Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Silly man

So I was having coffee with this Irish guy last night. (Not a rower)

He did several things that are wrong in my books.

1. Tells me, an hour in, that he does not have much luck with the ladies.
2. Lets out that he has family issues.
3. Lets out that he has emotional issues.
4. Lets out that he has issues.

I have never understood why some guys go over board with Too Much Information. For example, telling me that they don't have good luck with the ladies. I mean seriously, lie about it! Tell us you have a trail of fine sheilas after you. Do you think it will come as a turn on to us that you don't? No! No, no, no, no.

Well, maybe some girls. The ones that are looking for a male to fix. A male to save. But this is too much for me, give me robust emotional health any day. It's totally sexy. And the age-old clichè - if you don't like yourself, how can you expect me to?

I don't get it. I'd love to be a guy. All they need is confidence and they automatically become attractive to most girls. Where as we need to rely on aesthetics. And most of these guys are smart, sweet and good looking. Just missing the self esteem. Get some.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Blatant showing off + thank God for pizza

Everyone has had a job that they don't like. For most of us this occurs when we're students, and inevitably in our first jobs. And I guess when travelling.

Right now I've got one of those menial jobs to get me by. Although, in a hotel in the middle of Dublin, it couldn't be more ideal. Along with cheap accomodation, I get a wide range of perks and free touristy stuff, if I was so inclined. There's also a wee Old Wive's Tale going on: apparently five former receptionists have met their future husbands through working here. Wouldn't that save a lot of hassle in the future. This city is awfully romantic...

But I'm a bit concerned that I'm really starting to resent other people. Ie. other backpackers. The questions I get asked. Directions, bus timetables, trains, pubs, food, adaptors, laundry, the airport, do I look like a bloody encyclopaedia? No.

I am as clueless as every other backpacker, and cannot help these poor, poor travellers.

As well as that, I have to show unfortunate people to apartments in the most complicated building ever - last week I took two lovely couples from Sweden and Belfast through a series of wrong exits and up and down four flights of stairs. With luggage. Arrrggh.

Anyway, the point of this post was to show off. Last night as we were about to unlock the door to our room and crash, my buddy decided to buy a piece of pizza. I'm so glad she did. This resulted in us meeting the Irish National Rowing team, a group of freakishly tall (abs included), freakishly handsome blokes. Just as we were all talking about how nice it would be to meet some ridey fellas; our prayers were answered. And they have Irish accents.

And I'm happy. Happy happy happy happy jumping for joy. Just having the best time. Helped by the fact that AcDc Shook me all night long came on last night. Life is worth showing off right now.

xx L

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Yikes. Just realised, I miss Sydney! Next thing you know, I'll be a Kaussie.

I miss the fast-pacedness and my crazy friends that escaped the UK to go there.

xx L

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I love you, Winston, but please go away

Does anyone else get the urge to pluck their retinas out in boredom when they read about Winston's latest debaucle (for the trillioninth time) ??

New Zealand Herald: I do not care.

About this, this, this, this, this this this this this this this and this. Arggggggggggggggh.

Personally, I think he just wants to go out with a bang. Considering his voters are ageing and he can't think of any more populist catchphrases. Or, he just doesn't care anymore, like myself. Anyone who's watched NZ First's opening address for the 2005 election will agree. Poor effort. And you know what? We let him get away with it. He has stuffed around with both major parties and has openly accepted the baubles of office and become a walking contradiction. But we still take him seriously, while he enjoys giving politicians a bad name.

And how is it different from him drinking at every bar in Wellington for free? Is that not a bribe for the coolness of Mr Peter's presence?

Please. Enough.

P.S. I'm not condoning corruption, just sick of hearing about it.

xx L

The peace of boredom

After two hours of reading a selection of whatever I could find in the bookshelves of my striking blue residence along the River Liffey, I am suitably motivated enough to write something. The Da Vinci Code can only be read a certain number of times, you know. Funnily enough, the riddles that Sophie and Langdon have to solve become extremely obvious after a while. The thrill has gone.

