What Brexit Means For Me

Ugh. I’ve been trying to avoid writing about this because a part of me was hoping if I didn’t acknowledge it it’d go away.

It gets compared to Trump a lot- mostly as a “guys, this could  happen.” style warning. I’m 99.99999% sure that Trump is only running because he’s finally losing his hair and that he’s seen everyone be like “Poor Obama! All those gray hairs!” so he figures if he’s president he can lose it gracefully.

Brexit is just pure racism.

That honestly fucks with my head like a lot.

What kills even more is hearing about all the racist incidents that have been going on. They tend to focus most on the Polish and Muslim people so my example might not be the best, but here’s kind of how my head is wrapping around it.

Let’s break down how ridiculous Brexit racism is.

I have two citizenships- Canadian and Italian. When I planned to live in the UK a few years ago I would have entered as an Italian. So, if I was there now, I would be told to get out, and might be the victim of some of this nasty shit that’s been spewing.

However, my ethnic background is English, Scottish, Irish, and Italian.

But for my Great Grandmother being sent to Canada as a Barnardo child, a choice she had no control over, I might have been born in the UK. Not to mention that my history major cousin has mapped out ties in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well. (If you don’t have a historian in your family start like “encouraging” one of the younger ones. It’s great when you need someone to explain things or have the most detailed family history ever. She’s tracked us back to the Netherlands and France.)

If someone told me to get out of their country, called me vermin, it’d be like…

I think what I’m trying to express and probably failing at is that Brexit sucks. It’s reminding me a lot of Harper’s third term as PM of Canada- all the baby boomers ran out and voted while the young people got lost in the “it doesn’t matter” spirit of it. Maybe there are some things about Brexit that will help the UK and the racism issue is taking over because it’s just so damn disgusting.

I’m not out to tell young people how to vote in elections or referendums. Your vote is your vote, and it’s your personal beliefs and personal business.

I am 100% out to tell people to vote. Seriously. Vote in everything. Have you looked at municipal voting stats? No one votes in them but yet those are things like water, roads, and bylaws that affect you every day. Take every opportunity to make your voice count because sadly, posting it on facebook doesn’t count. When young people don’t vote we’re letting our parents control our lives. It’s like getting a bedtime all over again. But a bedtime that sucks much harder.

It’s estimated that 25-32% of people in the 18-24 year old range voted in the Brexit referendum.

I wonder what would have happened if people cared as much about the issue before the referendum as they seem to after. I hope they feel guilty for not voting in something that I desperately wish I was given a say in.

What Brexit Means For Me

Sick in Italy Soup

When I was studying abroad tragedy struck before I even got off the plane. I got infected with some sort of sickness. Here I was in Rome, supposed to be having the time of my life but I felt like hell. Luckily we had our own kitchens. Let’s be real here, when you’re sick there’s nothing better than soup. Lately I haven’t been feeling well. My dad had a cold and I don’t know if I got it or if I’ve just been super tough on my body lately, but today… I needed soup. Last night my cousin cooked for us and we had some chicken and vegetable stock left over. It was a sign.

So, this soup when I made it originally was inspired by how broke I was. Leftover shreded chicken or egg noodles would also taste amazing in this, as would any other vegetable. I bought premade stock and veggies for super cheap. I got dried herbs so I could carry them to the other cities with me.

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Start with the vegetables. I love garlic and onion, so I used the whole onion… and added 3 more cloves of garlic after taking this picture. I also did a carrot, three tomatoes, and 2 stalks of celery. Chop them all up- I diced the onion, sliced the garlic, cut the bottom of the carrot in half and sliced, quartered the top of the carrot and chopped, diced the tomato, and chopped the celery. Everything was super rough- it’s about feeling better, not looking pretty, and added them to a pot with a glug of olive oil as I chopped them.

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Oooooh, look at it all in the pot. By the time I got everything in there the veg was nicely cooked. I added a bay leaf, dried chili’s, lots of pepper, and oregano. I didn’t add salt. The stock I bought in Italy was a chicken meat stock mix and despite my only having vegetable and chicken stock I wanted that so I added a teaspoon of beef broth powder. I find that the salt content in stock powder or cubes is insane so I leave out any salt. I also made this pretty spicy to help me sweat out everything I’m feeling and clear up my sinuses. I let this cook for about 10 minutes to get everything flavourful.

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Then I added the leftover stock and a cup of water. I let this boil, then simmer for about a half hour. I added a bit of wine vinegar at the end. I love vinegar. My Nonna makes homemade wine vinegar that makes everything taste better.

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I popped like a ridic amount of crackers into this because I didn’t use any other carb. Like I said, this was a travel budget meal, so I didn’t put in extra meat and I bought a crazy loaf of bread so I didn’t bother with noodles.

Honestly, this soup is amazing and exactly what I needed both in Italy and now.

 

Sick in Italy Soup

Thoughts on the Anthem

For those of you who don’t follow Canadian politics you might not know they’ve voted in favour of changing the national anthem.  The lyrics “in all thy sons command” will be replaced with “in all of us command.”

Also, follow Canadian politics. We had a whole scandal with elbows a few months ago. ‘Twas exciting.

I am a feminist. I believe in gender equality. But I am so against this change.

First off, it just doesn’t sound as good. From a musical/poetic perspective it just doesn’t roll off the tongue.

But, more importantly, it’s kind of a band-aid situation. Confederation happened in 1867. The national anthem was written in 1880. Woman got the vote sporadically through the provinces, but federally it was gained in 1918. While gender equality is important, let’s stick with our gender balanced cabinet. Let’s encourage woman to take math and science classes. By changing the lyrics it denies the sense of the time it was written. I’m worried that by doing something like this we’ll gain an “it’s all okay. It’s always been okay.” That line represents the starting point, and while I still make 72 cents on the male dollar, we’re not finished.

 

Thoughts on the Anthem

Crossing Canada Part 2: The Beginnings of Budget… sort of

I’ve been doing a bit more research. Canada is huge. I mean, obviously it’s the 2nd biggest country in the world. As such, there’s tons of things to do.

Have I mentioned before I hate budgeting? I feel like it kind of ruins the dreaming with pricing and such. The problem is I know how to budget- account for things like hostels and meals, make a per diem rate… there’s many ways. The thing that always gets me is what’s labelled the “entertainment” budget. Museums, festivals, taxi’s if the transit isn’t 24 hours, club covers… do drinks go in the food and drink budget or entertainment?

What I like to do is make a big bumper list of things I’ve seen and researched. Museums and attractions that look amazing, restaurants and clubs I’ve heard about, outdoor excursions… Here are 3 quick tricks I’ve learned with this:

  1. always round up to the nearest $10. Something is $14.50- budget for $20. Prices can always change and they tend not to go down. It’s also way more fun to have more money than less.
  2. Figure out which big budget attractions are worth it to you. I’m going to say it. I’m not a fan of climbing crap. I hate getting midday sweaty, and honestly, the stuff you’re climbing is the stuff you want in the picture you take at the top. I have issues with my ankles, feet, and calves. No matter how wonderful it is for some, it’s not for me.
  3. Don’t get discouraged. I get it. You see the big number and your mind goes “holy crap. I will never be able to afford that.” Remember, the city will be there. You can go back and do things you missed. It’s especially great when you go with people who haven’t been to the place before.

Budgets suck, but it’s the nuts and bolts that make trips possible.

Crossing Canada Part 2: The Beginnings of Budget… sort of