Weekly Recap: 29 May 2022

Travel is great but flying is awful, turning 40, and endless tragedy in America.

Last week I wrote about the hell of flying in the US, and this week the story remains unchanged. Christine and I flew to Vancouver for vacation. We’ve been trying to get back to where we did our honeymoon for the past couple of years, but COVID derailed those plans over and over. Finally, we had luck this year, and we were able to book the same B&B we visited seven years ago. We tried not repeating the same mistakes: the island has public transportation, but the B&B is not easy to get to with it if you have luggage. Last time, we ended up renting a car on our second day. This time, I made sure to book a car rental.

Alas, continuing struggles with American supply chains and a COVID-stricken labor force hurt once again. Air Canada cancelled the first leg of our flight. We were able to get into Vancouver the same day, but much later than planned. This meant that the car rental places were either closed, or unable to get us a car in time to make the last ferry to the island. There were no hotels in Vancouver available, so we rolled the dice and took a taxi as far as it would take us. We’d have to walk or hitchhike once we got on the island.

Making matters worse, Christine is recovering from a sprained ankle. Despite my best efforts to find us a ride (perhaps I should not have been wearing a Bruins t-shirt), I couldn’t find anyone willing to give us a lift. So we hiked it, me dragging our luggage behind us, Christine on a bad ankle, nearly two and a half kilometers over hilly, barely paved roads after dark.

Holiday inconveniences aside, there was a lot of really horrible stuff in the news this week. The Uvalde shooting is a stark reminder of how pointless and harmful it is that we draw political lines around foolish cultural identity boundaries. This was an avoidable event, much like the one before it, much like the one before that, and so on, and so on.

As we learn more about the total ineffectiveness of the police in Uvalde, I think it’s important to remind ourselves that police will fail like this in every community. They failed like this in Parkland. They failed like this in Charlottesville. They’ll fail like this in your town, too.

While reeling from the harsh reminders of our failed attempts to solve the gun violence problem in America, I was grateful to reconnect with many old friends while I was in Charlottesville. There was a great community-organized BBQ fundraiser for abortion rights. I got to catch up with many people there, some who I haven’t seen in years. The people who all stood together five years ago have all found their own ways through the trauma, but I’m glad to see so many of them finding a way to make sense of it.

Oh! I also turned 40 this week. That’s weird. 40 is an adult age. How the hell did that happen?!

What I’m learning

I jumped back into some German classes this week, and aim to finish off my B2.1 review in Lingoda before I head back to Germany. I’ll finish out the entire level with live lessons. I still have many conversational gaps, but I’m getting there. Polishing up my B1 grammar and vocabulary review hasn’t hurt, either.

  • Deutsch üben (Progress: 68%)

I’ve also started learning more about India’s independence while reading through Midnight’s Children.

What I’m reading

I traveled fairly light with books this trip, but I hope to make some more progress with my Modern Library project, all while sitting staring at these beautiful mountains reflected in this beautiful sea.

  • Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie (Progress: 12%)

What I’m writing

Longform Online Content

The week ahead

Relaxing and spending some time on the water. Reading, writing, and sitting in a hot-tub drinking cider, not thinking about work. Trying to figure out what being 40 means.

Posted: 30.05.2022

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