Sunday, December 19, 2004

In which instructions are handed out by the tonne

I was woken up at 9 today. Even though I slept very little, this is fabulous: I WOKE UP WHILE IT WAS STILL MORNING. Because I was actually awake at a reasonable hour and hadn’t seen my parents in over a week (bad insomnia makes me shy away from company), I thought I’d join them for lunch. I was very much looking forward to leaving Lisbon and spending time with them, the weather is dreadful, very grey and rainy-y and rather funny smells wafting in from the river (I swear I sometimes surprise myself with the verbs I know) - so I drove to the beach.

I got home and sat down with my mother talking about my impending trip. I had a feeling it might amuse me - you see, I DO know my parents. My father was expected to burst in through the door at any moment saying “Look what I’ve fished today!” [NOTE: read, my father strolls down to the beach and waits for the fishermen’s boats to return, and then he chooses the very fresh fish HIMSELF, and in between talks to other fishermen about, you know, fish and the weather and other deep stuff, and returns home with said fish feeling very cleansed and accomplished bcs he both engaged in an ancient outdoorsy manly activity - i.e., fishing - and is a true provider, bringing home his catch for his mate and the cub to eat. My father is adorable.] So I sat with my mother and we talked about my trip till he came home and then we talked about the trip some more and eventually my father connected to the modern world and said:

“What? You’re going to CANADA??? When did this happen?”
I looked at my mother.
“Er, did I not tell you? I’m sure I told you she’s going to Canada! Oh you’re impossible, you never remember anything!”

My father is possibly the most scatterbrained person I know, so much worse than me, and can at times barely find his way back home. From that moment on all was surreal.

L: Well yes, it seems like I’ll be playing around in the snow after all.
Mother: SNOW!!! DEAR GOD, snow, but of course! You couldn’t possibly, OH YOUR SKIN, my poor child!
[NOTE: the sun and the warmth are good for my skin. Because I’ve had psoriasis since I was 5 (very unusual) I cannot remember a time when the fams were not sun-worshippers but it gets out of control. My mother has rung me on really cloudy days to say “Please get out in the sun!” - and they live 5 min away from me so it’s not likely the weather will be that much better in my neighbourhood.]
L: what about it?
M: you need to go to a warm place, oh how someone with P can travel to a place where it’s that cold I can’t fathom! Couldn’t you go to the beach? I thought you'd go to Israel the moment you had money!
L: I couldn't possibly go back to Israel when Uzi is travelling the world, it wouldn't be the same, I'll wait till he comes back. And besides, it's exotic! SNOW! I need to do something different. I’ll probably be less cold there than here, inside the house anyway.
Father: She is old enough to decide where she wants to go, you know, she should have fun!
M: She’ll never be old enough that I don’t know what’s best for her!
F: Will there be Eskimos?
L: I’m sorry?
F: Eskimos!
L: No, no Eskimos, they’re in the other direction. I don’t think I’ll come across many Eskimos.
F: So what about exams?
L: I told you, they’re later this year but I’ll take some books with me.
L: ???
F: The weight, think of the weight! You mustn’t carry too much weight!
L: I’ll only take a couple, don’t worry!
M: Oh promise you’ll take good care of yourself!
L: It’s CANADA, not a labour camp for pity’s sake!
F: Well yes, but you have to listen to me, you can’t carry too much weight, you never pay attention to your back so listen to me carefully: you must never bend over, I see you do that all the time! You must flex your knees! [brief heated discussion follows, in which the merits of the verbs “flectir” vs “flexionar” (roughly to bend vs to flex) are discussed], ALWAYS bend your knees when picking something up! Like this: [demonstration follows] You must be very careful.
L: It’s a suitcase ON WHEELS, I will not be picking it up much! And even I bent my knees I couldn’t lift it properly, I’d topple over with it!
F: But at home!
L: The wheels also work at home!
F: Well then, what about the airport?
L: Oh my God, my WHEELED suitcase and I will be travelling by car! It will be rolled along.
F: All right then, just be careful.
L: And can you TALK to your friends?
L: ... How do you mean?
M: Well, are they educated?
L: Yes. College degrees galore. No worries. Educated. Quite.
M: Well good, I wouldn’t want you to be bored, you need people you can talk to.
L: Yes, mother.
M: Don’t be meek, I know you’re being sarcastic when you’re this docile, IT IS important and we need to be surrounded by people we can relate to!
L: Agreed but don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be properly entertained.
F: Have you got a hotel yet?
L: Well no but scouts have been sent off in every direction. I actually rather fancy staying in a motel like the ones in the movies. The good ones, I mean. Very North-American.
M: Isn’t it too… brothel-like though??
L: *choke* Er no, I suppose it would rather depend on the kind of motel, I’ve seen pics of some really nice ones. And Mother, NO ONE would dream of booking me into a cathouse you know!
M: Well, just make sure you ring us often.
L: Yes, I'll do my best to ring you every single day.
M: Oh good, that'd be lovely!
L: No it wouldn't, I was JOKING! I am NOT going to ring you every single day, that's insane!
M: Well you don't have to call every day, just email GF every day and she'll ring us.
L: I WILL NOT, that's crazy, I'll give you a ring when I get there and then send text messages once in a while!
F: So what are your plans?
L: Well, for starters I’m REALLY looking forward to buying LOADS of 2nd hand paperbacks in English!
L: Oh Father…!
F: Oh alright, just let us know if you need more money.

