Tattoos and Judgement

10 Tattoo Cliches to Avoid at Any Cost. 

I saw this Matador Article and it bugged me. Unfortunately comments were closed, but hey, here I have my own personal venue for any comment I want. Yay!

I grew up with parents who absolutely hate tattoos. They still do. My mom constantly will say stuff along the lines of, “Oh, that outfit would look so great but it’s ruined by that tattoo.” For me personally? I’m absolutely terrified of needles so sticking a bunch into me is a no go. I’ve seen some I don’t really get, and some I think are beyond beautiful. My upbringing was shaken when I started travelling for more reasons than tattoos, but I remember one incident… not incident… happening? in especially great detail.

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Tattoos and Judgement

Drunk in Costume

There’s a sociological concept called ethnocentrism. My prof introduced this by telling the class a story about a community in Central America. They’ve basically made a neighbourhood in a dump. There’s apparently even a school. Since there aren’t many options after graduation the people who are born there tend to die there. Every single nose in that classroom did the thing where one nostril just gets twitchy and rides up slowly. The prof noted that we were all judging based on our standard of culture. It can be as real as landfill living, or as random as Italians turning off the wifi when it rains. It’s unavoidable, we all do it. Part of the amazing thing about travelling is seeing what’s universal and what’s not. If you’re aware enough of your ethnocentrism to realize it and tuck it away, you can end up with some pretty cool habits. Also, if you’ve been doing it all along you can now tie it to actual sociology and use it as a stepping point to learn more about sociology because it’s awesome and not enough people study it.

Basically, that was a really, really heavy intro for a not heavy topic. What I’m going to be blithering on about for a while is my biggest point of ethnocentrism. The one thing I refuse to check because honestly, while Thanksgiving is the best North American holiday (the real one in October. November is too close to Christmas, like do you even finish your leftovers before you make another turkey?!) , the most fun has got to be Halloween.  While I do admire that other cultures may have more kind of random dress up parties, these seem few and far between after one leaves college. Halloween is a beautiful time when everyone’s just like, “yeah, let’s wear a costume and have some drinks and eat some sugar.” It’s fantastic really.

If you do end up celebrating Halloween, or any fancy dress occasion on the road because well, hostels try, you end up in a weird spot. You’ve packed light. What do you wear for a costume? I

What do you even want to be? I have some basic guidelines:

  1. Don’t be an asshole. Seriously. Don’t. Don’t make jokes about other people’s culture. Do not, for the love of all that is good and holy, attempt to change your skin tone. If you even have the thought of, “hey, is this going to make me an asshole?” Then abandon the idea because it probably will.

Actually, that’s it. That’s one basic guideline. I feel it’s sadly not as observed as it should be.

Most of the ones I’m showing here don’t involve much- I’m trying to keep them without really any sewing. If you want to see my costumes that I’m making hardcore for this year, my friend and I have a sewing blog. I’m posting a few tutorials within the next week. They’re simple this year, and would be achievable while on the road… but I’ve learnt that while everyone carries a sewing kit, very few know how to use one.

Bank Robber

I’m actually doing this one this year, so it mayyyyy be a bit of a cop out, but it’s a good costume. Basically all you need is a striped shirt, and a pair of black pants or leggings. A black tuque and black gloves would be great to complete it, but not 100% necessary. If you have an old black t shirt, you could even make the mask.

Literally any animal

Claire’s is pretty multinational, but look for anywhere with jewelry for kids. You can usually find some sort of ear headband. Wear whatever colour top matches with jeans. It’s a bit of a cop out, but always works in a pinch.

Roman God or Goddess

White sheets and safety pins work wonders.

A Kid

Wear PJ’s and put some eyeliner or washable marker freckles on your face. If your hair is long enough pop in some pigtails, if not give yourself some bedhead.

 

Sports Fan

I have a thing where I try to buy a rugby jersey for every country I go to. If you have, or are carrying some stuff from your hometown, deck it all at once. The thing that makes it costume-y? Pop some face paint on. Having “GO SPORTS TEAM!” on your cheek makes it.

Tacky Tourist

Just being yourself tbh. Wear that camera on its neck strap and some socks with those sandals.

Lumberjack

Flannels are everything and you should pack tons of them. Pop one on with some jeans, a tuque if you have it, and sing some Monty Python for full effect.

