Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Stubbornness runs in the family

6-year-old nephew cries out loud: I want some whiskey too!!

Brother replies: -Sure...but do you remember what happened last time you had a sip of whiskey?

- I vomited.

- Do you still want some?

- Yes!

Merry Christmas everyone!

...or as they say in Australia - Merry Christmas!

The world according to Tia

My 7-year-old niece knows her stuff:

- My legs are sore but I'm dealing with it. It's tough luck!

- I like to dress for the job.

- So Daddy is going to have all his favourite girls around him tonight...and his one true love, which is me!

My 2.5 year-old niece is not yet as self-aware. She spends her time going around on her tricycle singing "I like to move it, move it".

I'm in Australia, upside down.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wisdom sharing

-Marie, can you write some Christmas cards for the students?
-Sure, what do you want me to write?
-I don't know. Some words of wisdom, perhaps?
-Don't eat yellow snow?
-Yep, that works.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My rock n'roll lifestyle... killing me. The past two weeks have been one endless party and I have three more evenings to go until I can begin to sober up. I am in fact so beat that I am looking forward to my 9 hour cattle-class flight to Australia on Sunday just so I can sleep.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dead woman walking

I picked up my passport this morning. I've been dreading it for weeks. I'm not vain, but I do like having a good passport photo. The problem is that I am as far from photogenic as a penguin is from a polar bear.

So it was with a sickly feeling (which had nothing to do with my booze consumption yesterday) that I received and slowly opened my new passport. And alas, there it was, the photo that shall follow me for the next ten years (or until I lose another passport), and I look just like Zombie Barbie having a stroke.

The camera has caught me in such an amazingly freaky stare that if I met myself in a dark alley, I would scream and run away.

I suppose it could be worse.

Hot or not?

Got a reply through to my profile on an online dating website.

hi nice good evening. how r u. i see your profile and again see and read about your want know u more about u sef.bzc cant control my self.bzc you have some qualityes? you have many think...........i think u like many hobby........but its very surprise....ihope u are very intelligent girl......about your profile. but you no.1.and no..pic.look very attractive and charming girl..your hair style.look, before i write about u ,u have many qualitiyes...... canu tell me more about u self.................hows going your life? bzc i read many profile so just choice just one............yy_angel? your really angel and look like queen?so i says attractive girl. i feel your profile your a honest girl,and nice.anyaway ,psl tellmore? awaiting u.well reply. but u look really .smile......look like flower..........rose? if you dont mind can we talk,msn,yahoo. bcz i am interesting with u. my name is,sheikh.ppl call me,sunny. anyaway,i tell u someabout my self. i am liveing in hk.andalso work here.own small ,logistics.also single.look to be honest friend. bzc i belive,true,honest? awaiting u good reply.

I'm speechless.

Monday, December 15, 2008

If you want to mess with your co-worker

When he or she leaves the computer, take a screenshot of the application in use and save it as the desktop wallpaper. Then close all applications.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Do I need a man?

I know there must be a way to connect my "also a CD player" machine-thingy to my computer. The obvious ways are not working.

I hate having to ask for help.

The fine line between piss-taking and evil

Some time ago I was asked by L how come the volume of her Ipod was...well, sort of having it's on life.

I told her that it has to do with altitude. If she's high up, the Ipod has to work harder in the same way that if you exercise at high altitudes, your heart has to work harder, and you get out of breathe. When the Ipod works harder, the volume goes down.

I could just have told her to take the Ipod out of her jeans pocket.

J calls me sinister.

Friday, December 12, 2008

If I was King of the world...

...I would make it a rule that if you are caught wearing a rucksack on a jammed-packed train, you will be shot on the spot.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reality check

It's easy to forget that when I complain over the lack of a walk-in-wardrobe or guest bedroom, most of my students live in flats smaller than mine with their parents, grandparents, brother, sister-in-law, 2 nieces, 1 nephew, 3 cats and one bullfrog (but that's for dinner).
Next year I shall be more grateful for what I've got.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Things that bother me

When Yanks go, if you're ever over on the east coast, let me know.
East coast of WHAT?

As it happens, I AM on the east coast...of China!

Carbonating my footprints

Have I told you that I'll be visiting the monkies in Australia over Christmas and New Year?