I adore them.

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At 19/12/04 19:31, Blogger brooksba said...


You have wonderful parents. I love the fact your dad is in the conversation for some time and then says, "You're going to Canada?" It reminded me so much of conversations with my parents.

I think you're going to have a wonderful time in Canada, even if it is cold. Every experience I've had with Canadians has been nothing but pleasant. As a group of people (speaking generally, not stereotyping but just in general), they are v sweet, kind, and accepting.

Watch out for those Canadian brothels though. =)


At 19/12/04 19:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is also Exorex which is supposed to yield positive results.

I am sure you're abreast on the current research, but suffice it to say that there are advancements being made in the area of treatment.

Have fun in Canada.

At 19/12/04 20:02, Blogger Savtadotty said...

I feel like your father. You're going to CANADA? I must have missed that post. I knew you were going someplace cold, but I had no idea you were crossing the Atlantic Ocean. In December. With psoriasis, yet (I've had it since fact I'm allergic to every cure I've tried, including THE DEAD SEA. You now know someone who's allergic to health!) Have a wonderful trip. Please blog in Canadian while you're there.

At 19/12/04 20:26, Blogger The Lioness said...

Anon, thank you so much, it's brilliant news really that they may have found that bloody elusive cause! Thank you.

S., yes, cold. The Dead Sea works for me though, I'm luckier. All I need is the weather to become warmer and I get better right away. That plus the sun can actually get rid of all of it and make for a much better winter.

At 20/12/04 14:54, Blogger Savtadotty said...

I'm booking you for a Spring Break at the Dead Sea, followed by a celebration visit in Tel Aviv. Let your parents buy you the ticket (it's essential for your health), and tell them there will be plenty of educated people (true)! [Israeli bloggers, are you ready to be hospitable?]

At 20/12/04 22:53, Blogger Nevermore said...

Canada, eh? Lessee... ah yes. Montreal will be -24 C overnight. But it should warm up to -19 during the day.

What city are you going to? Toronto and Vancouver will not be as cold. Cities like Calgary, Winnipeg, and Edmonton will be much colder, of course. Ottawa will be similar to Toronto.

Oh, and you do need to think about wind chill. It's the temperature that the wind makes exposed skin feel like. So if it is -24C with a 25 km/hr wind, it has the effect on your skin of about -60C. At wind chills like that, any exposed skin will freeze burn in 60 seconds or less.

Don't worry, you can find a lot of the clothing you will need at any major Canadian city. Patagonia and Columbia are both good stuff. I wear a Columbia parka when it hits below -10C and I get hot in it. Or, order it online and having it waiting at your address in Canada.

But the Lager is great!


At 21/12/04 04:20, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad your rents are right in along with you on the wondering about Canada experience. Canada is very diverse and there are many great cities. Visitors say that there is so much space here. It's true sort of. What is the big thing about Canada? I'm not qualified to answer. There is lots of good farm land. It can be cold but pretty at times, nice landscape. Think of a maple tree with it's branches covered in snow. We or at least I drink a lot of coffee, say "double double" which means double cream double sugar but in my opinion us Canucks don't have as many nice cafe's as I bet you do -anything warm will do. It's hard to describe but easier to show so it'll be interesting to see what you think when you see with your eyez. Remember to bring your anti-freakout kit and a comfy scarf.

At 21/12/04 18:13, Blogger [ba] said...

Don't knock it -- I've been to Canada, and I've heard some decent things about labour camps.
I kid - it's a great place. Have a wonderful time, seriously. Eat some poutine, and have a wonderful time being not at all sure if you like it or not. Or at least, that's how I deal with it. But really, I have a wonderful time with that confusion every time I can.

And a great post, of course. Take care.

At 24/12/04 19:33, Blogger CarpeDM said...

Your parents crack me up. Seriously, this is funny.

Dear God, the WEIGHT!

Yeah, ask Beth, I always bring books wherever I go. I had 7 or 8 for our trip to Vegas.


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