Arrivals, Tremors, and Racism

I have promised myself a more organized life in every aspect. Well defined categories for this blog. A planned packing process. I have made an inventory that had two main sections: definitely and maybe. Since I have set a limit of 10 boxes to ship with FedEx, I had to play tetris to fit all of the “definitely” and then fill the space with whatever I can from the “maybe” according to its both material and emotional value.

Various stress contributors that have been active for the past three years or just became active while I was packing created a chaos in my mind that the main sections was not paid attention to anymore.  On top of that the large raised red flags, it wouldn’t hold its contents for sure. The result? Unpacking a large box and repacking the content into smaller boxes is the obvious one. The rest… a mess. I had no clue where some stuff were: not on the list, not in the house, maybe inside one of the boxes, hopefully not in the trash. I had to stop panicking at some point and just close the boxes. I wrote down whatever I can and hope for the best when they will pass through customs. Surprisingly having a deadline, I had to catch my flight, helped turning off the panic. To be honest, I had bigger things to worry ahead of me: How to pass through security with the cat, whether they will allow the cat in-cabin or find her too big for the carrier.

I have informed that I have a pet at the checkpoint, the officer asked if I was able to take it out. I said yes, and decided to place my trust on Pebbles. She was scared but did not object being taken out of the carrier. They had to swab my hands and check for “top secret” residuals. I had a bit of a trouble opening my palms while holding the cat, thanks to tremors. I was conscious that she might escape any second. But it wasn’t because of that. I cannot stop those tremors by being calm. I had zero strength left! I had little sleep, I had my period, I have been physically exhausted from packing and running errands. Of course carrying a 5kg cat with one hand meant that I would have tremors.  Seeing this, the officer told me “relax, don’t be nervous”. I wish we could have a long chat with a cup of tea so I could tell him all about how I was functioning on the emergency power supply generated by the excitement of moving to a new place, starting a new job and living in a city where I get to see one of Kusama’s rooms many many times. But it was nice of him to realize and reassure me.

In the end the cat only tried to escape so that she could run back to her carrier. For the first time ever, she did not object being stuffed into it. She is terrified, staring at the window as I write these lines. There is too much noise around that she has no idea where they are coming from. But I have packed her cat tree, blankets, some old litter so that she has her smell around. She is eating little not starving. She has fallen a sleep for a few minutes at 4am, next to me. Overtime she will adjust, but then we will move again to our new home.

The home that I have started searching.  It is going to be a little challenging since I dislike the open space concept (I want the kitchen as a kitchen, isolated from the living room), microwave+hood combination, top-load washing machines etc. but we will find something eventually with as little compromise as possible. First order of business is getting the social insurance number and opening up a bank account. Then entering 2020.

Besides one hiccup everything went smoothly from applying for the visa till the arrival to the AirBnB. The never arriving, ever lost police certificate created concerns,  delayed the whole process. My limited airbnb options with the pet were getting booked fast that I had to leap at the best option available without knowing if I would arrive to Toronto on the day I planned. The term best is controversial for this place. While the bathroom and the kitchen sinks have been cleaned, the rest not so much. While the street it is located is certainly safe, the surrounding ones are frustrating. Being picked on in the streets is scary folks. I don’t care if they are just having fun, joking around. I am scared if you jump in and extend your fist, period. So there is a small stretch I have to avoid since I do not welcome those interactions but I will live.

It is not Baltimore, isn’t it. I am not sure I should keep saying this. To me this means it is not as violent as Baltimore. But I realized people who are racist are using this sentence to mean that the city does not have as many African Americans. This is wrong. I hate myself for not slapping them in the face but I know that a slap will not cure them, it will not change them. I play along to hear their thoughts, to see if I am misunderstanding, or there is some contradiction I can pinpoint to realize that they are in fact being racist. This requires patience which I often run out. I shall see how much this time I can hold on since it has been pointed out to that person several times. I will remind myself of Hulk in Avengers: Endgame. There was a funny scene, where he was trying to smash things and failing miserably. I need to keep the values that creates the anger, but turn that anger into constructive behaviour and do not destroy. That’s the resolution for 2020!

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