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sh!thawks...on parade: 08.2008

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so before i left to go venture around south asia for four months, i phoned Bell to see if i could suspend my account because 1) I was not taking my phone with me, 2) like 80% if the rest of the world uses GSM and not CDMA and 3) i'm not paying four months of international talk time. i was told 'no sorry, you can't suspend it.' this was kind of annoying because if my phone is basically sitting in a dark room, turned off for the duration, why the hell should I have to pay for air time on it? so after some grumbling with/at the customer service rep i knocked my plan down to whatever the cheapest Bell plan was. so like $20 a month on paper, but then you add on all those stupid charges that exist for some reason but no one really knows what they're for (ie. system access fee? wtf, come on get real, as if it really costs that much for people use your fucking network...) so it's probably around $35. anyway, Customer Service Lady says to me that after I get back all I have to do is redo whatever plan I want. Right. Understood. leave the phone off on the smallest plan you have, get back and feel free to revamp it anyway you choose. gotcha.
anyway, skip forward past the four months where i bought a quad band gsm phone that I could use for $12 a month with unlimited data usage and 1000 minutes of talk time...
i went over to park royal today in a new Ford Edge with Everlast on repeat... to see if I could switch to a plan that isn't costing me incoming AND outgoing texts (this should probably be illegal cause the rest of the world doesn't know what you mean when you say 'pay for sms'), get me some decent minutes and some of those unlimited fave things.
so i ask to switch to the $40 Student Plan cause you get ten numbers of unlimited with long distance (key), message center and call display.
"no, sorry, you can't do that. we have our regular fab five you can have."
i'm sorry, what? why not?
"you're not in the last twelve months of your contract."
yes, but I'm a student and I want the Student Plan. And really, what's the difference between the two?
"well, with the student plan you get ten numbers instead of five."
um, yeah, I got that. what else?
"that's it."
thus the whole "i was in south asia for four months and this is what i was told before I left" thing, which gets you "oh, well, you'll have to call customer service about that, but they're closed today."
thus begat the walking around the mall looking at other carriers, who, unfortunately were rife with salespeople just as stupid and unhelpful.
actually, the funniest guy was the dude at Fido who didn't really know how to respond when I asked if I could get the iPhone on their super cheap monthly deal. and he was like "well yeah..."and then looked all panicked and was like "butyouneedadataplan!" and i was like "um, no i don't" and then he was like "oh, right, page view is like $20 and we have per second billing." it's as if no one in the store ever thought that anyone wold use the iPhone to actually make phone calls. he also recommened the iPhone over the Instinct because 'something about windows mobile' to which the easy response was 'it doesn't run on a Windows OS.' wow cellular industry, you really pick the cream of the crop to be your faithful representatives...

go swallow a knife, I hate you.

however, thanks to people with connections i should be able to get that student plan. mayhaps even rock a new phone for the fucking inconviences they seem to have just decided to throw my way.

let's do the spoon in the dishwasher!

and now for your viewing (dis)pleasure, I give you a 1/3 Bangladeshi cover of John Denver's 'Country Roads' performed 2/3 unwillingly in front of a tent full of rotary club members in a far off land...

some may ask whether we performed this in an honest attempt to sound halfway decent, or if, since it is John Denver and is therefore terrible, as a complete joke and felt no guilt whatsoever at hitting very very very wrong notes.

