Friday, May 29, 2009

The Accountant

The phone rang. I had it nestled between my ear and my shoulder. After saying a formal greeting to my client, proceeded to drop the phone and banana, which was in my other hand, in a rather extravagant and timely fashion. I usually don't believe in the 5 second rule, but for the sake of my hungry stomach I ignored the rule and ate the banana.

Its Friday. Which I'm really thankful for. I've been almost falling asleep at work, which isn't something I'd usually do.

My husband and I have decided to do our budgeting a little differently. I'm going to have a personal budget to work with. I don't work so well with massive credit cards. I used to have a credit card of $500. When it was maxed out, it was time to get it back down again. I don't spend extraordinary amounts, but more than I would like to. There. I said it. I'd like to really crack down and save for things that are more important to me. Like seeing the world, even on my measly 2 weeks vacation per year. Hopefully that changes sometime soon. I am itching to get to China and South America and experience a different culture other than the western one. It seems smart to visit South America while we are living so close. To travel around South America from Australia takes a big big chunk of change. I think when I go shopping I'm still very much "The Accountant". I never buy anything "cheap" or anything at full price, rather something that is well made and highly discounted. But sometimes I look at it all and think "why?" - I'd love to do a big purge someday and live off the basics. I will probably never have the heart to do that, but am trying to put a stop to spending overall. It seems so pointless and meaningless. I'm not a "things" person. We live in a humble but cute apartment with the basics - almost all of our furniture, apart from a few Ikea pieces were all given to us. I could leave it behind in a jiffy with no pangs of distress. My wardrobe on the other hand... I'd probably box it up and ship it to my Mum for safekeeping:)

So its 10am and my cup of tea is brewing. I'm really looking forward to the weekend. Tonight a friend and I are going for a walk straight after work. Then I think catching up with my aussie mate for a cup of tea and a chin-wag.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled"

I’m at work and battling a serious case of jetlag. I know I know. You can hardly feel sympathetic for me, as I just indulged in a 10 day vacation across the pacific in a thriving laid back metropolis called Sydney Australia.

It was more than good. I couldn’t wipe the dumb grin off my face for a few days after arriving. My friend Rowena and I did our rendition of Moulin Rouge’s Elephant Love Medley. Expensively brilliant Indian food was devoured by a group of us at “Delhi O Delhi” in Newtown. We sang “Singin in the Rain” at the Hero of Waterloo located in The Rocks. It was sunny and warm and very non-winterish the first few days. The next 6 days made up for that by torrential downpours.

It was really good to go home and see all my friends. To sit home with them most nights watching movies. Talking about nothing, and laughing about nothing. Getting to spend time with my friends on their days off, doing some of the things they usually do on those days. We drank many cups of tea – a ritual I miss very much and hit up the good old Aussie bakeries. We even went to an AFL game. It was a bit of a highlight. That night we were running a little late, so stopped by the local Indian takeaway restaurant on the way to the train station to grab $7 indian food. While waiting for our train (turns out we weren’t late at all, rather early) we sat on the benches at the station eating butter chicken, lentils and garlic naan. Does it get any better than that? The Eagles played the Sydney Swans and lost by 1 goal. I would have been a little upset if the Eagles had a huge loss, but a game as close as that is pretty exciting.

The last couple of days in Australia I was feeling a little melancholy, meditating on the fact that I was home, but going back to the US – trying to swallow that. I stayed home Saturday night while all my friends went out so I could pack and have some thinking time. It had been a full on week and I was craving some head space. A few hours alone solved that problem. The next morning my friends all caught the bus and headed to work. I watched Reality Bites, called a taxi for 10:15am and then went to the airport. After going through security I sat and read for some time. Then looked out at the view which showcased Sydney city. I looked at that view for 15 minutes or so to keep it as a memory, hopefully a clear one so that when I’m missing home I can imagine myself in that view. I walked to Gate 9 and sat down, daydreaming. Next thing I know I hear my name over the PA system. My flight is leaving in 10 minutes!! I had to get my name checked off and quickly board the plane. Yikes. That would have been the world’s best yet lamest excuse for not boarding my flight and staying home.

And now, its day 2 of work, and I’m fine with that. It was a great holiday. So I’m fine with being back in routine. I’m not even feeling homesick – which is kind of nice. It only took 2 years.

Its 10am and that time of day. I'm drinking a cup of tea. It feels like my morning saviour.

Here's a photo of the AFL game we went to. As you can see we had fantastic seats!

Sydney Views

At the Hero of Waterloo. A night of Irish Music, dancing and drinking beer.

My friend Rowena and I at Shelly Beach. It was a glorious day.

As for the subject line: yesterday I visited a couple of good mates. We got talking about camping in the bush and the subject led itself to a billy. A billy is used to boil water or cook food over a campfire.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

“The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola”

Its 9:40am and I'm in the office. I can hardly breath in here its so stuffy. Ten minutes ago I walked to the local cafe to get a coffee. I'm really looking forward to being on vacation. Walking around in Sydney each day and taking in sights vs staring at my laptop screen and the red walls that surround me.

I fly out tonight. Am a little anxious about flying of course, and am not looking forward to the 15 hr plane flight! That aside I plan to catch up on some reading and watch the inflight moves and SLEEP. Here's hoping for that window seat.

I'm very excited to see my friends. I didn't fully feel that excitement until yesterday as I was packing my bags and buying last minute things for my trip. I had to send my husband to Costco to replace our suitcase, which we didn't realize is broken.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Quirky habits

Today I had an epiphany about myself. I'm weird about food. Always have been. I don't like meat. I like plain foods and will only eat salad if it has minimal or no dressing on it. I love lentils cooked with garlic, salt, some spices and served with plain rice and veges. Parfait! Plain potatoe, grilled fish and plain salad - parfait! Maybe its because my Mum cooked like this. I don't know. We never ate super rich foods, and to this day I can't stomach anything fried, and nothing too rich.

I'm embarrassed to explain some of the weird things I do. I like icing on cake, but dislike cake - so I often eat the icing, leave the cake for my husband. I like american scones, but only if its crunchy on the outside. If the inside is soft, I'll ditch it and just eat the outside. I only ever eat the top of a muffin. I love the icing on a donut - but am not crazy about the donut itself. 9/10 times I'll just eat the top part. I love to pick nuts and chocolate out of cookies. I'm big on texture - and love anything crunchy. I love cold pizza - but dislike hot pizza as its soft and gewy. I love it when cheese is slightly burned and is crispy on my pasta. I love cashews that have been overly roasted. I can't get a taste for refried mexican beans, but am all over a grilled chicken taco.

See. Weird. And today I realized its all about texture.

I don't like admitting that I'm fussy. But truth is that if I eat creamy pasta, I'll get stomach pains. If I eat anything fried I'll feel unwell. I have a friend who feels sick when she eats veges. I couldn't understand it then, but as I take a look at my own weird eating habits - I guess I do understand it. I was allergic to a lot of foods as a kid. Everything gave me asthma. If I'm at a friend's house eating, thats another story - you go with the flow.