Wednesday, June 04, 2008

let's practise pronouncing "locking system"

oof, this working thing is hard work! i'm now working six days a week - three in the bike shop and three at the esl school. the bike shop is uber fun: my colleagues are really cool (we play ani, bob dylan and radiohead), the customers are nice (this is taking some getting used to - why aren't they being rude and sleazy??) and i'm learning a lot about bikes and helmets and locking systems. yesterday i got to try a couple of different bikes, including a cruiser with roller brakes and internal hub, and a folding bike. this job is completely exhausting, though. i've spent most nights in the last week in the bath or in bed, or falling asleep at the table at various social events. i think i'm getting upper body muscles though, which is exciting!

my esl job is, frankly, dodgy. it makes me think a lot about exploitation, of me and of international students. i'm trying to figure out if it's worth kicking up a fuss. i'm going to wait until august at any rate, cos working here beats borrowing money for rent. (doesn't it, bbb???) i'm also learning about teaching ESL, which is a useful skill, and i'm getting to use the teaching skills i already had, and talk about english, which i do enjoy. it's bearable.

speaking of which, i'd best get dressed up and pack food. i have a six hour shift today with no breaks. in a basement. with fluorescent lighting. dooooooooom!


JT said...

Six days a week!! - you should be rolling in cash now!
The bike shop sounds like a nice job, even if it is exhausting.
I wouldnt like the basement. I spend a lot of my day looking out the window at the empty lake and the birds!!!
I'm glad you are gainfully employed and can now pay the rent and eat!
Lots of Love
ps your seedling is coming along well.

grotajira said...

kicking up a fuss won't achieve positive change - exploiting international students is a fine tradition, and you won't change that

tho, of course it's your god-given american dooty to revolt against evil
(i warship satin)

if you work there you accept the conditions - that's the tacit understanding

Anonymous said...

where is the basement? not at the bike shop surely! is there a window at least???
I will email you soon

gumtreefid farmer said...


well, when they actually pay me! i have a list of things i want. mostly a haircut, but some other stuff too.

the bike shop is a good job. i have fun.

the basement is pretty sucky. i've spent a fair bit of time in basements in vancouver, what with one thing and another, but the joy of being in a room with no windows never gets old. . .

it's only for three months, and yes, i can pay the rent and eat!


ps. yes, isn't it beautiful?

gumtreefid farmer said...


you can't raise me all moral and independent then tell me to roll with it! make up your mind!

i understand it's an exploitative tradition, but there's degrees. i'm going to find out what the rules are regulating this system and see if this place breaks those rules.

it's a bit rough practising how to say the R in "depressed" and correcting the grammar of "i little bit lonely", you know?


gumtreefid farmer said...


no, basement is downtown. so i can duck over ot nice coffee shops in my breaks, which is good. it's nice to be downtown more often.

no windows. i'm thinking about sticking up my k-rudd poster in my cubicle, though. it's a learning device. . .


Anonymous said...

Oh my gawd....
I little bit lonely.....
How sad!


grotmeister said...

'i little bit lonely' breaks my heart - poor lost souls

maybe you could start up a coffee social group with them, extra-curricula-like, then when they know each other you could leave them to it

gumtreefid farmer said...


isn't it! and some of them ask me for advice, on work and romantic problems and i'm all "no! i am not qualified! i can tell you how to make a sentence for these situations, but not what to put in it!" i think they're lacking support systems.


gumtreefid farmer said...


ah, but i'm not paid enough to *care* or do extra work for them. when i finish my shift i want to go home and read novels in the bath, not organise social events.

also i get the feeling they don't want to be friends with each other. they want to be friends with canadians, but it's tricky because of the language barrier. why travel all this way to hang out with other koreans?

i choose to blame colonialisation and global capitalism. as my first year political science tutor said, "don't be so hard on yourself! dump on the system!"