What I Hated the Least Today 58/365: Presentable

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I spent the entire Sunday making myself presentable for my first appearance at my web development requalification course the next day. I painted my nails (including toes so they look nice in the snow boots), plucked my eyebrows (those which choose to grow elsewhere than in the traditional eyebrow region), applied and unapplied warpaint (aka facial mask) and also ironed my clothes. In the latter I was heavily assisted by the cat—see illustration. I only have one cat, but, like god, she’s omnipresent.

Such daylong care seems excessive, but I like to be presentable when, normally once a week, I dare go out among people. For what I know, I could be raped or run over by a car (tram, train, you name it), and I wish to make a good first as well as last impression. I’d hate to be embarrassed for myself when my disembodied soul (that is, if I had one) watches my remains on the slab, hovering over the pathologist’s snack (I imagine pathologists snack while they work, and I should stop watching crime TV).

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What I Hated the Least Today 57/365: Charwoman

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We have a charwoman (not to be confused with chairwoman) in our building. I adore her. Sure, I hate people as a whole and many people as individuals (I’m an old bitter woman, you see), but I do like our charwoman. What I find amazing about her (completely unironically) is that she does her job properly. Hardly anyone does these days.

What makes the charwoman even more likeable is that my cat likes her. The cat always sprints to the door when she hears the charwoman’s bucket and proceeds to sit down in front of the door and stare at the woman at work (through the solid door). I sit next to the cat and wait for the charwoman to depart—so that I could rearrange my doormat back into perfect symmetry, parallel with the threshold.

The charwoman does her (our) cleaning so thoroughly that she always moves everyone’s doormats to clean underneath them (what the hell, even I don’t move my doormat when I clean, and I clean obsessively). So this is for the nameless charwoman of our building, whose work I deeply appreciate.

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What I Hated the Least Today 56/365: Nuclear Shelter

I’ve been to a guided underground tour, which covered a church crypt and a nuclear shelter in my town. I can’t exactly relate to medieval bones, but I feel a strong connection to my country’s Eastern Bloc history, which I can at least remember, hence I loved the nuclear shelter more than the crypt.

The shelter was built in the 1950s to protect about a twenty-five member military operations team in case of the third world war or other emergency. It was completely self-sufficient in terms of electricity, water, heating, ventilation etc. and could maintain the staff for five to seven days.

The bunker, carved underground into a rock, was disused after the dissolution of Eastern Bloc, flooded in the 1990s, offered for sale but nobody wanted it and now remains in disrepair. Also, it’s not much of a nuclear shelter anymore because warfare advanced a bit since the 1950s.

iPhriday: Crypt

In response to Gray Days and Coffee challenge.

I never go anywhere or do anything, and to cement the rule, I joined an organised crypt tour in my town. I’m not sure what I was thinking, perhaps I took too literally the information on the guide society’s web site which claimed that the crypt is warmish even in winter. That wasn’t entirely the case.

The tour took not much short of an hour and was thoroughly boring. I assume the guide’s impassioned history talk about the place was interesting, but I never listen when someone tells me something. It remains a minor mystery how I managed to complete my degree when I never listen.

What I remember from the tour is:

  • the crypt is old
  • the church above the crypt is old
  • people were buried in the crypt

As the highlight of the tour, the guide showed us a supposedly medieval wax candle (which I immediately suspected was fake because if it wasn’t, someone would have nicked it a long time ago) and an alcove partially walled in with loose bricks, behind which the bones of one of the plague epidemics victims lay. What I enjoyed most about the crypt was the historical electrification installed in the 1970s.

It didn’t greatly surprise me to hear that next to the church with the crypt, there used to be another graveyard (later dug up and moved into a mass grave in the town’s main cemetery). In my town, dig where you will, you’re bound to find bones. I mean it. Anytime there’s a new construction site, the archaeologists come first to get their bones and only then the construction workers come.

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What I Hated the Least Today 55/365: Mall

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I went to the mall today. Shopping malls scare me because they are filled with underpaid cashiers (aka sales assistants, though I doubt their fancy position title makes them feel any better), uprooted teenagers and homeless people foraging unfinished junk food from the bins. The scariest part though is that once you enter the mall, the end of the world could be happening outside and you’d never know.

I begrudgingly ventured in the mall because half a year ago, I needed a haircut, and half a year later, the need hasn’t diminished, quite the contrary. I could get away with my lack of hairstyle outside because I wear a scarf wrapped around my head in winter (arguably, my headscarf was scaring more people than my nonexistent hairstyle would), but I thought it would nice to get civilised again.

After I had my hair cut and dyed an actual colour (my natural colour is nondescript colourless) and told the hairdresser that the result was great (it wasn’t), she proceeded to charge me for the mineral water she offered me (refreshments were normally included in the whooping prices of the hairstudio as far as I could remember), which upset me, so I upset her by not leaving a tip. I’m mean.

Not particularly pleased with either myself or my new hair, I went to see if there were any shops selling maternity clothes. I’m not pregnant but I look it. Apparently, the hot fashion for February 2016 are thin see-through blouses and things with tassels. In HM, though, which is here a shop where poor people shop, I found trousers that met my single demand: a stretch waistband, no zippers, no buttons. In C&A, which is here a shop where even poorer people shop, I found a cheap shirt suitable as homewear.

I have a high demand for homewear because I have a cat who hates it that I wear clothes and made it her business to chew and claw everything I dare wear. When I unwrapped the shirt at home, I cut the useless hanging loop off the item and gave the loop to the cat to play with. My cat doesn’t get smart toys that I buy her, and as I expected, she was extremely thrilled with the loop.

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I had some close encounters of the third kind in the mall. I was chased by a woman from a mobile stand, who called after me ma’m and offered to measure the amount of fat in my body. She offended me twice in one take. Because ma’m? When you call someone this in my culture, it means that you deem the person addressed to be an old lady. Also, fat measurement? I know I’m fat and I don’t consider it polite to be reminded. I’m touchy.

I also had a girl in the lift ask me if I happened to know whether Seneca was on the first floor. I replied  that I didn’t think they kept the bones of dead philosophers in the mall. Seneca turned out to be a coffee shop, which I passed when I got, as usual, lost in the mall. Later I saw whom I thought was the same Seneca-eager girl, and she looked lost too. I directed her to Seneca, against my better judgement because all people look the same to me and I suspected I might be directing an entirely different person. I turned to be right this time. The girl and I were both pleased.

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