It will make my countries visited list in 2008:
UK, Italy (twice), Switzerland, Germany, Finland (twice), Norway, Denmark, Sweden (3 times), Russia, Czech Republic, Taiwan, China, India and now Australia.

This is completely insane. Next year, I do not want to go travelling...much.

Unpredictive text

I have a French friend who texts me with an accent. If it was anyone else, I would assume they are just making fun of themselves but this guy is not one to do so. He also has the most amazing ability to make his text messages sound just as irrationally and passionately upset that only the French can get.

"No, no, no, is u woo is ze opeless one, I ave ze next 3 evenings off..."

I really quite like it.

I think I might start texting in Swenglish: "Hallaaa. My neim is Inga, ja!"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Call for sympathy

I feel sick. I feel sick because I had a jar of black truffle pate at home, and I ate too much. It's tough living like this.

English guys...mainly!

You know that your friend is either in the middle of having sex, or just about to...if you call them up after years of silence and they go...

"shit, yes...I really want to catch up, where are you, can you call later, or well oh I'm sorry but oh it's great to hear from you only well where are you now...I can't really but I would like to but can you call back."

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Mummy 3...

...did not disappoint. It was just as shite as I expected it to be. I do like a certain degree of predictability in my life.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

But it's good for you!

"What's the most unusual thing you've ever eaten?" is a question wasted on the Chinese. They don't consider anything unusual - it's all bloody delicious.

With a bit of probing though, I got my students to accept that perhaps Stir-fried Cocooned Silk Worm is borderline unusual. Donkey Stew fell into that category as well.

Eventually one student admitted that the time her mother served her placenta, she was a little bit put off.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I had an evening of badness yesterday. I don't want to talk about it. Instead I'll tell you about another dumb thing I once did.

In 2000, sitting on a train between Murmansk and St Petersburg, I stroke up a conversation with group of Russian soldiers. They were on their way to Chechnya, I was going back to St Petes.

Thinking it could be cool/educational/interesting to keep in touch with one of them, I gave him my address. I gave him my address as in "write me a letter". He assumed I gave him my address as in "come for a visit"...which is obviously what he did!

The evening after the train ride, he appeared on my doorstep with flowers, champagne and cake.

What happened next is a bizarre story of badness, stakeouts, hiding, the Queen of Lalaland (my flatmate) loudly protesting that she does not feel comfortable lying to a Russian sniper, and H appearing like some sort of deus ex machina to be greeted by "shit, get down on the floor and stay away from the windows".

When it was all over, and sniper boy was finally on his way to Chechnya, the Queen of Lalaland was asked how she dared living with me considering the company I kept. "At least my life isn't boring" was her general response, adding "and he brought champagne!".

This is what is generally referred to as the "incident with the Russian sniper". So now you know!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I left home without my mobile phone this morning. I don't feel any different for it. I don't feel stressed, out of touch or naked. A year ago I would have headed straight back home to get it. Now it makes no difference. I wonder why? Do I no longer expect phone calls? Have I stopped getting excited about text messages? It's weird.


I've felt it coming on for some time now, teasing, threatening to take over my life. This morning it finally arrived in full force - blocked sinuses! Teaching with sinusitis is like eating barbed wire...not great.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dog or no dog?

I'm teaching slang this week. Friend A reminded me of the dialogue from the movie the 51st State.

(This, I will not be teaching!)

Felix: Oh, bollocks!
Elmo: Dog's bollocks?
Felix: No, just plain fucking bollocks!
Elmo: No dog involved?

Elmo: So, let me get this straight. "Bollocks" is bad, whereas "the dogs bollocks" is good, huh?
Felix: Yeah.

Confuse your audience

Speak in reversed euphemisms as often as you can.

- Where’s Jeff?
- I don't know, he’s dumb!
- I don’t think so. He’s a pretty smart guy.
- No, no. I passed by his house and the lights are on but no one's home.

- Where’s Kate?
- She’s pregnant.
- Really, wow!! When is she due?
- Well, the bun in the oven should be ready in about 20 min.

- The recreation centre’s open so I suppose I had better go to the toilet!
- What?
- I have to drop the kids off by the pool.

The turkey method

A student asked my colleague what he did to quit smoking.
-Cold Turkey, he replied.
.... (long silence)
- So...keep lots of turkey in the fridge?

Too easy!