Thursday, December 28, 2006

Good news for people who love good news

I got the job which means I don't have to become unemployed next week and the job is 9 days a fortnight instead of full time so it might be manageable with uni. Words can't describe how relieved I am.

Secondly, I got a bike for xmas. I just went for my first bike ride in Brunswick (2nd ride on the new bike). I thought it would be a nice leisurely ride but 30 minutes later I returned puffing with my legs burning and my heart beating like crazy. I'm obviously very unfit. But I still love my new bike.

The one and only pic I took on the ride. RMIT-brunswick.

Lastly, I discovered a new food today that I love: Halva. I adore it. I can't believe I have never had it before. Growing up in Australia I like to think of myself as pretty multicultural when it comes to food. I grew up eating falafal, hummus, baklava, Lahmacun and all sorts of food that many people still don't know about. I think I become even more multicultural after becoming vegan, at least once a month I seem to bring someone new to work that someone hasn't tried. But yet I didn't know what halva was. I think I probably looked at it and dismissed it as cheese. But it's sweet and made out of tahini. The one I tried has pistachios in it, but there are other flavours too. Next time you are in your supermarket or deli ask to try some. I've only eaten it straight but apparently it is very good sliced in some Lebanese bread.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The rejects

These are the reject cupcakes and peanut butter cups that we are not taking tomorrow because they don't look as pretty as the other ones. So we get to eat them straight away instead of waiting. There were a few more rejects that didn't make it into the photo too ;-)

The peanut butter cups were made with almond meal instead of crumbs thanks to christy's suggestion and the cupcakes were made from the vanilla cake recipe and maple icing recipe in How it all Vegan. Erin recently made them so I knew they were delicious before I put in all the hard work.

I really really really wanted to make mini ones, but had to search everywhere to actually find the mini liners. If you are in Melb and wondering I got them from party shop near the vic market.

Happy silly season!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm freaking out!

Next week is the last week of my job and I still don't have another job lined up.

I've been employed for a over a decade straight, and had 2 part time jobs since I started doing my masters a few years agao I can't explain how much the thought of having no job terrifies me.

I have applied for 3 more new jobs in the week and lots of casual-ish jobs.

I have an interview next week for one but it is full time so not sure how I will manage once I return to uni, but its the closest to what I was doing that is available.

It's the worst time to be looking for a job, even worse if you need part time. I was so stressed the other day I said to Mr T if worst comes to worst I will work full time and defer uni. But I really don't want to. Another option is to try to get another crappy call centre job or something. But the thought of applying and interviewing for even more jobs I don't really want is pretty depressing.

How did it get to this?

It wasn't planned I can tell you that much. There was so many jobs that I was supposed to get that fell through. There was at least 6 jobs through my current job that fell apart due to funding issues, another that I couldn't do because of obligations to my last remaining job. Another that went to someone who knew someone else even though I was more qualified. I have another lined up that starts in feb and is very casual and another crappy one that I could have got but can't attend the training because I have a interview on the same day. I even said no to one because It was starting in March and I was sure I would have something by then.


On a brighter completely unrelated note I have 2 amazing shows coming up. Modest mouse on 29th dec, M Ward on 30th and then new years eve the following night. I can't wait.

Happy silly season to everyone.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

High IQs linked to veg diet

"Children with high IQs are more likely to be vegetarians when they grow up, according to recent research. "

Read the whole article here

So that explains my decision ;-)
Peanut butter Cups

Here is one of the peanut butter cups I made from How it all vegan. They are super easy to make and very good, although a little rich. Sorry for the crappy pic, I always seem to forget to take pics of food until the last minute when it is dark and I rely on synthetic light and then am left with perhaps not the most appetising pic, so you will just need to trust me that these rock.

I took them to work to share because I am the world's best colleague and everyone fell in love with them including one co-worker who said she hated peanut butter.

The recipe asked for graham cracker crumbs which we don't have in Australia, so I just used some vegan biscuits I had lying around. Anyone know the closest thing to graham cracker crumbs here? I actually think you could probably make it without the crumbs, I didn't notice them after it was all put together. The great thing about this recipe is that apart from the cookie/biscuit crumbs you most likely have everything lying around. The other good thing is this recipe doesn't actually require turning on an oven.

Now I just need to decide whether I should make another batch of these or some sort of cupcakes for xmas day.

Friday, December 15, 2006

My latest novel

Ok this post is late but better late than ever, and yes I know some people have already blogged about it. But It's been a while since I've seen a good show, so I can't help myself. Yes, I have been to shows in recent times but most have been sub standard. Besides, I had Mr T's pictures of the band in the camera with no one to show.

A friend messaged me a few nights before the show and asking if I wanted to go? I quickly consulted with my friend google, who revealed one review likening them to arcade fire. That was enough for me, so I said yes and went along. Boy am I glad I did. A few of their songs do sound slightly like arcade fire. But others sounded like sons and daughters, and another like hefner.

Each song sounded different from the next, and they were great!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mr T arrived a year ago today

We knew that we wanted to be together but him moving here was a not easy decision for either one of us to make.

I had a lot of guilt over him leaving his friends, family, career, and a very different lifestyle all behind.

I also had many fears about him moving here. Worried that he would hate it here, that he couldn't get a job, that he wouldn't make any friends, that he would regret the move, and that our relationship would somehow change here.

