February

Feb. 27th, 2014 10:24 am
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Well, I have no idea where February went. I think I spent most of it working on my first ever Real Paid Translation, which is a short story by Ekuni Kaori, coming out in an anthology in May but (crucially) being used for an event at Tokyo Lit Fest later this week. I've been working on it every spare moment since I got the text in early February, and I've also been at the bookshop a lot and applying for jobs in Toronto and finding somebody to live in our house (Joe's brother is going to live in it! But he still needs to find somebody to live in the other bedroom). Last weekend we Had People Over for a readthrough, and nothing exploded and we did not run out of food, and it was really nice to see everybody. Now I wish we had Had People Over more often while we were based in London, but oh well (I just have a lot of friends who seem to enjoy hosting things much more than I do. Also (relatedly?) we never have any booze in the house).

Five weeks to go now. I have had to give up on driving-type stuff because thinking about driving tests on top of all the other stuff was making me feel actually properly mentally unwell (panic attacks! For the first time ever! Woo!). I am a little disappointed in myself for this, but I figure I don't *need* to have a driving license right now, and if I'm directing all my energy into being upset about driving then I won't have any left over for doing the stuff I do actually need to do, so I think it was the sensible choice. (don't ask me why driving upsets me so much. I haven't a clue. The parts that really upset me aren't even the reasonable parts, like 'I am travelling around in a machine that can kill people' or 'I am polluting the environment and generally making everything slightly worse for everybody who lives in this city'. I dislike the act of driving, but I think maybe the thing that really gets to me is that I could fail my test very easily through no fault of my own (because, FOR EXAMPLE, somebody broke down right in front of me on a dual carriageway and I copied what the other drivers around me were doing to get out of the situation - apparently had they all been on driving tests too they would have failed) and then have to put myself through *more* driving and *another* test, when all I really want is to just never drive anywhere, ever, unless I absolutely have to).
I think I'm going to try and learn in Canada, actually. It's significantly cheaper over there and I think driving will make more sense to me in a country that is more designed for cars. Also the testing system is different - there are two tests, but the first is only twenty minutes long and only tests you on the easy stuff, and if you pass that one you can rent cars and go on adventures, which is the only reason I really want to drive anyway.

Today I am filling in customs forms to make sure our three cardboard boxes of stuff get across the Atlantic and through customs safely. There's a lot that we're leaving behind and putting into storage, and it feels very weird and uncomfortable and final. Leaving the country when you're a proper grown-up with a partner and a house feels very different from leaving when you're twenty and used to shifting your possessions between home and university on a regular basis. I often think that really Joe and I have managed to get the worst of both worlds - we're grown-up enough that we have a lot of mutual possessions (and a house) to deal with and we can't just give notice to our landlord and set off free as birds, but also we aren't real grown-ups with employers who are paying relocation costs for us. Still, we are FINALLY LEAVING THE COUNTRY, so I can't get that upset.

I hope that somewhere in Canada turns out to be home, you know? Because London, while very nice, is not home, and my other UK options are quite limited (given that I work in publishing and I want to live somewhere with a decent-sized Jewish community. Oh, and also that Joe is a Londoner who pretty much doesn't see the point of living anywhere in the UK that isn't London!). I am trying not to hope too much, because although I know there is a route from where we are now to permanent residence I don't know if we'll manage to get on it (and it might vanish when we're halfway through, as [personal profile] kerrypolka's experience in the UK has taught me), and also we might not like Canada that much in the end anyway. But sometimes the hoping creeps up on me when I'm not thinking about it, and I'm surprised by how much I want it.

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December 2014

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