im still well, thanks!

it is hard to believe how fast last couple days have gone. where did they go? anyways. i know couple peeps have been worrying over monkey's mental health. no major worries. i was quiet, but often it's necessary... borrowing a friend's expression: 'like digestion.' touche.

i finally booked my ticket to head back to yyz and realized that i still have to find out a way to get out of possible easter manual labour- it falls on 04-04-10 so perhaps it will be a little bit difficult this time, as gene pools have been notified of monkey arriving in vicinity of march. help!

with booking that ticket back to north america, i should make it clear that 1. i did make the audition and was offered a space, 2. however there was not enough money to make it a possibility, 3. hence, i will not be attending school in europe for next fall. 4. no, i am not too disappointed, though it would be very easy at this point to feel really bad about it. see, the funny thing is whilst everyone is enjoying lower interests- people with car payments, mortgages, business loans and such, it is that same lower interests that makes it very difficult for trusts and foundations to handout money, as they are usually bound to spend only the interest and investment incomes, not capital itself.

i initially felt ridiculously low after the audition, then felt liberated- i am not in charge of my own audition surely! ahaha. how silly of me to assume that things will always go 'well,' meaning exactly how i would prefer. however, no one can state for certain that it was NOT GOOD that i wasnt able to make the finances work, as it is impossible to tell how that result will guide further events in the future. if i was sensible and took the teaching post out of school, i would have never made it to banff, meaning i wouldnt have applied to rncm in the first place. so strategy: wait and see. strictly it's not a strategy but only option. so, yyz, be monkey ready for march 2010!

so after couple days of clearing various things inside of my head- personal, external, whatevers in between, i took a surprise trip to the city of light, where i have gained another point of view to life and was affirmed about the true nature of my situation: it is good. it may not be exactly to my requested details, but i am still rich thanks for the experience, the people and enormous support that is freely offered to me. how nice! it was nice enough that i lost my head and have done something i never have done up to date: miss a bus.

you see, i was taking the 'slowest' route possible. it went like this:

chinley to sheffield: dep 615 or something
sheffield to london st pancras: dep 730
london victoria to paris gallini: dep 1200
via: dover-calais (take the ferry), arrival 2130
*this, actually was a bit early. actual arrival was 2030

then proposed idea for returning was:
paris gallini to london victoria: dep 1400, arrival 2030
london euston to manchester piccadilly: 2200
pick up at manchester: 0020
*this, i did not make it.

the visit was fun, exceeding initial expectations- perhaps one day i will unfold what exactly have happened but at this point, it would be a rather ill choice to talk of certain matters in public. i bet you are intrigued now muwahahaha. anyways, the point that i will share, however, is that i missed the 1400 bus. i lost my head, didnt leave enough time, spent bloody euros on furiously mad but dedicated cab driver (who was really really keen on driving as madly as possible), who got me to the station long enough to see the bus... leave!

i have to say, it was bloody hilarious at a point. it gets funnier as the cost of travel rises exponentially towards the sky!

the re-routing took a bit of brain bashing. eurostar would burn about 220 pounds/euro (they are about the same now), couldve been a little cheaper if i went to lille and then hop to eurostar (still about 180), to fly to manchester or to gatwick was about 140. the night bus ( ! ) was 44. now, that's a hell of a price hike from 13 one-way but still hella cheaper than 220.
so at the end, with couple people biting their nails, went like this:

1830 gare de lyon: send off a friend who was supposed to send me off (ahahaha)
2000 gallini: bus, take two
*0100 calais border control, transfer to dover
0430: arrival in victoria, london
*this was to arrive in 0600 so i walked around london westminster area for two hours, trying not to freeze. the guards at the cathedral thought i was mad.
1130: london euston to manchester piccadilly
1530: catch a ride, arrive home * die

and i cant say i was worn out nor fed up. i was alright, the travel did burn me the extra bit as i missed the bus (i still cant believe it. what a dumb kid! where was my head? lost in clouds or something!) but this bus trip did make me see things that are quite different. for instance, one gets so used to seeing duty-free shops and fancy coffee tables as one cruise across the airports- esp the major ones. in bus station in victoria, you could get a dried out pakora that's been warmed under the white light of the metal displace prison of multiple newsagent stores that looks exactly the same. and the bus driver did come up and asked politely but with real threat that 'there will be no smoking of weeds in the bus at any time' *ahaha.

the glimpse of people in a different point of lives, somehow all riding in the same bus. sadly it was largely collective of the poor, less-important, emigres, desperate. however with a few hopes- young laughing boys in their 20s, gambling their youth to the slim chance of better life, child asleep with half-opened bag of crisps, old and poorly dressed but firmly hand-held couples. the list would go on.

en route to paris, a person was actually stopped and detained from the border control in calais. they must be doing their initial check in dover, back check while the ferry's on water, to have a second chance to detain anyone they want. this man was nervous during the whole ride up to this point (he was right across from me) and when the police approached the bus as it unloaded from the ferry, he all the sudden had this air of resignation. then they came in the bus, took his passport, give it a good look, then took him and his baggages. not allowed... not now.

i am lucky to have the right to travel and see dear peeps. i am lucky to be able to dream and taking an audition, doesnt really matter it didnt work the way i want it to be. it hardly ever does. but one can always make something out of a situation. and that's the real hope isnt it! im healthy enough, happy enough, a few emotional wanting for this and that, but that'll always be there as long as i am alive. my gene pools are testing the maximum circuit load for monkey nerves, but it also signifies that i have family who cares for me, even not in exact way i want!

let me be strong and humble, let me not forget how i am to form and progress further- not of my own words and efforts, but through collective generosity of the souls around me, through interaction and with thankfulness. let me not be so foolish to determine a beauty of a curve while i am just a little projectile, as i cannot tell where life can lead and therefore to not to judge based on a short-term expectation of a narrow, self-centered vision. and love to you all. limited days now in europe for this visit. things are getting busier and i am getting ready to tidy up this voyage, one nautical knot at a time.

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