Monday, December 6, 2010

So I'm a sex tourist but does that make me a deviant?

My first attempt at university I studied tourism. I am not really sure why, I love to travel but I am way to much of a bitch to spend my life looking after others and making sure they have a good time while I work. One thing I did find interesting during this two year study tangent was the branch of tourism theory looking at travel motivation, particularly sex tourism.

Every year millions of people set out across the globe and unknowingly engage in sex tourism. It isn't just the dirty old men who head off looking for cheap prostitutes, it's 20 year old English lads on Contiki tours hoping to bag a fit bird on every stop around Europe or a middle-aged divorcee hoping to have a passionate fling in Tuscany or Paris. It is anyone who ever thought “I might go there I heard the locals are banging hot”.

I admit it. I'm a sex tourist. It isn't my only reason for travel but it certainly helps me to keep returning when the men in Nepal are really attractive.

I am in Thailand right now. When I think Thailand I think Sex Tourism. This place is the sex tourism capital of the world. It is full of dirty old men picking up beautiful young Thai girls (and boys).

It is really freaking me out. What disturbs me the most is the Thai girls look really happy with their balding, over-weight perverted lovers. I see them riding around on the back of motor bikes, throwing back drinks in bars, laughing it up in the surf... I am starting to question my assumptions about the situation and about my own relationship.

My boyfriend is Nepali. He is younger than me, but not so much that people stare and he is above the legal age of consent. He is good looking, probably better looking than me. I make more money (but only because of the exchange rate, i'm a student not a rich expat trying to make my retirement package last the distance). I have the potential to offer him a life out of Nepal. I am starting to notice some disturbing and uncomfortable correlations.

Maybe I am as bad as those creepy old men? Maybe I am exploiting some kind of power balance that I thought wasn't a factor for us? Maybe I just need to get out of Thailand... this place is messed up.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

oh PS I got the job in Nepal.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


So the other day i was trying to make a doctor's appointment (nothing serious just trying to get my self sorted before i head o/s again) and the receptionist put me on hold for about 15 mins. I was really starting to get pissy when one of my all time favorite songs came on the hold music.

This song makes me so happy. It is 80s awesomeness at its best. Overalls, pompoms, mullets, no socks, bad blonded and teased hair. I wish i was a teenager in the 80s I would have rocked it.

I love the part where they walk down the road in a big group, clicking in time, and then they run. *sigh* I wish a man in a denim jumpsuit would run down the road singing my name. HEY don't judge me we all have our freakish fantasy... my just happens to be an 80s flashback.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Food Choices

I thought about my commitment to Four Years.Go for a week or two. I want to pick something i would actually stick too. I have decided to give up meat for the next four years. I do not eat THAT much meat anyway but after watching a few docos and reading up on the environmental impacts of food lots, i decided I didn't want to support an industry with so many negative effects.

It has been harder than i thought it would be. I suddenly realised at lunch yesterday I may have eaten my last cheese burger. I have a weird love of cheeseburgers. And I live with my mum. She loves a steak. She doesn't pressure me to eat meat, there are plenty of vegetarians in my family, but i know she enjoys meat. It is hard to keep saying I won't eat that when she want to make something with meat for dinner.

In order to celebrate my vegetarianism I made some banana bread (like you need a reason). My mum's banana bread is the best. Here is the recipe.

3 or 4 ripe bananas

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup sugar(can reduce to 3/4cup)

1 egg beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups of plain flour

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350 deg. with a wooden spoon, mix the butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from the pan and slice to serve.

I have also decided to walk more. In the last week I haven't even been in a car. Normally i would drive the short 10 min walk to the supermarket. I have been getting out and enjoying the sunshine. Now that i have broken the habit of driving everywhere, it doesn't really even occur to me to take the car for short distances.

I know these two things won't change the world alone. I wanted to pick something i could stick to during the next four years. And if i find it really easy I can always add more things. To find more information or to make a commitment to changing the world go to Four Years.Go

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Me in 100 word MAX

So it is job application time. I actually really rock at writing a job applications. I can nail a selection criteria and a cover letter... unless i really want to job and I REALLY WANT THIS JOB. My ability to be impressive has completely vanished. Now i just feel like an old lady with limited skills and now pizazz (yeah i know only a fading hack would use the word pizazz).

The application states, tell us about yourself, describe your personal and professional interests in 100 words MAX.

I am AWESOME.. hmmm that might not be the best start. They are about to red my portfolio, which is somewhat

I am a responsible and dependable employee... well that isn't really common for a writer so maybe?

