Month: May 2016

Bumbling along

For some time now, I’ve considered doing things to meet people. Best friends forever isn’t really the aim here, but someone to meet up with, someone in the same time zone to text (that isn’t your boyfriend), yes, why not?

Only, how?

Making new acquaintances isn’t easy in familiar surroundings, so how does it work when everything’s new? Do I ask the bakery girl if she likes movies? Do I talk to the mail man about something else but pretty stamps?
Nah, there’s an app for that. After looking at meetup.com (themed meetings) and library events (workshops about taxes, language classes and so on), I heard about Bumble.

Bumble is a swiping app in which women have first and final say. But the interesting part is their BFF subdivision. Select that and you only get women who are looking for platonic relationships, friendships (I don’t know if men can look for friends as well and why women can’t find platonic male friends). Of course (urgh) it links to Facebook and demands your location (that at least makes sense), but after that there’s only swiping to be done. When you have a match, there’s a 24 hour window for either of you to react, to prevent endless waiting. Then, the tougher part: connecting on another level than an approving swipe.

At least both sides acknowledge that it’s kind of strange, hoping that a list of shared interests may lead to a relationship. And maybe it won’t, already some conversations are fading before they could blossom. So be it, that’s how social life works.

No matter what, it’s surprisingly fun to chat. To not have to worry about time zones and view your every action through the lens of a stranger. I’m not alone in being alone, and I’m working on changing that.

On Victoria Day I had my first Bumble meeting. She initiated, I was nervous, but it was so nice to have someone to talk with over a meal. To have understand about knowing no-one but your colleagues. I’m not sure if we’ll meet again, even though she said we should and we still talk occasionally.
But I did it, I’m doing it, and that’s a step forward again.

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To the dentist

It’s been over two hours and I haven’t left the dentist chair yet. Not because my mouth is such an utter wreck, but because it’s being profiled like it’s a master criminal.  By a student dentist, not a forensic profiler.

How I ended up there? As a temporary resident I don’t have Medicaid. Without Medicaid I can’t just walk in every dentist (or doctor’s practice because not all of them help the uninsured. Nor did I really feel like paying the big bucks (again, $75 for a doctor’s appointment not that long ago).
So, with the help of Google ottawa+budget+dentist, I got a short list. One was closing for summer, one was very far away, the third one was the cheap one that wanted at least six hours of my time. A dentistry school, where time is filled with asking a lot of questions and checking and testing everything out of the (study) book. Distance between my teeth and gums is written down somewhere now.

I don’t even know if I have cavities yet, that’s going to be next time. But I have impressively straight teeth and the student’s lovely and fun. What else to do with my evenings anyway?

Day 143

Having to post a picture every day, and just using the day number because I’m too bad at titles and at least won’t miscount this way, you really notice how time goes by. I have been here for ninety days, one-hundred, one-hundred twenty. Will I reach 200?

Because decisions have to be made, mostly because per August first I won’t have a place to live and speaking from recent experience, that’s not a stress situation I want to return to again.

But that means that I have to discover if Ottawa is worth staying for, if Canada is worth staying. And that will largely depend on a job, a job that is satisfying and enriching. Because right now I could work to find such a thing in the Netherlands, and have friends and family nearby. Those are on the other side of the scale, the worry that if I am gone too long, I won’t fit into their lives any more (especially the friends’ ones).

So I’m looking for jobs again, casting the net wide, down into the States. Maybe I’m worth a work permit, even when I’m not good enough for any other one.

Until then? I enjoy the weather, I enjoy making money I can spend, there are moments of ‘That’s my city’. I try to not to think too long about it, it’s just confusing.