Wednesday, August 31

A new kind of depression

When I moved here three months ago, two friends came over to help me with buying a car, renting a place, etc. This was very helpful to me because not only was I clueless in a new country, but, contrary to previous clueless situations, I was clueless and alone. Things were quite rushed for the first week and so I didn't have the time or the energy to feel alone or like I missed my friends or Marian. And then they left.

That hit me pretty bad in terms of loneliness and depression. I know this because immediately after they left I stopped eating and in the following week(s) I lost enough kg (don't know exactly, I don't have a scale) to drop from a size 8-10 to a size 6. Things were better after that because I went to visit said friends and I went to Singapore again. And I started eating. I think of that as stage 1 of my peculiar depression.

I am now entering another stage in which depression, loneliness etc., manifests itself through not wanting to initiate contact with people (they are so far away anyway, so why bother), through eating ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING, sleeping 10-11 hours a night, talking to my goldfish, and by doing copious amounts of online shopping. I find this depression more destructive than the other, because in the former I could at least say that something good (i.e. loss of weight) was coming out of it, the latter is not only depleting my bank account but also adding fat to my thighs. Hopefully it will end soon since I am visiting my friends again, and I will go to singapore at the end of the month. The question remains though, what fresh hell will await me after that?

Tuesday, August 30

One picture Tuesday

The how I spend my weekend edition. I wanted to share this yesterday but! I had forgotten my phone at home, so no pics.

I spent Friday night cooking Eggplant Moussaka, in which I replaced the meat with eggplant and kept the potatoes as dividers.

Saturday was spent doing nothing much, except at night I went to a tango dinner. Here's the crappy photo I took before my phone died.

On Sunday morning I went for a short 10 km run to the beach and back. Stayed on the beach for about twenty minutes to read.

And then I went sort of climbing. I can't climb but i went to bachelor's pad anyway, just to be out and about. The olives are almost done.

And absolutely beautiful flowers! In the wild!

Thursday, August 25

A Normal Wedding - part 2

In the previous post I had finished off in a lame cliff-hanger, wondering if Marian is going to be able to part with enough money to retrieve me from behind my (very) corpulent aunts. Marian indeed managed to pay enough money for that and we were happily reunited.

After this, all the people attending this part of the wedding settled into a dance. This is where San and Dor started to pin flowers on the guests. This took them a while, but i insisted they not be disturbed to increase their stress levels, haha.(they are in the bottom right corner of the picture)

After that, it was off to some nice places in Caracal to take some photos. Now Caracal has old buildings but very few are renovated, so we went to the theatre. Time to improvise :)

A group picture with chance family and friends - only San and Dor were with me the WHOLE day from dawn till dusk.

And off to church!

This picture is one of my favoritest of the day, because it shows a rare picture of a very focused yet not desperate dodo bird, my father laughing, and our godfather like he always is, musing on some thought or other :)

I will spare you the details of the ceremony, but I do want to say that I was so hungry that I wolfed that biscuit down!

My mom and grandma were getting emotional, and so was I to be honest ...

After that it was all fun and jokes again - with the god parents (I absolutely LOVED my god mother's dress):

And the customary group photo in front of the church where everybody was looking in all directions possible EXCEPT at the camera.

After this it was off to Marian's house where his mother and family had to welcome me in their stead ... will this happen or will i be thrown out?!

Wednesday, August 24

One picture Tuesday

Well, it's still tuesday in some parts of this world, right? RIGHT?! Behold what is left of the cauliflower gratin! It looks much much better in real life and after it's been heated ... The red specs are chili flakes and i will try to take a better picture of it today during lunch haha .. if i remember to bring my phone that is ...

Monday, August 22

A foodie's problems

I love food. Actually, if truth be told, ever since I quit smoking 6 years ago, I have been eating non-stop, all the time. If I don't eat, I graze, and if I don't graze I munch on fruits, or snacks, or seeds. And then, short of that, i drink water or coffee or tea.

The problems I am faced with since moving to Australia are purely logistical. While in Singapore, I could just go the canteen at lunchtime and have anything my heart desired. This was within 10 minutes maximum walk of my office and hence I did not have to spend too much time on lunch. Food was cheap, too!! Lunch was my main meal of the day and, not counting the Tom Yam noodles I had on most climbing nights, I did not really eat anything for dinner.

However, it all went downhill since I moved. Firstly, there ain't no canteens here and the food is not cheap! It's not close either, at least not the good kind of food. And so I am introduced to the world of lunchboxes and of preparing my own food.

At first, I tried to have only fruits for lunch. This didn't work out because the only kind of fruit you can get in winter is ... apples, and there's so many green apples (the only ones i like) one can eat. And then, the lack of food makes me VERY grumpy, just as anybody who has ever met me just before breakfast or lunch can attest to. This has a very important consequence since I am meeting students almost every day. And honestly, I want to scold them because they deserve it (99% of the cases), not because I am grumpy because I'm lunchless...

