Saturday, November 11, 2006

Harsh foreign tongue

I was attempting to arrange a change of shift at work with an Indonesian workmate who was not actually there. I had his home phone number and two mobile numbers for him. I wanted to call him on his mobile but I did not know which one was current. Enter another Indonesian workmate. Although she is Chinese Indonesian and he is very native Muslim Indonesian, they know each other well. I asked her which was the current mobile number of my workmate. 'I'll call him', she offered.

She tried his mobile. It was off. She tried his home number and one of his teenage sons answered. Luckily the one who can speak Indonesian, as she spoke to the son in Indonesian and I know the younger one does not really speak Indonesian well.

I could not believe how harshly she spoke on the phone. Of course I could not understand what she was saying but there was no obvious softness in her voice. It was like she was a different person. She was almost spitting words at him.

Now I have no doubt that she would talk to the son of her and my friend with the greatest of courtesy it just it did not sound like that to me.

For the benefit of the tape, it was two in the afternoon and the workmate was still in bed and had to start work two hours later. No doubt up late chatting on the net to his girlfriend in Bali or some other hot chick in Indonesia.

Ever puzzled by race as I am, I will ask him about how he feels about the female workmate and how his son feels about her. To me, she sounded very autocratic and spoke badly to the young lad, who was born here in Oz. Perhaps they are used to this very direct woman. I don't know.......again.

Do we English speakers go on with social niceties before getting to the point, whereas perhaps people from some foreign climes cut straight to the chase?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Holiday

I am undergoing the trauma of a blah blah birthday next year. Being a bah, humbug sort of person, I did have an idea of being out of Australia for the occasion. Don't have to do parties. Don't have to smile sweetly and say thanks for coming. Don't have say sorry, it was not great, but we had an ok time didn't we? For one of R's significant birthdays, I paid for an overnight stay at Melbourne's Sofitel, and I can highly recommend it. It was fantastic. But for obvious reasons, high rise hotels do not have the appeal to me that they once did.

Sadly R's holidays don't fit so well into my birfdy, although they do a bit.

Dream trip of Europe, been there and done it from my chair. Maybe in the future.

US, challenging. Hawaii might be a small taste.

Fiji or Bali could be considered.

Canada, nice but the weather is not great. (this comes from a Melbournian)

UK and visit R's rels? Could be ok but as a full on Anglophile when I was younger, I think I would be disappointed to see it now? I will keep my romantic ideals.

After our great holiday in Viet Nam, we promised to go back and travel to Bangkok from Saigon via Cambodia. Hasn't happened yet.

Then there is Japan where our friend is, and I would really like to see Japan as well as seeing our friend.

But you know what peoples? There are bits of Australia I would really like to see.

My mother was telling me of her last weekend's Sunday drive. She and my stepfather went to Mount Worth State Park in Gippsland. Her description excited me muchly. Steep hills, stunning views deserted farms, damp bushland etc

R went to Perth last year or year before and thought it was great. I would like to see Adelaide again and see what has changed in twenty plus years. I have never been to the Buchan Caves, the Victorian high country, the Snowy Mountains, the Otways and the Grampians.

I would really get as much pleasure from seeing these places as would travelling overseas, probably more. Especially as I hate air travel over long distances.

Of course money is an issue too. Isn't it always.

I dunno, and I refuse to have a birthday next year.

Dinner at The Pub

Last night we had dinner at The Pub at Crown Casino. It was a bit rowdy with Oaks Day patrons but not too bad. Dinner and the Asaki beer was good. Halfway through the meal, I had a sense of deja vu. Yes, we et at Crown the same day last year.

Unusual parking #197


At the top of the picture you can see a shiny new post to replace the old one that was bent a few weeks ago.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ahoy



The Pacific Sun sails toward the The Rip, that is the exit to Bass Strait from Port Phillip Bay. The other picture is the strange ship I mentioned a few posts ago. Does anyone know what it does?

I'm on a tram

Anyone who answers their phone when they are on a tram invariably says this. I am on a tram. And then they answer the question as to where they are.

