Big Day Out

January 24, 2010 § 2 Comments

The clock at Central showed 2pm, and the plan was to get to Sydney Olympic Park at 2:30pm to catch the first act we wanted to see. It was a band that I didn’t know, but hell, I didn’t care. With an excess of energy and excitement, I wisely took the day off work and slept in past 9am. I knew it would be a good move. Armed with the essentials – tank top, shorts, covered shoes and of course the lovely companion, I attended my very first Big Day Out here in Sydney.

Temperatures soared. It must be at least 35 degrees. We sweltered but rejoiced in the sunshine thinking about our poor colleagues who were working meaninglessly at that moment. We wandered around aimlessly looking for sunscreen and beer. Sunscreen was eventually found in a poorly indicated area, and obviously beer found us. At $7 a pop, beer was everywhere. Looking for the strange green tag to put on our wrists to indicate we were above 18, did take a while. It was Friday. Everyone looked about 12. I guess that included us.

Call me a girl, but I squealed like one at Powderfinger and Eskimo Joe. My eardrums were almost lost where the companion dragged me to Fear Factory. I did not understand metal, but amused myself by observing the head-bangers around me. One guy slapped me with his dreadlocks. I forgave him. It is metal. The companion has tried to explain, but my brains did not want to listen. Me and metal, shall forever lead separate lives, and that’s ok. I saw bands I never really knew, but raved about by others, though I found myself not disliking Mars Volta and Muse.

The verdict – a good Big Day Out. This has prepared me for the next music festival we are going to in March. I realize I am having too much fun. I do not want to go to work. I do not want to wake up at 7am on weekdays. I do not want to think about doors and windows and staircases. I want to go to music festivals and the beach every day. Can someone tell me how? At least until summer’s over.

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Nostalgia

January 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

I have found an amusing email rant I wrote some 10 years ago, while I was still living in Malaysia:

Dear Me, Queky, Big Boss, Senile-Old-Dino, Hantu, Cacats, Futtuteirus, Suvs, Ahteks, Weng, Kitt, Fooks, Changyen, & Kaipohsan,

limbo (lim/bo), m.,pl. 1. a place or state of oblivion to which persons or things are regarded as being relegated when cast aside, forgotten, past, or out of date. 2. intermediate inactive or neglected state.

The other meaning of it focuses within a region on the border of hell or heaven, but I thought ‘intermediate inactive or neglected state’ seemed more appropriate. Since everyone seems to have crawled into their lil hole of obscurity once again, there’s nothing like some absolute bitchin’ to kickstart the upcoming new month of June.

Seems to me that everyone who is currently in the working world really has gone to a place of oblivion – make that ALMOST everyone, unlike us, G is obviously working hard at pouring his little heart out. Not sharing his enthusiasm, I start my complaining.

First, I work at a crap place. When I step out of my car every morning, I walk through a barren land of filth and used condoms on the uneven surface of the dusty ground. I walk past the corner restaurant, trying not to fall into the grime-filled drain clogged with puke-coloured food ‘pieces and stuff’. I also try not to bump into the friendly neighbourhood madman, who occasionally sits in his wheelchair in the middle of the road waving his hands about and cursing innocent passers-by like myself. Most of all, I try not to get run down by big scary-ass buses who whiz by inches in front of me, forgetting that human life is rampant in that area.

A few doors away from the disease-ridden food stalls (the LOOK disease-ridden), I reach the clinic door, trying not to brush against the red blood-stained white tiled walls, which by now, is a brownish colour. We have to walk through the clinic, because although we have our own door, a group of drug addicts getting their daily fix doesn’t seem very professionally appropriate for anyone who is looking around for an architect’s office. So, our real entrance is locked, sealed and obsolete while we saunter upstairs through the clinic. But of course, we love the nurses downstairs because they occasionally feed us.

Once upstairs, I see our familiar haven’t-been-cleaned-in-ages carpet tiles and I plop my stuff down on the table, dreading the rest of the day, dreading to go to the bathroom through this scary-ass long corridor, dreading to look down the corridor which overlooks this scary-ass burnt-down building which has this scary-ass window with a creepy-looking aloe vera plant plonked in between ragged curtains and broken shutters. I would provide a more detailed story of ‘The Bathroom Light Which Suddenly Came On’, but I shall save the rest (tranvestites and all that) for another day.