I have moments of creative genius but they are generally far between. I'm a good writer with a steady, reliable output. I can write whenever, about whatever. I love writing but i am a little rusty.... SHIT NO. I can't tell them the truth!!! I'll never get a job with that.

Moderately attractive, 20 something, out of work writer seek assignments for reviving her will to write. Likes variety, open to new experiences, will work for minimum wage. Dislikes... this application form. Hmmm nope don't think that's it.

I like to write. I am good at writing. I have more story ideas than i could possibly write up in one life time. I have never missed a deadline.

Ohhhhhhhhh. If I could just convince myself I don't actually want the job maybe i could come up with something brilliant and witty.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

dance like nobody is watching...

So I am working on a new banner... well at-least thinking about it. I've been playing around with the timer on my camera trying to come up with something i can edit. I did enjoy the morning spent with my camera, a huge old shirt of my dad's and some Justin Timberlake to dance around too. As you can see mostly I just look like a crazy person, not sure if i got anything usable yet.
Ok the layout on here is having a negative effect on my creativity. I know that sounds ridiculous but whenever i log on here to write i feel really let down when i view the results.

what to do? I guess I can go back to wordpress but i didn't really like it over there. I think there is more of a community on blogger. I am not very HTML savvy so changing the templates is beyond me. *sigh* what to do?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blog Bullies

I have been looking for work in Nepal as a writer / photographer / creative type over the last few weeks. During the researching phase i've been following heaps of blogs, magazines and writing collectives and I noticed something which i think really blows.

There seems to be very little feeling of camaraderie, support or even general respect between writers or artists on these Nepali sites. Most of the comments are discouraging, critical and verging on the kind of cyber bullying i thought only went on between teenagers.

If i disagree with something i see on someone's blog I am not afraid to comment. There is a difference between disagreeing with an argument or offering constructive ways for someone to better their writing and with attacking a writer personally. I believe in constructive criticism when it comes from a place of wanting to assist a fellow writer. But if you are just an insecure ass who wants to prop up your own ego then it really pisses me off.

The thing that most annoys me is it is always the people who leave anonymous comments so there is no chance of viewing their perfect work. It is cowardly and it has a negative effect on the creativity of others, especially young writers who can use an environment to float ideas and styles.

I have been blogging for a while now. I've had numerous other blogs and contributed here and there. I've always experienced the blogging community as friendly, welcoming and helpful. When I lived in Melbourne there were regular blogger and writer meet and greats. The writers i met were so encouraging of young writers.

Why is the writing community in Nepal so volatile? Maybe it is because there is so little opportunity for publication there. Or maybe it is because the majority of people who use the internet in Nepal are quite young. I am not sure but I am so disappointed.

I was looking forward to meeting writers from my new community. Now I just feel like i don't want to put my work out there and be ripped to shreds over the placement of a comma.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It may not look like much but this is a beginning of something new. In 59 days i am heading off to Nepal and hopefully will make a new life there. First i have to box all of my belongings and send the things i don't need to St Vincent de Paul's. It is hard to know what you might need when you set out on a new life... who will i be, what will i do, will there be a dress code?

Monday, November 1, 2010

my new toy...

Yesterday after zombie hunting with my dad i realised my lens was bit loose. One one side it was actually coming undone. It had been doing funny things for a while but i'm not a very good photographer so i figured it was my lack of skill. When I unscrewed the lens a piece of plastic fell out. I had cracked two of the brackets which hold the lens in place.

I am famous for breaking things. I believe even luxury items, like expensive lenses, should be used to their full extent. My lens had a hard life. I dropped it a million times, I carted it across Nepal with little thought for its longevity, I let children use it to learn about photography. It only lived for six months but it had a full life.

And now thanks to my dad (who shows he cares by buying us expensive and unnecessary items) I have a brand new 55-300mm lens. It is so crazy that i have this lens. I am never going to make proper use of it, it just too much! I haven't had any chance to test it out yet but i do like to look at it and stroke it and call it my precious.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How curious?

My father and i spotted this unusual sign when we were in a back street in Enmore. I love a good zombie movie and i have this peculiar quirk of often thinking about what i would do if there was a zombie attack... yeah i know this is kind of freaky but often when i go to a new place i consider its worthiness as a crash pad to wait out a zombie attack. I am thinking second or third story apartment, easily blocked off stair well, balcony for emergency exit, would all be key qualities.

Friday, October 29, 2010

i am missing...

My beautiful friend Katie. We met in Nepal when she was trying to arrange her wedding. It was a pretty stressful time but i think we managed alright given neither of us spoke the language and had no idea what a Nepali-English wedding should look like.