I leave it to you, the audience, to decide.

let's do the fork in the garbage disposal!


september 10 is going to be a good day for my larger part of an inner geek to celebrate and do a happy dance. why, you might ask? well, alow me to inform you of the awesomeness of said aforementioned day.
you see, on that day not only does the third installment of the Marvel Dark Tower series come out, but the new addition to the King/Marvel universe comes out with The Stand. im almost tempted to see if GoldenAge is doing the midnight release. if not, im so pre-ordering those. or at least going in early in the morning to make sure i get copies. screw that crap about only getting the 2nd printing variants. originals is what the people want!
class starts on tuesday. sort of. we get to orient the new people. last year people thought i had my camera with me a lot and that was a point and shoot. yeah. they're gonna groan audibly when i put down an entire camera bag full of lenses. wikid.
i still dont think im back to a regular sleeping pattern. gotta work on that.

but it wasn't a lobster...rock...

headed over to the Italian Dwelling last night for some welcome back drinks with The Bride, The Groom, Dario, Marlee, Ophelia and Steve.
you know you're in good company and having a good time when people openly say "YOU COULD HAVE AT LEAST FISTED HER ASS!"


good to be back.

no you get inside it


chad points out why the Irish are gay. however, this phenomenon seems to be spreading throughout the nations and people of the UK as is plainly seen here:



wide angle lenses are fucking rad. especially when you use them for close up shots of things and you get that kind of warped feeling to the picture.
i had what amounted to the shittiest sleep in the last four months last night. I had to spend most of the day running around doing stuff so i never really had a chance to just veg out and relax. i had to run up to SFU this morning to get some loan stuff out of the way so hopefully the government decides to give me some more money so i can eat as well as go to class. i mean, i could try to subsist off Tim Horton's gift cards, but I don't think you get your daily nutritional requirements that way.
i filled up a big garbage bag full of clothes i dont need and now i have to see if my landlord can take them to the goodwill.
since ive gotten back it seems like the last four months were kind of some strange dream. it's weird. it doesn't feel like i was there, but then there's this huge four month gap where my head is like, wll where the hell were you then? and i'll walk around and see things that everyone just thinks are normal but now they just seem completely unecessary to me.
i also decided that most people who spend their time in metrotown are a complete waste of space who don't contribute anything except stupidity and ignorance about the world around them. im pretty sure that, much like the rows upon rows upon rows of shit you see in a store like sears that you could without half of, much the same could be said for a lot of people. if your contribution to the world consists of wearing your hat sideways and tugging up your baggy clothes while you prance around in front of the Burger King in the food court, fucking go home and leave the rest of the world alone so it doesn't have to deal with your idiocy.
i saw some trailer trash bitch at superstore the other day eating candy out of the bulk bins and i felt like going over to her and smacking her upside the head and screaming that it's a good thing she lives in a society that doesnt care if you take one piece of candy from the bin cause that way you have no fucking idea of what kind of trouble a lot of people in the world have to go through to even be able to afford a small handful of what you just felt like taking without justification.
maybe im having a little more trouble readjusting than i thought...

everday essential hangers


so i didnt really get jet lag too too bad. i mean, yeah im tired, and yeah im totally crashing right now, but still, I'm not sleeping for two days straight or anything.
i have to go deal with some student loan stuff tomorrow then i think im going to come home and clean stuff up. im going to go get some big garbage bags and fill them with stuff i dont need/use anymore and see if my landlord can drop it off at the goodwill or slavation army or something. i need the space, and there's lots of good clothes that i dont wear anymore that other people can use. i dont have a lot of storage space in here cause i dont have the big room, so i kind of have to pile things on lots of other things in a way that wont make everything tumble over and make a huge mess.
i should get a cheap shelf thing or something...
friday night has been designated as my return from abroad celebration. i foresee me getting nice and happy on very little alcohol seeing as how ive hardly had any in four months in addition to the weight i lost. i checked today, im back around 134. lame. i hit 150 right before i left. now i have to get back up there.

who took my chocolate?


foreigners are right, Canada is fucking cold. it's august, so why does it feel like the end of October?
gonna go hit up Lonsdale Quay later for fish and chips.
then i should probably clean up my room at some point....
k, breakfast time.

