The following have been written over the past 1 month. I find that it is easier to write in small paragraphs when inspiration comes, rather than waiting and storing everything in my head, “for later”.
- I have been looking for a job for the past couple of months, and I’ve noticed that with many small/creative/startup/you-know-what-I-mean companies, one of the attributes they look for in a potential candidate is written thus: “no 9-to-5 mentality”. I’m sorry, but what’s that? There are many ways to interpret this but for some reason, my brain always chooses to look at it from the angle of “Heh. You’re gonna be working late a lot of times and you won’t get paid for overtime because, ‘no 9-to-5 mentality’. Heh.” I’d prefer it if they said something like “there are no set hours, as long as you work 8 hours every day”. That would be more appealing to someone like me, because I don’t like to mess with my daily routines. I do not like my work to be routine because that’s incredibly boring, but my schedules should be. So, I exercise at a certain time, sleep at a certain time, eat lunch, etc. And my life has many aspects which I prefer to arrange in neat, separate ‘boxes’, so I will work EXTRA hard during my 8 hours, to avoid being kept beyond 17:00 on any given day. Why? Maybe I have violin lessons to attend, or a book club meeting. Or maybe I just want to catch The Big Bang Theory. (This is also why I will not do things like date a co-worker or invite friends from one ‘box’ to meet with friends from another ‘box’.) Some days, it will be inevitable to spend longer hours at work and I don’t mind, but for someone like me, it shouldn’t be the norm. I know, I know, “stop ranting and just don’t apply to any of those companies.” I am not applying. I am just running commentary on a trend and how it might affect me, in the unlikely event that I get roped into such a company. That said, the job search process has been very messed up for me, so far. I pass the tests, ace 95% of the interviews, and then get stumped at the last stage. And I know it somehow has something to do with perceived incompetence, my seeming inability to appear excited by anything, and nervousness. How to fix this? No idea. I’m doing what I can, evaluating and analysing and testing and so on, but I still feel like a headless chicken. Meh. (Update: 3 weeks later, October 24: I got a job offer, and I have 2 more very interesting interviews next week. Cross your fingers for me, will ya?)
- Being that I have moved around quite a bit in the past couple of years, you would expect that I have become adept at packing stuff. I have, but this has not helped me, because of the bad decisions I made in the beginning. So if I were to start over, I would do a lot of research and ensure that I do not rent unfurnished houses. This removes the need for me to have pots/pans, sheets, etc. Also, I would try to get comfortable with wearing the same clothes all the time. That way, I would prioritize quality over quantity, and not have to look at the €5 items from H&M – which can be very enticing, by the way. Same goes for shoes. I haven’t really bought €5 shoes (except that one time at Primark), but I do have some shoes which were carried over from when I lived in Nigeria. I’d leave those behind, if I were to do it all over again.
- On Saturday, October 4th, I was on a train, heading to Dordrecht to meet up with friends, and we passed this little town/village with trees and empty fields. I looked at the tops of the trees – which were turning brown because it’s autumn already – and for one second I was reminded of harmattan in Nigeria, and of driving to visit the grandparents on Christmas day, of the pillow I used to take with me to lie down in the back of the car, of how there was a bridge we had to go over and if we turned right after the bridge, it meant we were going to see mummy’s parents, and left meant daddy’s parents.
- The following is not science, and all I have to support it is anecdotal evidence. The consumer-goods aspect of my life sort of requires me to have preferences, and I usually have a couple of chances to experiment and get things right. It’s like ‘The Fates’ are watching and giving me leeway to experiment, right up till the point where I find what works for me. Once I find what I like, I have to settle with it, because if I decide one day, to buy another variant, I will almost certainly be wasting my money. Evidence: I played around a bit with hair conditioners until I found ‘the one’. All the conditioners I used before I found my fave were good, without exception, and I’d still buy them if I’m ever in a pinch. And then one day, after finding the fave, I decided to experiment a bit. Major fail, had to toss it in the bin. More evidence: I eat oats for breakfast, every single day. Before I got into this habit, the other cereals I tried were quite fine. One day, after ‘discovering’ oats, I wanted to experiment so I bought another type/brand of cereal, one which I hadn’t previously tried. Fail. Same with my face cream. And cheese croissants. I could go on and on, but you get my point. This is not to say that I don’t try new things. I do, but only when they’re recommended by someone else, and/or when I receive samples. Anything else usually turns out to be a waste of coin. Also, whenever I move to a new country, the ‘meter’ resets itself and I get chances afresh, because of course it’s a bit too much to ask for all my pre-migration favorites to exist in the new country.
For as long as I can remember, I have hated red wine. Yesterday (October 15), I was supposed to buy wine for dinner with my flatmate and my flatmate’s mother, and because they’re Italian, I asked for recommendations. I got none except “just look around for a nice red”. So I went to my local Gall & Gall and looked around (for inexpensive-but-still-respectably-priced non-Italian red wine), and, well, I lucked out. It tasted great, didn’t trigger any allergic reactions, hence, I am now stuck with organic Palo Alto (from Chile) for the foreseeable future.
À tout, have a great week ahead!