This is a photograph from the first and only Nepali wedding i have ever been to. My friend Katie (in red) was marrying a Nepali boy. It was an amazing thing to be a part of. Traditional Nepali marriage ceremonies can have huge parties in the street. Everyone makes noise and there is lots of food and dancing. This one was a little more subdued.

It was my fist time buying and wearing a Sari. I need a lot more practice. I really have to work on those abs if i intend to get around in tradition dress on my next trip.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The last week i have been feeling so low. I am not sure why. I finished all my university work and my extra work so i should be kicking back and relaxing. I found these photos and i was telling myself i shouldn't complain, at least i don't have to do this for a living but it didn't work. I just feel nothing.

I am thinking a change might help. I am heading to Sydney for a few days. We will see how that goes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

smoking photo 1 and 2


About a week ago I stumbled across this website for change. It is an opportunity to connect with others and make a difference. To start creating the world we want instead of settling for the world we have. If you want something better, if you can imagine something MORE then check out FOUR YEARS. GO. Make a commitment and start making the changes you want to see in others.

"In the next four years, we can raise global consciousness to influence governments and free markets. We can reverse the trends of deforestation. We can safely capture CO2. We can pay a fair wage. We can rethink the way we use energy and the way we treat our global neighbors. In the next four years, we can stop waiting for someone else to fix it. We can start taking responsibility. We can change ourselves, change the world, and have fun doing it.

It all starts with a simple act. A single step. A personal declaration to start making small choices. A small action taken daily by millions around the world, resonating into a chorus of earth moving thunder." - FOUR YEARS. GO.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I am not really cut out for childcare. I spent the morning learning how to draw peacocks. My peacocks were heaps better than the children's peacocks. One little boy asked if he could keep mine... I told him I'd draw him a special one. I wasn't giving away this bad boy!
Ok i realised i am becoming boring. I have to stop talking about Nepal. I see my family's eyes glaze over when ever i mention it. I am imposing a self ban. No talking about Nepal for a whole week!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The best thing about traveling is that you meet the most amazing people. For a brief time these people become our friends, your family and your support in a lonely city. Maybe it is because you experience things together which people back home can never understand or maybe it is because you know your friendship may have a limited life-span but all my favorite people are traveling friends.
This picture is of a friend i met this year. We had a crazy two week affair before he jumped on a plane to Pakistan. He saved my life in a Kathmandu hospital and introduced me to the word EPIC. Whenever i think of him i get a little twinge thinking what might have been.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Things i love...

My dad sends the best care packages. I am staying with my mum in the small country town where i grew up. The local supermarket doesn't have much in the way of vegetarian or Asian food. Last week my dad found an amazing Nepali supermarket and sent me this care pack full of all the things i need for a really awesome Nepali cook up. It has three types of lentils for dal, masala tea, paneer, and a new magazine to read while i am waiting for it all to cook.

Now i realise this picture looks a bit like vomit but cooking dal is an art. I need a lot more practice but gosh it tasted like heaven.

Sitting with my feet up in my warm knitted socks. I have worn these every day for three months. I would have thought they'd smell by now. Sadly one of them has a huge hole.

Getting to wear my bright red scarf one more time before the cold weather disappears.

Friday, October 15, 2010

How much water did you use today?

It is a hard question for most of us to answer. I had no idea. 20 litres? 40 litres? Is that too much? Too little? I guessed about 50 litres.

Water is something that those of us lucky enough to be living in the developed world think little about. Why would we? We can go to the tap and immediately have access to drinking quality hot or cold running water.

I looked it up and on average Australians use approximately 277 litres of water a day (Melbourne water 2007). I did a tally:

6 toilet flushes – 56 litres (9 litres per flush)

8 hand washes/ teeth brushing – 140 litres (15 litres per minute)

26 minute shower – 364 litres (14 litres per minute)

3 cups of tea – 2 litres

drinking water – 1 litre

cooking – 4 litres

Total 564 litres

564 litres and I didn’t even do any laundry or wash any dishes.

Can you imagine having to carry that much water to your home every day. For millions of women and children this is a reality. According to the UN’s Human Development Report The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is commonly 20kg.

Obviously women wouldn’t carry 564 litres to their homes every day. Water in these communities is a valuable commodity. They save every precious drop for reuse and cut down water wastage. No 26 minute showers! The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council states the average person in the developing world uses only 10 litres of water every day for ALL their drinking, washing and cooking.

What would you be willing to do to save the time and effort to carry all this water? Maybe brush your teeth at the community water point. That would save less than a litre. Maybe have a shower standing at the community tap? Maybe give up showering almost completely?

