Mabou, Cape Breton
I'm on my third iPod in 10 years, and I love it. I wish the iPhone was as good a device as my Android Samsung because I would snatch one up in an instant! I digress..
My first iPod was gifted to me, by me, while in Seoul, South Korea. It was a silver iPod with a black and white screen and by the end of the first year I had that sucker loaded up with so many songs and playlists that it was impossible for me to revert to an unfriendly mp3 player. Three years later my ex bought me my second iPod, a black iPod classic with 60 GB of memory!
That iPod went everywhere with me! It survived our catastrophic breakup (for me, at least). It was in Russia with me, and out on boats at sea with me, and in Ukraine and Germany and Sweden and England with me. Then last year it started to go wonky and the battery stopped holding any charge at all. That was exactly 5 years after I received it so not bad.
Knowing how much I love my iPod, Katya took me by complete surprise for Christmas 2012 by giving me a brand new iPod classic, this time matte black with 120 GB of memory! Wow!
I set about transferring all my files over to my new iPod, a fairly easy process once you've done it a few times. Some of my songs are grandfathered from that original iPod back in Korea! I mean these are files that have been with me through thick and thin, adventure and boredom.
What does any of this have to do with Mabou, Cape Breton, you may ask? Bear with me, and you'll soon understand.
Recently I set about organizing a playlist that is a sort of soundtrack of my life. That is, I'm making a huge playlist with songs that meant something to me at the time, in the order that they happened. As an example, some of the songs I was listening to back in 2004 when I bought my iPod in Korea were Prison Song (System of a Down), Edge Hill (Groove Armada), Hey Ya! (Outkast), Just Want 10 Minutes (Ee Young Lee) and Amish Paradise (Weird Al Yankovic..don't ask). Well, on my playlist are exactly those songs, and when they play it totally brings me back to those days!
Seriously, when those songs play in order I can see our (my ex and mine) flat in the Bundang Acrotel building, and feel the warm heated floor below me and hear my ex laughing at something and taste the shitty Korean beer and maekju mixed with fruit juice that got us completely shit-faced.
That's how powerful this playlist is for me, so I'm working slowly and diligently on it so that it is just perfect!
One section of this playlist that I found particularly powerful brought me back to the summer before I went to South Korea. I hear Bob Marley, Sublime, Bare Naked Ladies, The Rankin Family and Breathe, by Swollen Members, all back-to-back, and I'm immediately transported to a magical sunny summer in Mabou, Cape Breton.
In my old blog, Mission to Moscow, I wrote about that great summer, so I won't rehash too much here. I can remember painting my ex's father's barn (or one half of it, until he decided we sucked at painting), perched up on ladders with black-fly hats draped over our faces, which did nothing to keep us getting bitten. When "Hairshirt" plays I think of cruising around the countryside in our Chevy Cavalier, or whenever "Waiting In Vain" comes on I think of how that Cavalier rolled across a parking lot and into traffic, causing chaos in the center of that little town.
"Santeria" reminds me of when our friends T & J came to visit from Ottawa and we went to the Red Shoe Pub (or whatever) and ate freakin' hot chicken wings until I was literally high.
This portion of the playlist is an audio trip down memory lane to days past. Sitting in my ex's living room while her mother ironed my underwear (don't ask about that, either) and we waited for our contracts to come in from the recruiter for the school in South Korea while we drank copious amounts of vodka Ceasars is attached to David Gray's "Sail Away", and Guns N' Roses "Rocket Queen" takes me back to trips to Port Hawkesbury.
What does this have to do with being married to a Russian, you ask? Well, it's not immediately apparent, but knowing how I came to be married to a Russian is part of knowing about life with a Russian wife. Actually it's not, but this is my blog and it is what it is. Besides, eventually my playlist will reach my memories of life with Katya and the beginnings of our relationship, so it's all building up to that. Who asked you, anyways?