Highs and Lows
Another year comes to an end.
Looking back, it's been a rough ride.
In my personal life, I started off 2006 in eastern Europe, which, although an amazing learning experience, was also one of the hardest and most painful adventures that I've had.
Whether being jerked around in Bulgaria, wondering if I'd survive Moldova, nearly freezing to death in Ukraine, being stuck on a broken down freight ship in the Black Sea for almost a week, or being kicked out of the place I was staying late at night in a run down neighborhood of Istanbul, January and February weren't easy. I won't go into too much detail about all of that here, as I wrote quite a bit about it in the blog entries from that time.
The next couple of months were less extreme, as I spent most of my time studying Spanish in Alicante, a town in the southeast of Spain. Learning Spanish is the one of the best things that I've done in the past couple of years, but in the end my time there was mostly to study, and I didn't enjoy myself so much as to try to learn as much as possible.
After moving on from Spain, I toured around Ireland and the U.K. for about a month, which was a great time. No near-death experiences, no major dangers, it was much less tiring than eastern Europe. Still, in many ways I missed the adventures.
Two days after getting back to Canada, I caught one of the worst flus that I've ever had. I set a personal record of 22 hours straight of sleeping, and couldn't stay on my feet for more than 15 minutes at a time.
A week after getting back to Montreal, I separated my knee while climbing with some friends. It was the worst injury of my life, from which I'm still recovering. I spent 2 months on crutches, and ever since have been stretching for half an hour every day to get the flexibility back in my leg. I was lucky that I didn't tear any tendons that can't heal on their own.
Next up, the job that I had turned out to be a sham. What was meant to be a position on salary as an analyst at an insurance company turned into nothing more than being a salesman paid on commission. The saddest part was that I spent over a month writing tests to be licensed to work in the insurance industry.
I quit the job a few weeks ago, and am now looking into a job teaching chess to children. Hopefully this one will turn out to be on the up and up.
My roommates went insane at some point in October. The one, by far the bitchiest, is completely bipolar. After having shouting matches every night, I finally started to look for a new place in the middle of November. I found one the first day I was looking, where the rent is half what it was with the bipolar girl, and the roommates are actually friendly. In fact, they all seem great. It will be a fantastic change being able to have a conversation with the people I'm living with, instead of being scowled at for saying hello in the morning.
To top the year off, I crashed my car on my way to the Maritimes, where I was planning on spending Christmas. The weather conditions were horrible, as it was raining when the temperature was -1. Since the road was covered with ice topped with a layer of water, I was driving slowly and carefully, but in the end it didn't matter. The wheel started to jerk back and forth, and the car ended up rolling over twice in a field. All things considered, I was extremely lucky not be injured. The car was totaled. Insurance will cover the costs of buying a different one.
In terms of what's happened in the world, it seems like most of it is bad. War is breaking out all over, with predictions of things getting even worse in the near future. The good news (from my point of view) was that the only politician that I respected won the Liberal leadership, and results from the elections in the U.S. mean that their foreign policy will hopefully become a bit more polished.
Here's hoping for a calmer 2007.