Five hundred and forty-nine

City living

I’m on my way to my parents’ house in the country to visit for a few days and breathe some fresh air.  I mostly love living in an urban area, but since my parents moved into a large property in the Niagara wine country, I am more drawn to getting out of the city.  I’ve always loved being in the fresh air, but as I get older, I hit a point where I get so frustrated with the crowds and pollution of the city that I need to leave.  I feel depressed and overwhelmed.  I get annoyed with the littlest things, like a piece of litter on the side of the street or a rude cashier.  I can’t take the noise of the construction or the smell of the body odour of the person sitting next to me on the streetcar.  I need to get out.  And so I leave the city, I breathe some fresh air, enjoy the quiet and go for walks in the trees, and then I come back and I’m refreshed for awhile longer.  I wonder if everyone feels this way, or is it only me?

It’s not just the grime of the city that bothers me.  I also get sick of the people.  I’ve found myself in a place and time where it seems the ideas of morals are shifting.  I get so angry when my friend speaks of her married friend who constantly cheats on his wife.  Unless his wife is okay with him sleeping around, he is a horrible person and I don’t want to hear about him – ever.  I’m sick of seeing some drunk guy try to fight some other drunk guy and knock over an innocent bystander.  I hate women who back-stab, or bratty children who have been taught no manners.  I’m sick of people who spend all their money on things they don’t need, then complain they don’t have enough money to pay rent, and yet walk past a homeless person and tell them they have no money to give them because they have as little as that person does (while wearing an expensive pair of jeans or carrying a Gucci purse).

I’m not religious, although my ideas of morals come from Christian foundations.  Am I just programmed to follow these rules of morality?  Or is this a natural human trait?  I guess we will never know the answer to that question.  I try to be open minded, but I draw the line when it hurts other people.  And maybe I’m being all high on my horse because I can be – because I don’t need to steal or lie to survive.  The thing is, I would be okay if someone stole food or money from me because if they didn’t do this they would starve. But it isn’t those people who make me angry.  It’s the man (or woman) in his suit with his good job, sleeping around on his wife, stealing money from his company so he can buy another big screen television, whose son watches him and models himself after his father.

I know I’m not perfect.  I don’t ever claim to be.  I know I have, to some degree, lied, stolen, cheated.  I try to learn from my mistakes.  Maybe it all comes down to one word: honesty.  Maybe if we were all honest the world would be a better place.  But of course there are pitfalls with too much honesty.  I don’t have any answers, just lots of questions.  I guess I just have to make my own decisions and follow my own moral code and try to surround myself with people who are similar to me.  And try not to worry about other people and their choices.  My friend’s cheating friend still makes me angry, but he’s not worth my energy.  And I need to make time to regularly get out of the city and escape to the country.  I obviously need that RIGHT NOW, as I can’t seem to stop ranting!

(As I finish this post, I’ve arrived at my parents’ house.  It’s interesting how a bit of fresh air adds a a different perspective.  Maybe I’m being too judgmental?)

No blog next week…

Next week, I’m taking a week off from the world, so there will be no blog.  I’m heading to Algonquin Provincial Park to hike, see the beautiful fall colours of the leaves, take in more fresh air (and a longer break from the city) and write the last bits of the book.  I will see you in two weeks with hopefully some amazing photos to share!

Day ninety-four

The aftermath of 31 Days 31 Dates

I had a little cry today.  Partly recovering from my little birthday party shindig, partly the fact that I’m now 31, and partly overwhelmed by both the complete emotional and physical drain that came from going through 31 days of dates.  I never thought it would be so intense.  I’m feeling better having let it all out (by crying and confiding in a friend), but I’m still confused and tired and not knowing at all what I want.  I started 31 Days 31 Dates with the same thing that I will end it with: Ahhhh!

I also wanted to put in one website I forgot to add to yesterday’s post: AshleyMadison.com.  It’s a dating site for married people to find other people to have affairs with.  “The most recognized name in infidelity.  We are the most recognized and reputable extramarital affair company.  Our married dating services work.”  There are over nine million members, so dating while in a committed relationship unfortunately seems to be a large part of the dating community.  I am not too happy about that, but dating month is not complete without it.  Here’s a video of the founder on The View:

Cooking 30 Countries

All sorrows are less with bread.  ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

This is the month I’ve been looking forward to!  I love to cook, try new recipes and eat.  A month devoted to those pleasures has to be a great month!  Each day I will either cook or eat (in some instances I will eat at restaurants, or at friends’ houses and they will do the cooking part) something from a different country.  I will try to post as many recipes as I can, give a description and a photo of the food, and a little of its history.

Ethiopian

Yesterday I had Ethiopian food with my mom for lunch.  There are so many great Ethiopian dishes, I thought it best that instead of trying to cook just one, we would go to a restaurant where we could have the vegetarian and meat platters and try them all! We found a seat at Lalibela Restaurant on Bloor Street, east of Ossington, and I convinced my mom to share the platters.

The meat and vegetarian platters combined. Far too much food for the two of us, but so delicious!

Meat combination: alicha wot (split pea stew), kitfo (spiced raw or rare ground beef), doro (chicken), gomen ayib (cottage cheese with collard greens), salad and dullet (spicy mixture of tripe, liver, beef, and peppers).  Vegetarian platter: split peas, lentil, chick peas, cabbage, collard green, vegetables and hilbet (beans, garlic, ginger and fenugreek).  Served with injera (sourdough flatbread).

Ethiopian food tends to be very spicy, served as a platter of shared food, and eaten by hand – taking a piece of the injera and scooping up the food with that.

Here’s a video on how injera is traditionally made:

Yum!