Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Solitude not Loneliness

Today is a day of rest, sort of. Breakfast, a shower, some reading, some writing and then to the English Pub for Football, English football. A Manchester Derby followed by a Spurs Toffees match.

As I travel, many are surprised that I'm alone. They ask if I get lonely. No, it's solitude a much under rated state. I've traveled as a couple and as a family all my life. I relish this solitude. I also relish that ability to just sit or lie down and read. I packed 2 copies of Atlantic Magazine and 4 copies of New Yorker. I packed those because they are dense and good reading, but more importantly, I can leave them where I am when I'm done. Sort of book marks of where I've been. I left my first completed New Yorker at Baldursbra my first day. The next morning when I came down to breakfast it was being read by a French visitor who was a reporter. She was amazed to find the magazine here. I didn't tell her it was mine. I always strip or cut my address labels from my magazines, a habit I acquired as a teacher in NYC. I left an Atlantic magazine and a second New Yorker in Hotel Akureyri. They were bereft of English language reading in their hotel library. I had picked up a copy of Robert Ludlum's The Prometheus Deception at Baldursbra and will return it to their well stocked library of international languages. I had fun with this book as a hero or villain was named Ted and had many characteristics I admired. His character was the most debatable one, I concluded. He was a an enigma, unlike the classic hero type of Nick Bryson.

The solitude is furthered by the lack of TV and radio. In Reykjavik I can get BBC, but as son as I leave the immediate area, that signal dies. I did find an Icelandic radio station that played Internatio9nal music as well as the usual Christmas tripe in many languages. This radio station was with me throughout all my traveling in Iceland. So when in the mood, I'd turn it on listen to Icelandic spoken to me and interspersed with familiar tunes and then turn it off. The same goes for TV. Here in Baldursbra, no TV and internet only downstairs in the common room, not in the rooms. In Akureyri, I had internet in the room. I had a TV but only two channels, one Icelandic and the other BBC news. It was rarely on except that one moment when I had it on as I showered and prepared for dinner to hear about the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge. That trivial news dominated ever time I turned on the TV, twice, so I stopped doing that. I didn't care. I later found out about a very bizarre and rather senseless suicide of a nurse because of her mishandling of a telephone call from a couple of Australian radio pranksters. Suicide???

I’m finding the situation of the nurse who committed suicide very curious indeed. I’m further stunned as I listen to the British press and how they are vilifying the two young Aussie DJ’s.  There are so many questions to be asked which aren’t being asked. The Brits seem to have found the cause and enemy in this bizarre case to be the Aussies. From what I have heard about this strange and weird case is this:
1.     The nurse who committed suicide transferred the call to a superior nurse.
2.     The superior nurse was the one who actually gave out the personal information.
3.     The nurse committed suicide three days later and she was Indian and a mother of two girls.
So I am wondering if this nurse had prior psychological problems that may have indicated suicide and this “prank” was the straw that broke the camels back.  I’m wondering why we haven’t heard from the nurse who actually divulged the personal information. I’m further wondering that it took her three days to commit suicide what happened in those three days?  I’m wondering if there may have been some “bullying” or “harassing at work” by the superior nurse who made the mistake of blabbing her mouth off and may have threatened the first nurse, harassed her, fired her, or simply shunned her along with other nurses.  This case isn’t about the Aussies, it is about the workplace. The workplace in this situation is a highly sensitive place especially considering the Royals are involved. This comes in light of the recent court cases regarding phone hacking and privacy issues.  Could racism be part of the bigger picture? This nurse who committed suicide is a victim of her workplace, I believe and maybe the truth will come out as we learn more about the other nurses. Racism and harassment would not surprise me one bit. This kind of prank is too common and the folks who fall for it feel foolish and angry for their stupidity and they lash out. I’m thinking of the gentleman who called Gov Walker of Wisconsin pretending to be a Koch. I’d like to hear more about that nurse who was so stupid to yak like that on the phone especially after what has recently happened with the Royals recently regarding phones. Leave the Aussies alone, dig more into the life of the nurse who actually committed suicide and look to her fellow workers as the real cause of this horrible situation that now find two little girls motherless. There is more to this story and the British press will eat crow as usual.

Anyway traveling is about traveling and jacking out. When I come down to breakfast, I'm stunned at the sight of all these young people on their handheld devices, multitasking between conversation and jacked in. At dinner the number of diners with a held held on the table or in their palm as they scroll, thumb wrestle with the device and then maybe have a brief interchange with the person across from them. If I owned or ran a restaurant I'd be tempted to install a cell phone blocker. I used one in my classrooms and have always considered traveling with it. One evening here at Baldursbra, a young lady received a phone call and had a long conversation. She was loud and eventually I accessed my music library and blasted a song. She left. I turned off my music.

Since moving from NYC to Assateague, I have embraced this new found level of solitude and being in Iceland, I have learned more about it. Solitude is an acquired state we need to relearn in our current climate of 24/7.

Parallel Parking in Iceland

Some chores and lunch before I park myself in the English Pub.

I had lunch at soup in a bowl again and they served the reindeer soup. It was perfect for a cold day like this. I got to the Pub about 15 minutes before kickoff and found a chair at the bar located so I could watch the Derby and then the Spurs game. The Derby was very exciting as The Red Devils pulled it out in extra time on a Van Persie set piece after Rooney go the first two in the first half. City scored their two in the second half.  The Spurs match was close. Dempsey scored a great goal off his American teammate, Howard, but the Toffees scored two in extra time. Great disappointment. I went to have an early dinner at the Sea Baron: a whale kabob and lobster soup.

There's an interesting story on this abandoned mansion behind the (ugly) American Embassy. Apparently a lady took a 50Million Krona loan on this mansion, which was a library in 2007 and never did anything with it and never paid back the loan. It is an amazingly beautiful structure and is slowly being vandalized. The neighbors have to be very upset and that it is in this condition on Embassy row is even more stunning.

Back to the guesthouse to pack and relax. I'm almost done.

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