“How old will you be when I turn 50” – K to J

“I’m probably dead by then” – J to K

Today February 8th is my first month anniversary of living in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It felt like the longest 1 month period in recent memory, with new experiences galore:

1. New job, new officemates, in a new industry, new place, and new geographical setting (remote mountains).

2. Figuring in a road accident where the car goes down to its side.

3. Long-term living at a hostel and then a motel.

4. Playing pool for the first time and meeting new roommates and then solitude.

5. Long distance commuting from the mountains to Calgary.

When I got to the mill for an interview on December 13, I had a strange encounter with a herd of about two dozen elk that was on the road. I didn’t want to be rude to these animals so I did not use my car horn. Instead, I used my thelefatic powers, telling them to “move it b!tches!” and they promptly complied. I haven’t seen the elks again and now im wondering if they were welcoming me or blocking me from entering. hmmmm….

I have been mostly in a good mood working at the mill. First time working with a majority Asian department since…Manila, with two Indonesians and two Chinese. I would rate our getting along with each other at 3.5 out of 5. It was also refreshing that I have been mostly myself in the workplace and I have been using my “new” persona and injecting a lot of humor and laid back vibe and it has had positive results up to now. I have started to call myself as Uncle Jay, which I didn’t like, but seemed proper. Four of my officemates were in their mid-twenties and early thirties.

On the downside, I found out that my mind and memory has not been as sharp as before and adds further proof that my memory is deteriorating. One coping mechanism which I got from experience is taking notes and this has got me through the tough initiation of learning the processes at the mill. I might have revealed my thelefatic powers to my officemate when she said that a Shania song was playing in her head and we sang in unison – “That don’t impress me much”.

The road accident was a complete surprise because I wasn’t expecting to be in one and my reaction, being able to remain calm, was a surprise as well. I think I caught the guy who helped me off guard when I climbed out of my car without assistance and adjust the settings of my car and being able to remain calm and talk with humor.

And one reason I was able to cope with my stressful and harrowing accident because I enjoyed the company of my two roommates from NZ and Denmark and their British friend from the other room. We were able to play darts and pool and go bar hopping and eat out. I was able to shuttle Kal to the airport and had a great time hanging out at Calgary’s best nightclub and the red mile.

As a kneejerk reaction to the accident, I transferred to a motel that is within two km from the mill. This was quite easy since the 3 guys I’ve been hanging out have all moved to different places in the US. The biggest takeaway I learned from living at this motel was that the hermit life at a remote place wasn’t as good as I thought it was, and I threw in the towel in just two weeks. Living in the city gives you comfort that there is something else available to do, even if you really don’t go out.