I waited quite a while for a bus today to go into town, but as they are so quiet, it is my preferred travel vehicle. Ill sotto, or something like that.

I caught a tram home in a standing position. No seat for me. Some pre teen chick gabbling away on her phone about how poor she was. Umm, I can't afford to do fifteen minute mobile phone conversations. It costs too much. Obviously Daddy was paying.

Her loud pre teen conversation was really bugging me. Summer Bay, OC, dvds. I should have moved away. Before I knew it, I had five people talking on their mobile phones around me. I was surrounded, 3oo degrees, by people talking on their phones.

R gets home from work around four in the afternoon. It was four fifteen. He could have called me to find out where I was and make it a 360 degree circle.

Selfish prick went out for an exercise walk instead. Don't worry about me being surrounded by weird conversations. I would have looked who was calling, answered and said 'home in five' and hung up and it would have been free.

I just don't get this need to talk so much on mobile telephones. They are a convenience communication device and an sms instrument. If you want to talk a lot, you use a land line.

When I was young/Back in the old days, we had to make do with two tin cans and a bit of string, that is before we advanced to a party line telephone. For you kiddies, that was a shared telephone line between four houses.

I am an aged person struggling with modern manners.

Or perhaps a blond private school girl talking very loudly on her mobile phone and putting on a show really pisses me orf.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Activism

I feel my activist persona is dulling. I haven't emailed the local council for well over a week, I haven't rung the parking department for longer. I haven't had contact with body corporate matters for a while. I gave up on bothering with anything work related years ago.

Although we don't live in the City of Melbourne, that is the local council area, we are on the cusp, and what they do can affect us and I have been terribly slack about City of Melbourne. I was so annoyed by a non reply to quite a reasonable email, I gave up.

I guess I will have to use that hated instrument, the telephone.

I have already tackled their breach of the twelve metre height limit in South Yarra, and that is now a fayte accomplace. It will be built.

In Carlton we have a lovely memorial to the Bali bombing victims. Surely it is wrong and a breach of bylaws to skate board over a memorial to dead people. It ought to be, if it isn't. It should be a prohibited skate board area and it should be enforced by bylaw officers. Chuck a few fines at the kids and they will go to one of their many designated skating places.

Our main city street, Swanston Street has wonderfully wide footpaths. It needs to as there is a lot of foot traffic. But then they clutter it up with all manner of things, from footpath cafes, to sculptures, to clothes racks and spruikers, kiosks, hot chestnut sellers..........all manner of shite.

How grand it would look with just people and the evenly spaced trees. Unter de Linden even.

As for the road part of it, cars travelling in it illegally fight with trams, pedestrians, illegal time delivery vans, parked vehicles, horse drawn people carts, taxis, illegal taxi ranks, tour coaches, garbage trucks, street cleaners and occasionally a car marked LM1. LM1 occupant, aka Bro So, this really needs some severe discipline. I have seen better controlled streets in Bangkok.

A silver star to City of Port Phillip. They have been policing Queens Lane parking quite diligently since my complaints. CoPP will get a gold star when they continue doing so. Less vehicles has made life a little easier.

Media watching

Let us see. What is around in the media lately?

Sadam Hussein sentenced to death. So much for civilising influence of western countries. Australia and the UK don’t have the death sentence. In fact it was overwhelming public pressure that put an end to it in Australia. It is rather odd that our PM along with UK PM Blair are both very happy with the death sentence handed to Hussein. I don’t think this is how I want my PM to represent Australia’s view, not that I care about Hussein.

The battle over who will lead the Victoria for the next four years. I have yet to hear a visionary statement from either leader. They are both reactive. Naturally I will vote for the party I am a member of, the Greens. No matter what they may screw up if by perchance they were in office, at least I will still have an Earth to live on. What could be more important than the basics?

Betty Battenburg has a bad back. Too much time on her feet standing and slow walking. Slow walking will always do your back in. Pip should give her some massages. Hope he doesn't get aroused though, to the point of some very non monarchy respectful images in my head.

Some bloke has finally kyaked the length of the Mekong. I am impressed.

