Archive for March, 2008

Random conversations.

 Sybille had a foot “injury” the other day, a result of wearing horrible girly shoes for too long in the blistering heat. She made me go with her to the clinic to get the blister looked at, in case there was an infection.

(Hypochondriac? Who?)

While waiting for the nurse…

Sybille:  What does ‘psychedelic’ mean?

Me:  Hmm?

Sybille:  Psychedelic. I use that word all the time but I just realized I don’t know what it means exactly.

Me:  Uhmm.. it means.. uhmm. Well you know. Psychedeliiiic!

Sybille:  Psychedeliiiic! What is it?

Me:  Uhmm. I think it means.. head-tripping. You know. Psychedeliiiiic! Gained popular usage in the ’60s, with the hippie movement. I think.

Sybille:  (Blink. Blink.) Oh.

Me:  Why? What did you use it for?

Sybille:  (Starts laughing.)

Me:  Did you use it in a sentence?

Sybille:  (Laughs.)

Me:  What did you say was psychedelic??

Sybille:  … A pigeon.



A psychedelic pigeon. Classic.


Yesterday I went to my regular butcher shop and there was a dude I’d never seen before, and we had a random conversation. The dude’s from Turkey, and probably new here. Or at least new at the butcher shop.

Dude:  Would you like anything else?

Me:  Some salami, maybe.

Dude:  Mild or hot?

Me:  Hot, please.

Dude:  Sorry?

Me:  Hot.

Dude:  Yeah?

Me:  Yes.

Dude:  You like hot?

Me:  Very much.

(Blink. Blink.)

Is it weird that I think he was being flirty?

Dude:  What do you study?

Me:  Media.

Dude:  Ooh. Interesting. Clever girl.

Me:  Meh. I hope so.

Dude:  How long have you been here?

Me:  Me? Almost three years now.

Dude:  Wow, three years.

Me:  Yeah. I come here all the time for my… (dammit, ‘come’ and ‘meat’ should never ever be in a sentence together)… halal… meat.

Dude just grins.

Me:  Okay gotta go byebye!

Dude:  Nice talking to you. Come again!

Me: (Blush, turn, run out.)


The end.


19 March, 2008 at 4:12 pm 2 comments

Back in Melburn.

I really should get in the habit of updating this blog more often.

I mean, I really should get in the habit of updating this blog. Heee. But in any case, if any of you still bother, I really do apologize for my pseudo-return to the blogosphere and mysteriously disappearing again. I promise think I’ll have really really hope for more regular updates from here on end.


I dunno. I *think* I still want to maintain a blog. I wrote lots of draft posts, mini-posts, pathetic unreadable posts, but somehow never got around to actually putting them up. Somehow all my posts seem unpostable. I start a sentence and it sounds wrong. I finish a paragraph and there’s a voice inside my head going uhhh, no.


And once you stop, you know how hard it is to start again. It just isn’t in your routine anymore, the whole setting- aside- half-an-hour-a- day-to-type-random-nonsense -to-be-read-by- random-strangers- thing.

But I still think I want to do it. I dunno, maybe it’ll be good for me.

So let’s get on with it, yes? Yes.


Before we get into the dirty juicy shtuff (why yes, of course I have some dirty juicy shtuff to tell you) let’s just get the most pressing updates out of the way, yes? Yes.

I am back in Melburn (burn baby, buuurrrnn). I got back a week ago, expecting some kind of an “Autumn” kind of weather, vaguely processing the logic of coming back from “Summer” holidays, therefore it should be “Autumn”, right? Right?


It is. Insanely. Hot.

I think we’re in the middle of some insane “autumn” heatwave or something, because it is. Insanely. Hot.

Day temperature’s been in the high thirties (that’s Celsius, darling) all week. It’s like living in someone’s armpit. You step out the door and your skin burns, the top of your head sizzles, and you sweat in places you weren’t aware could sweat. You get on the tram and it smells like sweat, and everyone’s under-dressed, and it’s all skin and legs and thighs and cellulite and armpit hair galore.

Get the picture yet? Just imagine it. Imagine an insanely hot day.

Good. Now imagine an insanely hot day and all your clothes smell like curry.

Because that would be me, my first few days back in Melburn.


I told my mom not to pack any food. I told her that there’s nothing I need to bring that I can’t get over here.

Actually, on second thought, I think I might have told her not to pack any food in my bag, while simultaneously sending mixed messages about how her poor hopeless daughter will possibly starve to death if she didn’t put any Maggi packets in my luggage. So she packed. Lovingly, she put those instant curry Maggi things in a plastic bag, and put it in my luggage.

Said Maggi curry packet decided to explode in my luggage.

Poor hopeless daughter realized it two days later. Went “Shit!”


