On Domestic Work and Tipping in Tanzania

Interesting piece, and I liked the previous one on housing in Dar too. Keep them coming, please!

Posted on March 25, 2015 at 1:37 pm 0

On It All Comes Out In The Wash: A Story Of Love And Laundry

Um, how is the dream of a washer and dryer just for your family unit anti-feminist? Why would that just be thrown into the article? *gah* I have had few laundry horrors while apartment living. I lived one and a half blocks from a laundry mat for two years, and did laundry in a big batch every two weeks or so. I liked how I could do all my laundry at once, I liked schlepping all my laundry in the cold less so. Aside from that, I've had in-building, creepy basement laundry in a few places, where I was alternately annoyed at other people leaving their clothes in the machine, and been vaguely embarrassed at being that person. Clean laundry thrown on the floor? It happened once. All in all, laundry has not ranked on my life annoyances list, so perhaps I am very lucky.

Posted on March 25, 2015 at 1:31 pm 0

On The Last Days of Target Canada

I went into Target three times during its appearance in Canada. The first time, the "empty shelf" phenomenon was shocking, and apparent but less overwhelming the other times. I was interested in Target, but, for the non-drivers amongst us, their stores were poorly located in my city. I was also a huge fan of Zellers, in part because there was one I could walk to, and one take a single quick bus to. I have a few lovely dresses from Zellers that I get a lot of compliments on. I bought almost all my non-nude hoisery there. I bought dishes and a duvet cover for my first solo apartment there. So many memories.

Posted on March 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm 0

On In Which I Answer a Question About Marriage and Finances That 'Call Your Girlfriend' Asked Us in October

@illnona81 You make some good points (absolutely - unspoken expectations will smother the good in almost any relationship), but the "If you're mad about cooking lasagna- stop doing it." *ugh* No. Giving up something important to you (delicious food, one's own enjoyment of cooking, the part of love which involves providing care) because you don't feel the other person is appreciating/reciprocating/contributing appropriately doesn't solve the problem. If her partner didn't care if the bathroom ever got cleaned, the solution is not then no one cleans the bathroom.

Posted on March 23, 2015 at 10:06 am 0

On In Which I Answer a Question About Marriage and Finances That 'Call Your Girlfriend' Asked Us in October

"It is perfectly reasonable to expect that, if you are in an unmarried partnership, any money you earn belongs to you." NOPE nope nope. Marriage is not the only way to have a long-term, stable partnership out there (emphasis on partnership with a shared future, as someone pointed out above), and while it is important to acknowledge that marriage confers certain benefits and obligations that common-law relationships don't (although relatively few in my area of the world), acting like only the marrieds are in it for the long-term is condescending. Now that my pet peeve is off my chest: 1) All the thumbs up to everyone who has said this is about communication and negotiation, not politics per se. A ring and piece of paper won't solve this problem. 2) I love reading about how people organize their money in relationships!

Posted on March 23, 2015 at 10:00 am 0

On Traveling Lighter

@OllyOlly Agreed on the duffel bag! I've used my 35L small MEC duffel for multiple international trips, of up to two weeks, always carry on, and found it so freeing. I mostly travel cheap and independent, so having a bag that I can comfortably carry up stairs, on public transit, etc (ugh - rolly suitcases do not fit that description) is essential. It fits into overhead bins in airplanes, and because there is no frame, it can squish a bit when needed, even if it is full. Duffel bags 4eva!!

Posted on March 19, 2015 at 12:53 pm 0

On Chores, Then and Now

I once dated (then lived with - gah!) a man who had grown up doing essentially no chores (though his sister had been expected to contribute to the cooking and cleaning). He once told me that his parents cleaned the bathroom equally as often, and it only needed to be done twice a year. In reality: his dad cleaned it once a year, and his mom and sister did a whole bunch of household labour that was invisible to him when he lived at home, and - in his opinion - not his problem when he moved out. In short: chores are important to teach people important life skills that make it more likely their future partners/roomates won't hate them and they won't live in filth because they don't know how to do things a lot of things others learned when young. And hopefully also helps them pay their bills on time, etc.

Posted on March 17, 2015 at 9:22 am 4

On Chatting About Benefiting From Bank Errors

@linzertart Innnterresting!!! Also about the errors issue. I know little about bank tellers, aside from one story from a former boss about the time she was robbed and she had been so thoroughly trained not to take the last bill that triggered the alarm, that she carefully gave them all the money except those bills. *hee!* I am guilty of not really paying attention to how much money I have in my account (yay for an income that allows me that privilege), so I could totally not notice a few extra hundred or frequently even a few thousand dollars being deposited ("Oh, it must be payday." or "Hm, I thought I moved that money to savings or paid that bill?") But yeah, I'd notice an extra $13K or $30K, and while I might spend a few minutes fantasizing about spending it, then it would occur to me that I would be stealing.

Posted on March 16, 2015 at 1:13 pm 0

On The Cost Of Things: Missing Your Night-Bus In Peru

Great piece! I live in fear while travelling of missing a connection; the day I realized that I had misjudged how long the Flores, Guatemala to Belize City bus would take had me panicked, time was going to be tight. Then, my flight was delayed anyways. Also, it's always a neat and frustrating experience to be in a country where there is competition on bus routes - choosing amongst bus lines, looking for their booths and then their departure bay, hoping you aren't getting ripped off since the chances of written down schedules and price lists is usually laughable. That said, I have been on some darn near comfortable buses in Mexico and Turkey, and I always feel triumph when I can catch a local bus for a tenth the price of a tourist bus or shuttle.

Posted on March 11, 2015 at 4:02 pm 0

On Going Off-Brand

Interesting article (the full version is both philosophical about the nature of technology and obsolescence, and goes into the practical issues of what is "good enough" in technology.) As someone who has been holding onto my Blackberry that was new probably 6 years ago (I love the keyboard, and my phone is mostly for texting), I find this interesting. I sometimes think about a new phone, but I'm cheap and I LOATHE full touchscreens - my tablet is used for podcasts and music and reading sometimes and for when I fall into the Candy Crush world, I move to a laptop for emails or even facebook, since I'll be typing things. That said, I can't bring myself to pay $600+ for a new Blackberry, because even the new ones with the keyboards feel like I'm buying something old. So, I take sluggish browsing on a nearly indestructible device with a keyboard I love over new, shiny, fancy, fast and pricey.

Posted on March 11, 2015 at 10:27 am 0