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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Chat Room

I've tried to get a little chat room up and running on this blog. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, you should be able to see it. Please feel free to join and add comments/ask questions. I'd been trying to get a chat room working on another site I look after and thought i'd experiment here first.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Conflicting times

I don't like making decisions at the best of times but recently i've been getting crapier at it. I'm trying to look for work in Melbourne and have applied for a few jobs so far. I have two types of work i'm after. One that I first studied at uni but have had absolutely no experience in and another that I've been doing since I left uni. It seems I'm only employable for the latter type of work. Problem is....I don't enjoy it. Sometimes I hate doing that work.

I am so conflicted right now in this topsy turvy time in our lives. Should I just suck it up, work a job I hate and help us out financially? Or should I pursue the type of work I'd prefer to do. This would mean either retraining, or doing volunteer work in the field. Neither of which would be helping us financially.

I'm so torn. I know we need the money and this is the best time in our lives for both of us to work with no other family commitments. But then I think of the daily grind of doing that job that I really dislike...and it makes me feel helpless.

Damn, I wish we were rich, so I could just pursue whatever the hell I wanted to.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mad Melbournites

We have moved once again. Yutaka got a job in Melbourne and now we're here. My first impression of Melbourne? The drivers here SUCK!

When I got here two weeks ago I the first thing I noticed was the excessive honking. I am used to the use of honking such as a short friendly one to say hi, or a long loud 'danger' type one but Melbourne people just sit on theirs. People honk needlessly, willy nilly all the time. Yutaka and I are forever trying to figure out who honked and why. Car horns have loss their shock value for most people here, no-one pays them any attention. Call me country but this sucks, it's just downright noisy.

Today I went grocery shopping and instead of going straight home I decided to drive around my suburb a little to try and get to know the area. I was driving down a road doing about 50km/h maybe in a 60km/h zone when I saw the (young male) driver of the car behind me moving his hands all around. I figured he thought I was going too slow, so I put my indicator on to take the next turn and get out of his way. As I turned and he sped past, what did he do? ......... He gave me the finger! At first I was just surprised but then I got soooooo angry!!!!! I may have been going a bit slow but I was not driving dangerously, nor did I deserve that.

So I turned back for home, trying to calm down. I had literally just made a right turn into my street when I heard a loud loooong honk by the car behind me. The middle aged male driver sped right up to my butt and proceeded to overtake me on the left! That's the kerbside in Australia. Then he sped past, up to the car in front of me and then overtook them too. This is on a 60km/h residential road!

Any more thoughts I had to continue exploring my neighbourhood by car today were totally out the window!! I wish so bad that I had gotten either of their numberplates. Now you may say, 'don't worry about them' or 'just drive slower to annoy them' but I can't handle it when people are angry around me, it rubs off on me too. These incidents today have actually made me feel less confident about driving around here. I am so mad with those two stupid men for making me feel like this.

I miss my country town.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Something in the water....

Do you know how many pregnant ladies (plus a couple who have just given birth) I know right now? Here is a bit of a list:

-my NZ friend from Japan just had her second son (he's a little cutie, hi J and T!)
-my best friend (due in December)
-a good Japanese friend I used to teach (also due in December)
-my brother's best friend's wife (sounds like a tenuous connection but this guy was like a brother to me when we were growing up)
-a couple of friends online, from a Foreign Wives Club (hi Fukuchan and Queenbee) plus a couple from there who have given birth recently
-a couple of my husband's university friend's wives
-hubby's good friend's wife

Sheesh, I reckon 2006 will be a baby boomer year.

Blogging lull

I haven't been blogging much lately. Could be the upheaval my life is going through. Could be lack of time to access the net and no broadband here at the folks place. Could be as I can't use my own PC with all my links. Could be i'm too busy writing job applications, working at the zoo and the international office and preparing for a TESOL conference this weekend. Or I could just be lazy.

Friday, August 11, 2006

A is the first letter

I have been tagged by Jazz to come up with 10 words starting with the letter 'A' that are meaningful in some way to me. 'A'?! Jazz, did you give me the hardest letter or what. Although, having giving it a couple of weeks thought (been away from my blog that long) I actually came up with more than 10. But here are my top 10 words starting with 'A'.