Thankfully, all of my fears were unfounded. He made friends, has a job, sure he misses some things and his friends in Hong Kong but he generally loves it here and our relationship is stronger then ever.

I think he adjusted better to Melb life than I did to Hong Kong life.

Thanks for taking such a big leap of faith for me!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Food faces

I took this one last week, the pic doesn't quite doesn't do it justice but I had to show it anyway. It's quinoa salad with chickpea eyes and nose, coriander eyebrows and mango mouth. It doesn't look great but tasted amazing.

This next one is made by Mr T it's a couscous salad with red onion eyebrows, asparagus nose and edamame eyes and mouth.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This weekend was all about fellow bloggers

Friday I locked myself out of my apartment so Ann rescued me and took me to the beautiful Heide Museum of Modern Art for the day. The gardens and general landscape surrounding the Museum are breathtaking. I can't believe I have never been before.

Today I met fellow blogger Christy from no pod over a nice long breakfast. This is my second meeting with another blogger, Ann was actually the first when I met her about 9 months ago and we have continued to be friends since. There was of course concern from my part that perhaps the interactions online wouldn't translate to offline and that I would be left with awkward silences but each time the concerns have been unfounded. Both Ann and Christy are extremely easy to talk to, charming and very interesting people.

Gotta love the blogworld for allowing me to meet great people I wouldn't have met otherwise.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Random stuff (mostly about food)

  • Introducing the the world's biggest can of chickpeas. Well at least the biggest one I ever seen. I got it from a supermarket in Glenroy. How could I resist a can that big and so cheap too at $3.99. We are planning on making a huge amount of hommus. Anyone have any hommus recipes they can recommend, anyone want some freshly made hommus? Anyone had luck freezing hommus?

  • I discovered that the churros and dark choc dipping sauce at san churros (the choc place on brunswick st) are vegan. We sampled tonight, it was super super yummy but you need to share it, it's too much for one person.
  • I didn't get the job I applied for. I also discovered that with my one remaining job I am earning close to the Dole amount. How do people live off the dole? I'm trying to see my poverty (ok not yet) as a challenge of how fruggal I can get instead of the depressing state it is. Also trying to force myself to work on my thesis as much I can. A massive part of it is due at the end of december and I have just started.
  • My neigbour just showed me her new bike that she got from Kmart for $100, I had a little ride and now I really want a bike. Especially since there is a bike track right next to us. I'm hoping Mr T can learn how to ride a bike (yes he doesn't know how) and get one too and then we can go for weekly rides together.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I need your advice!

Anyone know how to get a tomato based stain out of lino (vinyl) flooring?

Google couldn't give me the answer :-(

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tiffin, Tiffin, Tiffin

I have a tiffin courtesy of ebay. It's smaller than I thought as I opted for the small size. I will trial it tomorrow packed with food and see if I am left hungry.

here's tomorrow lunch:

It consists of a noodle salad with smoked tofu and a dodgy carrot flower on top made out of love hearts (I'm new at this), salted edamame and lotus root slices.

I bought frozen lotus root slices and then discovered there was no cooking instructions on the packet. After searching for recipes with frozen lotus root slices and finding nothing I eventually gave up and made it up. I washed the frozen lotus root slices in water to defrost a little then stir fried with a little sesame oil, Braggs (soy sauce), and rice vinegar and sprinkled with sesame oil. It was quite good, I will make them again.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Salsa with what?

Rice noodles. It was Mr T's invention this evening and it was beautiful. He combined water chestnuts, macadamia nuts, and dried vegetables (from a Taiwanese organic instant noodle pack) with the rice noodles and salsa for a quick can't be bothered going to the supermarket meal. His thinking for adding salsa: they normally use chili sauce to these type of noodles and we didn't have any.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Stencil grafitti in the CBD (close to the vic market)

I'm back

from moping land and moved into a wonderful place called Denial.

Last night a couple of drinks with Mr T's Co-workers turned into more drinks, dancing and lots of laughing with my step brother, brother and a couple of their friends and then with Claire and Dave. It's so bizarre that we were on our way home at about 7pm and almost went home again at 9pm but ended up staying out to about 11.30pm.

Today, Mr T got dreadlocks. Let's just say I am hoping it will grow on me.

More later.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

More personal than political

I have to apologise for my lack of posts and general lack of comments on other blogs too.

Things have kind of spun around for me lately. I'm about to go from two jobs to none. Or one but only for a month if I am lucky. That unfortunately also looks like it will fall apart.

I thought it was a little sad a couple of months ago when I discovered that both Mr T and I were classified as minimum wage. Sure I didn't think we were earning great money but I also thought there was people earning less. Nope, we are at the bottom. Well now it's less than that. I'm on half minimum wage.

So what am I doing about it? Looking for work of course, but finding part time employment is a thousand times harder than finding a full time job. Especially when you have to be pretty picky with hours.

It's gotten to me lately and I can't seem to enjoy anything, just stressed about how I will survive throughout the most expensive time of the year.

I really realised today how much it is affecting me though when I burst out crying at a friends place. Hence this post: blog therapy :-)

This week I have a job interview for the only suitable job I have managed to find in the last 2 months. I had my doubts about getting it anyway due to lack of experience in the field, but now I think my chances are even less since there is so much pressure on me getting it.

