Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Moment of Weakness

Today is my last day in Canada for a while. How long, I don't know. The contract is for one year but if I like it I can renew it. Then there's always the option of going somewhere else to teach when the contract is up. Brazil? Spain? Ukraine? China? I just don't know how long I'll be gone or where I'll end up.

The past few days have been nice and relaxing. I spent Sunday evening with my mother, sister, her boyfriend and her boyfriend's sister, and then yesterday playing one last game of Axis & Allies with my brother and 3 of his friends.

Today I'm going to get 4 passport photos done (for registration with the authorities in Russia), get notarized copies of my documents (again, for registration) and get a haircut. Then I'm meeting the girl I was dating for a few months here in Ottawa for a beer, and then later I'm going out with my sister and her boyfriend and some of their friends for more beer. Somewhere in there I'm going to have one last Ottawa poutine.

I'm sick of goodbyes. I had a big goodbye when I left Port Hardy. Then another when I left Owen Sound. Then a series of them here in Ottawa. The fact of the matter is that I wouldn't mind finding a nice little corner of the earth where I can plop my stuff down and never leave again (discounting vacations, of course). Then I won't have to worry about anymore goodbyes.

That seems like a while away, however, as I have a few more years of travel in store for me. Russia is a place I've longed to see for most of my adult life now, and there are a couple of other places. The fact of the matter is that I'm getting older. I'm 33 and have no kids and no property of my own. In fact everything I own is in a few suitcases. I'm not getting younger and this lifestyle doesn't fit as comfortably as it once did.

I'm also nervous. Okay, maybe a more honest description would be 'terrified'. This is scary and I have no idea what I'm getting myself into. From what I hear there's every possibility that I'll get fucked around in Russia, most likely by my employers or the authorities. I'm going with about $500 to my name, which isn't enough to leave in an emergency.

Not only that, but even when I went to Korea I had a partner with me. I'm going completely alone this time and don't know anybody there. Yes, I'm afraid now.

Oh well. Tomorrow I have an 8 am train to Toronto (upgraded to 1st class!), and then a 6:30 pm flight to Vienna. Whether I'm afraid or want to just settle down or not is unimportant, at least for the next year or two.

In the meantime, I should stop procrastinating and start tying up all those loose-ends I need to take care of today. Da Svidanya!


  1. So I googled "Owen Sound" and "ESL" just to find out if there were any ESL teaching opportunities in Owen Sound... and I found your blog.

    I've only read through a bit of it, but I find what I've read so far to be spot-on. I taught ESL in Istanbul for three years, and I agree that the ex-pats like their booze.

    Russia was on my list, but I never ended up there. I loved Turkey, but after three years, I needed to go home (Owen Sound, now London, Canada). I'm trying to teach ESL here. Well, the word "trying" should indicate how successful I've been...

    Keep up the posts. I'll comment more on the others! (I have a blog too, and it annoyed the crap out of me when the only comments I'd get were ads about how to get a fake degree/CELTA etc.)

    - Jen

  2. Thanks sandyhoney. I tried to find your blog but didn't have any luck. What's the address?

    Yes, the EFL circuit is wrought with alcoholic dangers yet it is a duty us brave teachers selflessly perform.

    Thanks for the comments!