Monday, 13 September 2010


Today was my first day at work following an almost two week long break, and I can tell you this: times are tough.
Although a significant portion of my leave was spent looking after my sick son and being sick myself (to varying degrees), I still had great fun. It was all to do with the company I’ve had.
First, one of my best friends from Israel came for a visit (the reason for me taking time off in the first place). Unlike other visitors he chose to stay at our place, which was great because it meant we had more time together. I cannot avoid comparing this choice to the one made by my parents the last time they visited us, some six years ago: they declared our house too small despite us having a guest bedroom at the time with a proper bed and all (Seally queen size mattress, for a start). They stayed elsewhere, a place where they weren’t particularly wanted, and the result was that our interactions were severely limited.
The second reason for my break being so good had to do with my friend and I going to visit the AussieCon4 science fiction convention (aka this year’s WorldCon, taking place at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre). I was surprised by my fellow visitors: contrary to common perceptions, the place had quite a significant portion of women, including definitely attractive specimen. More importantly, there were lots of young people around, and even more importantly there were lots of sci-fi celebrities around – virtually all of them friendly and fully capable of tolerating chitchat with pests like me. The whole experience was very nice: it’s nice to be surrounded by genuinely nice people discussing common interests. For the record, and again – in contrast to common perceptions – agenda items were not [only] to do with the latest Star Trek outfits. Instead there were panels on climate change hosting world class scientists and discussions on intellectual property in the age of the ebook. Stuff that genuinely affects everyone, not only your corrective eyewear wearing geek.
After the convention was over we moved on to the icing on the cake, featuring all of us on a drive to Sydney. We drove for more than two days along the coast towards Sydney and for one straight day along the freeway back, which meant we spent a lot of time in the car; yet time in the car is not wasted time when friends can talk to one another. The driving itself wasn’t half as bad as I expected it to be, proving that cruise control really works. I compare this drive to me driving along the same route some ten years ago: I was younger and much fitter but I had to cruise control myself and I was accompanied by only ten CDs which I had to listen to again and again. Obvious proof for how technology (and companionship) can improve our quality of life.
We didn’t do anything special in Sydney or on the way there, just the typical sightseeing one normally does there. But it was great and it was sad all the same, because it showed us just how much we have been missing by leaving our friends behind to come and live in Australia. Hopefully my friend too enough with him to want to come back, hopefully in greater numbers.
Back in the office today after that long drive, I find myself in a total lack of drive to return to my daily work routine. Yet a part of becoming a true adult is the recognition that this world that we live is not there to satisfy my whims; in fact, this world is pretty cruelly indifferent towards me. So onwards I need to march, doing the things I must do to keep the world in motion.

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