Among the questions I have found myself asking in the last few days:
- Should I run for Leitrim County Council in the local elections in 2019?
- Does Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan have many saunas?
- Is there an understanding and open-minded waxing technician at the beauty clinic in Carrick-on-Shannon?
The reasons for these questions are simple. I’m planning my future. As you’ll know from my “big ANNOUNCEMENT” post two weeks ago, I have decided not to go to Istanbul and not to carry on with long-term full-time jobs and to do work that allows me time to write and to work on exciting projects of my own.
Money is obviously an obstacle and I can’t give up work entirely. I’m in trouble with Bank of Ireland, to whom I still owe over €13,000. So I can’t just lock myself into a shed and write the Great American Novel on a hipster typewriter and live on nettle soup made from nettles I have foraged. I have to have an income.
So the plan is to find bits and pieces of online work, and I’ll be going abroad for two or three months a year to do freelance CELTA courses. I’ve already started negotiating an income from my current employer to continue doing aspects of my Vietnamese job, but online. I have another few little plans to get money in, some realistic, some not (as well my exciting kickstarter which I probably won’t be launching until April, but I’ve been churning out ideas for it non-stop for the last three weeks).
I wasn’t really thinking about where and when I’d start hunting for freelance CELTAs to do, but I’ve ended up getting one anyway. Every February, there is an ad for a tutor for the only CELTA course of the year in Kazakhstan. Every year, for the past four years, I’ve applied. For four years, I’ve had no answer. Last week, the ad came up again and I automatically sent a CV with an email saying “This is my fourth time applying.” Again, I didn’t get an answer. I wasn’t surprised and went about my business.
Then, today, I got an email from the Kazakhs. Within the space of an hour, I had sent a scan of my passport to Almaty and my flights were booked. I’m spending July in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan, bitchez.
I can’t wait. Almaty, where I’ll be Julying, is the former capital of Kazakhstan and is home to the second tallest wooden building in the world. You’ll be relieved to hear that it has a thriving culture of both Russian banyas and Finnish saunas.
But I need a base. Not a former Soviet Socialist Republic. I can’t afford to live in Dublin. And I think I should live somewhere peaceful.
The least populated, cheapest county in Ireland is Leitrim, scene of my memorable Patrick’s Day holiday in 2012. Leitrim was famously the last county in Ireland to get a traffic light, in the early years of the 21st century. Google shows me that a three-bedroom house there is cheaper to rent than a damp studio apartment in Dublin 9.
Google also shows me that there is a gym in Leitrim. One. It looks nice. Google shows no discernible evidence of gays in Leitrim, other than profiles of elderly men who are too afraid to put photos on the internet (or don’t know how). That’s OK. I shall be Leitrim’s gay scene. And I promise to fulfil that role fabulously.
And I have so many plans. I want to be back in Ireland. I want to get involved in volunteering and in politics and literature and all the things I wish I’d been involved in for the last few years. I’m going to be Engaged Connor. And I’m going to have peace and quiet and I’m going to write my books.
Connor The Writer.