  • animal - anyone who knows me will not be surprised that I put this word first. I have always been a sucker for animals. As a kid I grew up with dogs, cats, sheep, chicken, cows, ducks and various other assorted farm and native animals. At present I have a character of a cat Whisky, who makes me laugh so much.
  • air - we all need it. Having just moved from Osaka to rural Australia, it certainly is something you notice right away. There is nothing better than a walk along the beach of an afternoon. Which leads into my next word..
  • afternoon - my favourite time of day. Especially late afternoon/dusk. The kangaroos are out feeding, the kookaburras are laughing, people are coming home from work, dinner is being cooked and all is good in the world...
  • anglo - that is me. Boring pasty white little me. See this previous post for more of my thoughts on that Being White, the new uncool?
  • Australia - the country, the people, the lifestyle. I choose to live here.
  • alcohol - specifically wine, any colour. I love it, I drink it, I occasionally get a sore head but I drink it again. After recently visiting the Yarra and Barossa valleys, I am even more in love with it.
  • ABBA - I am not ashamed to admit that this group rocks. If I wanna fire up a party, or dance in my car seat, I reach for my Best of ABBA CD.
  • abbreviation - as an Aussie this becomes a natural thing to do. We don't tend to like words of more than two or three syllables. Afternoon becomes arvo, barbecue becomes barbie, kangaroo becomes roo....yada yada... One new one I heard yesterday on JJJ was 'the comm games' for the Commonwealth games. But it just didn't sound right somehow.
  • adventure - as a kid I loved adventure books where a group of children went on weird and wonderful journeys to faraway places and met many strange people along the way. As an adult, I feel i've been living this life for the past few years. I may get back to some sort of normality now i'm back in Oz though.
  • antithesis - for no particular reason except for the way it sounds when said out loud. Say it and you'll know why I love it.

Alrighty then, now my turn to tag peoples. Ummm....who reads this blog who might want to do it... ah, Meronchan with the letter 'J' and Jacqui with the letter 'C'.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Proud of Mum

I have many reasons to be but this one is the latest.

Three days ago my Mum saw a car accident. A single vehicle drove off the road and hit a pole. Mum stopped and ran to the car, where a middle aged lady was unconscious and bleeding profusely from the neck. After adding pressure to the drivers neck wound, Mum tried to keep one hand giving pressure while trying to flag down passing motorists with the other. After about seven cars passed with NO-ONE stopping, Mum's adrenaline (and righteous anger) kicked in. Next Mum had to make sure the pressure bandage would hold and then Mum climbed back up the embankment and placed herself right smack in the middle of the road to stop the next car.

After the ambulance left and Mum gave a statement to the police she drove to work covered in blood!

Later in the day after talking to the police again, the police were joking with Mum that they could have sizzled bacon on her anger. Apparently the first time Mum talked to the police earlier in the day Mum was so fired up and angry that no-one had stopped to help.

Here is an interesting point to note: all those cars that passed this accident were in the wrong and if the police had found them, they would have been booked. So next time you see an accident, please stop and offer assistance.

How cool is my Mum!?

Monday, June 19, 2006

The family grows larger.

The bestest news. My Brother is engaged!!!! Congratulations to Eron and Jane. I am so happy to finally get a sister. Jane is from Wales and so makes this family all the more multicultural.

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This is the Welsh flag. How cool is this Dragon?! It's tongue is just down right scary.

Interesting Welsh fact:
The world's longest railroad station name is in Wales.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm ba-ack

Sorry for my long absence. Our computer decided to chuck a fit just before we left Japan. So that with all the packing that needed to be done meant I couldn't update here for a while.

We're back in Australia now. I thought it might be interesting to write a list of things that I first found odd/weird/or just different when I first got back to Australia from Japan. These are my gross generalisations, so just take with a grain of salt.

-loud; everyone seemed to be talking so loudly

-service; not as focussed on the customer as in Japan. Here I have found cashiers chatting to each other rather than serving, one was asleep. On the flip side of this though, I had a lengthy conversation with a cashier at a supermarket yesterday about the price of bananas and zucchinis. Having a good ol' convo with a check out chick NEVER happened to me in Japan.

