Sunday, 6 July 2014

Melancholy Mood in Anapa Russia

     Being away from family and friends is always difficult when traveling. Perhaps part of this is our inborn sense of guilt, or weirdly construed cultural work ethic. Technology makes this easier in some regards and demanding at the same time. While it is easier to remain connected in this wired world, because of this very thing it reminds us of what we are missing. I have been experiencing a little bit of this melancholy myself these past few days. It started in my favorite little beachside bar the other day.

     I like to type outside when I am in beautiful places. This is hard to do in English speaking countries as my attention is too often pulled away by the surrounding conversations. Thankfully my type of fiction takes me to exotic non-English speaking locales.  The other day I was sitting in my usual local bar and when I went up to get another Guinness, I realized I had a Canadian "loony" in my pocket. I sit for long periods so I usually tip very well as I am taking up a seat for longer than usual. My great bartender knew I was an English speaker as we had had a few games of charades already as he tried diligently to understand what I was asking. So I gave him the "loony" along with my usual tip. His face lit up at the gold coloured coin and he asked "Canadian"? I nodded and smiled when he showed the other staff as soon as I walked away. A few minutes later the sound system that usually plays a medley of Russian music started a Bryan Adams tune from my youth. At first I thought this was just a serendipitous coincidence. Then the Canadian National Anthem started and as I stood I noticed the bar staff watching me. Standing with emotion pouring down my cheeks, I was made very aware of just how much I was missing home.

    This morning my brother from another mother used the Apple application Facetime to bring me to the wedding of two good friends back in Canada. Nubia and Sean got married earlier in the day and Dimitri called me from the reception. So even though it was first thing in the morning for me I shared a drink and toast with the people that still remained. The phone being passed to each still in attendance, and I have to admit the visual perspective was not unlike being loaded. It hit me that I hadn't been at work for three months. It also hit me how much these people were family. While the type of work makes this connection perhaps stronger, I imagine it is similar for all. Congratulations and good wishes were shared with all and the call ended again with me missing home.

I should put home in quotations, as while Vancouver will always be my home, Anapa Russia is where I am choosing to call home now. Despite all the challenges that come with remaining in Anapa  Russia. These are not the fault of Russia or Canada just the reality of where relations between our two countries have brought us. Why we are so far apart is still a mystery to me. We seem to share much of the same values and dreams,  Family and times with friends are goals pursued by the average Russian. A trait shared with the average Canadian. We both have a very socialist ideology and government structure. We both believe that health care and education are basic rights for all. So I am very confused when I look at our Visa requirements. Citizens of the USA enjoy a far easier process and can stay in Russia far longer than Canadians.

     It's getting close to the Surrey International Writers Conference again. I won't be able to attend again this year as I will be on the other side of the world. Believe me when I say this is the only reason I won't be attending.  Last year found me locked into doing things for Grey Redemption and prevented me attending and I missed it. This year the five thousand in airfare makes the trip irresponsible. I am slowly learning this thing called responsibility! But this newly learned skill doesn't stop my desire to attend. I learned so very much from the other authors in attendance. Perhaps the most important of which was humility.

     So while I get to be kept in the loop with what is going on at home and I try to keep you and everyone else in the loop with these blog entries, Facebook, Skype, and Facetime it isn't the same as being there. If I had the funds, I think I'd be racking up the air miles but within the reality that is technology will have to suffice. It is not lost on me that this substitute is sadly lacking.


  1. Scott, you and I have not met, but we have some mutual friends (Catherine and Mark) whom I met on a VIA trans-Canada trip.

    I enjoy your blogs and invite you to check out mine. I felt your separation angst and wish you well in your new "home."


    1. Thanks Chuck! Yes I have heard all about you from Mark and Cathy. More from Cathy as Mark is the strong silent type! LOL! All good too.