Snapshot: ballet

I’m off to ballet again. See evidence of ballet shoes and pink tights below….

20110511-070034.jpg

Why is it that women usually stop doing their extra curricular activities some time in their teens but men keep going? It’s not unusual to hear boys say they still play cricket or soccer or AFL but you don’t hear many women say they still do ballet or netball.

Perhaps the sight of non-nubile women in leotards is more than most can bear? I know I have to cover up with shorts to preserve some semblance of dignity.

Notes from the week…

1. Good news…the airconditioning has been fixed in our living room. Bad news…the dial is broken so we can only have it on one temperature and I am now freezing my tits off sitting directly under the vent. Be careful what you wish for.

2. After avoiding lunches, afternoon teas and my own refrigerator for the last week, week 3 of my new regime resulted in a measly 300g loss. W. T. F. If this shit keeps up I’m just going to eat whatever I feel like and just buy a whole lotta mumus.

3. The mag came back from the printers on Monday. I’m very proud of the cover…it looks just so pretty! (Even in spite of my somewhat lacking still-life photography skills!) October Front Page

4. When a family member is sick it is just so horrible to be so far away from home. We are very much hoping that Reece’s nan pulls through. It is even worse when all the information you get is second hand…it’s very much like Chinese whispers some times. But on a nice note, the staff I have spoken to at RNS have been amazing and very helpful and understanding of our difficult situation.

5. We’re on the home stretch now…the first week of December for a return to Australia looks pretty certain. It’s exciting, but very bittersweet. Life is steamrolling ahead over here and it can be hard to sit down and listen to plans for the new year that we will have no part of. Its also been an interesting learning curve about the kind of friendships you make in these expat circles. While some friendships will last the distance (maybe) others are definitely just transient and it can be very easy to feel replaced. I wonder sometimes if that is a self-defence mechanism put in place over here…move on to the next friend and don’t dwell on the one leaving, lest you remind them that they are not going home.

6. Furniture is awesome. And when you are faced with a couple of years more renting, furniture starts to look like the most attractive way of making your space feel like your own. And I am in LOVE with this store…www.heimastore.com

Not sure if there is anyone still out there, but if there is…anything on your mind?? Anything you care to share?

Equal opportunity employment?

I’m going to miss Manila. I truly will. If I could just transplant my family and friends over here, along with a Coles and some yummy farmers markets and a Witchery I would be as happy as a clam.

I’m also going to miss those Manila moments…the things that make me do a double-take and say WTF all at the same time. In recognition of those moments I give you a hilarious sign posted in a window of the Mercury Drug pharmacy chain. I couldn’t help but try to take a picture with my phone. I did have to lie to the security guard with the big gun about why I was photographing it…I told him I had a friend who qualified and I thought they would be interested. Somehow I don’t think…”But I want to post it on my blog as an example of a crazy Filipino moment” would have cut it!

Just in case you can’t read it properly, it is a job advertisement that happily specifies whether an applicant should be married or single. In particular it specifies that a female applicant should be single, between a specific set of ages (20-25 in this case) and of a certain height. Sorry married ladies, ladies over 25 and under 5 feet…you aren’t welcome here!

Absolute classic! It is these moments that I am really going to miss…there just isn’t enough overt discrimination in Australia for my tastes!

Hello there…

Well, its been a while! Life is super crazy at the moment…been back in Manila for nearly two weeks and am still finding my feet again! Its been especially hard this time as I’ve had both the next issue of the ANZA Mag hanging over my head and my mother-in-law staying with us. Which is both a blessing and a curse all at the same time…I’m sure anyone who has had an extended house guest can sympathise!

In exciting news, we have all but pretty much decided to come home in December! Which is brilliant news! (As long as Reece’s work doesn’t offer him too many tempting reasons to stay that is!)

So not too many more of my pithy updates from the crazy Philippines left! And then I’m sure this blog will be back to ranting about life in Sydney.

Or perhaps ranting about life in general…especially as I adjust to life without a cleaner, or cheap movies, or reeeeeally cheap manicures, pedicures and massages.