lagging to the jetting


back home. im not entirely sure what day it is. i know it's the 25th, but i don't know what day it feels like. i've seen the day three times and the night twice in the last day and a half. cool, but kind of fucked.
66 kilos is about the total amount i brought back.
i spend my layover in hong kong endlessly walking around in a big circle. i think i managed to sleep a bit on the way back to vancouver. i must have cause i didnt get any dinner. pretty sure i smelled it though.
now my room is a huge pile of unpacking.
i have to find my UPass cause i dont have any change for the bus for the next few days. unless they take taka or hong kong dollah.
my phone still had a full charge on it four months later.
now im going to move unpacking pile from the top of my bed to the floor and sleep.

suited down


hong kong. im sitting across from a Swarovski store. i can already tell that my circadian rhythm is getting slapped in the face. im tired, but probably not as tired as I should be seeing as how in the last 48 hours ive had about 6 hours of sleep.
i sat next ti a bangladeshi guy on the way from Dhaka who just barely understood the concept of personal space. not that that's something you can really expect too much from when you fly in the cheap seats but whatevs.
i have real wireless for the first time in four months here. however, there are several wireless signals you can use here but there's a catch. im rocking the free wifi. it's the slow wifi. i could pay for the fast wifi, but i dont feel like it. im pretty happy that i can run three windows in firefox without completely fucking over my connection. that would have made my internet explode in dhaka.
there are a lot of aussies in this airport. there's a lot of asian people. redundant statement, i know. but seeing as how i basically saw all of two koreans this summer and was amazed whenever i saw another white person walking around, it's a bit of a relief. is that the right word? im not sure. i kept expecting to be floored by the different types of people and cleanliness here. kind of like when i went to that Bally Sagoo party in June and had backwards culture shock.
s'all good so far.
you know what else is a relief? chicks in shorts and summer dresses. as much as the Bangladeshi guys think a Salwar Kameez can show off a figure...yeah, no, sorry.
five hours until my next flight.
im going to go get some food and then bask in the overtly commercialized shops conveniently placed next to the departure area.
maybe nap too, we'll see.

asian chicks and short shorts


i remember sitting on the edge of the roof of Shrum when i took this picture, and i remember thinking that it'd be a cool picture and please please please dont fall off the roof. this was at the tail end of a week where I never went downtown all week until friday and found out that the brilliant, blue sky that had graced all us mountain dwellers for five days was not shared with the rest of Metro Van. an ocean of clouds at our feet for the taking. everett and i stood on that roof for about two hours taking pictures. an island of clarity over a sea of rain so low to the ground it didn't need to fall.
i tell people about that day all the time.

it's already the 23rd. strange to say. it kind of tumbles around the tongue and doesn't seem to make any sense to me even though I know I'm the one saying it. by 10pm tomorrow I'll be setting my bags down in front of the check in counter at Zia International and heading back home. i started packing already. i want to have most of that done by tonight so i dont have to bother with it tomorrow.

yesterday was a Led Zeppelin day. today is a Grateful Dead day.

not really sure where this is going, cant seem to keep any thought in my head long enough to make it have any importance.

im going to try to get a bunch of pictures up on my flickr in Hong Kong where hopefully the airport wireless is actually high speed.

that said, see you in two days.

just a box of rain


i really want to know who decides what parts of the Olympics are going to be broadcast. like really, say you're watching the Italy vs Poland volleyball quarterfinal and the game is insanely good, and Poland forces a fifth set, and right after they win the fourth set whoever is in charge of the channel decides "hey! I've got a brilliant idea! let's switch our coverage to rhythmic gymnastics instead!"


seriously, you pull away from an incredible match between Italy and Poland to show something that is more ballet than a sport. someone tell me how rhythmic gymnastics counts as a sport and not dance. I'm sorry, but I don't count doing the splits three times in the air (I counted) while you twirl a hula hoop for ten seconds and do the dance from the Nutcracker as a sport. also, isn't the fact that they allow dance troupes to perform while the main performer doesn't even handle the 'apparatus' somewhat detrimental to the legitimacy of that as a sport?

luckily the somewhat more reliable Indian sports channel stayed with the volleyball match, which was infinitely better than watching someone twirl ticker tape through the air on the end of a stick.

