Sunday, March 20, 2005

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Monday, 20 March 2005
You know this isn’t easy.
I got caught up with the picture upload last night and it took way too long to get things right. I was trying to clean up the blog somewhat, make it a little tighter, a little clearer and so last night I worked on the OVERVIEW PAGE. I guess you can click on that word and have a look at it. I had always thought that the old one was too long and not very well written. I don’t know why I had never rewritten it before. Probably a time/money thing.
But last night I simply couldn’t get the “Hello” program to actually get the pictures onto the web. I had been using MSN but they simply failed me a few weeks ago when I tried to put some pictures of my daughter on the web for family and friends. Blogger recommends Hello and its big brother Picassa, but I already have a great photo in editor in Irfan View which already does pretty much everything Picassa does but doesn’t demand 50 megs of space to do it. Maybe it was my computer but the upload was so slow that it all amounted to simply mistakes and I had to do the whole damned thing three times before I got it right.
Anyway, what all of that really means is that I did not finish the HOMEPAGE yet and I will have to do it tonight when the rates go down. And you know what? I think that it is that I yet have to make some contortions n order to work with the web even after three years that still pisses me off. I mean, I am sure other people have a really great little home computer work station and a normal internet deal which allows them to do their web work in comfort. Now I don’t have to do all of this from the internet cafe anymore, so that is a plus, but where I actually do have to work is on this little… let me measure it… 30 cm stool and a 41 cm high desk. This little Alice in Wonderland setup is all we have because I have to be next to the phone in order to work.
So here I am in the wee small hours, trying to get into some newspapers and journals, trying to write letters to people who might help, and I have to squat down as if I am on a toad stool to do it.
But this is just bullshit.
What I am trying to say is that this is going to be more of an uphill climb. I am thinking that “suicide mission” might be a better way to say it. But for the life of me I don’t know what else I am supposed to do. I mean, we are going to be completely out of money very soon and I am not too big a man to tell you that I am not looking forward to another summer like the last.
I mean, I am not afraid of a little hard work, but subsistence farming with hand tool when you don’t even have enough money for a bottle of cooking oil is desperate by anyone’s standards. Can you imagine what it is like when you have to eat all of the leaves from the young cabbages you are pulling because you are trying to get every last shred of nourishment that you can. I can. I did all last year. Beet greens and new potatoes, fresh peas and porridge and all cooked on a wood stove. Hunting for mushrooms and ripe cow patties to feet things with. And weeding and weeding and weeding and weeding…
Now of course there is a time, when the apples and plums come in that you can just graze straight from the trees. That’s ok. And all of those fresh strawberries and onions and garlic early on. I mean, there is give and take in all things and I am better prepared. But couldn’t I at least have enough money to fix my broken crank (bicycle)? Do I have to feel every penny, every day?
Maybe I do. Who knows. But then again, and probably for the millionth time- Though I wanted to be here, I did not want to e here like this. And that is the problem. It is a problem being here. It is and has been AND WILL BE, a problem staying. And of course for all of us, it will be a problem leaving.
“Where is the end?” is how the locals say this.
Where is the end?
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Sunday, 20 March 2005
Ok, so let’s talk about this a little bit? How exactly am I supposed to be presenting myself here? I mean, am I
1. Asking for sympathy?
2. Looking for a job?
3. Looking for a handout?
4. Trying to get a lot of money in reparations for what happened to me?
5. Look for some satisfaction from Poland for their crimes?
6. Raising consciousness about what life is really like here in eastern Europe? And maybe even a little about what it was…
7. Raising consciousness about our world (my opinions only of course) and how things are developing from my vantage point her at the geographical center of Europe?
8. Trying to make sense of my own life and my current situation? Or, for that matter…
9. Trying to make sense of how exactly people live around here. I mean, I have been in and around the place for three years and to be honest, I am still not sure I understand how it is possible.
10. Trying yet again to save a face so lost Lewis and Clark couldn’t even find it.

I am sure there is more, but I think that this is a pretty good start. But in the end I think that the answer is simply that I am needing to make a change in my life because my current situation is simply impossible. I suppose I could illustrate why:

Let’s see… I basically have no money. That’s a good start. And I have no job, this is also a winning point here. I have no prospects or for that matter, it is not even legal for me to ask for work here. I have a rather huge debt outstanding, accumulated over the course of the last three years and have no particular way to pay it. And as far as that goes, I have lost… God, how could I begin to count…Let’s just say several friends because I don’t really feel like I could use the word many; several friends because of my deteriorating financial situation inevitably created a deteriorating social situation as well. There is nothing like poverty to make a pariah out of any of us I suppose.
So what I am saying is that really, I am fucked here. But at the same time there are still many people for whom I am desperate to help and this includes a new two-and-a-half-month-old daughter. So what the hell am I supposed to do about any of this?
Well, the first thing I had thought of course was to write that book. Have you ever tried to write a book? Did you know that it is damned hard work? I mean, I have tossed off plays, that being my creative outlet for a while, but books are another world entirely. Even writing prose for that matter is an animal that doesn’t want to be tamed. And do you know how many months I sat at the internet cafe, making notes, writing, re-writing, checking facts, rechecking facts, editing my checked and re-checked facts and re-writing them… It was ridiculous. And then they lost the damned thing on me. I mean, they tried to lose my shit several times but they actually did find a way to disappear 80,000 words at one point.
But all of that I guess has to be in the second book. What? What is that I have said? That’s right, I want to write another book.
Well there it is. I said it. That is what I really want to do. I want to write a follow up book to a book that no one would even take seriously. No, no, no: I am not crazy nor am I sarcastically jaundiced. Well, perhaps I am just a little verbose and have something in me that is probably masochism but I think of it as a comic sense of the ridiculous. But regardless, there it is. I want to write another book and I want to write about what life has been life for me since Poland…
Do you think that this is an interesting subject? I mean, living in modern Belarus without money, face, social position… crazy, yea? Who would want to read this? I mean, is this an avant guard life I am living? Is this art? I mean, is this all about simply admitting I am a fool for believing in certain things?
Well I guess that goes without saying…

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