Get it? A flying visit? Ha!

Okay, I admit, that probably makes absolutely no sense to you if you don’t remember I’ve been away for two weeks. Yes, I was back in la Belle Province, working for the man. Okay, I am the man. I was replacing a colleague. It was… well, let me say this about that. I slept well for fourteen consecutive nights and I got six months of backlogged paperwork done. And! I only had to take the industrial heartburn drugs once, today, when I had a number of complemetary stomach problems so I’m not counting it.

Interesting things happened to me in Quebec City. Absolutely NOTHING interesting happened at work. I hate paperwork. I hate it with a passion. It’s always at the bitter end of my pile, and I generally do it on the weekends. You know that management paperwork stuff, like the HR plan in the new software they seem to introduce every few years? It took three days. No joke. Three slackass surfing the internet kind of days, but three days nonetheless.

So, work was pretty boring. Life was pretty boring. I got up, showered, had breakfast while watching the Today Show (it’s like crack to me – I love the Meredith/Matt pairing! they totally crack each other up!), made my lunch, walked the 6 minutes to work, picked up a beverage en route, was at work by 8:10, surfed the news sites for an hour or so, leisurely reviewed my emails, talked to a couple of people in my office in Ottawa, had lunch, repeated until 4PM when I went home.

Every. Single. Day. Okay, one day I went home at 4:15, but only because I was in the middle of something at 4PM. Yeah, I worked 8 hours a day. Every day. I’m struggling to remember when was the last time I could say I worked two 40 hour weeks. I started my MBA in August 2004. So, July 2004. It’s been a loooooooong time.

And it was pretty boring. I came home via the long route every day (12 minutes), got frustrated at the masses of tourists getting in my way (move, stop gawking at the 400 year old buildings!), read for a while, ate dinner that I cooked while watching the 6pm edition of What Not to Wear, did my dishes and washed (by hand) my undies and socks, put my PJs on and did a combo of reading and TV watching and went to bed by 9PM on a regular night, and 10PM on a So You Think You Can Dance night.

And it was pretty boring. I read 9 books in 14. I went for 10 walks. I took the local bus 8 times (scary!). It rained 11 days out of 14. On day 8, when I thought it would NEVER STOP RAINING, I went to Eastern Canada’s largest mall. It’s a kilometre long. That’s a long walk when you’re hitting both levels. Four kilometres, just enough walking to earn you a poutine (fries, cheese curds and gravy).

I wasn’t as active as I wanted, but I had a damn good excuse. I got an ear infection. In each ear. Bad enough that I actually went to see a doctor who didn’t speak english, and a pharmacist who explained the meds to me SO FAST (not in english) that I kinda just nodded and smiled and moved on.

Notice what I didn’t do? No blogging. Why? No internet in my apartment. No gym. Why? No gym in an historic area. And, very little eating out.

So, what did I learn from this experience?

  1. I like to read. A lot. And I basically read a book a day on the weekend and a book every two days not on a weekend. I read a whole lot more on this trip than normal because I had no internet.
  2. I may not be the loner I thought I was. I was very lonely because I had no one to talk to. I like alone time, but not all the time.
  3. I really missed cable. The only non-network channel I had in english was TLC. I really missed the other channels.
  4. There’s a lot of time to fill when you go home at 4PM. What do people do with all that time?
  5. I feel… healthier. No chest pain. Some back pain but I know that’s related to the crappy bed. No gut pain. And I’m using less meds to get to sleep.

So, I was bored and lonely, but I feel a lot better than I did before I went. I don’t know what lesson to take from that.

On Monday, after having done some laundry, hung out with some peeps, seen Harry Potter, and eaten healthy dinners with my parents, I’m heading up to the Arctic. I’ve never been up north before and I’m super stoked. I do have to work, but I’m mostly just there to learn, and my total work output is exactly what I want to do and can get accomplished in a reasonable time. I’m taking photos and interviewing people on camera – not exactly strenuous work. The rest of the 24 hour day (okay, 23 and a bit hours of sunlight, still) I’m gonna do my own thing. Talk to scientists, sit and watch the water, look for bears (of the polar variety) and use the gym. Yes, the gym. I’ve already been to one bookstore to stock up on books, and I’m going to raid the bookstore of Dad for some more books. I’m gonna be gone 12 days. I’m gonna need 10 books. Good gawd.

So, we’ll see how life looks after another two weeks of the Kerry experiment. This time there’s no TV and no internet, but there are books and people to talk to in my own language. Do you think I’ll be less bored?

Long post, I know. I’m still not sure how to identify what I learned over the past two weeks. Does anyone want to help me interpret?