How Lent And Me Roll

Lent begins in a week. You may think that this isn’t a big deal for me, but it kinda is. I actually make an attempt to observe it every year. And every year, I do it wrong.

Most of us know Lent as that time where we give up something we like ( usually food). In Sunday School, I vaguely recall someone saying something about self-reflection, prayer and sacrifice but I wouldn’t really bet money on it. I spent most of my time there being ticked off that my mom and uncle were having breakfast and I was stuck in a classroom.

So, this is roughly my (highly likely wrong) understanding of Lent: I physically give something up to help me gain spiritual strength. For this spiritual strength, I must be patient, have willpower and discipline and all that other good stuff. That way, not only do I get to know how hard it must have been for good ol’ JC to fast for 40 days and 40 nights, I get all this good stuff for my soul and I end up being a better person. (Unrelated: doesn’t ‘spiritual strength’ sound like something out of Slothmud?)

I usually do okay with the physical bit. I pick something to not eat, maintain low expectations of myself and somehow make it through the forty days. This usually results in me acquiring a taste for something that I ate to compensate for whatever I was abstaining from, something that I will like so much that I’ll probably have to abstain from for the following Lent. But that’s a different story.

It’s the spiritual part that’s a bummer to me. Even though I manage to stay away from meat and chocolates or whatever, I’m not quiet about it. By Day 30, I’m a rabid mess; I start dreaming about all the food I can’t have, then I tell my roommates about it. I make insane declarations like, “farm animals will fear Easter, for I shall slaughter and devour them all!”

I basically do everything the Bible says not to do when fasting or praying.

Don’t even get me started on the whole impure thoughts thing. I swear, every annoying person that has ever been in my life will choose to come in contact with me during Lent and show me precisely how painful it is to know them. I know that the right thing to do is consider it a temptation from the devil and take it all in stride. I even think this when these people are sticking metaphorical needles in my eye, but instead of taking a deep breath and asking God to grant me patience, I start making lists of diseases I want them to suffer and die from. My favourites are gonorrhea, gangrenous testicles and strokes. Some days, I don’t even TRY to be nice. You can see how this is a damper on the whole gaining spiritual strength thing.

However, I’m nothing if not optimistic. I’m counting on the physical abstinence to score me a few points at the Pearly Gates. It’s gotta count for something, right?

Which is why this year, I asked my friends to suggest something for me to abstain from. You know, maybe they’ve seen me obsess about something and I’m in denial so I’d never think to abstain from it. I need something epic this year, because I foresee myself being a spiritual ass and I need to counter that with some serious sacrificing. Yes, I also know that what a person does during Lent is supposed to be deep, meaningful and personal. Somehow I’ve managed to make such a big deal out of it publicly that I’m just waiting for someone to offer me a reality-TV show contract.Strike three, maybe?

Back to my story. One suggested I become vegetarian for this period of time and another suggested I give up Twitter for 40 days. While I seriously am considering the first friend’s idea, to the latter friend I immediately responded with, “fuck off and die.”

Something tells me this year’s Lent will be  completely wasted.


No Queen In Sight

I hate travelling. I hate looking for flights, I hate looking for accommodation I can afford. I especially hate trying to pack for a trip. I hate the way I try to take the bare essentials because I hate lugging a heavy bag around, and I hate myself more for realising that something I considered a luxury while packing is actually something necessary when I’m already at my destination.

I hate sitting in a plane for hours, I hate the fact that I might develop a blood clot in my leg that could kill me (this one’s a bit of drama; I’m so short that any economy class seat on any airline feels like I’ve got business class leg room) and most of all, I HATE the way I look rubbish in all my holiday photos because I lacked the essentials that I considered too luxurious to pack.

I love being in new places, though. I love sightseeing and taking pictures of stuff, captions all formed in my head. I love observing people do what they do best and I love gobbling down local cuisine.

This winter hols, I decided to get off my wobbly butt and leave Moscow for a week. My friends chose all sorts of exotic places where you’d need visas and a phrasebook. I’m a lazy git, so I chose London.

Well, that’s only half true. I chose to go to London during my final winter break because I wanted to be around people who speak a language I know well and I wanted to see people I’d been dying to meet, like my cousin who I’d not seen for almost 11 years and friends from Twitterland.

I could do the whole day-by-day thing and bore you to death, but I’m nice so I’ll write stuff worth mentioning. And you’ll be happy about it because if I write everything I remember, you might get fired for spending your entire work day reading a shitty blog post about a place so many people have been to before.

Best Place I Visited

Hands down, this was the ZSL London Zoo. Okay, I admit I have a great fondness for animals and to be perfectly honest, the zoo was the only place I really planned on visiting. You could throw me any map of London and I’d be able to spot it.

It was worth all that anticipation. I spent four hours gaping at all the animals and taking crappy pictures. The crappiest of the lot was a picture of a cockroach which cemented once and for all that not even a glass enclosure was going to calm my feeble katsaridaphobic heart. Look:

The Best Picture I Could Take With Shaky Hands

And this is a picture of a tarantula I took right after:

The Insect I Wouldn't Even Mind As A Pet


To top it all off, the weather was great and I managed to take a nice long walk through Regent’s Park and saw a squirrel making friends/ harassing a baby in a stroller.

Best Purchase

The closest to a souvenir from London that I bought is probably the fridge magnet and postcard from, yup, you guessed it, the zoo.

Of course, if you knew me well enough, you’d know that I’m in heaven when surrounded by books. I attacked bookstores with a passion and probably would’ve bought enough books to wipe out a rain forest if I didn’t have a tiny-ass bag. I may have bought a gorgeous evening dress, Jamaican cock flavoured soup mix and a hairbrush in London, but this book is the BEST thing I own at the moment:

Source Of Joy

I was so excited about this book that I started on it even before I was done with Cat’s Cradle. The only reason I stopped reading it was because people at the airport were looking at me funny when I kept laughing out loud.

Strangest Thing Heard In Public

“Shut up, you fucking Christian whore!”

This was on a bus, said by a guy who bumped into a woman with groceries. Why was this strange to me, you ask? Fine, you didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

I have no fucking idea.