Workaholism, comics and cartoons, and Gypsy Amy

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“Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not,” says Uncle Iroh, my favourite character from Avatar; The Last Airbender.

It is only recently that I have started watching the show properly, on Netflix, but I have been doing so in Spanish in an effort to try and learn through my own interests. I think it is helping. Everyone has been noticing some improvement; colleagues, friends, and my girlfriend.

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Yes, I have a girlfriend now, and she is Peruvian. We have basically been in a relationship since our  first date months ago  which I wrote about – but it took a while to become official. Mainly because I never intended to be in a relationship with anyone here. If anything, I wanted to gain more stories experimenting more with dating, but also…deep down, there is the inevitability of returning home to Australia, or to continue travelling the world. All things change or adapt, I suppose, but I suppose it’s just as important to let them in their own time.

I am much better a person to have someone in my life who cares for me, and vice versa.

Sometimes we speak in Spanish, but it’s mainly been through eating dinner at her family’s house and conversing with them without using English. Sometimes I have no choice given her father doesn’t know English (and yes! Meeting a traditional Peruvian father who has never met his daughter’s partner before should be its own blog post). At first I was getting really frustrated and exhausted easily, as I always was, but I am relaxing more now, and with that, enjoying it.

The other day I bought a Thor comic in Spanish…and that has increased my desire to learn (I better learn. It cost me bloody 98 soles). Now I try to learn one phrase a day if I can. Today, I wrestle with ‘No Se’ and ‘No Lo Se’ and their differences (I don’t know, and I think No Lo Se is more like…. I don’t know everything about the subject’. As in; is that true? No lo se.).

My life has mostly focused on preparing lessons for the history classes I teach, and to do so I need to learn more about the subjects. For three of the four grades the subjects have been about the Incas, and old Peruvian presidents. Learning about old political history of a foreign country in a continent across the world is fascinating, but rather difficult to gather as well given old news and facts are mainly in Spanish. I obsess other ways to improve my classes. I consider how I can improve things for my students. Ask my girlfriend how often I talk about work.

It’s sad really, given I left Australia to give up my workaholism. I thought that it was the nature of journalism that did it. But I think it’s just me. I remember ‘Gypsy Amy’ (my housemate) who gave me a tarot reading on the beach of Zorritos more than six months ago. One of the cards she picked up was ‘workaholism’. I can’t remember what she said about it though.

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I want Gypsy Amy to give me another reading. But Gypsy Amy lost her cards. I don’t know if there’s irony in this, or if this just tells us everything we need to know about Gypsy Amy’s free spirit 😉

I don’t need Gypsy Amy to tell me this though. Life seems so much easier for me when I focus all my energy on work.  Life seems so much easier feeling good about my work. And I know that’s not quite healthy.

 

The Bridge of Sighs

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BARRANCO. If I had more time than a few hours I might have written a short story here. The old elegant houses through the light fog, the occasional volkswagon, the murals and statues, and the clifftop overlooking the ocean.

My friend Lutie (listen to a drunken interview of Lutie) gave me a quick introduction and as we passed a beautiful church with a damaged roof I could see a bridge, with a pathway underneath through a lane among an occasional cactus and bar.

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“This is the Bridge of Sighs,” he said. “You make a wish and if you walk across the bridge without breathing in or out then it comes true.”

There was something electric about the genuine belief I had as I stepped on that bridge as if I was six again – feeling that sacred magic when blowing out my birthday cake candles.

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I walked ahead of the couple with the cute dog. I walked past the vendors. Halfway across the timber bridge my chest tightened. Three quarters across I was uncomfortable but I did not speed up too much. At the end I expelled my air and breathed in again with some relief.

Lutie soon caught up. “You only get one wish,” he explained when I asked if he did it as well.

“And you cannot tell anyone what it was or it will not come true.”

….