It's gotten so bad I even considered lying and getting a full time job and doing that for a couple of months til I have to return to uni ( only 1 more year of masters to go). But that of course would mean I'm back to square one with my unemployment situation in a couple of months and I would feel bad about lying and getting trained and starting only to leave.

The strangest thing is you would think that will all this extra time I would be productive: get some work done on my thesis, even house work. But No. I don't have the motivation to do anything, except for search frantically for jobs and mope. I'm also not bad at pretending that I have money and window shopping and wasting time on I'm forcing myself to do productive things, but I'm amazed by the energy required to actually overturn my desire to do nothing and mope. It's beyond my normal laziness, it's a force of it's own.

I'm trying to tell myself happy thoughts too. At least I have my health, have friends and family and I know I am lucky but I would feel a lot lot lot better if I had even a little more financial security. It's scary not knowing how I will pay for things.

Fingers crossed for this interview!!!


Edited to add: I just realised it hasn't been so long since I last posted afterall. I guess it just feels longer.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Mr T's new t-shirt from a shop on sydney road.

I heart lists

One of the things that was talked about recently in a class was the need for having outlets/fun/relaxing/enjoyable things to basically debrief from difficult days at work. One thing that was spoken about from the instructor was how she enjoys crappy tv and red wine but basically monitoring that so that if you normally drink 2 glasses and are reaching for a third or watching OC, all saints, and desperate housewives and then searching for more crappy tv then you know that things are a little more stressful and to look for alternatives instead of say becoming an alcholic or spending every evening glued to the TV. She actually suggested having a list of 40 things, and so I decided to try to make a list of happy things. I got to 13, and Mr T made a list of 15. It's a work in progress.

I've now thought of another list. I was just thinking what a great weekend it has been, with last night just having a few friends over for drinks and today having a nice picnic, walk and rowing along the murry river at stanley boat house. So often the weekend passes by and we do the same old things. Sure we go out often go out for dinner or breakfast or lunch or go shopping or go to shows but not much outside that. So the list is basically a list of things to do that you may talk about but never get around to doing, almost like a 43 things list but more attainable. I call it our weekend list. So things like:
* using the bike path near us to go for a bike ride
* picking berries
* going to visit the sea shephard boat while it is docked at docklands
* taking Mr T ice-skating (he's never been)
* going kayaking or rowing again
* yum cha in doncaster
* going to get massages together
* go indoor rock climbing
* go to werribee open range zoo
* and lots of other things I can't think of right now, hence the reason I need the list

The first list serves as a reminder when you are reaching for too much of something on a daily basis after a hard day at work and the second list serves as a reminder of things you said you want to do that you might forget or simply just keep putting aside but can easily fit in the weekend.

Now someone please tell me I'm not being too anal! Also, what would you put on your weekend list?
I want a bento

I've been getting lost in all the great bento flickr accounts: the vegan bento pool and mr bento 'porn' pool and bento boxes pool. It all started from the aussie lunch matters blog (the aussie couple who sell 'laptop lunch packs and will sell 'Vegan Lunch Box' cookbook). That lead to lunch matters flickr pool
which then lead to all of the above flickr accounts.

I also discovered more bento blogs too: here and here and here

Mr T thinks they are a waste of money and I won't use it. I'm hoping it will encourage me to eat more variety for lunch. Although it will require quite a lot more effort. As most dinners I make consist of one bowl meals, and lunch consists of leftovers of the one bowl meal from the night before.

The problem is I want a stainless steel one with no plastic.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Our apartment may be small, but it's colorful!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

World Vegan Day 2006

It was different this year. Much more food but less pretty things to look at.

Food wise Mr T and I regretted eating from the first option we saw because there was so many other stalls selling great looking food. We started off with 2 burgers, a tempeh one for me and a mexicana one for Mr T. We did however managed to fit in a little more: a mini praline cheesecake, amazing nachos, lots and lots of free chocolate samples, other free samples of different pates and vegan cheeses, a chocolate cupcake, and truffles.

Probably the biggest highlight apart from the food was discovering the laptop lunch boxes. Yay we can get them here without having to pay large large delivery costs. They even had a copy of the yet to be released Vegan lunchbox book.

I also liked the soy candles:

As for the food, we munched down all of it too quickly to take pictures, except for this gorgeous looking cupcake (below) which as you can probably tell from the pic made it away from the event and as far as the train station. However it didn't make it much further from there.

I also had some interesting conversations with one of the sea shepherd staff memmbers at the sea shephard stall. The sea shephard ship is at docklands until december and you go up on the ship and check it out. Have added it to to my list of things to do.

It was a good day though and worth the trip out all the way to Malvern East.

Friday, October 27, 2006

This Sunday is World Vegan Day

This year it will be at Phoenix Park Community Reserve in East Malvern (Melways ref 69 D2). A free bus shuttle service will be provided from East Malvern station to the venue.

There will be plently of vegan food and other stalls.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I Heart Brunswick

Thats where out new apartment is.

It was probably our second or even third choice of location, but in many ways I think it has turned out better than the first and second options.

We have two tram lines to choose from and a train station all within a 5 minute walk. My fav though is the 55 tram which has its own little line that seems to go quicker than other trams (15 min to city) plus it goes past the zoo and you can actually see elephants on the tram as you go past.

