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Tuesday, 24 October 2006

You know you are in Sydney when....

94% of Sydney drivers have been the subject of road rage!
1 in 6 Sydney drivers have been run off the road!

Other unusual Sydeny obsessions we have encountered (and don't necessarily understand(!):

Ceasar Salad - so obsessed, full of parmesan, crisy lettuce and pay through the nose if you want chicken included;

Chicken Schnitzel - like its a national/state dish or something?

Gelato - well I can understand that one but there is something in every flavour under the sun, guava is a favourite;

Banana Bread - muffins are not the thing here (it is in Melbourne maybe)but banana bread is an absolute must. It is really a fat slice of banana loaf that is actually quite nice toasted!

P - platers - guaranteed that if you were one of the six cited above, it was a P-plater that did it (those on their restricted for the NZ readers);

Soy "anything" - very Newtown but probably Ponsonby as well these days so I shouldn't be so surprised;

But I so miss a decent oversized imported Ecuardorian banana! With the absolute rubbish of a season thanks to weather conditions in Queensland we are still paying around $12/kg for what can only described as dry, tasteless miniature bananas. As we do live in a socialist nation with protectionist policies beyond belief (gimme a braeburn please!) there was no way that we were going to get any bananas imported. Didn't see NZ do that over the bad avocado season last year did you?

I am still intrigued with Sydney and Australia in general - with temperatures climbing to the 30s these days (then plummeting to the teens) we have to be prepared for all weather conditions at the moment and the sunshine is hard to beat (or feel beaten by it when it hits 37 degrees!). It is also has to be the "gay-est" city in the southern hemisphere. Dating must be a quite difficult for women here. But the music is great, the clash of cultures mesmerising (we live in a Greek neighbourhood) and the constant stimulation - well quite stimulating!

There is an interesting prevalence of city councils in Sydney it is very possible to be nestled among 3 by walking around for 10 mins. Politics are intriguing with state governments placing television ads attacking Federal Govt policies on a regular basis (who is paying for that exactly?) I am yet to figure out who actually does any work in all these tiers but it is so reassuring to know that Anthony Mundine will be standing for the next local elections, he'll pack a punch! Badoom boom...

Anyway I'm back and the next instalments will no doubt be associated with the nightmare of wedding planning, job hunting and learning to speak Austrayyan.

Sunday, 26 February 2006

Tofa soifua Dad

1944 - 2006

On Sunday 12 February we farewelled David T Tevita, my beloved father-in-law. David taught us the meaning of unconditional love and family, something we truly understood as we spent his last days at Wellington ICU together.
I can't fully express the grief I felt at his passing, or the gaping hole that he has left in my heart, but I do know that he blessed me in many ways. His faith in our Saviour let him embrace the challenges of fatherhood and as a resutl I am blessed to have his youngest son, Ron, at my side. He taught his sons honour and pride, and I am blessed again as growing up without any brothers, I now have five proud strong men to call my "brothers", and they have taught me how mighty the power of love is. Along with mum, Sera and the wonderful sisters-in-law and grandkids, we were brought together and spent a fortnight sharing, laughing and crying together.

Thank you David for accepting me into your family, making me laugh, always making me feel special just by making you happy with a chicken curry, your giggle and your smile. I miss you so much.

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

Now that we are back at work...

We have found more reasons not to be here!

The email is cranking up again with that latest funnies for '06 and the following one reminded me more a Bridget Jones' (aka Radhika Ram's) diary entry than a spoof. We're thinking of starting an alcoholics anonymous in our workplace!

Dear Alcohol,

First & foremost, let me tell you that I'm a huge fan of yours. As my friend, you always seem to be there when needed. The perfect post-work cocktail, a beer at the game, and you're even around in the holidays, hidden inside chocolates as you warm us when we're stuck in the midst of endless family gatherings.

However, lately I've been wondering about your intentions. While I want to believe that you have my best interests at heart, I feel that your influence has led to some unwise consequences:

  1. Phone calls: While I agree with you that communication is important, I question the suggestion that any conversation of substance or necessity takes place after 2 a.m. Why would you make me call those ex-boyfriends/girlfriends when I know for a fact they do not want to hear from me during the day, let alone all hours of the night?
  2. Eating: Now, you know I love a good meal, but why do you suggest that I eat a kebab, a butter chicken curry along with a sausage withcheese, onion and mustard (washed down with WINE & topped off with a Kit Kat after a few sweet chilli and sour cream red rock chips)? I'm an eclectic eater, but I think you went too far this time.
  3. Clumsiness: Unless you're subtly trying to tell me that I need to do more yoga to improve my balance, I see NO need to hammer the issue home by causing me to fall down. It's completely unnecessary, and the black & blue marks that appear on my body mysteriously the next day are beyond me. Similarly, it should never take me more than 45 seconds to get the front door key into the lock.
  4. Furthermore: The hangovers have GOT to stop. This is getting ridiculous. I know a little penance for our previous evening's debauchery may be in order, but the 3pm hangover immobility is completely unacceptable. My entire day is shot. I ask that, if the proper precautions are taken (water, vitamin B, bread products, aspirin) prior to going to sleep/passing out face down on the kitchen floor with a bag of popcorn, the hangover should be minimal & in no way interfere with my daily activities.