Couldn’t be bothered to do anything about it at that particular time.

Hence, walked around with curry t-shirts for a whole week, before finally washing clothes today.

Anyway. The point of the story is, I now have clean, curry-free clothes. The end.


The next thing I wanted to tell you, before anyone asks, is that I am back at uni.

I’m back for one subject, because it turns out that I failed that subject that was ‘Withheld’ for the longest time last year. They could have told me up front. I would have gotten upset for a while, but I wouldn’t hold it against them. If they’d told me earlier, I could’ve done a summer subject and gotten this whole uni thing over with already. Now I’m back, grudgingly, hesitantly, pissed-offly, that I’m denied my graduation for one more semester.

The upside of this is that I’m not actually late in graduating, I’m just not early. I would have completed a three-year course in two and a half, but now I have one more semester, to do one subject. Hey. It’s practically a six-month holiday.

And the subject I’m doing is a creative wroiting subject called Novels. We learn how to plan and write a novel. I figured, if I have to stay, I might as well learn something I actually want to learn. The only other choice was something in cinema studies, but my mom said I have to take this creative wroiting subject, even though the coordinator is the Person In Charge whom I begged, begged, to pass me for that other subject last semester.

Out of ego, and sheer Asian-ness, I wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with her after I begged and didn’t get that Pass. But my mother, out of ego, and sheer Asian-ness, said that I especially had to take her subject, “to prove to her that you’re not an idiot, actually.”

So yeah.

I’m enjoying it so far. The class is great. My tutor is awesome. But I think that deserves its own entry, another day.

You know. Because I update this blog so often, and all.


I’m still living at the same apartment with Sybille. For now there’s a Canadian girl named Louise who’s living in our very liveable living room. She’s a high school friend of Sybille’s, and she’s nice, friendly and tidy enough, so I really don’t mind.

There’s a newish security guard downstairs, Omar*, who talks way too fast and way too much if you make the mistake of asking “How are you” and standing around for too long. When I walked in after three months away he said “Nadia! Long time no see!” and I felt very special because we’d only ever met briefly, once, and he remembered my name.

But still, I wonder if there’s something I do wrong, or something, because other people can walk by the reception area, mumble ‘how are you’ and keep walking, and they don’t have to stand around and listen. Me, I ask ‘how are you,’ and I can’t seem to leave, because they (the security guards) just keep talking and talkingandtalkingandtalking.

This past whole week, each of my smoke breaks have lasted no less than half an hour, when it only takes five minutes to smoke one.

I know that Omar is 38, is of Syrian descent, has four children, one of whom just turned 8 years old today. He and his wife were dating for 7 years after his then-girlfriend said marriage or we part ways, and four kids later he still sometimes wonders if it was the right choice. He likes sushi rolls and ‘those beautiful flat noodles’ (kuay teow, I assume) and was at one point on the verge of diabetes, but he’s been watching his diet. He smokes Winfield cigarettes and in his free time, trains would-be security guards at a training center he runs with his brother. He offered to train me, if I ever wanted to be a security guard, (I mentioned I was sort of looking for part-time work). Some time next month he is going back to Syria to transfer the deed of his father’s property into his and his brothers’ names, and he is looking forward to buying cheap CD’s and clothes.

He just keeps talking and talkingandtalking.

I know that Davin* is from India, and graduated in Law, but can’t practice law here because his degree isn’t recognized. At some point he wants to practice, but for now he works as a security guard to save enough money to settle down, and he is also waiting for his permanent residency application to go through. His girlfriend was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Canada, and they’ve been together for about a year, and she is the jealous possessive type who gets jealous when he talks to girls. Or when some random girls (*cough cough, flatmate, cough*) bring him a slurpee from 7-11 because the weather’s so hot. He’s been working out and watching his diet because he suddenly got aware of the effects of age, he even quit smoking, but he still smokes occasionally, especially when he is fighting with his girlfriend.

He also just keeps talking and talkingandtalking.

The other security guard, Harry*, talks of nothing but the weather. He can tell you exactly what temperature it is at any given time of night. He memorizes weather forecasts for the week to come. If you’re ever planning a trip somewhere, talk to Harry first and he’ll tell you whether or not to bring an umbrella.

He has the extraordinary ability to talk so much and say nothing at all.

So there you have it. The guys who keep me company at night. Sometimes I can’t sleep, go downstairs for a smoke and end up talking (or listening, rather) for hours. I like to think they’re glad of the company too.


Oh would you look at the time. Almost 4 am. Methinks it’s time for bed. I’ll see y’all next time, then, for more random stories, eh?

So. Y’all be good now. Toodles!

17 March, 2008 at 12:24 am 3 comments