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Monday, November 29, 2004

On some days, you're shit hot. And on others, you're just shit.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Right up there with office party karaoke in terms of pain and lameness is the themed office Christmas Party. This year the theme is some adventurer/Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark crap. What are my choices here? Lara Croft, Biggles, Tenzing Norgay? Yawn.

I am a notoriously bad sport when it comes costuming. At an open themed costume bash I wore all black and passed myself off as a "greek widow". At another cartoon themed party I wore brown, donned a santa hat and voila - Mr Hankie! It all comes down to laziness and apathy really. And this time with two days to go and no costume I am tempted to don some dirty cargo pants, a smelly tshirt (complete with crusty, yellow armpit circles) and go as an English backpacker.

I stumbled upon the Wheels and Doll Baby website the other day. It has some darn cute outfits, like this French Finishing School tart dress:

No adventure gear though.


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Schooool's OUT! FOR! THE! SUMMER!

Bah, I am never doing the full time study/full time work thing again.

Our group moved offices last weekend and are now operating out of the architectural marvel that is Darling Harbour, or as I like to call it, the Bowels of Sydney. The whole place is full of tacky buildings and rip-off tourist bait eateries. Every friday night, the Cockle Bay Bar strip is like a huge office Christmas Party where singles in their late-thirties bump polyester-clad uglies (the desperation, palpable). The only place to get a quick and affordable lunch is Subway(!) which is helping me to up my daily intake of salmonella. Wonderful. I have however, made my peace with the loss of my beautiful window office with terrace and am slowly getting accustomed to my new view. Of a cork board.

Petty whinging aside, three and a half months of care-free summer, here I come! Lazy weekends sleeping in, gyming, belly-dancing, reading, knitting. Cool summer drinks with friends. Reading for pleasure. Endless rounds of monopoly.

I luuurve monoply. Monopoly is a cure for all that ails me. Monopoly could be a cure for a lot of ails actually. The Roadmap to Peace should be a giant monopoly board. Ariel Sharon and Ahmed Qurie could just keep playing until all the properties and utilities are picked up. You’d have Jerusalem as your Park Lane; the West Bank and Gaza would be Old Kent and White Chapel Roads on account of them being crappy and worthless; Haifa and Tel Aviv could be Picadilly and Trafalgar Square. Perfectly arbitrary. Perfectly fair. Dicky disagrees with the Monopoly cure-all because it’s too random. He thinks Ariel and Ahmed should go several rounds of Dance Dance Revolution. Winner takes all.


Sunday, November 07, 2004

Urgh. I've been sitting here trying to finish an assignment which is due tomorrow - not being able to leave it 'til then because who knows what fresh hell work will bring - and yet I can't tear myself away from the writings of Our Man in Hanoi.

Our Man is in Hanoi is part of a two year fund raising project for street kids. His stories, musings and observations are so fascinating, funny, inspiring and addictive. I've not skimmed over a single post. Damn you OMIH and your compelling tale of raising money for a Jamie Oliver style restaurant buy selling bricks!


Ah, the Fellowship of the Ring is on TV tonight. We already have the extended versions of it and the Two Towers and have watched them repeatedly but I just love the film trilogy so much I'm sure I'll watch it whenever it's broadcast. The best bit about Christmas holidays these past three years has been the anticipation and realisation of a new LOTR installment and I've become so used to it. I feel strangely empty.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Oh fer fuck's sake: Howard. Bush. Laws.

It’s enough to make me retreat into my favourite fantasy scenario where I’m on a perpetual holiday in Paris. And seeing as I spent last night trawling through my photos, this will just have to be a long, nostalgic, whinging post about how I wish I was still there, and not in the SECOND! BEST COUNTRY ON EARTH!


Anyway, first stop Bangkok. Great food, cheap drinks, occasional shopping bargain but My. God. Even when half of Australia is alight with bush fires each summer the air quality is still superior to that in Bangkok. You look out a window across the city and you realise what it’s like to be legally blind. Al spent a few months as a med student in provincial Thailand and reckons that even outside major city centres there is this thick blanket of smog over almost everything. My Sweet Baboo adores Thailand though; he spent a while there earlier this year with a friend who was half raised in Thailand and got all the inside knowledge about the very bestest eateries, shopping spots and island beaches.

We arrived in Paris and after a 40 minute ride on the Roissy bus, it’s all amazing buildings with wrought-iron balconies and detailed facades. The apartment we stayed at is located on a street just a block away from the Paris Town Hall. It's on this (big-arsed) map about 2 cm to the left of the BHV department store – Rue du Bourg Tibourg.

This was our apartment building (that’s Al there closing the front door) – we’re on the first floor above Le Coude Fou which is something like the Crazy Elbow. Inside the Crazy Elbow is some crazy art:

Al got her food-poisoning here.

I still can’t get over how great the location was – the Marais is so much fun. It’s traditionally Paris’s Jewish area and I think only recently has also become its big Gay area. By Gay area, I don’t mean like Darlinghurst or Oxford Street where it’s all rainbow flags and pink triangles and We’re Out and Proud Rah-Rah. It’s sort of complacent in its gayness as if it takes it’s gay rights and gay lifestyle for granted (as it should) whereas the relatively recent decriminalisation of homosexuality in NSW probably makes Sydney’s gay community somewhat more aggressive about creating a more flamboyant presence. Anyway, it was such a great spot, any service or product you could have wanted was a couple of minutes away and most of the major sights were within walking distance including the Latin Quarter.

So many eating options too – Spanish, Italian, French of course, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Jewish all on nearby streets. (Oh, yeah there were a couple of Moroccan restaurants too, although I don’t think I can look a chicken tajine in the face again for a long, long time). The toughest part of the trip was deciding where to go for lunch and dinner each day. An early favourite was Le Dos de la Baleine which stands out for the crap gay art on the walls and the fact that Australia’s very own Rosemount was featured as the wine of the day each time we went there. There was a huge boxful by the entry so maybe they'd ordered some by mistake and just couldn’t get rid of it.

In the last few days Al suggested a place in the 5th called Les Huitres et Demie which instantly became my favourite (snails, oysters, buttery lobsters, sorbet and rich chocolate mousse that contained more cream than I realised until too late). There was also this franchise Léon de Bruxelles which sold mussels and nothing else – about 12 euro for a big pot of mussels in your choice of soupy sauce that you mop up with bread.


Shopping – this goes back to location but I loved just walking out the door and being able to hit the shopping strip on Rue de Rivoli almost immediately. *squeals* Restaurants are expensive but with clothes and accessories you can definitely get a bargain. Given the season my purchases were mostly coats – one heavy, double breasted brown cord and one beige trench (AUD240). The trenches were so well cut and cheap I bought one for my mum and sister. Al got a couple too so we brought back 6 coats between us. Even though it was autumn discount time the stuff at the major department stores like Printemps and Les Galeries Lafayette was still quite exorbitant. The dome at Lafayette is just beautiful though:

Which is pretty much how I’d describe the whole city really…

Through the Musée D'Orsay Clock

Sculpture Gallery, Musée D'Orsay

More D'Orsay

Notre Dame, Palais de Justice and the Pantheon from the Terrace at the Samaritaine store

Icarus at the Tuileries

Tuileries and Louvre

River side second hand book stall

Stupid dial-up takes forever to load photos. Off to bed. More vanity to follow.


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