Fate could be of help by giving him a gentle push down a slippery sidewalk.

How does one end up on a train at eight in the morning on a Sunday? It can only be the shriek of duty. The incoherent rambles of the people I still for somehow even reach out to here. I tried; I hugged all the sick and crippled between the stadium and the railway station, but nothing life threatening unfortunately clung on.

I wonder what they’ll have me do today. Price tags don’t straighten themselves, although they’ve certainly had the encouragement to do so. Yesterday I saw an opportunity for branching out in a new area of business, though. The Zamboni-man looked old, frail even. He can’t stick around forever, he might retire soon. I’m gunning for his position. Fate could be of help by giving him a gentle push down a slippery sidewalk. I’ve seen him going, it doesn’t look like sometime I couldn’t pull off with an ice proofed bike (I don’t have a driver’s licence). Ecologically valid. Sustainable. I bet I can also squeeze logistics in there somewhere and then I would have got my work placement in the pocket. School will be proud.

Questions on work:

What do you do, when you don’t want to be ungrateful for the chances given, but when the place where you are contractually obligated to show up and perform a certain row of tasks is driving you up the walls batshit insane?

Should the place where you go to make your living not be a place of excitement? Should it not be a place for growth, possibility? Should it not be a place where you go to learn, rather to stand still? Should it not be a place to develop, rather than to be confined?

Is it normal to be watched, and is it expected to be told to move two centimeters to the left, as that is where you ought to belong? Should you be guided rather than to be constrained? Is initiative a bad thing?

Should I be a sheep? When five start doing the tasks of one, does that not mean that by the end of the day one fifth of the job got done? I hate to follow just for the sake of following. I rather am a member of a pack of wolves; where each has their own function to fulfil. Is it so wrong wanting to be a wolf?

 

We bantered about swamps and hockey merrily.

I have switched to wine recently. My waistbands should be grateful, as should my inner plumbing because of the anti-oxidants and whatnot. Oakiness. Palettes. Either way, red wine is what’s on the desk, the coffee table, in the fridge and at the pub. yes, I was as surprised as you are to find out that the local sports bar serves wine without blinking or spilling.

Even though the apple of my eye and definitely my better looking half has started calling me a ‘wino’, I feel very zen, balanced, and above all: a grownup. Everything becomes a little more sophisticated when you’re waltzing a glass of shimmering red in your hand. When procrastinating at your desk whilst sipping from an elegant glass on a long leg, you’re not just being lazy, nay, you’re simply pondering!

Yesterday I chose to ponder at the pub as I had a long day of redecorating the shop and it was matsipäivä (they’re at the other edge of the country this week). I staggered to the pub through the sludge (snow has started to melt, so simply walking is impossible. You have no choice but to stagger) after being absent for a while, cos they foodpoisoned my eye-apple. Also their service stinks, the beer is overpriced and when asking for a mug of tea you get a mug the size of my ass, filled half. Not good. Food poisoning is easily taken care of by simply, bluntly, dining elsewhere (hesburger), trying out a new beverage however looked like a gamble. I got quite pleasantly surprised.

A glass of house-liquid turned out ok, and there’s an even bigger upside to sipping wine than I ever realized. When you’re sitting, sipping, waltzing, pondering, looking sophisticated altogether, gulping the whole load at once would negate the pondering and the altogether sophisticated looking. One must stagger, and take one’s time. This adds even more to the grownup-ness, as staggering reeks of patience and washing down liquids glass after glass is something for silly little kittens.

It’s a wonderful thing, staggering just the one glass. Getting stink-eyed from behind the bar. Making it through two periods + breaks of a hockey match with just the one glass. Then, halfway through the second period, something happened. I got served a second glass. The second glass was way fuller then the first one, too. Folks, this never happens to me, it certainly never happened with beer. It turns out the wine was a gift from a set of gentlemen watching the other game.

I headed over there to express my gratitude, as ladies (and grownups) must, and had a lovely conversation (the match went down the drain, unfortunately). The fellas hauled all the way from Oulu (The Others) and were avid kärpät (rodents) fans. Their team was losing which unsurprisingly made me feel slightly better about my team also biting the dust (how they managed to go from 3-2 to 5-2 in mere minutes I’ll never understand. Black magic. Dark matter. Stephen Hawking was called in and is still pondering).

We bantered about swamps and hockey merrily. Apparently Oulu is the greatest biking-city in Finland; this gentleman certainly put a lot of energy in convincing me that I should hop over with my wheels and not just take his word for it. I happen to know that Lalaland is by far the most bike-friendly town I have ever encountered in this great nation, but I let this poor fellow have his moment.

How great it is to banter maters of life and death, in a pub, with a glass of wine at hand and civilized company. How great having a brain, which made the very sound decision to take the MTR to work today. How marvelous this thing called hockey. And how astonishing, my new liquid of choice.

Numbers and figures and such don’t like to be folded into a nice, comfy blanket with words.

Stokpaardjes are fun, cos Stokpaardjes never slow down. Once they’re on fire, they’re on fire and it would take someone brave, or perhaps a professional hockey goalie to halt a Stokpaardje.I have not been on my Stokpaardje for a while now and it sure is great to be taken for a ride.

