One month down, two to go

We left home on Christmas morning. We’ve been gone for a month.

We lazed around much of the day. In the morning were going to go for a 2 hour bike ride, up to Bay View and back. I guess I missed a turn somewhere along the cycling path — and we ended up heading DOWN to Taradale. When we got to the big roundabout the path ended. Now what? Lots of traffic going in and out of the roundabout — that made it a bit tricky for cyclists to enter and exit. My sense of direction said the coast was ‘that-a-way’, and my google maps on the phone said the same. So we ended up cycling on the side of a busy highway. Hmmm… we’re not used to that! Especially after a couple of big double-trailer logging trucks came whipping by! As I was trying to speed up in order to get to where the shoulder of the road widened a bit, I noticed my bike was taking off on me! It was getting harder and harder to reach the handlebars. What? and then ‘clankity-clank’! My bike seat disappeared and I was hanging onto the handlebars with my ass hanging precariously over the spinning rear wheel. The bikes are a size too small and I’d adjusted the seat height as high as I could on the seat post — well, maybe a little too high — and now I had to turn around on that crazy highway and go back and pick up my seat. Hey, if we want to risk life and limb on a bike we can cycle on the highways around Steinbach! Let’s get outta here. 

After lunch we sat around in the apartment. We had a long FaceTime with the kids — Tim is checking in on our house, Alex is hosting after school parties with colleagues, and Max has taken up sketching and is drawing pictures for me. Then we had another long FaceTime with Ed and Val — caught up on all the latest goings-on at SMC. 

Sue made denver sandwiches for our early supper. We had tickets to the 6 o’clock movie in town. We hurried into town and made a quick pit-stop at a big department store to buy a new frying pan — Sue wasn’t altogether pleased with the one in our apartment. As it turned out we got to the theatre 15 minutes before showtime, enough time to go online and check out the reviews on our new frying pan. Oh, oh. Not very good. Apparently the pan warps easily — and that’s the same problem we have with our old one! 

We saw the movie “Hidden Figures” and both rated it 5 stars. As we were sitting there watching an ‘American’ movie about intelligent black women who help the United States ‘win’ the space race in spite of discrimination, segregation, and sexism, for a moment I forgot that we are half the world away from the US. And I remember feeling the same thing last winter when we went to watch quite a few movies in Cape Town. American movies are shown all over the world — in South America, in Asia, in Europe. They are a powerful force in creating values and shaping cultures, for good and for bad. Hollywood and the power of satellite television helped bring down the Soviet Union and break down the Berlin wall. The government couldn’t hide the disparity between East and West from the people. Dictators and closed societies can’t win against the will of the people. Walls and protectionist policies have no chance against the ‘free trade’ of ideas. No wonder Trump is so afraid of Hollywood and the media.

After the movie we still had time to hurry back to the store and return our new frying pan. Back at the apartment we sat down and watched the CBC National on my computer. By shortly after ten we were in bed.

Time flies when you’re having fun.