Friday, September 4, 2009

Beachy Birthdays

So what's happened since Milan? Well, I've been working, and just today received my first paycheque (score!) only to realize that I don't think I'm being taxed correctly, or possibly even at all. You may think this is also worthy of another "score!" but when you come from one heavily taxed country into an even more heavily taxed country... not being taxed makes you worry. Boyfriend did remind me though that his first paycheque in Canada had nearly no tax deducted as well, so I suppose I'll have to wait to see the breakdown of everything on my paystub and also to see if I'll be taxed more heavily on my next paycheque before I worry for real. In the meantime I'll be taking my Dad's advice and will be setting aside a hefty percentage in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises come tax-time.

For Boyfriend's birthday (birthday number "negenentwintig") we went to Oostende, and spent the day lazing on the beach, and being in a movie. Yup. A movie. About the environment. They said there were 12000 people there for this, but Boyfriend and I both have been in crowds of 12000 before, and we put the crowd at about 7000 tops. Boyfriend knew about this before we went to Oostende, and essentially what was going on was a crowd-shot involving some coordinated dancing and other such things. We were way in the back of the crowd, so you'll never see us. We don't even know what the name of the movie is. Maybe it's "the big re-think?" I don't know... I don't remember very well since it was in Dutch. I had to ask myself though, as leaflets were handed out on the beach if they were made using vegetable inks on recycled paper? Was the stage setup and broadcast system, along with the filming equipment powered using green energy? Had the film also hired a cleanup crew to deal with the waste left by whoever might be irresponsible enough to leave waste behind on the beach? Hmmmmmmm.

As for pictures, my camera decided to die the very moment I turned it on to begin shooting pictures of this crowd and of Oostende on a SUNNY day. Not enough juice for even one lousy picture. So for visual interest (and because we learned all these dance-steps for the scene by a Flemish count,) I've included a video I took on the way home from the LAST time we were in Oostende, which was the day I learned how to count to 10 in Flemish. Now you can learn too!

In the ongoing saga of injuries Belgium has given me, after 5 months my shoulder still hurts, though it is definitely much stronger than it was when I got here. After work it hurts more, and after a few days of work in a row I'm dying for a strong anti-inflammatory. When I visit Canada, I'll probably be begging my doctor for a cortisone injection. The other day my wrist on my good arm (left) got messed up and has hurt ridiculously for the past two days. Typing this is killing me, which I find entirely retarded since it seems like I'm always injured here!  Fortunately my ankle has gotten a lot of rest lately and now that I've got a little cash I can hopefully find a nice pair of off-road runners and hit the trails in the forests again!

I'm supposed to be studying today, and typing this has made my wrist hurt like a mo-fo, so I should go. I am a champion procrastinator sometimes. Oh yeah, and I didn't post this before because I was feeling too self-conscious about the crazy-ass spit-spandrels that you can see in my mouth when I say "acht". But whatever, I'm over it.

Video temporarily unavailable (Someone who has privacy concerns has to be edited out.)

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