I'm also enjoying walking to the supermarket and walking out to dinner. 2 veg restaurants near by. Yay!

I also discovered a laundromat around the corner which has a vending machine that sells little pieces of art (pictures, poems and cds) instead of food. Pictures to come later (when we have the internet connected).

We still however have furniture and space problems, but right I don't mind. It's got location, bright coloured walls and more importantly its ours (well not to keep but you know what I mean).

Will post again once I have the internet connected.

Friday, September 29, 2006

We got it

The apartment that is.

I was so relieved and happy.

Now however after seeing the apartment again I am just a little bit stressed as I realised it is much smaller than I remember and has major storage issues.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bad things happen in 3, but what about good things?

I don't like to discriminate based on occupation or anything else for that matter, but I've been really struggling with my opinion of real estate agents lately.

Partially because I see my clients become homeless because no one will rent them a property and now with our own struggle trying to get a property.

We have applied for almost half a dozen properties and none of them have said yes. Another said 'No we don't want you' when I asked for an application.

I don't get it. Ok we have both have not the greatest paying jobs but we are applying for cheap 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. And more importantly we both actually have jobs which we have been in for moth than 6 months, we also have nothing bad on our credit files, rental history and we present fairly well.

I've also struggled with comments about 'Asian cooking styles'. Apparently the way same Asians cook ruin the house/apartment in some way. As for that stereotype I do most of the cooking and when Mr T cooks it's exactly the same way as I do.

We are both feeling the pressure at the moment as well since I will likely lose one of my part time jobs very soon and while I am hopeful I can find another it's not going to help our application if I have been in my new employment for a month or so. In comparison to my current employment length of 2+ years. Mr T is also looking for a new job so we are both eager to find an apartment before we change jobs.

On Sat we found an apartment we both loved. It's crazy because it's tiny, and far from perfect but it just felt right. It felt like our home. I handed in the application yesterday and today the real estate agent called to say they are still processing applications but so far it looks like we are in for a good chance.

I am also hopeful because sat morning we happened a great street and found two great things/places prior to finding the real estate agent on the same street.

First we discovered this cute little bakery called Natural Tucker Bakery which was very vegan friendly and reasonably cheap too. It even had vegan scones which were just liked the ones my grandma used to make. Then we found our new friend (below) who we just had to adopt from an op shop. We haven't decided on a name yet. Not sure what we will put inside it's pouch either. But we love it and hopefully it will be our good luck charm!

Whatever happens I will most likely not post for a few weeks. Life is a just a tad hectic at the moment with uni assignments, thesis(arghhhhhhhhhhhhh), applying for more apartments and jobs, and hopefully moving. So blogging is going to have been put aside until I have a little more time.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Advice before you have children*

If you are in a relationship and thinking that maybe your controlling/questionable behaviour from a partner will get better once you get pregnant/have a child think again!

New statistic from my class:

2 most common times when a partner initiates domestic violence:

1. when partner is pregnant
2. when partner attempts to leave relationship

Other important motto:

partners for now, parents for ever

Fighting out custody arrangements, intervention orders and all the rest especially the way that policy changes (eg: Family Relationship Centres) are being made is going to be continually harder when you have children. As the popular argument that families are better together seems to gloss over domestic violence and sexual assault as if both are minor domestic issues that can and should be sorted so you can continue to be together.

Scary scary stuff!

*Disclaimer: of course not everyone who is planning to have children needs to concern themself about their partners becoming violent, but didn't want those with partners with questionable controlling/over jealous alarm bell ringing behaviours to gloss over this post.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Two new stir fry sauces

I know, I know everyone makes up their own stir fry sauces. And yes I do too, but I was getting sick of the same old things so I went googling and found these too wonderful new recipes.

Vegan Broccoli with Citrus-Ginger Sauce From Farm Fresh which I have made a few times with added veggies and tofu. Sorry no pics, I gobbled it up too quickly both times I made it.

And Chinese Hoisin Stir-Fry which I substituted soy sausages for seitan (Mr T's suggestion). As pictured below over noodles.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Post Holiday Syndrome and veg restaurants in Sydney

Ok it doesn't exist, but if it did that would describe how I feel right now. Sad, annoyed, tired and not wanting to go back to participating in normal life crap, you know work, house work, home work and any other forms of stress and just general annoyance.

Sydney was great, Mr T and I managed to squeeze all we could have out of it for the 2 and a bit days we were there. We ate, and ate and ate, and shopped, and saw a lot, and just did pretty well at pretending that we had money to spend on all sorts of things we wouldn't normally spend it on. Like a yummy $15 cocktail.

While I was organised enough to pack the camera charger, and clear all the pics on the camera, and have it fully charged it somehow fell out of my bag on the way to the airport and remained in my car in Melbourne. So I purchased a disposable one but will have to get them printed the old fashioned way. Below are a few pics from Mr T's camera on his mobile in the meantime.

Now the biggest highlight food wise was the turnip cake that we had at Bodhi's, ok it's not the greatest turnip cake and can barely compare to great HK turnip cake. But it's the first place I have found veg turnip cake in Australia. Here it is pictured on the right. Also don't the pumpkin dumplings on the right look cute.

