I’m in a fantastic mood. The sun is shining (five full days and counting!); flowers are blooming; the Canucks are winning; dogs are out walking their people; couples are making out on street corners; and I have thus far managed to successfully (and politely) stave off all solicitation attempts from the plethora of enthusiastic, clipboard-wielding, vest-wearing, non-profit fundraisers scattered around the city. But, while all of this is indeed cause for celebration, what really put me over the top was Friday night.
Unfortunately, delving into this euphoria will mean that, once again, I’m going to be writing about life and not shark trade legislation. I know this is a crushing development but, on the bright side, today’s post will at least provide something good to listen to for when you finally do read my unwritten post on the CITES shark shakedown. Too optimistic? For once, I think not.
I had nothing but the best of intentions when I sat down to write this post. I was even going to write about something important (i.e., five new shark species being included in CITES). Then I remembered a conversation I had with some homies last Friday in which they pestered me to write an entry about online dating. So, because I would do anything for my loyal fan base (all five of you), I figured I could accommodate their wishes. And this means that the sharks—which (needless to say) reign far supreme to my non-existent love life—will be the topic of my next post instead, once I’ve had a bit of time to go over some of the finer points regarding last week’s listing.
One of my closest friends, Caitlin—whose judgment and advice I would trust with my life (seriously)—recommended that I give online dating a shot after she’d had some success. I was incredibly skeptical. Mostly because, despite the fact that Cait and I do see eye to eye on most things, we are very different people when it comes to our views on men and relationships. Thus I assured her that I would have absolutely zero success in the realm of online dating.
My main reasoning was as follows:
- I prefer to meet people in a natural setting, under spontaneous circumstances, without any preconceived notion of how the evening is supposed to turn out;
- I’m actually quite content with the benefits and freedoms of being single and don’t feel remotely desperate to be in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship;
- I don’t have a normal work schedule and this can be difficult for people to understand. I also have absolutely no idea where I’ll be in a year (both geographically and career-wise) and don’t want to get involved with someone only to tell them I’m moving to Scandinavia in six months to do my PhD;
- While unsuccessful thus far, I tend to only get into relationships that I can see lasting indefinitely (i.e., I’m about as far from a serial dater if ever there was one);
- Although very easy going in many aspects of my life, I’m incredibly picky when it comes to men.
She said I was just making excuses. And also something about my personal mantra of not judging things before trying them…
The best cup of tea I ever had was served to me by a Berber man, in a cave, near Todgha Gorge in the High Atlas Mountains. While I was initially expecting sweet green tea infused with fresh mint (as is customary in Morocco), I watched as he instead prepared it using thyme. Truth be told, I’m not quite sure why I trusted this man as he enthusiastically ushered me inside a hole in the mountain (literally), but I felt no fear. And I know that for as long as I live, I will never make this beverage taste so delicious, nor appreciate it so much as I did inside that dark, confined little space. It goes without saying that someone who can make a pot of tea so good must possess some sort of old world alchemy, and there was something magical about this man; a nomad who lived life by the seasons, who travelled with his wife, son, and their donkeys from place to place throughout the region. The deep lines on his face were balanced by a sparkle in his eyes and a spring in his step, such that he might have been fifty years old, or eighty— I had no idea. And although our conversation was broken and contained mostly hand gestures, laughs, smiles, and pictures drawn in the dirt, I was reminded that day of how special something as simple as a pot of tea can be. He gave me the best he had, and for over an hour we enjoyed each other’s company. As I left, I went to offer him money (I honestly had nothing else to give him in return for his generosity), but he refused it. Perhaps sensing my concern, he simply took my hands and smiled, reassuring me that it was alright, and wishing me a safe and peaceful journey.