Saturday, 25 June 2011

Well, this is nice.

I haven't done this in a really long time. Like, more than a month? I don't know, but not only has it been a really long time, but so much has happened since I last posted.
I finished my job, I was sick, I started travelling for four and half months. Y'know. The usual.

So because I feel I have at the same time so much to write, and no way to write it, I am going to do brief points about highlights from the trip.

My first view of downtown San Francisco was of homeless people and the really pretty G A P store.

I only did two of the four obligatory touristy things there, but that was OK.

We've seen tonnes of animals. Deer (baby deer!), foxes, squirrels, I think I saw a chipmunk today, a raccoon, Canadian Geese and Canadian Goslings, and more that I forget.

Clothing optional beach male:female ratios were very reminiscent of Euro-Trip. 8:1 approx. Awks. Also, we nicknamed incoming naked males dugongs, and incoming naked women rainbows.

Boise was actually lovely. I know I sound surprised, and that's because I was not expecting there to be as much to do there as there was, but it was really good, and I would seriously recommend it.
Also, thank you B.A.D. and Corey. :) You guys are stellar.

I got three dresses for $30.

The weather keeps changing from very hot to not very hot.

There was a car parked poorly in Boise and I wrote a note on it.

I saw the San Andreas fault. IN inACTION!

I went to Two Gentlemen of Verona (for some reason I always want to write that as 'Gentlement').

There are others but I forget. That's one thing that's really frustrating: my handbag isn't big enough for my notebook, so when I'm out during the day and I have a thought that's like "oh, that'll make a good story" or "haha, that's a funny thing" and I want to write it down, I can't, and then when I get home (to the hostel) I forget what it is, and it's terrible. Cool story bro.

Here's a thing I actually want to talk about, inspired by booshoe37.
The word and use of the word 'nice'.

I remember being told by Mr Mahalm in year 4 (or 5...?) that 'nice' is not an acceptable description of something. In fact, if someone used that word, the N word, he would in fact* demand we find another way to say what we were trying to say. While I was never on the receiving end of this, I don't think, I do remember thinking at the time what's wrong with 'nice'? i know what nice means. i think it's fine.
Yes. I thought in lower case. I also used other mediocre words such as 'fine'.

Now, however, how my perceptions have changed!
I noticed over a long period of time, with the final point of utter realisation being when something I was really interested in was said to be 'nice' and I had no idea what that meant. All I can't get out of that is that it wasn't terrible. But if it had been good enough, it's highly likely that the person would have said 'it was amazing', but not certain, so I'm left with no certainty about if it's even good or not! They could have thought it was great and just didn't want to tell me! And then if it was excellent, what made it so good? Or if it wasn't, what made it only average? I know this is one of my rant-y blogs, but as I'm sure you're aware, I have a deep appreciation for the English language (despite my reluctance to proof-read) and 'nice' is a slap in the face to sophisticated language use.

There are so many single words that could describe anything better in any situation more adequately than 'nice'. And simple two words phrases to describe it opens up millions of possibilities. Things like "awkwardly funny" or "unexpectedly moving" or "beautifully spectacular" tell me your impressions, prior expectations, feelings, and actually give me detail, at very little effort more than mumbling out an unimpressed 'nice'.

I could say that all of the places I've been to, and all the experiences I've had have been nice. They all have been. I haven't had anything terrible, but I've had a nice time. And that tells you NOTHING.

There is a whole world of beautiful, amazing, descriptive, apt words for whatever you're trying to say. Don't settle for 'nice'.

*that's another thing that annoys me:
Come on guys, it's 'in fact'. Two words.
Also 'a lot' not 'alot' (@ANB).