I feel like I’ve been using the word “perfunctory” a lot lately. Is that a reflection on my life choices? Or just a recently expanded vocabulary leading to unnecessary shoehorning of an otherwise innocuous word?
I’m leaving for the airport in an hour, so the word seems particularly apt.
This trip seems unreal. I don’t mean that in some wide eyed dreamer style ZOMG ALL MY LIFE I’VE BEEN WAITING. Rather, it’s been shoved in the back of my mind for so long, it looks a little messy holding it up to the light. I feel like I just came back from Austin and now I’m jet setting off to London. England, not Ontario as everyone around here has assumed. I’ve done very little in the way of planning. My girlfriend and I have been particularly laissez-faire (is that a euphemism for “negligent”?). We have no itinerary outside of a wedding, and a beer/curry catch up with some friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made a colour coded interactive Google map with an assortment of activities and coffee spots, it’s just that we haven’t pinned down particular days to anything. We’re as free as the wind, or Willy the whale.
It’s also meant that today has been a shitshow. Not because there was an overwhelming amount of stuff to take care of. More so that we created hurdles for ourselves to then o’erleap. I’ve created this bizarre tradition where, before a big flight, I create an enormous sandwich to take on board. I figure in flight meals are excessively costed, so why not have a little fun and bring something made with love… and a gratuitous amount of deli meat? The plus is, that since I’m not travelling alone this time, I have someone to share it with. We bought a gluten-free loaf (for my GF GF) and hollowed it out a bunch. We’ll use the innards to make gluten-free stuffing at Thanksgiving. First up was the mayo layer. The mayolayer, if you will. I mixed a healthy spoonful of mayo (is that an oxymoron?) with sriracha, then spread it across the base. I sprinkled lemon pepper, then grated in some sharp cheddar. Then it was meat time. In went 125g of aged black forest ham and 75g of paio hot salami. I folded the slices in half on the borders of the sandwiches, crescent side pointed inwards. Then I made little bi-folds and did a centre line to keep a dense consistency to the sandwich. I ain’t no schoolyard sandwich architect. Then a layer of gouda to break up the meat selection before tossing on 100g of smoked chicken. I wanted a little more moisture on my half, so I put in some chipotle barbecue sauce. My girlfriend opted to leave it au naturale. Next came slices of sour dill pickles and sundried tomatoes. One layer of dijon mustard on top and we closed the lid on it. It must’ve weighed about a kilo.
I must stress, that sandwich was the most planning we put into our entire trip.
Then I decided for some reason it’d be a good idea to go for a swim. I hadn’t swam in a few years, but why not then, right? Turns out it was an excellent idea. My muscles (and back in particular) were munted from going all out at the Kpop party on Friday. The swim really sorted everything out and I left feeling relaxed. That was maybe two hours ago. I came back and at the consummate protein packed lunch: A tin of tuna tipped into the remainder of our cottage cheese tub. If it was gonna go off while we were in London, why not, right?
I came home and decided it’d make sense to start packing. As always, I put too much stuff in there. Imagine the horror of wanting a yellow hoodie and not having one? Madness, right? I learned once more how to fold a suit, remembered to stuff in both of my knee braces and most importantly, packed my bluetooth keyboard. It’s been a godsend for travel writing. One day I’ll tell my future grandchildren how their grandfather used to write by hand on his tiny little phone screen.
They’ll be like “hey grandad, what are phones?” “What’s typing? You mean you weren’t all connected on a grand scale mindmeld? How archaic and inefficient.”
Then I’ll tell them about how I boarded a plane and the thought of non-instant teleportation will blow their sweet little minds asunder.
“How perfunctory” they’ll say. My grandkids, after all.