i finished marking my exams, now i have to move on to the ones that were not my students that i was handed with no consultation and have not been given an answer key to. therefore, as this is seemingly being left up to my own judgment as to how I should mark them, and that no clear instructions were organized or given to me in any way by the teacher of said exams, I feel no guilt whatsoever at being a hardass marker. if the uni admins wants to know why their marks are so low, they can take it up with the prof who fucked off early to go snorkeling and left a huge fucking mess behind.

bear weight is furry

i've waded through more water in the last twenty four hours than i have in the last four months and really, the only thing you can think when you have to do that is 'man, i hope that smell isn't from a sewer pipe that's busted...' ok, here's an idea of what you have to walk through here. you know whenever you see things about waste water treatment plants and there's always that gross grey looking water that you look at and figure it's pretty fucking nasty? yeah. that grey.
yeah, my sandals are definitely getting the bleach treatment pre-packing.
i went down to Gulshan today with Nick to grab lunch at the Westin cause we can and then secured some all important type of gift that is slightly necessary, then picked up a new, big suitcase that i can put my little suitcase in and pack around it thereby avoiding the whole extra baggage fee. goddamn brilliance.
one of our friends who's on the faculty at the uni plays in a local football league and their team made it to the final game which is on friday, which i'm glad i'll get to see. hopefully it wont piss rain like it has been and i can rock some decent pictures of it.
i get to spend the rest of the day marking final exams. im about half way done mine. then i have to move on to 110 others that are not my classes that i was handed without prior consultation, and have not been given an answer key to, while the creator of said exam is trundling about in Thailand. yep, great organization there.
oh yeah, on the way downtown some crazy fuck bus driver tried to run us off the road because our CNG driver didn't get out of the way fast enough for his liking and on the way home our rickshaw got smoked by a motorbike. i can tell i've become used to being here when, instead of getting freaked about that, i yell at them a lot like most people around here do.

for six long years


Finally! Proof that global warming isn't completely devastating!



a lot of the clothes that I've bought here are pretty much one off deals. once you find one, chances are you won't ever find it again. case in point, several shirts I've bought at Aarong. i'd like to have found the same one again for a few, only managed it for one. they're not big on having a cool looking shirt in the right size either...
anyway, i went back to feeding my addiction to nice jeans today and picked up another pair of $30 Diesel's. i just pulled the tag off of them and read the little blurb on the unique look that each pair will have and that it won't the same after being washed a few times.
however, the tag does offer some sage advice on how to keep that original, off the shelf look...

"We advise you to wash the garment separately and not to expose it at the sunlight."


sooooo... vampire pants?

I mean really, why would you make a pair of jeans which are meant to be worn out that you warn people not to go out in?

on a totally separate note, i counted the living things in my room. two baby geckos, one medium gecko, one large gecko, three baby cockroaches, two spiders and five ants. oh, and one woodworm slowly eating its way through my dresser.

i finished my last hospital visit today for my project. i've gotten back close to 60 surveys so far and i have some more coming back tomorrow, so it feels pretty good to have accomplished something this summer. i also finished writing up the final exam for my English students and made sure to make it way more easier than it should be. seriously, they'd have to be fucking brain dead to fail this, but I say that knowing who is probably going to fail it anyway.

i met a doctor today who's interested in visiting Canada and he was asking me all these questions about immigration policy and shit, and i was hoping he wasn't going to ask me for a visa and he didn't, but it was just another big in your face reminder that the people here would have pretty much zero chance of survival in north america or europe. and the reason...they're so ingrained about their religion that they can't even fathom a country where girls aren't married off by the time they're 18. the dude was fucking dumbfounded that I'm 24 and I'm not married. i've had a number of my students tell me they want to go to the US or the UK or Canada to study and i have to keep biting my tongue about telling them flat out that there's no way they could ever afford it or that they'd be so blown away by the cultural differences that they'd have a hard time functioning. I know that sounds kind of crass and judgmental to say that, but their ideas about anything beyond the boundaries of Bangladesh are so skewed or non-existent that you just want to tell them to forget it, stay here and just live in your happy little five times a day prayer bubble. if ever there were a good reason for why secularism would be good for the progression of the entire world, it should start somewhere around here...