-the 'formula' doesn't exist in Australia; by this I mean, the set phrases that are used in Japan by people in the service industry. The 'irashaimase' when you enter a shop, and the 'arigatou gozaimasu' when you leave, the 'thanks for coming' and the 'how many people' when you enter a restaurant. In Australia each shop person says something different and I find myself having to concentrate on what they are saying, so I can give an appropriate response.

-fashion; basically doesn't exist in Australia

-fatness; shit! No wonder Japanese think westerners are fat, I have seen soooo many big fat people since I returned. One thing though, my arse is no longer the biggest in the room.

-multicultural; I love it!!!! It's so cool to see all these people from different cultural/racial backgrounds walking around without other people staring at them.

-the crap that Australians drink; at Sydney airport where we bought lunch, the drink fridge was just filled with softdrinks. Sprite, Coke etc. Water was available but was more expensive than the softdrinks. Bring back the Japanese conbini and green tea!!!!

-friendliness; walking down the street saying 'good morning' or 'lovely day' to people you pass (admittedly i'm in a small town right now)

-the perfect perfect air; I have been sucking it up like it's about to disapear. A world away from the air in Osaka.

One final thought before I head outside into the garden to enjoy my morning cup of tea with lovely matured cheese on a muffin is.... I AM NO LONGER A GAIJIN AND I LOVE IT!!!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sayonara Sale

Well, it's nearly time to leave Japan. We went through our place and have a heap of household items and clothes to sell/giveaway. If you live in Japan please have a look. Or if you know someone who lives in Japan, please let them know. We would hate to just gomi (chuck) a lot of these things.

We can send COD in Japan for the clothes and smaller household items. Or pick up in Hirakata Osaka for the larger items.

Men's and women's shirts

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skirts, pants, socks, sweaters, jackets, shoes. Washing machine, mixer

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drawers etc. Please take a look.

Pictures of everything for sale

Friday, April 28, 2006

La Sure Am!

La Sure Am!

Japlish Japlish everywhere in Japan. I thought I was immune to it and then I walked past La PIST. I guess it's not technically Jap'lish' as it appears to be French. So maybe Japrench or Japench? Is pist a word in French?


Friday, April 21, 2006

Kit Kat in a Can

Too busy to pop into a conbini for your choc fix? No worries, grab a can of kit kat with your coffee at this vending machine.

Kit Kat in a Can

Thursday, April 20, 2006

What flavour Pocky are you?

what flavor pocky are you?

[c] sugardew

I've never even seen milk pocky!! Now white chocolate pocky....that is gooood.

Friday, April 14, 2006

New hair cut

It is boy short with blonde, pink and purple bits.

According to Yutaka, I look like a 'British punk'. Why British, i'm not sure?


Inspired by Fluid Pudding and her 'Annual Trip to the OB/GYN', I pulled out a couple of limericks I wrote a few months ago.

The first is based on a true story:

There was a young girl in Japan
Who went to that land with a plan
She went there to teach
It wasn’t a peach
And she ended up finding a man

The second is fictional...oh, who am I kidding, I guess it's true too except my name didn't rhyme with Japan:

There was a plump lady named Fran
Who started to work in Japan
They all were surprised
At the size of her thighs
So she stuck to a sushi diet plan

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

What Kind of Cookie Are You?

You Are a Jam Cookie

On the outside, you project a straight-laced, innocent vibe.

But on the inside, you're complex, exotic, and full of flavor.

Our Move

A couple of people asked me in the comments, so I thought i'd post about it. Yutaka and I are moving to Australia at the end of May. We always had the plan to move to Australia and last year we applied for his spouse visa. It came through earlier than expected about a month ago.

So now comes the crazy moving, packing, planning, stressing time. One big bummer about an international marriage, you have to be apart from someone's family. So as you can imagine, my parents are happy we're moving close and Yutaka's are sad we're going.

It feels so right though and Yutaka and I are excited about starting this next phase of our lives.

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Monday, April 03, 2006


I had a lousy weekend. Both days I woke up with a migraine and had to spend a lot of both days in bed. So I missed out on going to an antiques fair in Kyoto that i'd been dying to go to. I am soooo bummed!!! And today, just a lousy normal Monday, I wake up feeling great.
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What causes migraines? Perhaps I am stressing about our imminent move and all the things we have to do before we go. Or perhaps because i've taken on a busy teaching schedule for last week and this week?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Accident at the local train station.

