Also known as Knewbuntu, Pneubuntu or Gnubuntu depending on your preference of silent letters.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Succinct Description of the Countries I Have Lived In

So, as a challenge to myself, I have decided to describe the countries I have lived in (in order) in one word. I'll be explaining why I chose that one word making the whole plan rather redundant, but let's not dwell on the negative shall we?

PLACE: Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England
VERDICT: Awesome

k, this one is kind of biased. I think there is some sort of generic imperative to love the country you were born in. But I do genuinely love England for its half-europeanness. It has all the trademarks of Europe: city centres with roads too small for cars (That's right, North America), farmland just seconds away, non-fat people. But it also has this inescapable air of not wanting to be European. The British are just so unlike all other Europeans in their own special way, but so like it in many others. It is very difficult to describe.

PLACE: Moorsel+Tervuren, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium
VERDICT: Indecisive

I have labeled Belgium as indecisive because it, well, is. It can't decide whether it is modern or ancient. On your average drive through Belgium, you will drive for an hour along a hugely modern road with cornfields on both sides, then suddenly arrive smack bang in the middle of a town. And then you'll realize the only way out is along a country road in the middle of the forest that looks like it was designed as a mountain bike trail. And I really loved it for that. The idea of having crumbling farmhouses next to ultra-modern buildings that went up the day before is so appealing in its own way.

And now we adjourn from Europe. Forever. =(.

PLACE: Southlake, Texas, USA

There really is no other word to explain Texas, is there? Everything is big. The cars, the people, the place, the servings. It is also so hellishly hot that words cannot describe it. Luckily I was only here for one year, since it was by far my least favourite place to live. In fact, I refuse to give it any more of my time.

PLACE: Cape Town, Western Province, South Africa
VERDICT: Hopeful

Hopeful, in this case, is a little bittersweet (yes, kinda sorta not really ripped off from Gran Torino). It is sweet in the sense that there is this air that something good COULD happen to South Africa. It is bitter in that nothing ever seems to. South Africa has had a good run since Apartheid. Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela, while not the greatest heads of state ever, did make a meaningful difference in South Africa. In Mandela's case, he couldn't go wrong due to his nigh God status. And Mbeki was just a straight-up good guy. And now along comes Zuma. Zuma, for the uneducated, is now the head of the ANC (African National Congress), the only party that has won an election since the Apartheid. Zuma was being investigated for Rape and Corruption. His first act as head of the ruling party was to disband the police force (the Scorpions) that was investigating him. Sound fishy? Well I certainly don't think so.

PLACE: Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Yeah yeah, I know, it's the stereotype. Well, I do apologize, but Canada is FRIGGIN COLD. If you had spent the previous four years in average temperatures of 22 degrees Celsius as opposed to Fahrenheit, you would understand. The people here are quite nice, if a little need and self-centred (see previous two posts). And as Firefox reminds me, they also can't spell centre. YES, IT IS R-E. But I digress. Canada isn't my least favourite place to live in, but it also isn't my favourite. You see, I can't think of any reasons not to live in Canada (except the cold) (AND STEPHEN HARPER *shudders* sweater vests), but there isn't anything that draws me to Canada. I also feel absolutely no connection to it. In that way, it is also cold. I always feel like I'm shut out from Canadian society. Maybe it's my paranoia/self-esteem issues, but after three years I, in no way, feel Canadian.


P.S. This was meant to be a short post.....apparently I'm really long-winded.


Anonymous said...

I think it would be cool to at least visit England/other European places. Your descriptions were interesting :)

The South Africa thing IS sad, I keep waiting for something great to happen there.

I actually feel 100% Canadian. Then again, the only place I even remember living in is Ottawa :P

lyrical charlatan said...

*shudders at Harper's sweater vests*
Centred. Ha, FF doesn't correct my spelling of it, but that's because when I downloaded it I chose the British spelling instead. :P

Shiying! said...

True. Canada = Cold.
Also, Stephen Harper makes me shudder in general. He is a terrifying individual