So, yurrup, still lovin' Dublin. Victory of victories, we actually managed to get invited to an Irish party on Friday night. Those who have gone backpacking before will know that it's impossible to avoid other backpackers and even more impossible to get invited to local parties. This party could've beat our old apartment's crowdedness any day. And, as a gorgeous young female redhead was hosting, it was a certifiable sausage fest (this was a good thing). The Irish definitely know how to party, and to this point have lived up to all my preconceptions (also a good thing).

Alright, so I should probably write something opinionated and vaguely resembling intelligence. Let's start with politics.

It always riles me when someone says they don't give a damn about the government, because politics doesn't affect them. I was hanging with this BBC editor from Manchester in Hong Kong. We were walking along Yi Lo Road in the city when I asked him if it bothered him that there were so many poor people there. He said, "Naaah, doesn't affect me." My quicker than usual tongue (thank you, Aussies, for making me brazen!), responded with a brief explanation of current inflation levels, rising interest rates and high oil prices: all a result of people like the ones around us growing their economy at a later time than the OECD (that's what it is, right...?). And it certainly didn't get me laid that night, but it saved me from a lecture about how the British did everyone such a favour by colonising them. Believe me, the conversation would've gone down that road sooner or later.

On a side note, has anyone ever noticed how notoriously stingy the British are? This particular guy didn't even drink because he didn't like spending the money. Fair enough, but still....

Politics is also affecting me: I've come to The Republic of Ireland at the end of a cabinet reshuffle that has replaced big spenders with politicians that would peel an orange in their pocket. Like, there are hardly any civil servant jobs right now. All good though, I will probably still get one, if you count working for the local Med School a Public Sector job - what is it with me and the Health Industry this year - I was an Arts student.

And the situation in New Zealand. It isn't affecting me hugely, but current preliminary poll results are messing with my Chi. Good thing I'm not a supporter of LibertariaNZ (with a Z) though, now that would be a stressful, tragic, losing battle. Or ACT (the fuckers).

And politics has truly, truly affected my travel. Being ripped off in Asia, being detained at Heathrow for no good reason, and having to change my travel plans from the U.K. to Dublin within a matter of days. Not that I would change a thing right now.

So those are my superficial reasons. Now that's more interesting than the price of milk.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Home of the Hot Accents

After Sydney, Auckland, Shanghai, Hong Kong and London-in-a-hurry, I have finally arrived.

And what a lovely place to arrive in.

In order to educate myself quickly on all things Irish, we took a tour of the Liffey River and had dinner at the Brazen Head, oldest pub in Ireland.

Bonus facts about Ireland:

1. The harp logo on Guiness is deliberately different to the National Emblem, as the government doesn't want to appear to endorse drinking. And apparently the Irish don't need encouragement.

Yikes, just realised that the only facts I remember had something to do with Guiness (did you know the water for it comes from the Liffey?).

Enough now.

Do love this place though, even though it is now raining for the tenth time in three days. My first impressions are colourful flowers and vines, old brick buildings, hilarious people and hot accents.

Things are happening even faster than they did in Sydney. Within two days I had a tax number, back account and job.

Looks like Ireland and me are meant to be.

xx L

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hong Kong

Probably one of the most happening places I have ever visited. It reminds me of those marsh things I studied in school: warm, wet and flourishing with growth and activity. I didn't mean for that to sound like a description of one's nether regions.

The shops here have totally blown me away. I have no idea why Kiwis insist on shopping weekends away in Sydney - shopping there is crap compared to this city. Cheap things, labelled things, unecessary things, come on down to Hong Kong. D&G, Calvin Klein, DKNY - I am blown away. The clothes are so exquisitely beautiful I thought I might faint (Please, if there is a God, give me a boyfriend who will buy me Burberry!). Unfortunately the sales assistants are like hawks (so would I if my job was 100% commission) and they can smell a European from the entrance. I have tried to avoid eye contact. It's so hard to browse when someone is following you around. I was even given a container in a jewellery store - like a miniature shopping trolley. Who do they think I am, Michael Hill? Jay siz. But I am in heaven.