Second, although being in this line surrounds me with men 90% of the time, unfortunately half of that come in the form of slimy-looking old pot-bellied contractors or nerdy-looking suppliers. The rest look like Phua Chu Kang.

Last, my mind has been feeling at a limbo. That’s my excuse for not writing. Is everyone else in limbo too? Ok, not so quiet anymore. I crawl back now.

Steph

Interestingly, as I read through that email, all the memories of my first job came flooding back to me, and it appears I have not lost any of my charming whinging qualities. Also, I seemed to like the word ‘scary-ass’ very much. I am ace.

Taipei lessons

January 13, 2010 § 2 Comments

I’m back, world! From the non-internet friendly depths of Taipei. In case anyone is wondering what I was doing there, some of you may remember that I had a wedding to attend in Malaysia. More on that in the next week or so, but going to Taipei whilst stopping in Malaysia for a couple of days seemed like a good idea at the time. Why do all such bad ideas seemed like such good ideas at the time? I shall have to write a whole separate post on that issue at some stage. Anyway, lessons learnt during my short 5-day stay, which I wish I had known much earlier. It would probably have prevented me from going there.

1. Develop good aim.
Yes, I am talking about the potty. The abundance of very small and narrow hole-in-the-ground type loos in public places mean that if you REALLY need to go, aiming well should be a strong point. Or risk pee-ing all over yourself. Worse, stepping on someone else’s pee. Er, I’m not saying I did any of the former. Otherwise, it would be wise to wait for a ‘normal’ toilet.

2. Develop bad manners.
You’ll fit right in. People do not say excuse me, sorry, or smile. If you are in their way, they will push right through you. They also do not like being asked directions, as the majority of them do not seem to know much about their own city. Also, friendliness does NOT seem to be a virtue here. DO NOT SPEAK TO BUS DRIVERS.

3. Speak Chinese.
With bad signage and directions everywhere, it is just best to learn Chinese. I wish I had continued those damn lessons I took when I was 10, but all I remembered from Chinese lessons was learning how to sing ‘Fat Pig’. Great lot of help that was. Luckily, I brought my mum with me, who did speak the language.

4. Learn to love eating dumplings.
Because that’s just about everywhere. There ain’t much else that’s tastier to eat. There are also soups and tofu-type food, and noodles, but that’s it. So, dumplings for a few days.

5. Take the taxi.
They are the best I have ever seen. Honest, fast, and they even charge less if they accidentally take the wrong route.

What’s the conclusion? I suppose one can tell I absolutely hated it. After hardly 10 days away, I want to go home. How on earth did I manage to travel for so many months last year? Another mystery.

A year in solitude

January 1, 2010 § 2 Comments

So the new decade has begun. At a somewhat rocky start, here are some memorable statistics of the last year.

Countries travelled: 18

Starting 2009 in France, I subsequently made my way around 18 countries in the following order. France – Switzerland – Liechtenstein – Netherlands – Belgium – Germany – Czech Republic – Austria – Hungary – Sweden – Denmark – Italy – Greece – United Arab Emirates – Malaysia – Singapore – Indonesia – Australia. After an exhausting and emotional trip, I finally made my way back home to Sydney halfway through the year.

Hours worked: Around 650

I know, it doesn’t sound like a lot. After a 12-month period of unemployment and time-wasting, I rejoined the rat-race on the eve of my birthday this year in September.

Hours wasted on Facebook: 1000

Facebook is evil. Although the novelty of sticky-beaking into everyone’s lives is starting to wear off, I can’t help but spend many unproductive hours continuing to do exactly that. Remember, I don’t own a TV.

Money spent: More than $30,000

Thanks to travelling, buying a car, starting a collection of new furniture, and a seemingly endless plethora of other useless things, I appear to have an empty bank account. Good memories though.

Alcohol consumed: 300 litres (maybe)

Notably, a large portion of that came from spending time in France and the Czech Republic. A special mention also to Bali, home of deliciously delicious Bintang beer.

Other highlights include starting a business and working for myself (sort of), writing an e-book, starting a new relationship, reconnecting with old friends, and accepting the way of the world. Happy 2010, folks.

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