I should probably mention that Bodhi's was ok. Nice location, kind of classy, but overpriced and the food was just ok but it was so worth it for the turnip cake.

We then we to Mother Chu's another Chinese veg restuarant. It seems Sydney is filled with Chinese vegetarian restaurants. The interesting thing about Mother Chu's is that unlike most Chinese veg places they didn't name things after meat dishes well at least not in English. According to Mr T though many of the Chinese names did indicate in the normal way what meat dish it was supposed to resemble. So I'm not sure what this dish is supposed to be, it's English name was simply crispy gluten but boy was it yummy. One of the best dishes I've ever had.

Lastly we tried Pitt St vegetarian restaurant yum cha. Yes yum cha twice. Like Bodhi was disappointed by their BBQpork buns, they are normally my fav however they were both identical, I suspect the same frozen packet or something. They did however have a few yummy items. There coriander dumplings, such as great combination and those on the right which English name I forgot where also very yummy.

We also ate at some non Chinese veg restaurants. We had a yummy breakfast at Macro in Bondi Junction. I had the scrambled tofu which has pumpkin butter and avocado on the side, whereas Mr T had the mushroom place and instead of pesto on the side opted for avocado. The scrambled tofu was different from other scrambled tofu i've had, sweeter but still good.

We also had the misfortune of going to badde manors while we in glebe. The two dishes we had were pretty bad. I had the lentil burger below. It was the worst lentil burger I've had in my life. It tasted like someone has simply cooked up some lentils and mashed them together, with no spices and no sauce, and just added them in a bun with some salad. It was so bland. Mr T's dish was also pretty boring and tiny. It seems like badde manors is more of a cake shop with some veg food made by a meat eater who thinks veg food has to be boring and bland.

We also picked up some food items to take home. Including tiny little pestos which happened to be vegan and we fell in love with the handmade dark chocolates pictured below from the paddington market. The brown bag had the baby chocolate figs and we couldn't wait to munch into them as you can see from the crunched up bag. The others were: chili, ginger and lemon flavored.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

On tuesday my family had a small birthday celebration for Mr T since he will be in Sydney for his birthday on friday.

My mother arranged it and asked me about cakes on sunday night, giving me not enough time to make a cake. It's really not enough time for me to even think about making one.

However after lots of googling and then remembering something about a new catering service I found one place which made vegan blueberry cheesecake-Mr T's old fav. As pictured above. Sorry about the pic, but that's all there was left and I wanted to make sure it tasted great before I bothered taking a pic. Yes with me its all about the taste and the eating and then the pic always as an afterthought. Bad bad blogger I know.

It was made and delivered super quick and Mr T and I both enjoyed it. My family members who knew it was vegan thought it tasted a little different and others who didn't know thought it was delicious-yes such a placebo effect but thats for another post.

Anyway if you are in Melbourne and need a vegan cake they do other types of cakes as well, and lots and lots of different types of cheesecake. They also do mock meats and have different catering services available. As for their vegan cheesecake and service I couldn't recommend them enough, they are called:soulveg and have a orderform online with all their prices.

They are also going to start a cheescake of the month thing which sounds really tempting particuarly if you can do it with their mini cheesecakes.

Anyway I better start packing!

Friday, September 01, 2006

The family dog: licorice

I'll be back soon

Just need to sleep right now. Life is beyond hectic right now but hopefully when I come back I'll have nice stories and pics from our Sydney trip.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Because its a small world and an even smaller blog word

I have to ask, does anyone know what happened to intint?

Does she have a new blog if so where?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Oh yesterday...

yesterday was one of those perfect days that you never want to end.

For the first time in a very long time the weather was beautiful.

And I finally ventured out to macro wholefoods in Richmond.

If you are a fellow foodie, heath freak, vegetarian, vegan, wanting anything organic (including meat), or just like your eco friendly products then I urge you to go there.

Foodie me was in heaven. It's huge! It's like a gigantic health food shop with organic groceries too. If you thought passionfoods or wholefoods was big then forget it. I walked around expressing lots of 'oooooohhhs' and 'arhhhhhhhhhs' for 45 minutes with Mr T and saying on more than one occasion 'I love it here'. They have everything!

There are a few American products that I've enjoyed in Hong Kong that I have never found anywhere, a few that I have never tried but been looking for and a few I never heard of that I couldn't resist. Americans you might as well ignore this post because I guess you can easily get all of them. However you struggle to get all of these products here:

* clif bars -although no luna bars
* apple butter (now I can make these amazing looking sandwiches)
* canned black beans
* soydelicious purely decadent vanilla bars which were beautiful

We also got a sourdough bread on special which is by far the best bread I've ever eaten.

No wonder they have macro discovery tours.

The downside: most things are not so cheap but it is so worth it for those hard to find products that no-one ever seems to have.

They also have a cafe(which I didn't get to try) and free parking.

We then went to vic markets to pick up some cheaper veggies, organic fruit and Asian products from the Asian supermarket across the road and ate desserts at Invita Living Food (next to the market).

Here is a pic of the tea section (yes it includes everything within those four metal posts):

and a pic of the jam section(on the left and all the way to the box):

Such a pity I had to go back to work today!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Good news for Mr T

He got his learners permit which means he can now drive with me or any other fully qualified driver next to him. Kind of scary, but he's already had a mini lesson with me and it wasn't so bad. We also were extremely relieved to receive a immigration letter advising that his spouse visa has finally been approved.

