Friday, March 30, 2012

One man's junk...

I saw this video posted on Facebook the other day, and was really captivated by it, so I thought I would share it here as well.  Take the time to watch, it only lasts a couple of minutes, and it is pretty inspiring.  An ingenius use of something that was discarded as waste, and an example of what it means to literally bring light into people's lives.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


As I sit drinking my cup of coffee in the morning, I quite often check my email and read a few blogs, and it seems an appropriate activity to do while trying not to wake up my housemate.  Very quiet.  This morning I was quite pleased to see that my dad had sent me a message, something that has happened exactly twice (including today).  We get on really well, my dad and I, but our communication while I am away is limited mostly to us talking on the phone, or him reading my blog posts after my mum prints them out.  He is the type of guy who works with his hands, and has a great deal of knowledge in many areas, but has struggled with making sense of computers and email.  No so long ago, he got an iPhone, and the way that apple products work seems to make sense to him.  Seeing a message from his email address, with a short note, and a photo of my giant cat Munchkin trying to fit into a relatively small box, made my day.   Well done Dad, don't think you can't teach an old dog new tricks, and well done Apple, for making a product that is accessible and intuitive.  And well done Munchkin for making such a good effort to fit into a small box. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Exploring Sydney

There are many places that I have visited and felt right at home, but here in Sydney, there are few things that will take some getting used to.  I have been exploring the city a little bit as I get settled in, and anywhere in the center or eastern suburbs, there are flocks of girls and women slathered in makeup and wearing either scandalously short skirts/dresses, or shorts with so little inseam that you can quite often see the under bum cheek lines out the back.  My long, not terribly tight jeans probably make me look like some sort of religious/feminist/anti-modern fundamentalist, unwilling and unprepared to bare it all for the sake of fashion, and they certainly place me in a minority group.  But really, what would happen if one of these girls dropped their train ticket and had to bend over and pick it up?  The whole world would be seeing either their knickers or their naughty bits, without a doubt.  Truth be told, there seems to be a trend towards people either covering up everything in countries like India or Indonesia, or else there are places like here where women wear pretty much nothing at all, and in my humble opinion, finding the middle ground would be a much better idea.  Don't quote me as an expert by any means, but I imagine that there are a huge number of ladies in the city who would look better if they washed off all 5 kilos of makeup and fake tan.  And found clothes that fall into a category somewhere between mumu and pornographic. 

Minor rant, but who knows, maybe after a bit of time here, I will sport little skirts and exaggerated eyeliner too?  Can't quite picture it somehow.

In my meandering around town today, I also encountered something that I liked very much, not only half naked people that made me feel overdressed.  A small bookstore down Bondi Beach way, that houses both a plethora of used books, and a coffee/sweets counter.  Hurray!  Gertrude and Alice ( is the name of this cozy little shop, and I will most certainly be visiting again.  The chai was delish, the muesli cookie was soft and chewy, the book selection was tip-top, and the mix of indie music playing through the shop created a great atmosphere.  Two thumbs up.  I picked up probably my 10th copy of The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and spotted about a kajillion* other books that I would love to provide a good home for.
Why have I bought so many copies of the same book you wonder?  Well, I have bought it and read and passed it on to someone in need of a great read more times than I can count, and more often then not, the person who I have lent it to wants to pass it on to someone else.  Most of these have been previously loved copies, purchased at used book shops, but it is pretty safe to say that I have never bought any other piece of literature that many times.  With all the re-locating I have done in the last few years, having a copy of the TTW on my bookshelf seems to make me feel more at home.  Why do I like it so much?  Something about the gritty realism that makes such a far-fetched idea into a completely plausible story, and the way the poignancy of love and loss are interwoven.  Just read it, you'll see.  Please don't bother with the movie; it is absolute rubbish.  Anyways, my bookshelf is still my suitcase for the time being, but that will no longer be the case as of  Tuesday when I get to move in to my new flat.  Tomorrow I get to pick up the keys.  Yahoo!   

*Interesting fact: when I used the spell check function, the word gazillion was suggested in place of kajillion.  But even if I am making up words and numbers, I mean a kajillion.  Niffenegger came up with a suggested replacement of Avenger.  Audrey Avenger sounds like the type of superhero who would wear a mask.  Wonder how she would feel about that?

Friday, March 16, 2012

A sigh of relief

It has been a while since I last wrote anything, but now that my feet appear to be on solid ground, it feels like the right time to get back at it.  Between leaving Mysore and now, I have passed through 5 airports in four countries, and have slept in one hotel bed, one hostel bed, and in spare rooms/tents with 5 different friends.  The generosity that I have experienced in the last few weeks is mind blasting.  If any of you kind people/families happen to read this, please know that I truly appreciate having been warmly welcomed, fed, and watered in your homes. 

Upon arrival in Sydney, and in the last of the spare rooms, my first order of business was in finding a place to stay.  On the way to the house from the airport, I was taken across the famous bridge, and driven around a little side street to see the equally famous opera house.  What a welcome to the city.  The first full day I was here I managed to get an apartment viewing appointment, and loved it, so Tuesday I will be moving into a flat where I hope to stay for a long while.  Too much moving around.  Yesterday I caught up with a couple of friends from Mysore who happen to also be in town, and spent a large part of the day walking and getting oriented in the city.  One of the highlights of the day was the brown rice sushi roll I had for lunch.  The subtle flavors were a refreshing change after 3 months of Indian food.

So a new leg of the journey begins here in Sydney.   On Tuesday I can shift into the flat, and hopefully from there I can really settle in to the city.  Some exploring will definitely be essential.  More adventures are sure to come.