Monday, March 13, 2017

Pet Peeves

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What gets you? What really gets you? In no particular order, here’s what gets me.

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People who line up mad early in economy to be the first people seated on the flight. What is your hurry? You look silly. I’ve never been unable to put my bag overhead or been told to check my bags. How about you bring less stuff you savage? We are all getting on the same flight people.

Same vein, people who can’t wait to unbuckle their seatbelts, get up, attempt to get their bag then wait in the aisle for 10 minutes staring at each other. One time !a guy who was closer to the window asked if I could get up so he could get his bag. HOW ABOUT YOU LEARN A MILD AMOUT A PATIENCE YOU BAFOON

I’m only half joking when I tell people I would break up with a girlfriend if she was super picky whilst ordering at Subway. I wouldn’t last 30 minutes as a Sandwich Artist. Can I have extra pickles please? A few more…oh that’s too much. I QUIT!

Littering and smokers that treat the Earth like their trash can. I will punch you right in the mouth grandma.

Oh, so you want me to let you in but aren’t going to give me the semi-mandatory wave to acknowledge my driving compassion towards you and your Ford Focus?

You want to touch me with your freezing cold hands? How about I never look, think or talk to you for the rest of eternity?

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Don’t say thank you; I didn’t notice or care.

Sure, swear around your little kid. That seems appropriate and in the best interests of everyone long term.

You’re is equivalent to you are. How many days of class did you miss in elementary, middle and high school? 90%?

Too is tooooooo much or toooooo many things. I get toooooo upset over this.

Having wet hands. It just isn’t right.

Unable to connect to the Wi-Fi.

Losing essentially anything.

Thinking something is completely charged but the battery is dead. Hold me back.

Unsubscribing from emails but the emails don’t stop. Whyyyyyy?

Going out for dinner with a massive group of people then trying to split the bill evenly. I only have 100’s. I only have debit. I forgot my wallet. I’ll be eating alone next time.

People who call me Brett.

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When the dentist asks if I’ve been flossing. We both know the answer to that sir.

When you realize that almost every problem can be solved by making a list and thinking ahead then not ever making lists to get ahead.

Wet socks.

An empty ice cube tray in the freezer. That one gets me good.

Buying meatless meatballs by accident because it seems like they were trying to mislead me.

Not having enough podcasts to listen to.

Having someone constantly switching channels on the radio.

Commercials of any type. Mute, mute, mute. How does that not bother everyone?


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Having to ask for a Wi-Fi password. Just display it somewhere to save us both the hassle.

Paying $3.50 to use an ATM. It has gotten out of hand.

New Zealand.

Hearing both sides of a Skype conversation at a hostel or random spot.

Buy headphones to at least limit one side of this terrible conversation I’m being forced to listen to.

Babies who are out past a reasonable hour. They should be asleep and you should be in jail ma'am.

Brushing off a car filled with ice and snow super early in the snowy winter.

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People who insist on lining up to take an escalator as the stairs go unused. Don’t be lazy.

People who have storage units. Just sell that stuff. You don’t need it.


Needing to repeat myself over and over.

Cold showers.

Pens that don’t work.

Not having my headphones.

People who are generally late or unreliable.

Pitch black by 4pm during the winter.

People who complain other than on pet peeve lists.

Stopping in the middle of the busy stairwell to check you phone.

Driving and cutting in at the last second.

People on EI who work under the table.

Being on hold.

People who don’t believe in facts, research or science.

Needing to constantly use a VPN whilst in China.

Going to Blockbuster and your favourite movie has already been taken.

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Clocks that have the wrong time.

When people are talking about a place then ask “Have you been?” in a tone that I don’t appreciate.

People who drag their feet.

My phone.

Bailing at the last minute.

Talking on the phone whilst buying something and dealing with the cashier. You aren’t that important. I promise.

People who rush you when you are getting your change from the cashier.

Not giving people time or space to get off the elevator or subway. See China.

Deciding whether or not to bring an item, not bringing it then realizing it would have been the perfect thing to bring.

Phone chargers plugged in but not charging anything.

Paper jams, out of ink or out of paper.


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Well that list escalated quickly. I was a little worried I wouldn’t have enough. I did about 90% on my own then did some heavy research for the final 10% which ended up reminding me of even more pet peeves. They vary on how much they actually annoy me and when and where also plays a role. Am I way off or have I overdone it? It’s March Madness everyone! Yeah baby!

