39 days

I’m trying something new. I’ve got the laptop on my lap, sitting on the uncomfortable sofa with the France/South Korea World Cup game on in the background. What’s great is that I can type without looking at the keyboard so actually I can watch the game and just type my thoughts. It’s Sunday evening, the end of a fine weekend with lots of heat, supposed thunderstorms and soccer. A friend of mine is moving to New Zealand next week and we went out to dinner with him and some other friends last night and then went over to another buddy’s place to watch the USA/Italy game. Man, that was a good time. It ended with me having a beer at the O’Kellys afterward and riding my bike home sometime after one a.m. The girls were at a concert last night, a German hip hop show that apparently didn’t start until 1:30am. My roommate was so “hacke” last night that she said she doesn’t remember much from 10pm to 1am. I thought that was fantastic. I’m pretty sure that’s happened to me before…you’re probably saying to yourself and you just might be right.

I haven’t had this much change in life at one time in more than three and a half years. Assiyeah and I are leaving for Buenos Aires on July 27th, a mere 39 days away. By the time we leave on that trip, here is some of what I need to get done:

Grade about 6 classes’ worth of tests
Organize moving out of the apartment
Organize the new apartment so when we come back 8 weeks later, we’ll have a place to live in.
Take care of my work extension. I just received a 90-day extension this past week but only because there has been no word from the Foreign Authority about my status. This problem has been going on for quite some time, nearly three months.
Set up my schedule for Fall 2006
Take a look at my finances, what bills I will have while gone for 2 months and with which accounts things will get paid, and how we’ll get money while in South America.
Shuffling up of the possessions. There’s a good chance some clothes might not be part of my wardrobe in the fall. I just would like to shed some stuff. I love it all or I wouldn’t have it but this move is going to mean many things. Our room is much smaller but also much cheaper. Much cheaper. It will also be a bit louder and there’s no elevator. We’ll be living with another girl so it will be Caro in one room, Assiyeah and I in another, a third girl in the third room and then a small living room. We have a table against the wall in our small kitchen nook to eat at. It’s a definite step down but it’s going to have other repercussions. I will be saving 100-150euro/month just on rent. That could mean 1,500 euros in a year. That could mean many things. That could mean all my taxes paid for, another nice little trip. And I would have to sacrifice and live in a lesser place but I think I feel lucky to have this opportunity. I should plan to do something crazy with the money that is saved. Like go to Hawaii or Nepal. That would be awesome, to take awesome on a two-week all inclusive holiday in one of those beautiful resort areas. But on the other hand we could travel through Eastern Europe, like Istanbul to Freiburg over a month. That could be an awesome time.

But I digress. I will be in South America for 55 days. That’s quite a long time to go on holiday when you’re 32 years old. I’m not sure if I should feel apologetic about it but hell no, I earned that shit. I’ve been planning for it for more than a year and it’s about to come to fruition. It only makes me think about what I could pull off next year.

I don’t have a lot of money in savings. It’s enough to get started in another town for sure but it could be more. I spend that money on traveling. I’ve justified to myself that it’s totally worth it and actually worth every single penny. Especially now with my photo exhibitions, it’s quite feasible for me to write off a good portion of the these expenses to make the exhibition happen. I should be picking up the photos tomorrow. The 4 copies of the 17-photo exhibition at 30cm X 45cm will cost me about 150euro. That’s a shitload of money. I can’t believe like I’m just going to cruise into my local DM (like Long’s Drugs or Sav-On) and pick up 68 photographs for that enormous sum. It’s actually a good price but a good chunk of change. That is a day’s work, I tell myself and suddenly it doesn’t seem like as much. So what, that’s how much I earn in a day sometimes, it’s worth it. What if I sell the photos? Ha, what then? Nah, I won’t focus on selling these photographs, I just want to exhibit them and be able to look back on 2006 and say, Jason, you have successfully put on five photo exhibitions this year. You’re learning how to exhibit your art. You’re traveling while doing it. I think that any trip of longer than a week could have an exhibition in it. We thought of going to Spain or Portugal for Easter next year. We talked about going to Hawaii. Do I want to explore some part of Asia? Where in the world is a pleasant place in August and September? Or should I save that 5,000euro and do something else with it? Why do I need to save that money? I am trying to enjoy my life as much as possible and I think that I am so lucky to be in the position of where I am, working self-employed in the middle of Europe, traveling like mad, expressing myself artistically, often using 3-4 languages a day, although sometimes just a sentence or two but still.

So things are changing. But I think that the changing is the best kind, self-induced. I’ve put these pressures on myself, changing my living arrangements and there’s a lot of stress trying to get ready to leave an apartment while heading out on a 55-day trip and coming back to a new apartment just 70 meters away?

It’s almost halftime of the game. I’m glad that I’ve tried writing while on the sofa. It’s a new experience and I think I could do more work like this, without having to write it down first but I never want to forget that when it comes to writing, mostly I think I am a writer, someone who writes, not types. But this could be another way to get stuff done and it’s forever in a saveable format immediately. I couldn’t imagine only working this way but it’s different. I like learning new ways of doing things. It’s the variety constant. Or something like that.

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