An alarming statistic from WaterAid Nepal shows only 37% wash hands with water and only 12% soap. It is alarming because around the world one child dies every 20 seconds from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. Up to 47% of these cases could be solved with clean water and soap (WaterAid International).

I am actually truly embarrassed by the amount of water I wasted today. I am even more embarrassed to admit I probably wasted this much water everyday last year. I guess the point of Blog Action Day is to get us all thinking about these things and what we can do. I am not sure yet what I can do to help others with their water problems but at least now I am aware. And tomorrow I will try to stick to cut down to 4 minute showers as recommended by target 155. What are you going to do?

Check out the Speak Up For Change Blog for more posts on water from bloggers around the world.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

my boyfriend always knows the perfect thing to say.
sometimes i think a little gets lost in the translation but we always get the point across...

Question: Why do you love me?
Answer: I love you because you don't make me brush my hair.

(Yes baby but that doesn't mean you should stop brushing it all the time)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I am exhausted. I have been meaning to do this post for a while but now i am feeling to tired to do it proper justice. I wanted to do a post on some of the beautiful blogs I have been following lately. Every morning i start my day with a cup of tea and whatever is new from the inspiring ladies below.

And My favorite Brittan Claire

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

joy collection (11)

Deepak's village 2010

This photo makes me so happy. These two little girls followed me around the villages. They were so excited to see themselves on my digital camera.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blog Action Day

I know it is a little bit late notice but I think this is a really great idea on an issue that does not get enough press. On October 15 we should all post about water and help to highlight the struggle some people just to access clean water. I started thinking about my post. I hope you all join in.

Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

For more information try here at speak up for change.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

making me smile...

I have been sorting through my pics from my last trip. I am missing my little friends so much. I can send them letters and little gifts but I get replies so infrequently. It is nice to look at the cute little pictures i have of them and have a giggle.

When I grow up

I have started reading the blog Champagne Bubbles by the lovely Camilla. Over the last few weeks she has really kept me entertained. I have loved her series of posts on the topic "When I Grow Up" where different bloggers list their dreams for their future lives. These posts really got me thinking about who I want to be when I am older and what I want to be doing.

This also appealed to the list marker in me. So here is my When I grow up:

I want to have a garden where i grow my own veggies and flowers to use in my home.

I want to have made a HOME full of my beautiful babies and new family.

I want to still be bendy and stretchy and able to spring out of bed to enjoy the day.

I want to be one of those hip old ladies who have their other hip old lady friends over and drink red wine, eat cheese and dance to music from 'when they were young".

I want to have done something good, to have left the world a better place, to have made someone's life better.

I secretly want to own my own bar. I worked in bars for years and i love being around people having a good time. Working in bars was one of the first times i felt like i was good at my job.

I want to have loved and I want to have been loved.

I want to eat anything i like.

I want to still be positive, believe in love and to remember that a block of chocolate and dancing to your favorite tune can fix any problem.

I want to have lived a beautiful adventure.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blog crush

My favorite missed connection

I have a secret crush on Sophie Blackall. She does these wonderfully quirky artworks, which feature messages she found in the missed connection ads. The pictures make me feel like i have slipped into a beautifully crafted children's book where all of the characters are unique and lovely and a little bit peculiar. I wish i could live inside one of these pictures.

I love the missed connection ads in the paper. It is so hopelessly and tragically romantic. I dream of reading about myself in the missed connection ads and knowing i'd made someone's day through a look or a smile, or something quaint i said.

You can but prints at Sophie's etsy store... If i had money i'd buy them all.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

small steps

pic from mini hipster

Pic from the small steps website
I recently stopped watching the news because it was too depressing. I spend a lot of time researching NGOs and nonprofit organisations (i study grad diploma in international development, like project management for aid work) and i think its why i've got a new positive outlook. I get to see some people at their best, normal people who saw a need and decided they could do something about it.

I am really interested by small non profits which are out there achieving things. I think everyone has the skills to make a difference in someone's life and people underestimate their own abilities. Occasionally i am going to post about some of the organisations i hear about. I am not going to get all preachy or guilt anyone into donating. I guess this is just my way of say i appreciate what they are doing.

So my first of these posts is on Small Steps. Now if you follow the link the website is rubbish and i wish they would hire me to work on their social media campaign cos it stinks but what they are doing is amazing.

Small Steps supports children living on rubbish dumps around the world and raises awareness of the unacceptable hardships faced by them through film. They are working to put shoes on the feet of children living on dump sites and 100% of donations goes to children on rubbish dumps.

It sounds like a small thing but i have seen some of these dumps where people are spending their lives and i wouldn't want to venture in there with a hazmat suit let alone without shoes. These kids spend their days sorting through piles of burning garbage with no protection.

