Updates for Saturday, October 25th [2003]

The "Dealio"

10/25/2003

Yo Sirs & Madams,

I am beginning to appreciate the modern dialect a little more. I am told that "yo" means "greetings", according to Daniel. My week has been up and down, I might as well describe a few moments in particular that struck me.

First of all, this next Monday is my first payday. I have a little over a week worth of work on it, and I anticipate my compensation for my labour at the Pantry. Work has really required a lot of adjustment. Customers are short-tempered and I've noticed a lot of weird things in the last week, of which, I will record & report dually for further notation.

1. Last Monday, two days after my last journal note, I had the day off from work. In so, I ventured to the library to do some research. There I met a kind & beautiful woman named Ms. Natalie Cato. She is a school teacher at the local elementary school, teaches, of all things, history. I voiced my interest in history to her in conversation, and learned much. Ms. Cato, or as she likes to be called by her students, Miss C., taught me much about the Vietnam War and the Cold War. I was very desirous to learn more. I am feeling much better about how informed I am with recent history. Our conversation was very refreshing.

Miss C.: What I enjoy most talking about the students with is talking about the Revolutionary War. I specialize mostly in American History, you seem to be really interested in that too.

Me: I guess you could say it's like I have firsthand knowledge, so to speak.

Miss C.: Ha, yeah, that's funny. I come here every Monday, like to read up, I have little else to do when I'm not planning a curriculum, gives me something to break up the tedium of the classroom. What do you like to do?

Me: Oh, well, I don't know quite yet. I haven't quite adjusted to living here, in this somewhat strange place.

Miss C.: I don't believe you said where you came from. Where was it again?

Me: Oh, uhm, well, France... yeah. In a small rural farming villiage... I did not get a very professional education... so I know little about your culture and your ways. I knew my friend and roommate, Daniel, who snatched me from there, so to speak. Now I'm just trying to make a living.

Miss C.: Well, you're very well spoken Mr. Johnson. Let me admit that your language doesn't befit your cheesy KISS t-shirt.

Me: Is this not appropriate? It's what Daniel recommended I wear while I'm here.

Miss C.: Uhm... no. But it's okay. I have to go, I hope to see you here again. I'm here every Monday for most of the afternoon, after school.

Me: Well Ms. Natalie Cato, it was wonderful meeting you, I believe I will be here next Monday. Adieux.

2. Tuesday the 21rst was an interesting series of experiences for me at work. First off, I realized there is a federal agency, called the FDA, which regulates the trade of food items and medicines. This amazed and disturbed me at the same time. Because of this, foods must bear proper labels with full ingredients and health codes. I never thought of these things as necessary, possibly useful, but never necessary. I asked Ms. Everson about this. "Well of course, you know what they did with food before health codes?" to which I replied, "no". "Well, let me tell you, there was some nasty stuff in it. Now that they need labels, at least we know if there is nasty stuff or not." I cannot imagine that a manufacturer would not provide a legitimate background towards the nature of his product, upon request, and if such responding with false answers, I cannot imagine a court that would not promote this situation as fraud. Another problem I envision was that I do not see many customers really examining labels, seeing that it seems trivial to them whether it contains water or corn syrup or has many or few calories. I was told fat content is important, so I checked it, and few people seemed to buy consistent foods with fat contents. They were varied. It's almost as if they don't care.

That day at work was also noteable because I was issued a written warning for not checking someone's identification for the sale of a magazine. Why this is necessary I did not understand. The magazine was called "Play Boy", which I would imagine is written for young children, at least, that was my impression before I managed to look inside the cover. I was told that sale of this magazine to children under 18 was illegal. Now, I do understand that it's nudity is not appropriate for children, however, I did not see how a law could be made making the trade of press could be illegal. It doesn't seem to me that this is a law that the government would have the ability to make. Then again, I don't understand much of the modern government.

3. Wednesday was uneventful but Thursday I happened upon two things worth talking about. I talked with Daniel in the morning, ecstatic about my upcoming paycheck.

Daniel: Well, if you're getting paid Monday, you should start chipping in on the bills. Just give me 80% of your check for now. That should cover it.

Me: 80%? Will that leave me enough to eat?

Daniel: Don't worry about that, you can have some Ramen, why, plenty of people eat that. Let me worry about it. Just give me that 80% because I need to make sure the bills are paid. My unemployment is a lot but not enough to cover my expenses.

Me: Okay, will do. You've been a good friend to me during my stay here. Who do you think we should be talking to, to get me back home?

Daniel: I don't know about that. Maybe we should still keep a low profile here. You know? There might be people out looking for you. The timeline doesn't appear messed up. Nothing permanent seems to have happened. Let's just leave it at that.

Me: If you say so, I'm sure that this is a good opportunity to continue my observations. I am tempted to stay until I can at least finish this letter to Congress. Would you care to have a read?

Daniel: Maybe later, I got this game on pause. Show it to me later.

I have a feeling Daniel is slipping into a state of apathy. His government pension does not seem to motivate him to find new work. I don't know quite what to do, but my position here is mostly as an observer, so I'll just do as he says.

The other thing that happened over the course of the day was my discovery of the bus system. I left to work near midday, at 2pm, to walk to work like usual. It's about a 45 minute walk, quite brisk. But there is a bus that always runs down this street. So I happened to have change and decided to board. For a a dollar and some change he shuttled me to work in a fraction of the time it would've taken me to walk. However, the patrons of the bus service did disturb me. One asked me for enough money for a new transfer, but I declined and sat somewhere else. He called me a "faggot", but I didn't have any on me at the time, so it seemed rather confusing to me.

4. The best thing that I can say about yesterday was that I got my affairs in order and learned more about the history of Russia. We now have digital cable, something Daniel went ahead and ordered us due to necessity, so I turned it to a channel called "History International". History International shows many broadcasts of historical documentaries, and it was very informative. I learned about the fall of the Czars of Russia. I can't say I ever had an appreciation for the monarchies in Eastern and Western Europe. However, it seemed to me what happened after that was very terrible. The revolution there seemed to be led by corrupt leadership. Whatever policies the founding fathers of the Soviet Russia followed seemed to not work like the founding fathers of America. It seems almost as if their leadership was more of a cruel dictatorship than the Monarchy ever was, which led me to wonder, is it possible to develop governments more corrupt than Monarchies? I never thought so, given the brutality of the British. But maybe this is my limited experience speaking. It's obvious that they took no suggestions from Western Revolutions in France and America. This was definitely a pity.

Well, that summarizes my note taking. So, as Daniel tells me is customary to say, I'm outtie.

- TH. Jefferson

Editor's Notes:

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