Friday, 29 February 2008

An Anti-American American?

I often have a look at World Hum as they have some interesting articles, half of which I tend towards disagreeing with. The more I travel and live abroad, the more I think most travellers have their heads up their asses. Ok, so I'm being harsh, but what I mean is that the myth of the enlightened traveller gets dispelled the more you travel and see;) I don't think this person is Anti-American, but I think it is interesting how you can get a dissertation topic to turn out anyway you want it to. She says all of her interview subjects have been to America, but for how long? And of the people I speak to while abroad, those who have a negative attitude about us quite often have not ever visited or if they did, were there on holiday and for a short period of time. To this comment:

"Anti-Americanism is an issue that is not going away any time soon, but if a few of us make an effort when traveling abroad to break the stereotype, we might be better ambassadors for our country."

...all I have to say is, if you have a bad opinion of my country, based on biased media reports, a short trip there, or discussions and/or interaction with a tiny minority of the 300 million Americans that exist, get over it.

Intolerance in Adelaide?

Just found this while doing a search for more information on an Adelaide Hare Krishna centre which offers yoga. I've never really understood the intolerance which seems so rampant against Hare Krishnas. To me (a person very anti-organised religion) I find Hare Krishnas to be some of the nicest, most unimposing religious people around. I've come into contact with many over the years who seem to be very genuinely kind people. I'm curious as to whether Adelaide is still banning them from marching in Rundle Mall. If anything, they should banish the rancid looking teenagers from congregating there; they're more of a nuisance.

I guess I should wait to make snap judgements, but I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that their vegetarian restaurant, Govinda's (which has locations all over Australia by the way), closed it's Hindley Street location and moved to Kilburn. Not quite sure yet where that is but it would be a lot more convenient to do yoga in the city after work that to have to schlep out to boopity-bop-ville:/

Sunday, 24 February 2008

I Love it When People Get Locked in the Kitchen

When you live in a hostel, and your bed is not just your bed but your sofa and dinner table, you have to enjoy the small amusements...such as people getting locked in the kitchen. Occasionally, the wind slams the kitchen door shut, and it can be a bitch to get back open. Those of us who have been here a while know to turn the handle all the way to the left and slam a hip against the door. The newbies and passers through yank on the handle and push and yank on the handle some more and push some more and...[you get the picture] until they finally bust through and almost fall down from the effort. It can be amusing.

Not so amusing is the parasites, and I'm not referring to bugs...just a couple of English and German blokes here at the moment. One of the regular passers through is a fella who drives up on the weekends to sell at the local markets. When he comes back on Saturday, he sometimes has some food to share and as yesterday it was pissing down all day, I guess the vendors were giving away what would spoil to each other, so he came back with potatoes, 3 types of bread, 3 types of homemade ravioli (mushroom, spinach and pumpkin...amazing), cheese, salmon, spinach, lettuce, pasta sauce, and olive oil. Anyway, he was going to cook it up and share it with all who were interested. Sure, we hung around to get some, but the greediness and vulture-like quality of some of our hostel dwellers were sickening. They took huge amounts of what was meant for all, one even stole a bag of lettuce. This morning when I was making a potato, spinach, egg and cheese skillet from some of the leftovers which the fella gave to us at the end, one of them even came around looking at my food, intently. People are truly amazing!

Friday, 22 February 2008

Democrats Abroad

I was sceptical of this organisation when people from it started showing up on forums and such that I am on, trying to post comments on my blog, etc, to try and get me away from voting at my local Consulate and/or via the traditional hard copy absentee ballot. People went on about how difficult it is to vote at the Consulate and/or via absentee ballot, and the truth is, it's just laziness not to. According to this CNN article, it sounds as though Democrats Abroad simply would have taken my vote away from my home state and I would have ended up giving my vote to fractions of delegates. I'm glad to see that so many expats voted, but I hope if they had the opportunity to do things the traditional way, they did so. It's better to vote than not to, but it's better to vote the absentee ballot as is than support these organisations.

Last days

Next Friday is my last day at my job. I'm thinking about this as I sip my cappuccino, made from the office machine. I've been extremely spoiled at this job--the work has been good, for the most part my co-workers have been awesome (I've discovered I much prefer working in a team of men. They're just so much easier going.), the leaving teas are killer, the location is perfect, the pay has been pretty good, and there is of course the coffee machine, plus the daily biscuits (cookies) and crackers. I am so never working non-profit again.

Modified to add: Surprise surprise my contract has been extended again, although I'll be moving to another department for the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Hiking Rangitoto

We did a day trip to Rangitoto on the ferry. Long hike---about an hour each way and all uphill on the way out, but well worth it. This was our 2nd meet up of the InterNations group, a global expat site that has local communities all over the world. I've been heading up the Auckland community, and hope to do the same when we get to Adelaide, as they didn't give the smaller cities in Australia communities yet;) I think many members weren't up for the hike, as it only ended up to be 6 of us, but it was a good time regardless. And yes, we walked from the edge of land you see, up much further than where we took those pics.

Monday, 11 February 2008


I think that's how it's pronounced anyway. I went here this weekend. This was actually pretty cool. Kind of like a very mini Taste of Chicago where 2/3 of what was on offer was booze! I had fejoia wine, pear cider, wheat beer and a frozen butterscotch daquiri thing, plus sausages, cheese and crepes:)

Monday, 4 February 2008

No children please

Yesterday Steve and I went to an outdoor free music event. They hold these every Sunday in the Domain, which is a large park with different areas for different things. It was a saxophone quartet and was fantastic. This week it was in a smaller area of the Domain called the Wintergarden. Now, the one thing that surprised me about going to this was that there was a LOT of children there. Back home, this would be considered an adult event and if there were kids running around, it would be frowned upon. I realise kids need culture too, but can't they get it at home or places that are designated for children? A lot of people with children will most likely be offended by my attitude, but I don't think children have any place at an event like this. I love my cousin's kids, I enjoy my friends' children on occasion, and I'll enjoy spending time with my new nieces and nephew when we get back to Adelaide, but when it comes to my social life, I don't want children anywhere near it. I think there's a different cultural attitude toward family friendliness down here, which is probably good for the majority, but a real sucky aspect of life down under for me.