I got my hair done for about a tenth of the price it would usually cost (Bonus - hot Asian men - I didn't even think they would be my type). My guy was so patient with my curly hair. I pitied him because he only had a tiny straightener, and it took ages. And then ten minutes outside - frizz eruption. You could set a timer by it. I was veeeery tempted to do the old chemical straighten, but that would be a huge committment. I'd have to grow it out. Curly roots and straight ends - ugh.

Another thing I've noticed is instant Green Tea machines. And the plethora of hot food, with an emphasis on soup. No wonder everyone here is so skinny; less carbohydrates and more hydration.

The prices baffle me however. There is no consistency whatsoever. The fine food section in Sogos department store prices packets of fresh fruit for three times the price of a top I bought. I don't get it, everyone knows that fresh food is the best quality - and you can't get that in a packet!
I read a book once about some expats living in Hong Kong. I expected the people here to be unpleasant towards me but they've been nice as pie. In the book they ended up getting murdered by the Triads though, so probably not a good comparison...

On my first night I walked outside, thought it was still daylight the lights were so bright. As for sightseeing, I just don't think I'm a touristy person. So not into structured fun. I prefer to get my international education by going out on the town and seeing everyone with their hair down.
Hotel is not so great - but there are three very good looking university educated guys in my vicinity. I'm sorry, I'm all into fine things but I'm travelling by myself and would like to meet some fine things, thank you.

Went out last night to some very nice places, very nice champagne and very nice food. One of the bars, not that we went in, was run by a guy that 'takes care' of debts. Tres exciting. And I had lobster for the first time ever - biggest crustacean I have ever set my teeth into. And I have to say, Cactus Kate is one hot piece of ass!

There's a legislative council election today - not that anyone votes, apparently. And there was a Falun Gong demonstration too. A guy was pretending to take someone's organs out. Bought the issue a little closer to home for me. Torture and corruption not good.

Having a blast. Could honestly live here. Was worth working my butt off all year for a bit of travel. And I can't seem to stop writing blog posts.

xx L

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Dodgy culinary experiences

Now I am not a fussy person when it comes to food. Give me anything, as long as it's not meat or battery hen eggs (Even then I can be convinced), and I'll eat it. Twice in living memory have I come across food that is truly disgusting. There is this place on Pitt St in Sydney, I think it may be Korean. It is right next to a backpackers so it has a fresh and continuous stream of unsuspecting travellers. It is also comparitively cheap - it is hard to find cheap food in Sydney.

One day I was walking home. I had been drinking on an empty stomach and was starving. Famished. I stopped at this place and ordered three choices. Proud of the fact that I was "trying something new." The first choice was tofu - you can rarely go wrong with that - I can even eat it raw. Then whole eggs and a vege stir fry. From behind the glass, it looked absolutely fine. It may have been my imagination but the girl behind the counter gave me an amused look, as if to say: "Haha, silly gweillo, you shall see." Turns out, the tofu was so hard it could have been used for car tyres. Same with the eggs. The vegies contained a rubbery "fish" substance, bringing to mind images of shark skin. There were some unidentifiable slug things throughout, all was covered in a sickly sweet sauce and to top it all off, a sizeable piece of animal bone was swimming around the container. I still tried to eat it, of course - hunger is a powerful thing - but couldn't.

Afterwards, when me and my travel buddy walked past, we'd warn people not to eat there, and always stop to see what kind of crap they had on the fryer that day.

Now I'm not being culturally insensitive - that food was just terrible. I'm certain that it was some kind of cruel joke.

And today... that food has been surpassed. On my flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong I was given some fish rice. It started off OK with a bread roll and Tararua (whoopee) butter. But behold, the main dish:

Wrinkled peas and corn with some slivers of white fish, full of grey veins. Coated in a slimy, gelatinous sauce and tasting the way a fresh fish shop smells. Served with rice and steamed Chinese brocilli that tasted as if it had been cooked in a kid's chrorinated swimming pool. On the side was some chilli bamboo stuff, which I'm sure also tasted of chlorophill - if I ever had the pleasure of being gassed.

I saw the look of disdain on the air hostesses' face when I handed back my almost untouched meal. She was thinking that I can't handle the Asian Tang.

And you know what, I think she's right.