Its amazing to think how far he has come since he moved here almost 9 months ago. I'm extremely proud of him. He took a big gamble moving here and it wasn't a decision we made easily because we both were aware of how much of a sacrifice it was. So far though he's managed to get himself a full time job and stick with it for 6 months. Ok it's not the greatest in the world but a lot better than his door to door sales job and other illegal jobs he was facing at the beginning. He's also managed to work out the public transport system in fact he now knows more than me. More importantly though he's made my family fall in love with him, and made every cat he has regular contact with fall in love with him including a weird relationship with our family cat where he comes when Mr T call him. He's eased quite well into fri night drinks with colleagues (easy one), get his learners permit, adjusted to all the cultural and language changes (including eating out a lot less), learnt how to waste time now that work takes up much less time (no more 24 hrs straight working on film stuff), go out and do things like go to shows by himself, learn all the good eating places near his work and other metropolitan areas, find and attend a ok yoga school, make some new friends, become pretty close to the perfect domestic partner (he's doing the dishes as we speak after he cooked dinner) and so much more.

Mr T studying for his learners permit test the night before with the family cat dairy

Btw, I've finally fixed my template (the flowers) hopefully it will look a little better for internet explorer users. It's been so long since I used it and I had no idea that they were overlapping the top by so much.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Vegetarian Sydney

I've organised a weekend trip (3 days) for Mr T's birthday present. Now that the secret is out I can ask advice openly for your Sydney advice.

I've only been to Sydney once years and years ago.

Now I need the most important advice: food advice!

While I've been looking and asking some well informed friends I've found some really good websites:


Veggie Friendly
and even Sydney Vegan

The problem is how do I choose from all the restaurants?

So fare I've been informed that bodhi and Peace Harmony are must eats.

Also need to know where to stay, I keep finding hotels that look great online only to check out some really bad reviews at tripadviser.

So I need your help, where should I eat and stay?

Btw, does anyone know where to get vegetarian turnip cake (yum cha item) or good vegan breakfast or desserts in sydney?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

I've just started a subject at uni with that exact title. Apparently its the only class on this subject at a university in all of Victoria. Perhaps in all of aus, but not sure about that. Either way though it's insane considering how prevalent it is. It just goes to show how much of a taboo it is, discussing such a topic.

So consider this a forewarning if you like to keep your head in the sand then you might want to stay away from this blog for the next 12 weeks.

I'm really looking forward to it but just wish I had it before I started my new job. There are so many things I could have learned before hand. Possibly the best advice I got from an external supervisor was in regard to women leaving their violent partner and returning on average something like 11 times before they leave for good. I was and still am slightly heart broken about a client returning to her violent partner and the advise she gave me was to look at in a different way 'ok so she left once so she's one step closer to leaving for the final time'.

She also gave me a list of reasons why women stay in domestic violence situations which was huge and I promise to type up one day to share.

But for now here a few facts to digest over courtesy of CASA:

Violence as a gendered issue

CASA House stats - 2001- 2002

* 97% of offenders were men
* 84% of those accessing CASA House were women

Victorian Victims of Crime Survey (1998)

* women were 10 times more likely to have been victims of sexual assault than men (approximately 18,000 women and 2,000 men)
* men were slightly more likely to report sexual assault to police

Women's Experience of Violence - ABS Women's Safety Survey (1996)

* 7.1% of Australian women over 18 years experienced an incidence of physical or sexual violence in the previous 12 months
* 23% of women who had been married or in a de facto relationship experienced violence by a partner at some time during the relationship
* 42% of women who experienced violence by a previous partner were pregnant at the time of the violence and 20% experienced violence for the first time during pregnancy
* the group of women most at risk of violence are young women (18 - 24 years old)
* women are most at risk of violence in the home - 55% of sexual violence occurred in the home; 35% of physical violence occurred in the home by a male other than a partner.

Women's responses to violence - ABS Women's Safety Survey (1996)

* most common action taken was to discuss it with friends (58%) and family (53%)
* 19% of women who experienced physical violence contacted the police
* 15% of women who experienced sexual violence contacted the police
* women who experienced violence from a stranger were most likely to report to police
* women who were assaulted by a current partner were least likely to report to the police.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Speaking of women in music, and all female groups

Sleater Kinney have broken up. Ok i'm really slow with this news but I only just found out on the weekend. First I heard it on the radio and thought maybe it's just a rumour and then I bumped into Claire who confirmed it and then just to make sure I googled and sadly it is true. After 11 years! I loved them and only dicovered them about a year ago.

At least I got to see them at Big Day out this year. However, now I really wish I went to see their side show as well.

Photo taken at Big Day Out 2006 probably by Mr T

Btw, Carrie was my fav member.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Women in Music

Before the Yeah Yeah Yeahs show I went and saw Angie Hart who used to be in a band called Frente which when you look back was kind of indie for its time. Her individual stuff is quite different a lot slower and she really does have a pretty voice.