And then there’s that whole job thing to contend with once again! Hmmm…

I’ll be back soon. With many more no-doubt riveting things to say.

xx

Day One

Day one back in Australia I discovered a few things…

  • Asking the roving customs official a coy question about choccie bikkies and what box you should tick on your customs form WILL get you a special stamp that enables you to miss the giant screening queue
  • Only little old men with nothing better to do than talk to strangers care that you are back in Australia for the first time in 4 1/2 months
  • The first things I found myself needing to buy were SMH, Marie Claire and a can of Red Bull…oh how I have missed Red Bull
  • It is awesome to see your family after such a long time…absence really does make the heart grow fonder
  • I NO LONGER LIKE CHICKEN SALT (understandably this discovery has rocked my world and I won’t recover from it for quite some time)
  • The vast array of drinks available at your average chicken shop is mind boggling…and awesome
  • I do however still like Mc Chicken burgers…phew
  • The internet at my mum’s place is even more glacially slow than I remember…but just as unreliable!
  • Some grudges die hard and some people are funny (not ha-ha)
  • Manila traffic has made me more patient about Sydney traffic…two lanes is always two lanes, not five or three or one at various intervals
  • My brother has the capacity to surprise me…he willing watched a couple of hours of my wedding DVD
  • I don’t know if I want to go back…

Home James…

I’m flying home on Thursday night for a much-needed visit. And it won’t come a second too soon I can promise you.

I have Manila-fatigue. It’s a condition that occurs over here when you are really close to a visit home and suddenly all of the things that you can’t get or do become glaringly obvious.

See, the thing is, I was in a bad mood because iTunes had fucked me over and hadn’t made the final episode of Masterchef available for download. And I was in a media blackout, which meant that I couldn’t look at SMH or facebook or twitter. The things that keep me sane in the morning…in the long hours before the shops open (at 11am) and I can start my day (usually grocery shopping).

In the grip of my bad mood I realised that I had just come down with a rather bad case of Manila-fatigue…which is closely related to Princess Tears (as coined by Zoe Foster on Mamamia) and a second-cousin to the Hissy-Fit.

It sometimes leads to breakdowns…or to fits of crying…and I won’t lie to you, it mostly affects expat wives.

My condition manifested itself on Monday when I was rushing to catch the lift. I was late for training. Again. People seemingly prefer to catch lifts on their own over here, rushing to be first and closing the doors behind them. This bothers me, but I don’t usually get that worked up over it.

Don’t get me wrong, there is one lady on the 7th floor who is deliberately spiteful and closes the doors and when I got the chance to do the same thing to her it was probably one of the most satisfying things I have ever done in my life.

But on Monday when I was walking speedily down the corridor, made eye contact with a guy waiting by the lift bank and started walking faster only to have him dart into the lift and press the close button I kinda lost my shit. I ran for the lift and pressed the down button, forcing the doors back open. I stormed into the lift and barked in his face…”how SELFISH are you! You don’t own this lift. It doesn’t belong to you.”

I then stood muttering to myself in the corner about general selfishness and lift ettiquette…which perhaps rendered my outrage moot as he no doubt believed I had escaped from a mental infirmary.

To make myself feel…maybe better or maybe worse…I have been keeping a list of all of the things I need to purchase when I am back in Australia.

  • Bras – regular and sports
  • Skin care
  • New gym clothes
  • Pads and tampons
  • Yasmin
  • Nurofen Plus
  • Band-aids
  • Packed to the Rafters
  • Party Feet
  • Large and small cake rings

And the groceries…

  • Maldon sea salt
  • Shapes
  • Cumpets
  • Baking paper
  • Caramello koalas (for cleaner and trainer)
  • Mini Turkish Delights (for me)
  • Dukkah
  • Rice crackers
  • Tins of salmon
  • Packet rice
  • Dish wand refills
  • Bobby pins and hair ties

So bascially…I’m heading to Coles when I get home and I defy anyone to stop me!

I was supposed to fire a GUN today

It’s raining here today. Not the usual 60 minute crazy downpour of the tropical country rainy season…but a dreary all day kind of thing.

It is torrential for about 40 minutes…crazy monsoonal torrential rain…and then the weather plays one of its funny funny tricks on me and looks like it is letting up, only to go back to thunder, lightening and torrential rain.

Now before you roll your eyes too much and call me a spoiled expat princess the rain is a real pain in the arse.

It’s impossible to get a bad in the rain…and seeing as we don’t have a car cabs are our only means of transport.

The roads flood easily…turning shitty Manila traffic into homicidal-urge-inducing Manila traffic. So you have to give the roads a couple of hours to return to their regular state before risking going outside.

The above factors are conspiring to keep me trapped at home…on a day when I was supposed to walk into a Gun Club (a Gun Club loacted in a shopping centre mind you) with no idea or no prior experience and fire a gun. Needless to say I’m irritated that my plans have gone astray. I wanted to get my violence on people…my misguided violence mind you. No doubt I will suck, or even worse I might even chicken out.

But I’m irritated that the bloody weather has taken away my choice.

I will fire a gun…this week hopefully. And if I do, I promise to keep you updated on how the whole thing goes.