nick and i were downtown last week and we had to use an ATM so we're in line and some random dude starts talking to us. random people talk to you here all the time if you're white. they go "Brother, country?" and I say Canada and they go "aaahhh, Canada. Very Beautiful country." of course they say this having no idea where it is or what it looks like. i tried to explain to a few people about the distance between Atlantic Canada and BC and it was pretty much beyond their scope of comprehension. anyway, atm guy. conversation goes something like this:

ATM guy: please, let me see your ring. *gestures for me to take it off and give it to him*

Me: You can see it on my finger.

ATM Guy: please brother, may I see it.

Me: You can see it on my finger.

Nick: Look, he's showing it to you on his hand, he's not going to take it off.

ATM Guy: Ah, where from did you get this?

Me: Las Vegas.

ATM Guy: Ahh, Las Vegas, very far to come from.

Me: Yeah, I'm not from there but I went there a few years ago with my family.

ATM Guy: So your country is?

Me: Canada.

ATM Guy: Ah, Canada. Very peaceful country. Not so aggressive like America. All the Americans are very rude people.

Nick: No, actually Americans are very nice people. If an American walked up to you on the street they wouldn't be very rude to you at all.

ATM Guy: Yes, the original Black Americans are very rude, they have a very rude culture.

Nick: You mean African Americans? They're not original Americans, they were brought over to America as slaves from Africa.

ATM Guy: Yes, the original Americans.

Nick: You mean Native Americans, they were the original inhabitants. There's very few of them left, they're not African American.

ATM Guy: Yes, they are very rude people.

and this was an upper middle class guy. no fucking clue at all. according to some of the students at the uni, Ireland SHOULD BE where Ukraine is. also, apparently, North Americans are much more conservative than Muslims because the only thing we do when we greet each other is shake hands...

yeah. if you can wrap your head around that one feel free to explain it, cause I cant.

but then again, i bet the geographical knowledge of people here is on par with most Americans, so it can't be that bad....

an above ground, mobile cave that never went anywhere


what's today? it doesn't seem like a thursday. it doesn't quite seem like a monday either but it doesn't seem like a mid week day or weekend. i dunno. i got up this morning with the intention to write the final exam for my english classes and that has resulted in basically nothing. i haven't been sleeping well so i took some mogadon last night to help me sleep and i think it carried over for most of the day cause i felt kind of meh all day.
i finally found Forgetting Sarah Marshall on dvd here. after how long? and i get home, and i pop it in and it's dubbed in fucking Russian.
seriously. dis wery lame tu hagv dis happin. english moovie shooold be hin English, not da Ruskie. lamer too cause it's a really good copy. honestly, as good as it is to be able to buy movies for under a dollar here, trying to find one that doesn't skip, jam up, dubbed in another language, or be a shit handicam copy is a bit of a tall order.
tomorrow im going to the last hospital i planned to visit for my research. had to change the meeting with the government folks to next week, but really, after tomorrow im basically done with it until i get home and have to sort through it all.
here's an early indication of the exciting title it might have...


Determinants of Nursing Services in Non-Government Operated Bangladeshi Health Institutions and Policy Reforms to Increase Levels of Service and Practice: Identification of Issues Pertaining to Low Quality Nursing Services in *5 Private Hospitals by Health Care Providers.

star 5 cause depending on how one goes it might end up being four. meh.

yeah, that's right. put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I'm going to put on The Last Starfighter and try to get this stupid exam written.

i haven't decided how yet, maybe dynamite.


14 days.



laser tag.

not necessarily in that order.

meet jimmie!