And thus, it looks like i finally will get to hone my cooking skills ... and they really really need honing. As any true geek, I started by downloading a bunch of cookbooks, and i shall be posting here the results of my [probably pathetic] attempts. Tonight: cauliflower gratin.

Saturday, August 20

El Tango

I am now at lesson seven out of the eight tango lessons and I must say that things have not been as SCARY as I initially thought they would be. True, I don't dance well. This might be because um, I don't practice at all outside the 1-hour class. Probably because I don't have anybody to practice with (hint hint hint). And also true, when my partner (a nice old man that THANK GOD! is in the intermediate class) tells me to "listen to the music" all I can think of (while i nod my head as if i understand him) is "i barely have enough brain to think about what i'm doing".

But all in all, I am learning to FOLLOW, which is something I am truly and utterly not used to. To my shame, I am walking in front even when I don't have the slightest idea where the hell I am going - although this is in most cases due to the fact that the people i am walking with just walk so slow.

Summing it up, this past month i have tried out two new sports. Running in dry weather (I only started running in Singapore) and I joined a running group here (we run every fucking sunday at 7:30 am, for about 20-25km, and every wednesday or so), and Tango.

Still, climbing remains my greatest love.

Tuesday, August 16

One picture Tuesday

It is rare that I post something about computers, but this is absolutely genial.

Monday, August 15

Kangaroo island, the seal edition

Another thing that we saw many many instance of on Kangaroo Island were seals. Or more technically accurate, sea lions and New Zealand fur seals. Whatever. Seals! Aplenty!!

First, there was one baby seal hiding in the bushes.

Then we went walking on the beach and look what we found:

Some were resting, in what i call a typical sunday morning picture (not my sunday mornings, as mine are spent running, goddammit!!)

Other seals were in the water, later in the day. Spot the seal!

Or sleeping on the rocks.

Or on the grass

Or under beautiful arches (spot the seals!)

Wherever they were, they were completely undisturbed by our presence

Friday, August 12

On divorce

I don't really remember my parent's divorce but I do remember the resentment i felt towards both of them at different stages for letting me live with only one parent. And I do remember the total resentment I felt towards my father when he would decline for fifteen years to see me. Asshole. And I do blame that divorce for my almost chronic fear of commitment which somehow only marian managed to solve. But other than resentment and fear of commitment, I don't remember much.

Today, two of my friends are breaking up and I really think I am the kid in the divorce settlement again. More importantly, it breaks me to be so bloody far away and not be able to help in any way. One of them is good at expressing grief while the other internalizes everything and broods. Both of them reply my messages but there's really nothing much I can do by text. And really not much they can reply either ... How I wish it were the end of september RIGHT NOW or that airlines would give emergency divorce discounts.

That being said, there's always something to smile about. For example, look at this little guy. With that face and those teeth who would date him?!

Wednesday, August 10

Kangaroo island, the rainbow edition

For all of you out there, remember ... There's always a rainbow after the toughest rain.

We saw gazillions of rainbows on Kangaroo Island, so many that we even started ranking them.
Here are photos of some of them.
The first one:

Second one:

Second one with snow white:

Third one, without a pot of gold:

Fourth one, artist's impression:

Tuesday, August 9

One picture Tuesday

We saw so many rainbows on kangaroo island that when we saw this one yesterday morning we both went: "Rainbows. Meh."

Monday, August 8

A much needed holiday

To Kangaroo Island (pics to come probably tomorrow), which is only SEVEN times bigger than singapore, and also australia's third largest island. We saw a lot of animals, both alive and dead (roadkill) and had an absolutely fantastic time, all by ourselves! No phone signal, no internet - absolute quietness!

Sadly, two months of loneliness are soon going to start as marian is going back to singapore tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 2

Insane car battery hack

I know this is one picture tuesday but this is too good to miss... Watch the video below.

And now for the truth. Two third-year students at our school actually TRIED THIS!!! Not only did they try it, but they showed up with bandaged hands because of the acid burns. Now this is real, i did not make it up, I saw both of them!!!! And they tried not one, but TWO car batteries because they thought the first one was spoiled. I kid you not.

It's been a while since I laughed so hard.

Monday, August 1

And then there were nine

I am happy to report that I've been climbing injury free for 2 years and a half. It's time we start the counters again because last Friday, on a crimpy route on which i was not warmed up properly, i [partially] tore the A2 pulley on my middle finger of my left hand. This is a problem because last time i had partially torn the A2 pulley on the index finger of my right hand, which allowed me to do still do stuff (climbwise) with my right hand while my finger healed.

WELL, NOT ANYMORE, BUSTER!!! Truth be told, it's not as bad as before. The "pop" sound was quite discreet and the pain was much much less than the first tear. Also, as opposed to then, I CAN hold a plastic bag with an apple on that finger, without any pain!

Needless to say, I am fuming. At myself for doing stupid things (I should have rested on that day) and at my bad luck for doing stupid things to me. DAMN IT! Bbye climbing, hello PT! I'm a gonna get me an eight-pack for all the abs i'm a gonna do!