26 June 2012

purchasing pain

I think camping and athletics are fascinating. Essentially, human beings participating in activities that hurt them, and paying for the privilege. I just came back from the sporting goods store. I spent over 300 euro there, getting the last bits and bobs for my trip I want to take in a few days (altho 100 of that was provided as a gift from my workplace--thanks so much you guys!!).

(Also, 150 euro of that was an investment in a new goretex rain jacket, since the cheap knockoff I originally bought ceased being waterproof about, oh, three months after I bought it. This is not cycling- or camping-specific gear; it's just for rain.)

Anyway, discussions of my rapidly dwindling funds aside, I think it's funny that I'm paying so much (don't forget the hundreds of euro of gear I've already bought, and my expensive bike to boot) for the chance to live for 30 days deprived of all but the most basic necessities of life--food, water, and the most minimal of shelter. And a bicycle. I include a bicycle as a necessity of life for me.

That's what I want to do. Thirty to thirty-five days of cycling the Irish countryside, camping as much as possible. I intend to leave on Monday. I need this, because over the course of my recent gluten-induced sickness I have increased my dependency on the internet to a fully-fledged addiction, which is lowering my quality of life. I spend countless hours sitting on my ass checking about four different sites for updates constantly. I stop doing useful things in the middle to take an internet break. Like a rat in one of Skinner's cages, I've learned that by pressing the lever constantly, I receive intermittent rewards. Obviously the best choice is to press the lever constantly till something happens (?!)

The sites I can't tear myself away from are mostly facebook (obviously), youtube, google reader (where I read all the blogs I follow), and gmail.

And when I run out of things to do online I go crazy and start manufacturing things to do (or playing offline computer games) so that I don't have to, say, get up, or go to bed, or clean my damn flat for once seriously this is gross what is your problem.

I want to give these things up but I find that I can't until I lose access, such as when I went to the UK. Internet costing 1 to 2 pounds an hour in internet cafes, I was forced to use my internet time for more productive things, such as researching things I wanted to do, securing tickets to plays, or actually communicating with people... allowing my last 15 minutes or whatever for entertainment.

I just realised that "internet costing 1 to 2 pounds an hour in internet cafes" is a really strange modifier and is probably in violation of some grammatical rule or other. eww.

At any rate, my knees take to the bike much more than to walking, so I'm doin' this thang. I will be able to check facebook and email on my phone, as networks are available, but will try to keep that to a minimum. Mostly I just want to update my blog daily or every-other-daily with a sentence or two about my progress and experiences. I want to EARN any internet I use by cycling like a maniac. Getting physically fit. Seeing more of this lovely country I have come to live in for a little while.

And when my thighs burn and back aches and knees complain and so on etc, it reminds me that I'm human, that life is good, that I'm still alive and fighting.

In a few days, once I've packed, I'll post a list of kit I've decided to include. This will be a runner-up to cycling across America in 2013. Hopefully I will learn a lot.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous28 June, 2012

    This sounds like megafun. Have a blast!
    - Salem