I wrote the following passage the day this incident happened (March 19th) and posted it to an internet group that I’m a member of. Yesterday I had my camera with me at my local train station where it occurred and was able to take some pics to help tell this story. So today I decided to post this to my blog also.

Yutaka and I were heading into the city this morning. At our local train station the train pulls up Local Station and a family of a Grandma, Mother and little (2 or 3 year old) son rush up to the door. Yutaka and I were standing behind them a bit to the side and then right in front of my eyes, the Mother and Grandma step onto the train and the little boy steps into the gap between the train and the platform and falls straight down! Train and platform gap.

So the Mum starts going ballistic, I signal the train driver to stop (or not go) then get down on my knees to try and help the poor little thing. It was such a long way down and we couldn't reach him and then this big guy rushes up and just pulls him up in one swift movement.

All the little boy had was a bit of dirt on his face (not to mention he'll probably be scared of trains for life).

Man, it was soooo scary. I can't even imagine what the Mother felt. My heart was pumping for so long afterwards.

This station is currently under construction to make the platform stick out more towards the train, the old gap was stupidly wide. But this little boy fell at the new (narrower) section. Platform and tracks.

I feel all teary just thinking about it.

Extra story- I just remembered a few years ago at a train station at the end of the line, the doors open on one side, shut, then open on the other. I had got off the train and was walking along the platform when I saw the door shut...right on an old man! He was stuck and people were trying to pry open the door.

Now, i'm just scaring myself with these stories...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Short Memory

This song by the Australian group Midnight Oil has always touched me. I was listening to it again today and felt the need to post the lyrics here.

Conquistador of Mexico, the Zulu and the Navaho
The Belgians in the Congo short memory
Plantation in Virginia, the Raj in British India
The deadline in South Africa short memory
The story of El Salvador, the silence of Hiroshima
Destruction of Cambodia short memory

Short memory, must have a, short memory

The sight of hotels by the nile, the designated hilton style
With running water specially bought short memory
A smallish man Afghanistan, a watch dog in a nervous land
They're only there to lend a hand short memory
Wake up in sweat at dead of night
And in the tents new rifles hey short memory

If you read the history books you'll see the same things happen again and again
Repeat repeat short memory they've all got it
When are we going to play it again
Got a short, got a short, got a short, got a short
They've got a short must have a short they've got a short aah
Short memory, they've got a.

Midnight Oil

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Natto (fermented soy beans) and quail eggs....yum! NOT

natto and quail eggs
Originally uploaded by eecue.

Have you ever seen a more disgusting looking food?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What 2007 Car Should You Drive?

You Should Drive a Jaguar XK 4.2

You don't care how you get there as long as you get there with class.

And having a little power doesn't hurt either!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What does it mean to be white?

What does it mean to be white? From SCU News

"Unpacking white privilege is like asking a fish to notice water or birds to notice air," she said, quoting a favourite phrase.

I want people to explore their own attitudes and values by asking themselves how they perceive whiteness. For example, is white a race or is it a social construct?

If you were blind, you'd have no concept of the colour of a person, so would their skin colour affect how you related to them? Think about flesh-coloured underwear. Think about skin-coloured bandaids. They're always pink.

An interesting follow on from my post here:
Being White, the new uncool?

Pink Cyclamen

Look what is flowering in my garden! I had never been able to get a second season out of a cyclamen before. I am so chuffed.

Pink Cyclamen

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Personal DNA

Well it's no secret that I like taking online personality tests. I like to see how the results compare from test to test and day to day. This test was actually interesting to complete and gives the outcome in written, graphical and pictorial form. You can also invite your friends to assess your personality.

Try it. Hold the cursor over each coloured bar below to see what it represents.

My results:

Benevolent Leader

My Personal DNA Report

Thursday, February 16, 2006

He did good

Worked on Valentine's Day. Was really tired. Got home. Went shopping. Planned dinner. Felt really sleepy. Nothing romantic had happened. Then the doorbell rang and an arrangement was delivered.

Made me cry. What a sweetie. Yutaka did good.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What Kind of Food Are You?

You Are French Food

Snobby yet ubiquitous.

People act like they understand you more than they actually do.