Laundry Bag

This one take a bit of effort. Wear a comfy outfit, and safety pin a bunch of your other clothes to you.

Beach Goer

Wear a swimsuit. If you want to put some effort in, 60’s hair and makeup always looks cute with this.

A Mirror

This is the costume that proves you can never be too lazy to dress up. I also had to think of all the other costumes above so I could write about this, which is why some of them are super weak. (actually, upon my pre post reread, I’ve determined they’re all pretty good.) Procure a cosmetic mirror on a handle with a hole (easily found in any grocery store) and some string (dental floss works well.). Thread a length of string that fits well over your head through the mirror hole, and get yourself a necklace. When someone asks what you are, say what they are. Note that a LOT of the time people won’t get this right away, but will come back and tell you you’re a genius.

Any dress up party is only as fun as the enthusiasm you put into it. You know who isn’t having a good time?

Sulky McSulkertan in the corner who is trying to be cool.

I make sure to pack a few things I could incorporate into a costume just in case, and I’ve never regretted it. Look at all the things you can do with basic suitcase stuff. Imagine how creative you’d get if you raided the school supply section of the supermarket. Put the effort in, feel the passion, have the fun.

What are you being for halloween?

Besides a person having a shot for me 😉

Drunk in Costume

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

Why I Decided to Study Abroad

3.1% of Canadian students choose to study abroad. 

Let that sink in. Honestly, it’s kind of super gross. I went to college after a quick stint as a receptionist. All I wanted was to go back to Europe, but post-secondary is one of those things I thought I really needed. I also wanted to get behind the rope at museums and cultural sites and thought, “Yes, I shall be an archeologist.” I didn’t even know how to spell archeologist. I had never seen Indiana Jones (still haven’t). Imagine my bewilderment when I was walking down the steps from my rude awakening about what archeology really is i.e a physical anthropology lecture, and saw a big sign: “Study Abroad in Europe”.

The program was offered by the college and for four months I’d tour around Rome, Florence, Venice, Lucerne, Paris, and London. The museums would be my classroom and I would be one with Art History (which is a hella lot closer to what I thought archeology was). This was March. The program included a textbook reading and small classroom component in August, and in September I was off.

I loved the learning. There’s something magical about looking at a painting in real life, at the  real time and hearing about it. Also, little tidbits like this:

That’s some graffiti by Michelangelo. Who knows that other than an art history professor?

I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t all sitting at cafe’s in Venice and shopping in London. I had some hard days- I was very ill at the start of the trip in Rome and didn’t find a social group. Everyone was quite clique-y and I kind of got lost in the shuffle. I was told in Florence that everyone thought I was a horrible know it all – a side effect of being to sick to party and actually doing the assignments. Luckily my solo traveller heart kicked in and I still had a great time.

Even with the little social fejula I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I grew so much as a learner and a traveller. I learned that social whatever’s didn’t matter as much which has helped me through pretty much every single interaction I’ve had with humans since- especially when I’ve travelled. I’ve learned that if you need to absorb information try looking at it in a more active, realistic way.

Also, I learned that travel isn’t something I can just “get out of my system”.

I did my field school through Langara College, where I was going. The credits are pretty universally transferrable, and they do some continuing ed programs if you just want to take a trip with none of the work. Almost all universities have an international office if you’re not wanting to do the whole tour thing, but instead just want to do a full on exchange. My cousin did one in Milan and literally talked his way backstage at the Versace runway show. Magic.

Some I haven’t been on, but have been wanderlusting pretty hard on:

  • Sea|mester  You spend the amount of time on a yacht learning how to sail, getting your PADI, and taking classes like Marine Biology. Also, they get the most pun points.
  • Where There Be Dragons  These look so beautifully curated. If you read reviews you’ll be just… I don’t even know. I want to go. I wish I had known about these earlier.
  • Kalu Yala You live in an eco town in the middle of the jungle. This is so far in my wheelhouse it hurts.
  • Semester at Sea This is one of the most well known study abroad programs. Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela were guest lecturers. This program is actually bananas. Block off like 2 hours for the website because that’s seriously how long I took forgetting I was doing a blog post.

If you’ve been on any of these, let me know! I love first hand accounts. Also, you’re probably super cool.

And, if you’re rich as and are all like “damn, I want to drop some cash right now!” I’ll gladly let you fund me on some educational adventure. 😉

Why I Decided to Study Abroad