There was a time when people knew what they were doing. They devoted their entire lives to mending shoes or making wigs, keeping books or smelting stuff. They were defined by what they did. Dickens had characters who were shaped by their profession. Even his pick-pockets were fully trained, accredited, reliable.
Now it seems we have web sites, backed up by people who don't really know what's going on. Yesterday I yelled at a man in the street, literally yelled at him, using every obscenity I could summon, because I needed to yell and vent my anger on someone tangible and there he was, walking his dog along the road. He had no leash, the dog ran at Tyson, and the man made some brief attempt at defending himself before he realised that was only going to make me angrier.
I now feel terrible. I had a bad night. I feel like I'm back to square one.
Yesterday was going to be the day when I bought my airline ticket -- the moment when this deal was sealed. Buying the ticket is a huge step. I am still not absolutely certain that moving to Slovenia is the right thing to do, nor am I certain that staying here is the right thing to do. The only thing that gave me the confidence to buy that ticket was being told by Air France (twice) that I could see Tyson during my layover in Paris. That made me feel better. If I could see him in Paris I would feel like I'd made one direct flight successfully and he was there, fit and healthy and in the right place. Then it was just another direct flight to Slovenia. I'm ok with the idea of a direct flight, even when there's two of them.
Yesterday, after long and confusing calls to the vet and the USDA, trying to work out if I should make an appointment with them first or get the ticket first, I called Air France and began the long dreaded ticket-buying ordeal.
The American woman could not pronounce Slovenia and had never heard of Ljubljana. She spent a long time taking all of my details and I told her that, according to two previous calls, it was important that Tyson was checked in only as far as Paris so I could get him and check him onto the Slovenia flight myself.
She said that was impossible, and what credit card would I be using today?
I backed away, cartoon-like. "But they said I could!"
As I told her I would have to sleep on it, she asked if she could help me with hotels or car hire? I went out with Tyson, once again feeling like I had to chose between two things that I don't want, like I was back in the immediate aftermath of being dumped by my wife and everything was spinning out of control. Then a dog ran around the corner and the man walking it seemed to think that he didn't need a leash. The cleaned-up sane version went something like this:
"Sir, you are an inconsiderate person, and let me put this into perspective. This is suburbia, where we are supposed to walk our dogs on a leash. If it's ok for you to go out leash-less, then it's ok for all of us. If we all do it, we will be living in India."
I'm sure India is lovely, but you get the idea. A little bit chaotic and poop-strewn.
This is Wednesday morning. I shall pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.
Moving with my dog to Slovenia.