Saturday, October 25, 2014

Beautiful things and Newark

There are a lot of things to see and do around Newark. Spouse's signature not required!
There are beautiful views. I find that the circle of trucks reminds me of an Einstein's bagel. Luckily, my rental car GPS took me there.
Less luckily, it was cold enough that I had to scrape my car with a loyalty card. And in my jetlag, I didn't realize that my car was (clearly) Canadian, and therefore drove inappropriately slowly before I clued into kilometres' generosity.
Meanwhile, the conference was in a quaint country hotel. This means there are numerous paisleys, plaids, and fried foods. If you avoid looking at them while falling asleep, you can avoid crazy dreams.
A common hotel feature, the heater had boat engine loud, and nosebleed fury settings.
Here is where the fridge wasn't, and the ice bucket in which I stored my extra Einstein's cream cheese.
Usually hotel "art" is for aiding sleep. This one, with the man creeping up on a woman trapped on an island, not so much.
Meanwhile, back in Singapore, we had Thanksgiving!
In so doing, we proved that our bar works as planned.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stopover in Disrupted Times

While travelling, if faced with a protest, it is recommended to walk away along a perpendicular route.
It is not recommended to approach the crowd.
One can see protests and riots in France and Vancouver. But how often do you get to see a peaceful suffrage protest, in one of the world's best cities?
I admire the relative peacefulness, the stamina, the clever use of tie-wraps, above, and the use of the latest technology.
During our quick stopover, this is as close as we got to Hong Kong island.
I've figured out how to do another awkward transition to food. I also admire Hong Kong as one of very few places in Asia where strangers offer to help you on the street, and where you are offered iberico ham in a Japanese bar.
And, oh, the food. The picture below seems posed, but it was a serious conversation, actually.
Thank you Will and Catherine for the culinary delights!
And here is my closing sentiment.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cycle Spousing

4:45 is a very very early time. Why would anyone wake up then? This is not right. This morning, Barry was not a ninja. He was crashtastic and loudatious. There was much slam. I tried to get back to sleep after his stomping bike shoes finally walked away. Then the fridge, whose door he left ajar, started to cry and need attention. That was not very nice. Then the combination of my subtle yet aggrevating malaises began to demand my attention: body aches, work stress, headache, and a lack of 5am joy. So I got up again, and addressed these concerns with coffee and peanut butter toast. I am now in a semi-zombie caffeinated state wondering what to do with my life.
It is now that I realize, with all of the 5am brilliance that I can muster, that the cycling spouse deserves much acclaim. Could my friends tell you how many cycle overall-kinis and jerseys will fit in the wash? Whose idea was it originally to develop the cycle station super storage center?
Who figured out how to book Barry’s race trip on airline miles? Finally, who was here when this happened (the crash)?
This is the cyclist, sometimes, when he comes home.
This strange species, pumped up with sport-dorfins, skips across the impractically white marble floor, tries to embrace his freshly showered partner, forgets where to dispose of his soiled spandex.  Most importantly for him, this is the man who has an urgent need to “upload his ride” to the mysterious land of Strava. Here, the like minded lycra-clad with abruptly awoken spouses plot important life achievements, such as who biked fastest, furthest, and longest. His (or her, but in this case his) strava “friends”, whom he cannot recognize if they’re not helmet-clad, send “kudos”, which is the sport’s equivalent to social interaction. His rides, kudos, computer-calculated score of suffering, which is inexplicably a good thing, and other such features help him to validate his bikexistence and bikenjoyment, and enable him, finally, to get into the shower. I do not think a “I woke up too early” Strava would have the same effect for me, regrettably.
Other practices of cycling life that impact spouses include tribal hair-removal practices. Much like maori tattooing, or Koteka gourds, this is a way to belong to the tribe of spandex and wheels. However, it also can lead to strange and alarming scenes in the bathtub during and after the process. These practices also include the use of the oven for baking footwear, which is then formed around the cyclist’s shaven feet. Barry has an unusual love of sock patterns, and I have yet to identify if this is normal cyclist behaviour, or just him. However as bike spouse I know that the worshipped socks must not enter the dryer!
As I went to take this sock picture, realizing it’s still very, very early, I put on a load of laundry. Mostly spandex. There were some odours. And that about summarizes why the cycle spouse deserves some kind of medal. Or spa treatment. As does the cyclist too, of course.