and constantly moving. My home town is…well….none of those things. I’m from

Websters Falls - Dundas, Ontario

Dundas, a country town in which driving tractors instead of cars to high school was not uncommon. There are really only 2 things to do there: 1. retire (in a population of 20,000 we have around 6+ old age homes) or 2. get pregnant (we were mentioned once on David Letterman’s Top 10 for teenage pregnancy per capita. Thankfully, I managed to escape this statistic unscathed).

At least living in Dundas will give me plenty of time to unpack and then repack for my 2 week trip to Russia with my mother in September. Is packing really worth it then if all I’m going to do is repack again in another couple of weeks? Bah! I’m starting to dream about brown cardboard boxes! Not to mention that when I get back from Russia, I’m going to have to repack yet AGAIN for my transoceanic move!

What do I take? What do I leave behind? Do you think Luke will notice if I just slip another pair of shoes into that box over there? I often find that I convince myself that I will need to bring EVERYTHING I own with me. “Oooh, what is this miscellaneous item? I totally forgot I even had it. I’m bound to need it in England. ” [Puts in box] I am also finding that I get very attached to inanimate objects (sign of insanity maybe?). For example: the new tenant of my apartment has kindly offered me money for some of the furniture I own, including the air conditioner. Me talking to my air conditioner: “*cry* I’m sorry I have to leave you behind. I wish I could take you with me. *cry*”

I think I need to take the “maybe” out after “sign of insanity.”





Help Me Help You

27 07 2008

What makes readers actually want to read someone’s blog?

Whilst reading another fellow bloggers post, I realized that he hit the nail right on the head. Writing a blog is no easy task, let alone writing one that you think someone else is actually going to find interesting. I have so much that I want to say and write about, but what actually ends up on the screen is completely different than what I had originally intended.

It reminds me much of that “telephone” game that you have inevitably played as a kid. Chances are you know it. There are a line of people, the first person thinks of a sentence and whispers it to the next person and that person whispers the message into the next person’s ear and so on and so forth. The last person shouts out what they heard, which, idealistically, is the same as the original sentence. Of course, if you’ve ever played this game in North America, it’s done a little differently. If the first person starts by saying something like, “I see two watermelons,” this becomes “I see your daughter’s melons,” which somehow, by the end of it, becomes something completely different like, “Your mother is a whore.” It’s inevitable that the phrase or sentence is changed as it passes from ear to ear. It’s undeniably the best part of the game, or at least that’s the case in North America.

I’ve never prided myself in being an amazing writer. I need to find a way to convey not only my feelings and thoughts as I get ready to embark on my new adventure but I also want to make it enjoyable for others who want to follow along. I mean…I’m not a bad writer I suppose, but I’m all over the place. I tend to write as the thoughts flow through my mind. I need HELP!

So my question to you is, what do you like reading about? Is it humour that entices readers? Information? (although that could prove difficult as my trip hasn’t started yet. But, if you want to provide ME with information, please feel free.) How can I structure my posts to be more clear? Ideas? Comments? Suggestions? All are welcome.





A Love Letter

25 07 2008

Travel?

Are you there? Can you hear me?

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I’ve called you all those bad names – like expensive and lonely. I really didn’t mean it. I just wanted to let you know that I love you and that I can’t live without you.

As the days pass by my love for you continues to grow. We have spent many days together, both laughing and crying. You have always welcomed me with open arms and accepted my differences. You are the one I dream about.

I thought after I left you would fade away from my mind, but still everyday I think of our time together. I need you and I miss you when you’re gone. You are always in my mind and in my heart no matter the distance between us.

It’s been so long since we’ve reconnected. But I’m telling you now that the wait is over; I am ready to become a part of your life again just like you have always been a part of mine.

I promise to always love you.

Q: Does a traveler ever feel at “home” in any one place? Or are they always seeking the next adventure and reminiscing about the others?




Don’t Get Fired!

22 07 2008
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

in·spired
–adjective
1. aroused, animated, or imbued with the spirit to do something, by or as if by supernatural or divine influence
2. something of which I am not

Not by my current situation at least.

I have always been more of an “out the box” thinker. A “to-do” list always seemed to start well and fail, as I would never look at the page again after writing it. Class lecture notes inevitably had more scribbles and doodles on them than actual notes. My mind was always racing, always thinking. How could I escape “to-do” lists and not have to rely on anyones notes but my own? The answer was right there. Quit your job.

So I did.

Senioritis is apparently developed by showcasing a lack of motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school careers. Or in my case – my full-time career. Although I have already put in my notice of resignation it does not mean I am immune from being fired on the spot, without notice, without my 2 weeks, without being able to say my goodbyes. This is something I am trying to avoid, but as the days count down it is getting increasingly difficult. Today’s schedule consisted of the following: stroll in late, get a coffee, run into VP who knows you are currently playing hooky from a mandatory meeting, surf other travel blogs, send out a few work emails, conduct phone interview with my movie store manager (see: The Beginning of the End July 2008), answer another million questions about my decision to move abroad and try to prove to everyone around me that I am not experiencing a temporary episode of insanity. Whew. All in a days work.

There was once a time in which I wanted nothing more but to prove myself in the working world. Being a woman in business in tough. Don’t let anyone try to fool you by saying that equal opportunities are awarded now. Lies. Women still must work harder to earn respect. Maybe, that’s where my priorities changed. I was tired of trying to prove myself. Why can’t I just be satisfied in knowing that I AM good enough? At the end of the day I don’t want to wake up and think, “I made Company XYZ $1M!….now what?”

Instead, I want nothing more than to wake up in the morning, cuddle with my big stuffed red elephant (conveniently named Red Elephant), and not have to think anymore about that job that just doesn’t seem to want to end.

Q: Have you ever thought about switching career paths? What has stopped you?

P.S. I will be leaving questions related to my blog at the end of each posting. Feel free to post comments and discuss. I promise I’m not snobby and will read and try to respond to all of you.