I've been thinking about how the three most recent shows all had female lead singers. You could be mistaken from thinking that women dominate my music collection however sadly they don't. I probably like more female musicians than some however men still dominate the music scene well the indie/rock/folk/punk/whatever else scenes that I tend to listen to. Take for example these three bands despite each having a female lead singer there are still more men in the bands than women.

Also, all women groups are still kind of rare, which is indicated by how when they do exist they are always described as 'all girl groups'. You never hear all men groups defined by their gender. Ok there are 'boy bands' in the pop world but in the rock/indie scene they are the norm.

Then of course you have some men and women who have only a few cds in their collection with women featured in them, they have strictly male cds only. Why though?

Btw, photo taken by Mr T, maybe I should just have a little small print down the bottom that all band photos are taken by him

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sucky things

* having to pay back $700 tax still not sure how that happened but i'm guessing something to do with me lecturing for a semester last year boosting my salary up a little
* going back to uni which means having only 1 day off a week at the moment
* my job or rather my colleague I would love to quit in a week ot two but I can't afford it even more now that I have a nice big tax bill
* this weather, when it ever end?

So if you don't hear from me I'm wallowing in self pity for a little bit or rather just trying to save money and living a relatively boring life.

Now to menu planning with a emphasis on spending the least amount on groceries without compromising taste or good nutrition. Any pointers?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What do you do?

when you hear loud shouting between a neighbour and her partner so loud that you can hear it over the top of the tv and you know they have 3 young children. Do you:

a) call the police

b) ignore it

c) wait it out then decide

Tonight I was faced in this situation and I called the police annoymously. While it might be over reacting and she and the kids might be fine I couldn't bear it if something happened and I didn't make the call.

Monday, July 24, 2006

More variety thanks to menu planning

No its not dessert its a soup with beets in it, yes you read right. I saw the recipe called beauty and the beet borscht in La dolce vegan and thought sure I feel like something different and it payed off. It was great, tasted like tomato soup with a nice beet flavour. On top is vegan sour cream made from a recipe in the same cookbook. I have to admit I was dissapointed with this cookbook after trying one recipe but its starting to look better with these recipes and the lentil and quinoa stew.

Next, one of my all time fav recipes savoury shepherds pie with sunflower seeds on top from how it all vegan but in mini form thanks to these new tins my mother purchased.

Now the dessert: super fruit tart from Dr Fuhrman's April Menu minus the blue berries on top. This rocks and I was very proud of myself because its more effort than I'm used to. Next time I won't even bother with the extra fruit on the top. It's great by itself.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Went and saw them on Tuesday night. We arrived super early only about 20 minutes after the doors open and already all the couches/chairs and the first half a dozen rows of people standing very filled at the forum.

The first thing I noticed was the smoke, the last two venues (northcote social club and east Brunswick club) have been smoke free. The second thing I noticed was how many teenagers there appeared to be. For some reason it never occurred to be that teenagers loved them probably because most of the shows I got to don't have many teenagers. I was stuck between two teenagers smoking I felt like I was developing lung right then and there. Really gross, anyway back to the show review: they were awesome. In the top 3 or 5 shows I've ever seen. The suspense before they come at was amazing you could feel it in the air and hear in what seemed to be everyones comments. Once they started playing everyone seemed to be singing and dancing it was just one of the moments where you went 'wow'. The one thing that surprises me was how much Karen O smiles. I don't recall any other musician smiling so much in their shows. Mr T also remarked that she looked sad at some point in the evening and that he worried about her (so sweet). I was half expecting her to spit something out at the audience (bananas, grapes, beer) but she didn't. It was one of those shows as well where it was all about the lead singer. I loved the way she dances around in circles kind of reminds me of a little girl completing not caring at all. Her costumes kind of remind me of that as well. Its hard not to dance when the lead singer is enjoying dancing so much herself. I normally enjoy watching the other members of the band too but I kind of had to tell myself too and even then it didn't work.

I have to admit I'm biased about the band though. I liked the last album but I fell in love with them with this current album. I know, I know many of their fans were disappointed and the reviews have been mixed with this album but its just had a fuller sound or maybe it was just timing. I have a theory that the first album you really listen to, I mean over and over to and give it a chance is normally your fav. For example white stripes. For me it was elephant for Mr T it was white blood cells and for someone else maybe their older or their latest album.

It was great mix of songs from both albums and a couple from their EP. I loved the combination of songs, and their faster and slower ones.

In summary, it was worth all the smoke and worth every dollar I paid for +

I'm think it is quite likely I'm now go into a mini obsession where I can't enjoy anything but the yeah yeah yeahs for a couple of weeks like I did with bright eyes last year.

*Photos taken by Mr T

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Problems I have with weddings and marriage

I've been thinking a lot about this and yes my relationship with Mr T is more than fine. Below are just a few of the problems/issues I've been having either with marriage or weddings.

* Discrimination against same sex couples marrying

* patriarchal association with marriage that STILL exists today

* The way society values de facto couples vs married couples. My de facto friends/family members are not in relationships that are any less in value or commitment or love or anything else than my married ones are. Call Mr T what you want, my partner, boyfriend, husband, fiance I still feel the exact same way about him but people do think differently according to the title I give him.

* The expense and stress all for ONE day.

* The 'shoulds' and 'musts' involved with wedding. There is no way you are getting me in a big white dress or making my single female friends and family members stand up while I throw them a bouquet of flowers.