Alcohol, I have enjoyed our friendship for some years now & would like to ensure that we remain on good terms. You've been the invoker of great stories, the provocation for much laughter, and the needed companion when I just don't know what to do with the extra money in my pockets.

In order to continue this friendship, I ask that you carefully review my grievances above & address them immediately. I will look for an answer no later than Thursday 3pm (pre-happy hour) on your possible solutions & hopefully we can continue this fruitful partnership.

Thank you, Your biggest fan

P.S. THINGS THAT ARE DOWNRIGHT IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY WHEN DRUNK:

  1. Thanks, but I don't want to have sex.
  2. Nope, no more beer for me.
  3. Sorry, but you're not really my type.
  4. Good evening, officer. Isn't it lovely out tonight?
  5. Oh, I couldn't. No one wants to hear me sing

Monday, 9 January 2006

Hi ho hi ho ... it's off to work we go...

Well it certainly is for most. Having worked an extra day before the Xmas break I decided starting work today may be too much for the system. So I am happily trying to get through my last day getting through emails and organising ourselves for the big departure. On the weekend we managed to spend an exorbitant amount of money at Kathmandu so that we too like every other kiwi traveller have their logo emblazoned across everything we own (Foa continues to enjoy his job as we alone pay one employee's entire wages for the week in one shopping trip!) . Figured it gives us some time to pay it all off! It was also a good excuse to catch up with Alan on his return from the subcontinent sporting rather dashing Leninist facial hair! We took him to our favourite grungy cafe (the one with with great coffee and furniture that someone threw into their skip!). We then did the Queen Street traverse to bookshops spotting the cheapest copies of Lonely Planet guides we could get our mitts on.

I found myself really only starting to feel like I have been relaxing in the last few days and much of that has come from actually doing absolutely nothing (that doesn't include cleaning the spare room or curtains etc!) and staying at home. And the sudden realisation that I haven't done this in over a year, spent more than three days at home in a row. I wonder what statistics would show have been the number of people that have contemplated resigning upon their return? I have spoken to at least two other people that indicated that this was their intention (ok let's be realistic it was a fleeting fancy that seemed like a good idea at the time) and how many actually went through with it! I am sure that would be a startlingly interesting study to carry out, there must be some shock to the system now that people have to contemplate returning to the confine of artificially lit offices? I could use another week I think at least - that would be rather nice but given that I might have to contemplate perhaps far greater lengths of time out of work and unable to pay the power bill I may as well just wait till that day arrives!

One of the things I learned about myself during this break is that I have become increasingly anthropophobic, not of people in general which would be the accurate definition but of people that have an inane need for my constant attention. I find myself getting increasingly irritable and wanting to scream "pi$$ off" - I may need to look into this as I am questioning their sanity whereas my own may be in question!! I mean they aren't stalking because they demand to know why I haven't returned their text message or phone call within the hour are they? I have accumulated three people that have developed these tendancies recently and I am trying to control the urge to scream - promise!!

Oh by the way according to the phobia list I also suffer from ergophobia - the fear of work!! Well I must go and actually enjoy what time I have left today - need to run a few errands but I am in no rush!!

Monday, 2 January 2006

Resolutions 06

Happy happy new year! well I guess it was in some parts and not so in others. After some glorious days post-Xmas days the weather has turned on us again and there is a nice old storm heading up the country to keep us all indoors before we have to go back to work- well all those books are still waiting for me I guess!

After a late night the night before with a BBQ at home with Rasik, Priya and David - Ranita's guests, on New Year's Eve we headed up to Tawharanui for a day on the beach. Truly breathtaking and beautiful day to be out. Of course sand reliably got in everywhere but it was worth it. The water was warm and had a couple of dips to keep cool. Ranita who was visiting Auckland for the last 5 days managed to sleep for the duration (I distinctly heard snoring!) and when he wasn't swimming or eating, so did Ron! Our ability to party in the new year was severely diminished with us arriving back home after 8pm and all in dire need of a "nana-nap". We settled for watching 'The Closet' (en francais) instead, accompanied by feijoa vodka and Ch'i ; before making a half baked attempt at going to town for the countdown and spent a further half hour stuck in inner city traffic. Once in the city the "carnival" atmosphere described in the city paper the next morning was mildly boring for those that weren't inebriated - us, and it was impossible to find a nice hot cup of coffee which I needed to wake me up to drive home again. I am gettting too old for this lark!! We were relieved after reading/hearing news reports not to have ended up at Whangamata as originally intended and by all accounts it was much the same at many of the local holiday spots. Thankfully we aren't experiencing the Australian heat waves, although that didn't stop Ranita complaining of the heat in our living room overnight.

Ranita left early this morning to return to Wellington for a few days before heading back to Melbourne on Friday. Three weeks have gone by extremely fast and I dread to even contemplate the return to work, although with certain plans afoot this may be shortlived anyway. With all the dramas the last few weeks of 2005 at LN entailed I'll be glad to focus on my own plans.

Apart from work, it also seems to be a continuing nuptial season with Paul and Miriam (my first ever introduction?) tying the knot in Auckland at the end of this month and the very recent news that Pramita got engaged and is due to wed in May. She managed to keep that one nice and quiet and unfortunately we will not be following the fandamily to the ceremony in Fiji this time with travel further afield on the cards. With all this pressure I may have to commit - but not any time soon so don't hold your breath!!!