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"Money doesn't change you; it reveals who you are when you no longer need to be nice."

Sunday, March 5, 2017


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China. You might have heard a certain TV host and president* talk at great length about my new home. People have asked me if I’m dealing with culture shock but my time in Thailand has prepared for me for what I’ve gotten myself into. China.

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I’m as surprised as you are. Things escalated very quickly. One day I’m applying for jobs in Ontario and a few days later I’m on a flight to Shanghai. Why? (direct flights people!) Full time work as a high school English teacher with flights and apartment paid for and the ability to save enough money to get myself out of a little financial jam I willingly got myself into the last ten years. If you gradually spend even a little more money that you earn each year, it really gets you BUT we will stay positive and make a plan. I’ve never particularly cared about saving money due to the fact that I’ve never really made any significant amount of money at any of the jobs I’ve had but I feel like I missed the point in high school. Like DMX says, “Life ain’t a track meet, it’s a marathon.” I felt like I needed a few home runs to become financially well off when I should have been trying for singles, doubles and even the occasional bunt. If only my dad would have warned me and try to instill a love of saving in me…..

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Well we can get rid of one of those jars

I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty of my plan to become a financial mogul or my dreams of becoming a minimalist (ok the second one you will be hearing about) but I will let you into the window that is Shanghai. I live about 35k outside of the core in a rich suburb called Fengxian. I have a two bedroom, one bath, kitchen and decent sized living room that I rock alone and is a nice glimpse into a future of living and dying alone that is unfolding in front of me. I’m on the second floor which helps me avoid taking the smoked filled elevator each morning and evening. Did you know that smoking is still a thing? I come home sometimes reeking of smoke; not the best. My apartment is about a 10 minute drive to the school and there is a van that takes me and a few other teachers to the school every day. I’m looking at bikes to buy because it is healthier and I’m like a little kid who needs a bike to feel independent and not trapped. There are a few malls and cheap places to eat $2-3 dinner nearby. We live right by a river but I can only assume it would mean instant death going within a few meters of it. It isn’t as serious or a strict as I imagined mainland China being which has been a positive development.

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I go to Shanghai proper on the weekends which ends up taking just under an hour depending on how I get into the city but the bus is cheap cheap but good good so that looks like the way I will be entering the city from here on out. There are essentially zero other non-Chinese people in my suburb but certainly thousands more in real Shanghai. Not a ton but definitely a presence. I played lacrosse for the first time Saturday and I’m thinking about making it part of my Saturday morning routine. I’d get to learn a new sport and have access to a huge amount of expats which I am in desperate need of due to the fact that I may or may feel quite lonely. Again, good practice for what is coming.

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My initial thoughts on the food are not spectacular. I found a few dishes I like and my Instragram is quickly looking more and more like an Insta foodie personality but I will try to reign that in in the coming weeks. I think it’s easy to like China but I feel like it might be a hard country to fall in love with. Things I need:
3-Possibly Lacrosse equipment
4-A basketball
That doesn’t seem unreasonable, right?

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What else, what else…? Apparently you shouldn’t drink the water. There’s no Uber here but something less fun and less convenient instead. Buildings exist but many are empty and a few security measure seem only for show. Using Google and Instagram and other sites is a major pain because I need to pay for a VPN and it takes just a few extra minutes each time but that is going to slowly build all my rage that will be unleashed on an undeserving soul. Oh and I’m on my way to being famous:

There’s a Disney amusement park here that I will be sure to be writing a post about. It is my understanding it is illegal to gamble here which might explain why so many guests are in the Niagara Falls casinos. There aren’t any country bars here. Sad face. Bands come here. Some alcohol is supposedly fake which worries me. China is massive and very close to my one true love, Thailand. I may or may not have my next 4 vacations planned out. I was under the impression I had a slight affinity for ladies from this part of the world; I was incorrect. Shanghai has 14 metro lines. 14. 

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 I’m not far from going on a YouTube deep dive on wedding proposal videos. Not being able to speak, write or understand Chinese is going to be an issue. Being back in a place with cheap massages and beard shaves is refreshing. I heard that there is a pretty good wall around here that I should go find when I have the time. Ping Pong is no joke here. I like the show Riverdale more than I care to admit. 

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I enjoy going to work and I’m happy that I’m here. I need a routine and to eat more fruit and be more active but my sleep and reading levels are high and I’m cautiously optimistic I’m in the right place. China.

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"The more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you."