Because I like cheese??!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Crush

Having experienced the peak hour crush in Japan for the first time, I can honestly say that I do not want to come back in the next life as a sardine or a Japanese business person.

Whhooaahh craparoni, what an utterly traumatic and excruciating experience that was!!! Can you believe in five years of living in Japan on and off, yesterday was the first time I had ever taken a peak hour train in Japan.

I had two days of extra work starting at the unusually early time (for an English teacher in Japan) of 9am, so I had to leave my station at 8am. I noticed that the lines on the train platform were much longer than usual but as I was near the start of a line, I wasn't too worried about it. I got on the train which was already pretty much at capacity and managed to find a ring to hold onto. It was a sub express and I had five stops before I had to change to a local train. Well....each and every stop about two people got off and 50 more got on. We were pushed from in front, behind, beside and occasionally from underneath. An umbrella poked my thigh, an elbow nudged my shoulder, a briefcase dug into my back and a young lady being a head shorter than me, basically had her head under my chin. As the train pulled away from each station, the whole mass of humanity would tilt backwards with the force, supported only by those lucky (?) enough to have hold of something.

As I was being pushed from behind, I was forced to stand at a very unnatural angle and that along with holding my heavy bag was basically causing my leg muscles to shake. You know the way they do when you suddenly do some heavy exercise, like run up a hill full sprint? I wasn't sure if I could hold out for the five stations. I had a horrible thought, "what if I get train sick". I had nowhere to run, nowhere to throw up and definitely nowhere to hide.

At last we made it to the station where I had to change trains. I have no idea how I managed to get out. There must have been about 15 bodies between myself and the doorway to sweet sweet freedom. I think it was only for my oversized bag which I used to bulldoze a path through the pack (thank goodness for big heavy text books) and my very strong desire to not be touching 20 people at once with every appendage I own, not to mention all the other people's appendages touching me.

I crossed over to the local train which was full but at least everyone could have a handlehold. I stood and watched the young men especially employed by the train company and who only work there at peak hour, rush from door to door pushing everyone's bits and pieces that had been caught in the train doors back inside. The images of faces pressed up against the windows were no longer comedy but real and right there in front of me. I just shook my head and gave up a silent prayer that we're moving home soon.

I might think twice now before complaining about the late working hours of an English teacher in Japan. At least by starting later we get to avoid this daily distress.

I s'pose it could be worse.
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In reality it was like this. Crowded Japanese Train

Friday, January 20, 2006

What's Your Japanese Subculture?

You Are a Goth!

You're so gothically outrageous, and you aren't afraid to flaunt it.

Whether you dress up like Robert Smith or a tragic Little Bo Peep,

chances are that you'll be parading around with the rest of the goths at Yoyogi Park on Sunday.

Don't forget your white makeup and blue lipstick! Who knows?

You may just get picked up by one of the seedy photographers.

Who makes this crap? I am so not a Goth. Not that there's anything wrong with being a Goth but I don't own much black and white clothing and only have minimal body piercings. *sigh* At least I wasn't a giggly schoolgirl.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sushi tray

Sushi tray
Originally uploaded by BeingWanderLust.
How good does this look? This is one thing I really love about Japanese food, it's presentation is always carefully thought about and well laid out. The tamago sushi (egg- yellow with black stripe) was the best, closely followed by the salmon (orange).

This tray was delivered too- like a pizza. There are some things I will miss when we head home...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Local festival

Local festival pics
Originally uploaded by BeingWanderLust.
Last night we went to a local festival at a shrine one train stop away. This festival was selling charms for good business in 2006. They had free sake, the cold clear kind and the hot milky coloured kind. I totally recommend the hot white sake, it is very delicious and really warms you up on a cold night. We also ate butter potatoes and frankfurts while watching the locals get drunk and start dancing around the fire.

Here are a few pics.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Australia has just experienced its hottest year on record.

Action needed on climate change

This scares the poop outta me. Is each year just gunna get hotter and hotter until we are all roasted?

When will it become obvious to everyone that some attention to how we are influencing the environment is more important than carrying on with our comfortable lives? Our kids are not gunna applaud us for all our great 'developments' and super 'technology' when they're in danger every time they step foot outside.

Can anyone offer me an interesting reason as to why Australia did not sign the Kyoto Protocol? Something other than that big ol' bully President telling us we had to.