And if you have time this is worth a watch. Around the world in 80 dumps...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I have a real thing for stationery...

these lovelies are from hello jenuine here
but i found them at but, honestly here

and these really get me going. I (try to) write a letter to my boyfriend in Nepal every week and i think i might have to start making more of an effort with the envelopes. I would love to get mail in one of these beauties. It might even make it worth getting bills!
from here

I am a little bit in love with this sweatshirt. It isn't very expensive but shipping is $20 and I just don't have any spare dosh at the moment because i have a big school bill coming up. Ohhhh I am destined to be banished from the shops forever! I want new clothes and i want them now.

Monday, September 27, 2010

just 12 mintues

picture from ALT123.
Check out their flickr... some awesome pics

I saw a study the other day that stated the average couple talk to each other for only 12 minutes a day. The rest of their time is spent working, texting, emailing, watching TV, running children around.

This statistic made me sad. Where are we headed if we can't even make time to talk to THE person in our lives. The best part of my day is talking to my boyfriend. We live on different continents at the moment* but we try to lock in an hour on Skype every day or two and a huge number of text messages.

Maybe for some people 12 minutes is enough. I look forward to seeing his grainy picture and slightly delayed voice at the end of the day. It doesn't matter how tired i am, when i hear his voice coming down the line, asking me how my day was everything feels better.

I'm glad we're still in that bubble where you find the most mundane facts about each other interesting... "really baby, you had a tuna melt for lunch? wow that is so interesting". I hope it never bursts.

* We met when I was volunteering in Nepal. We dated for a while before i had to come home to Australia. I just wanted to clarify we aren't a cyber couple. 94 days and we will finally be back in the same postcode.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Love is shocking

Yesterday night i watched the movie Valentines Day. It has 19 'stars' in it but some how still manages to be a bit terrible. Its a bit like Love Actually (which i did enjoy). It does that disjointed story lines, seemingly disconnected characters coming together to form a whole picture, thing, but it doesn't do it well.

The reason i mention it is there was one line in the movie which actually resonated with me.

"love is the only truly shocking act left"

The more i think about this the more it seems true. Everybody craves love. We are all chasing it. We love a love story. We are all searching for that perfect someone(s) who will make violins play, birds sing, butterflies jump in our stomachs and the world stand still while we kiss.

But no one really seems to believe in it. We are honestly shocked when married couples are still in love. We look for the cracks in relationships. We expect infidelity. It is almost embarrassing to admit you are in love, it is like saying you believe in the tooth fairy. When we see a couple being affectionate in public it is peculiar. Love just seems so impossible, implausible, impractical.

Why is this? Why do we search for something we don't really believe exists? I say i believe in love but i don't act with any conviction. I never think love with last.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

new picture

I love this picture. We have been in a drought for a really long time out here. The other day my friend and i went for a drive and we came across this creek which had risen up over the road. Everyone who has grown up in the country has memories of their dad driving a car through a swollen river; its exciting and scary all at once.

Thanks for the picture Glenn.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bundle of Bobbie

My younger sister recently had a baby. It is a bit strange being the oldest sister and being the only one not in a 'long-term' relationship, with a real job, or a car, or a fixed address.

I was in Nepal when she emailed me to tell me she was having a baby. I think she was nervous. The email was carefully worded. She probably labored over every syllable, i could almost hear her holding her breath and waiting for my reply from across the ocean. I admit i did feel a bit like an old maid when I first read it.. she is almost six years younger than me.

I was in Nepal again when Evie was born. I have never had much to do with babies. They actually scare me a little bit. I hate the helplessness i feel when I can't give them what they need, it is worse when you don't even know what they need.

The other day i read my sister's baby blog. It isn't the kind of blog I'd normally read given that i run from anything pregnancy related. She has written a post on the birth of her daughter Evie. I am not sure, maybe i am getting soft or something, but it made me cry. You can tell she really loves her new little family.

So if you are into the baby thing head over here and have a little look at Bundle of Bobbie

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I have writer's block. I stare at the big white 'new post' rectangle and i have nothing...

My life is a mess. I've been home for a week. My suitcase is still on the floor where i dropped it. Its contents has slowly scattered across my room as every day i have to ferret deeper into its depths for clean underwear and socks.

I could do laundry and unpack but that would mean accepting i am home for good. If i am home for good i have to accept i am a 27 year old,single woman with no job or prospects, who lives with her mother. I am not ready to accept that yet.

I have enough clean clothes for a week. I must find employment before then... or buy more underwear to put off doing laundry.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

joy collection (9)

Joy at finally understanding your homework

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

joy collection (8)

Joy over a silly big brother