Whole bits and longer bits adjacent to the first bits got stamped out of my keyboard in no-time. Could have something to do with the two beers I downed under pressure, could have something to do with the fact that the deadline for a school report is not Thursday, but tomorrow already. Tomorrow. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you. Tomorrow, is always a day away.

I sure hope my Stokpaardje stays, so much fun making sentences out of data. Making data Shakespearean, such joy. Numbers and figures and such don’t like to be folded into a nice, comfy blanket with words, nay, adjectives, and sub-contexts, and pieces of paragraph with diced discourse drizzled on top. Numbers are a goddamned chore. My stokpaardje can carry me through all that, even if the topic is girlie stuff from a jar and China. Stuff I should sort of know about. There should be no need for  a Stokpaardje here, yet here we are.

After having accomplished very little for a few months -well, there was a summer holiday. Scratch that, summer hiatus, in which I worked, labored. Tough-ass labour, in a store, with windows in the roof, and fancy stones in cabinets that we’re not allowed to photograph anymore, and Chinese people. A couple of phases I went through with these folks. Be-wondering – disbelief – zombie-ism – denial – sincere joy and backsliding to disbelief. They grope me for luck. Once my arm, usually my buttocks. Then again, Chinese old people are slightly shorter than your regular healthy, blushing, Dutch girl who pedals on her bike to the office, come rain come shine. They reach up, they get stuck in my bikebutt.

School started somewhere in the middle of all this and I forgot when exactly. ‘member school? I ‘member! I ‘member going once, getting kicked out cos the class was full, going again, getting the boot again cos again -full, and then there were all of the Chinese people again, who -let’s face it, pay for my beer, and Fida. Beer and Fida. Beer closes at 9, Fida closes at 7 already! What school? WHERE??

All there is now is a deadline, and thankfully – my Stokpaardje. I am galloping once more. Perhaps those Chinese old ladies stored numbers up my shaft cos that’s where I feel my inspiration is coming from at the moment. l’Chaim!

 

I took a beer from the fridge and drank it.

You’re not listening to me.

When we started our conversation -a two-way dialogue, an interaction, if you must- not monologue, I stated I would only be available today. Heute. I had a marvelous time, but unfortunately, our relationship has come to an end. Our day in the sun has ended. It is no more.

My legs spoke ‘YES!!!!!’ before my brain, nay, heart could even react, as I have not been on a runway for so very, very long. I have been craving walking in a straight line -stopping- turning, and walking back, all the way. Opportunity came in the shape of a message on instagram (@dutchdoris), asking if I had time to walk. Of course my legs went ‘Yass! Gahdd! Let’s GO!’ but I still had to cross t’s, dot i’s, and of course ask my agency for permission. That’s polite, and professional.

Before I knew it I was on a ferry to Suomenlinna (Suomenlinna in summer – never a punishment), heels in tow, as well as my bike cos the bike goes where I go. It’s sort of inevitable. Just as inevitable as that my feet will be on that runway, soon.

The job was unpaid (I just assumed…), but there would be people there. Good heavens, people. Tell me about these people. A random crowd of Chinese tourists would have actually been encouraging (and they were on the boat, smiling merrily). Instead there were the types one usually sees gathering during fashion related events (and only then), even if the connection with fashion is somewhat loosely defined. Green hair, black baggy pants, shiny rectangles blocking their face. I was told an editor of Vogue Mexico was ‘there’.

Darling – you gave me a Norwegian phone number that it was impossible to hear you on, so I only assumed it was ok to get my face colour blocked. Hell of a paintjob. The ladies from the make-up station told me to just use regular soap, and scrub vigorously, as if you’re mad at your damn skin for holding on to that damn paint so damn bloody good. You’re  kind of hovering around in a faux leather outfit that is so faux it makes my eyes hurt a little, and that is about that. You’re not doing much else. My fellow models, I find out not much later, have never set foot on a runway. They’re about 170, most shipped from Estonia, others dragged in from the street mere moments before I hauled my bike through the door.

Today was ok. It was fine taking a ferry to a nice place to walk around in a nice outfit with paint on my head. I took a beer from the fridge and drank it. The reason why I am not over the moon excited, is because today’s event is nothing special. We’ve wiped the dust from our shoes and moved on. It was not the painfully stylish event you painted it out to be. There were people, they stood, watched, left, and that’s all there is to say about them. I got a very nice picture sent, by a very nice photographer to whom I winked as I was quite happy to recognize a friendly face, albeit at the very end of the runway. That was unprofessional, and I apologized., even though the photographer mentioned it was a good thing because now he could at least name on of the ladies walking (paint..).

What truly gets to me is this: I mentioned I was available today. I mentioned I was available today. Today was my day off. Tomorrow is not my day off. Tomorrow I am selling stuff and getting yelled at, for a paycheck. Sunday: same thing. Working for a living is a necessary evil sometimes, and it is inconceivable to me these facts, matters that are simply, do not get through to you -SWEETIE DARLING. I may haul my bike on a ferry tomorrow, but it will be after I finish my dayjob. Remember?  You probably won’t. You’ll call me tomorrow at eight wanting to know why I am not at the harbour. I’ll have to gather all of the patience in the universe, and will explain it to you again.