Was the phrase 'skanky ho' invented for Britney? Seems like she has ditched another partner. Who cares. Not even sure if it was her or someone else. She makes Paris Hilton look like a class act.

My friend in Sydney reckons Madonna is 'vile old tart'. Well he is a bit younger than me and does not appreciate the finer things in life. How do you choose from one of the starving millions in Africa? If I were rich like her, I would probably do the same ego indulgence. Perhaps her money would be better spent on doing something positive for more African kiddies, like making their life bearable, but within their own surrounds.

Interest rates are up. McMansions are under offer by mortgagees. Get in for your bit of slum clearance while you have your chance.

Our building suffers badly from wind tunnel effect. But after visiting the Bureau of Meteorology today, via a circumtuous route, to buy calendars for cmas presents, nothing could be as bleak as Docklands when a howling southerly wind is blowing.

Getting personal. Back to the news.

I made a forecast many blog posts ago, that Labor would fall in NSW at the next election. Another minister bit the dust today. Their only hope is to dig up Robert Askin and put him on trial for corruption.

I spent five minutes today looking for news in English language Japanese online papers of the Japs winning the Melbourne cup. Found nowt. Not a big story in Japan. Melbourne is fond of over estimating its importance.

Tip for Margaret Pomeranz, of The Movie Show. There comes a time in life where it is better to cover up bare flesh. I think you have reached it hun.

The Diane Brimble trial goes on. My take on it, she was a pretty good person who just decided while she was on a ship cruise, to hang loose and get a good rogering. She chose unwisely, but she didn't deserve to die. The ugly creeps who did this need to be locked up for a long time. Ugly, ugly men.

Was it an anniversary of Wave Hill? The local coloured people went on strike for five months, or was that five years, did I hear? Bugger me old man Vesty. We have come a long way since then??????

Day after day I remember that their are webcams on Sydney's Taronga Zoo, but every time I sit at the pc, I forget to look at our new elephants from Thailand. Do I have to stuff a one hundred baht note in their trunks to look?

Ok, I will conclude with some personal. Cute hairdresser in Brunswick Street, do not reach up and expose your smooth bare and slim stomach to me when you are cutting my hair. And the side view with just a glimpse of your lower back where it starts to extend to your buttocks ass, does terrible things to me. Perhaps I should forget about blogging and go back to being a sex fiend.







Fire Drill


Some sort of fire drill was happening on the roof of the buidling next door. While the blurring of the picture is good to protect people's privacy, it was because I could not keep my hands steady enough. Interesting that the only day it has rained in Melbourne for decades, was the day for a fire drill. It looks like it was to learn how, with a blanket, to put out a pot full of chip fat when it ignites.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Exploiting the poor and pretty hats

Isn't that what gambling on horses is about? It was, years ago. Your hard working family provider would often gamble away his wages on the gee gees.

I had a gamble today. I do every Melbourne Cup. Last year I lost, but that is the first year that I have over many years.

I put a bet each way on every race. It make the day interesting.

I sms R yesterday to pick up some gambling slips on his way home. I allow some extra for mistakes. Shredder will be busy tomorrow. I spent half an hour studying the 'form' last night and then opted to go for names I liked and filled in the cards accordingly. As I had to work today, R put the bets on this morning and again, the whole TAB system had changed. It cost me $30, instead of the $20 I had allowed.

While out doing my work, I saw many pretty sights. Beautiful hats, lots of female flesh.........lots of goose bumps and shivering. Melbourne Cup Day is a thing to behold. Sadly Melbourne did not turn on the weather but at least it did not really rain, but it was ever so cold with a high wind chill factor.

For the first time, I noticed Asian Australians participating. I have been watching for this for years and it has finally happened to a small degree, and girls, when an Asian born chick dresses up good, you have real competition. Never mind the Asian guy who I saw wrapped up in traditonal garb.

At work, listening to the ear phone wireless receiver, after five races and not winning or placing anything, finally I had a win on the sixth race. The Melbourne Cup is the seventh race. This is the race that stops a nation, and like or not, it does. You don't have much choice about it.

It is hard to describe the suppressed feelings you have when you are on your own and your chosen horse wins. Better still later when I learned R had chosen the same horse, but with more faith as he put more money on it than my one dollar bet each way.

