Thursday, May 26, 2005


I try to be a conscious consumer and thankfully it seems to keep getting easier and easier as there are always alternatives. Lately though I've come across a few new obstacles.

I just read about Cadbury taking over Green and Blacks over at Daniel's. Nooooooo! I adore green and blacks chocolate and swear their dark chocolate is the best tasting in the world.

It's almost as bad as discovering about Nike taking over Converse. Although thankfully there is look alike brand No sweat.

Only recently though I discovered a new problem though: Beer!

I listened to a talk by Ian Lubek from SiRCHESI (Siem Reap Citizens for Health, Educational and Social Issues) on the HIV/AIDS crisis amongst beer girls in Siem Reap-Cambodia. Basically his organisation is trying to improve conditions for beer girls working for Heineken (and several other companies). As it stands at the moment beer girls are employed on a full time basis and paid a lot less than they need for the basic costs of living-food etc. They also work under pretty horrible conditions. So what often ends up happening is the girls resort to enough prostitution to pay for the basic costs. This is generally done under drunken conditions-the men are drunk (because the women are trying to encourage them to drink more beer) and the women are encouraged to also drink beer to promote it to the men. So often condoms are forgotten in their crazy state. This results in massive problems. Currently as its stands Sam Reap has the highest prevalence rates in Cambodia (which has the highest rates in South East Asia). It often means that the beer girls, the men, the men’s wives, their future children and the boyfriends of the beer girls all end up with HIV/AIDS. Only about 100 of 7-10,000 are able to receive life saving medications from NGOs. With inadequate health care they end up dying very quickly. Considering that Heineken is a huge international company the organisation is trying to get them to help or rather take a little ownership by doing three things:

  • Double the remuneration from about $55 /month to a minimum of $110/month. This would remove the necessity of a second job, which for illiterate women, often means accepting occasional propositions to exchange money for sex, sometimes after drinking with a client to reach a sales quota.

  • Provide effective health education to create behaviour changes that prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS in the community.

  • Provide free anti-retroviral Therapy to the 20% of beer promotion women who are HIV+.

But of course Heineken (and several others) are still continuing to turn a blind eye despite pressure from the organisation and even the local media. It is interesting to note that in other counties such as Canada that their beer girls work under better conditions which include health care and of course much better wages. Heineken even have a HIV policy for their other employees.

Read here for more:
Fair Trade Beer

Can someone recommend another beer? I just developed a liking for Stella which is on the no list.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Where’s the proof?

After waking up and feeling somewhat like death walking I called in sick. Which meant that I had to get a doctor to tell me what I already know-that I am in fact sick and get a doctors certificate.

I have two major issues with this. First, finding a doctor in the western suburbs is almost like panning for gold. With my extremely sore throat I called up 12 doctors offices only to be told that either they are not taking new patients or that they are full today and that I might be able to get in tomorrow or as the uni medical service said 'next week'. Then even if you can get in to the doctors it quite often involves waiting for hours. I'll never forget going with a friend to the doctors in Northcote and learning that this wasn't the same everywhere.

The second issue i have is that when it comes to issues like period pain, sinus problems, cold/flu, or a migraine there is nothing a doctor can really do. Today I finally did get in to a random doctor he told me to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids etc. No news there! He also prescribed antibiotics. Now i have had enough sinus infections in my life to know that I'm now immune to those antibiotics because they have been so over prescribed. I hate to think what they have already done to my body. The last thing I need when I am genuinely sick is to go to and PAY a doctor. Why can't I get a naturopaths certificate or even a traditional chinese medicine certificate (written for Toby’s benefit-because he actually goes to two doctors offices when he is sick).

Tomorrow I will go to work feeling not better but at least Ill have a little piece of paper with some scribble on it to show for my effort.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I am addicted to 43 things at the moment.

To see my list go here

Sunday, May 15, 2005

My all time fav house-the 'mysterical/magical house'-Williamstown.

It's been a hard couple of weeks, with uni deadlines all coming at once and 'the decision'. The decision makes me want to cry somedays because there is no right decision and there are no guarantees and just the fact that its not just my consquences to live with but his too makes it incredibly difficult. Meanwhile at uni I have had one of the worst tests ever the mean result was 49% (I passed somehow!), a 2,000 word essay and as I told Erin I handed in 4,000 words of crap. Masters is not much fun!

Not surprisingly I woke up on friday with a ulcer, cold and very very bad skin. My body has had enough I think.

I have been dreaming lately about taking a holiday during the mid break holidays to Hong Kong. I could see my darling maybe even check out what he does at work, do lots of cheap shopping, hang with a few of my remaining friends in HK, enjoy the hot weather, eat at my fav veg places there like the $HK23place and maybe even get my hair re-straighened. Mmmmmmmmmm it would be great and just what I need too! There is however one little problem though: money!

Friday, May 13, 2005

And his ring (well the closest you can find to a pic of his ring online). Posted by Hello

My ring. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Since I was feeling so blahhh I thought i would put up some pics that are sure to make me laugh. These were taken months ago at Claires party. Claire is truly the queen of funny pics.

... Posted by Hello

Someone didn't tell the middle guy in the bottom that the aim of this pic-was to resemble old serious photos-oh well. Posted by Hello