Sunday, 14 December 2008

not ready to talk about why I quit my job

I think I'm finally getting over my 'seasonal jet lag' Because this Summer I am completely restless and in search of Something New.

Last Thursday, around 10-ish (translation: bed time) I turned to Loren and said "let's go do something!" So we walked out the door, intending to either jump on the first bus that came along, or just keep walking up Majoribanks to Mt. Vic.

Then we saw the Welsh Dragon Bar. Every time we walk by it, we say "We should really check that place out sometime," but we never do. So this time we did! This tiny pub is located in the island between two major thoroughfares, which always seemed like a bad idea. Also, the very unique-looking little building which houses the pub was originally a public restroom. Not to mention the only Welsh pub in town.

The place was half-empty on a Thursday, the staff were actually having a party for someone's last day. When we opened the door, there was no music playing, we almost didn't want to come in, then this guy said to us "It's ok, it's not a private party!" We got beers and proceeded to check the place out. The walls were covered in Welsh flags, photos of Welsh sports teams, and other Welsh-related items. There was a nice lounge area with faux-leather couches, and a little garden area in the back. A pair of circular rooms bookended the building, complete with domed ceilings covered in paintings. One of these was the pool room. We found the original schematics for the public restroom hanging in a dark corner.

In summary: funky and a little bit awesome.


Monteith's Black and a red-felted pool table

Then the live music started up, which explained the silence we experienced when we first came in. We kicked back on a couch with our beers, and listened to a damn good rendition of "No Woman, No Cry." And I thought: what better way to spend a Thursday night?


Looking through the lounge into the main bar. Those are Welsh (and Irish) flags hanging from the ceiling.

Friday, 12 December 2008

No, we're not moving back to America now that Obama won

This post started as a response to a comment asking whether I am moving back to America now that Obama is the president-elect. It was not the first time I'd gotten this question.

The answer, without hesitation, is 'no.' Bush was only one reason to move, besides the supreme court justices he appointed remain, as well as the damage he's done to the checks and balances on which the federal government was founded. And furthermore, America is still a place where a person like Bush could get elected, be a spectacularly horrible president, and then get re-elected. Where he could - just to name a few - start unconscionable wars, alienate all of our international allies, and turn his back while Americans died in a flooded, hurricane-battered New Orleans. Where he could do all this and not evoke riots in the streets. These things still happened, and I can't change the fact that I lost faith in the American people, and became ashamed to be an American.

There's also the fact that I like it here in New Zealand, I love living in Wellington, and besides we made a decision to move here indefinitely regardless of the outcome of American elections. And I must also mention that I am so tired of moving, of uprooting, of saying good bye to people. I'm done. We're staying. We'll be signing up for citizenship in a few years, and a re-shuffling of American politicians isn't going to change that.

Yes, it was a great moment in American history when Obama won. Sure, it was a great moment to be an American. But I am an American only by heritage now. We did, of course, notice that Bush's term was almost up when we moved. We did know the next president could be a Democrat. But you know what? There are nine Green MPs in New Zealand's parliament right now, and we helped make that happen. And while the NZ government has just shifted to favour the more conservative party here in NZ (after nine years of a female-led Labour government), the 'conservative' National party is still more liberal than American Democrats. Including Mr. President-Elect Obama.

Turned out I had a lot to say on that subject. I guess I'm feeling a little defensive. I think a lot of people didn't really believe we'd move here, and a whole bunch more didn't think we'd stay. And what with me quitting my job, I'm realising a lot of my co-workers had similar assumptions. Since the word got out that I'm leaving, every co-worker I've talked to about it has in their own way asked if I'm leaving the country.

Oh yeah, quitting my job. I guess I should write a post about that one of these days.