Aw, crying Jap jockey who does not speak English. My heart goes out and my eyes fill with tears.

By 4.30, I was at Dame M's cup day barbe, which was a bit flat as not many turned up. But the food was great and the company ok. We all shivered together. I was home with pen poised to record the race results from the evening ABC news, but, hmmm, not sure why, they don't seem to do that anymore.

Checked the TAB website for results of later races that I had not heard, and I picked a winner in the last race.

Investment by us both, perhaps $40. Return a few hundred dollars.

Given I don't like horses, scary flighty creatures that they are, they did well by me today. Sorry Kiki and Jess.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Cruising









R is going on a cruise next year. It is work related and it will be hard work, but still, nice work if you can get it. A neighbour is also going on a cruise to New Zealand toward the end of this month. I am a little curious about cruises. I would get bored on a long one I think, but a short one might be ok.

There was a curious looking ship sitting in the bay on Saturday. It had two huge vertical steel structures on either side of the ship and not much in between. No idea what it was or for, but I though I might find a clue at Melbourne’s port authority site. Alas, it was down for maintenance, but the cruise schedule was still working, so I checked when the first of the cruise liners will arrive for the season, and it was the Pacific Sun. The ship R will be travelling on is the Pacific Sun.

I took a look at P&O ships site and noted it was about to depart Sydney at 4pm last Saturday for Melbourne. Ah, their ships have webcams. I checked and there wasn’t any sign of life on the bow deck. Then a bloke with a red tee appeared, then a woman in white shorts. Departure is imminent.

It departed Wharf 8 just outside Darling Harbour. I watched it pull away from the wharf. I then switched to my favourite webcam at the Rocks and took control of the camera and watched it pass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Then with the Canon webcam in the city, I watched it pass by the Opera House. It was really quite exciting. We had to go out then, or I would have been hunting around for webcams at the Heads to watch it pass into open sea.

It was due into Station Pier at 8am this morning but I know they are often early into port. I was up at six and getting ready for work, so I kept checking the horizon. I could see a smudge, checked the time, and no, that will only be the Spirit of Tasmania. I checked the webcam on the Pacific Sun, and there was the Spirit travelling just in front of the Sun. Sure enough, it too appeared on the horizon just behind the Spirit.

The Pacific Sun did not look any bigger than the Spirit and the Spirit being red and white looked more dominant. I had to go to work before they came close enough to take a picture.

It is due to depart on Tuesday at 7pm and I should be home to watch it leave. I think the purpose of the cruise was to bring Sydney horsey types to Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup. I reckon it would be a nice thing to do, although I am not sure about going on a ship after having a gutsfull of grog at the Cup. Heave ho.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The older days

You may judge me from my posts. But I did have a life before the internet. I wasn't always so boring.

I am fondly remembering our breakfasts at Cudgee Court, Ashburton or Ashwood, or maybe even Wellard Road, Box Hill South, whatever, a friends place. Vodka, champagne and orange juice, bacon and eggs on the barbecue, shelter from the hot early morning summer sun, a smoke of some of Gippsland's finest, a laugh, a look around the beautiful gardens, a chat, much silliness, much laughter.

When someone knocked over their pepper vodka in a house in down town Collingwood, guess who licked it up off the table.

Was it me who fell over in the gutter outside the Peel Hotel and could not work out which way was up so that I could stand up? R was no help trying to drag me up. I just needed to know which way to move.

Was it me who was on stage at a gay bar and lying on stage while this hot stripper did simulated sex on me? I got to know the guy a bit a couple of years later. He was straight, but a really nice guy.

I could be responisble too. I managed to drag a stubborn friend off Carlisle Street when she stood in front of tram and blocked it's progress. More than once when out with friends and things started to go pear shaped, I stepped in and rescued the situation.

It all seems so long ago. Do I wish I was doing these sorts of things still? No, but I am glad I did them. Non, je ne regret rien. It sounds so terribly old, but I am happy to leave it to the younguns.

The problem with older people blogging is that they have an awful lot to write about.