* The obsession over the smallest of details: invites, flowers, colour of ribbons on chairs.

* The competitiveness and bitchiness from those who attend weddings particularly some bride to be's.

I think the problem is we both kind of feel like sell outs in two ways. One, this day is more about everyone else than us. It doesn't cost $2,000 to feed and provide drinks for the two of us for just one meal. It doesn't cost $5,000 for us to know that we are in a loving and committed relationship. We are having to compromise on a lot of things for example music. Some how I can't see my family enjoying most of the music we enjoy.

Second, there is or rather was a small part of me who wanted to be married for the validation side of things, not his but other peoples. Or rather for priority list. I kind of feel vulnerable in one way as a intercultural relationship because lets face it as a wife (still hate that term too) I will be called straight away if something happens to him (eg: accident) even if he is in Hong Kong and I'm in Melbourne. Sure as a girlfriend I will be called hopefully but I wouldn't be as much as a priority, I could be dismissed as just his 'gwai moi' girlfriend. This is obviously more of a problem when we were doing long distance compared to now when we are together.

At first we approached it as we will do it our way and have certainly started to discuss most of that stuff. I'm either wearing bright red or blue (my 2 fav colours), i'm not taking on his surname, we are having it small and as inexpensive as possible, and I even found a catering service which I would love to support: Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Catering Service, scroll down the page to download their flyer.

We generally boycott things we disagree with for example: sweat shop products, non vegan items, blood diamonds etc. I guess as well I have been thinking about it in terms of the way we see organic food. If you want prices to improve for organic products you have to buy them. Well if you want de facto couples to have the same rights or rather values as a married couple then wouldn't it be best to stick it out as a de facto couple.

Besides we have started to realise that the money we could spent on a wedding could go on a decent overseas holiday.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Am I just over analysing?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Red wine stain removal

Imagine you have a new quilt cover (see below for an example) and your partner sits on top of your bed drinking red wine and chatting to you.

Now imagine you make some comment about being 'careful with that' only to be met with 'sure' and then moments later your partner spills half of the glass all over it.

Trust me that one or a combination of the tricks below work in removing it:

1. Soak area in white wine
2. pour salt over area and rub gently
3. pour baking soda on area
4. pour boiling water over area

Thanks google!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Good things part 3

My live musical show drought has ended.

We went and saw howling bells an Australian band on sat night thanks to a tip from Mr T who read about them in UK music magazine NME.

Lead singer Juanita Stein-Photo taken by Mr T

I was very impressed and my drought doesn't end there either I've got another 3 shows coming up in the next week and a half.

Btw, have you ever noticed that everyone seems to blog on a monday?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Good things part 2

Just to prove I do actually cook without recipes too. Here is some steamed asparagus with a bit of lemon juice, olive oil and some almonds on top (yes just a little bit over cooked) but still very yummy.

One half of the new king sized quilt and slightly creased new quilt cover, Mr T thinks the new quilt cover looks like one of the blogger templates. We previously had a queen size quilt, but king is 4,000 times better for tall Mr T and blanket hog me. Plus its super warm.

I finally got around to making some magnets from left over Coopers lids. Coopers is only surviving family-owned brewery in Australia, plus its vegan and doesn't employ beer girls and has the cutest lids.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Melbourne is a vegan friendly city

It always surprises me when people in Melbourne say to me 'isn't that hard?' in regards to being vegan. They obviously however lack creativity and insight into how veg*n friendly Melbourne is.

For starters there are 40+ veg restaurants in Melb. Yes 40+

While I mostly eat out at veg restaurants, well you do have to support them, plus its an easy night out with sometimes too many things to choose and too many too choice from. I do also eat out at non veg restaurants and I've NEVER found myself in a situation where there is nothing to eat.

Plus there is a whole host of veg stuff going on all the time.

To further prove my point. Here is a new Melbourne vegan blog which is kept up to date will all the upcoming social events including Vegans Unite (which has had over 100 members at some events), Vegetarian Network of Victoria social events, Animal lib events, Food not bombs times, talks, festivals and other things happening. For example: Peter Singer's recent talk at Melb Uni, and free yoga times in the park. It used to be a mail list that I'm on (one of 3 veg*n melb ones i'm subscribed to). While I don't really attend any of the social events, it is good to check just to see what is happening. If I checked it on time last time I would have made Peter Singers free talk. It's run by a guy called Peter Carr who knows everything and everyone around the veg*n circles and a lot of other people too. Want a flatmate he can probably hook you up, want advice about caterers again pretty good. Want to buy something he knows where to go. The guy is simply amazing with his contacts.

It reminds me of how an old American PETA acquaintance was once telling me how he used to argue with the big PETA boss (what's her name?) that in terms of the worlds more vegan friendly cities Melbourne should come 3rd. She had never been here though and disagreed and thought it should be some place in the UK. Maybe the one with vegan pub wherever that is!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Good things part 1-food

Since the last post, i've figured I should write about the better stuff aka NOT the cold weather in my life. As a result of winter and being a hermit I've been cooking a lot. I've also acquired vegan with a vengeance so I can finally try some of the recipes everyone in veg*n blog world have been raving about. So far I've tried the kale with tahini sauce (very good) and the chickpea bake however I realised just towards the end I didn't have any fresh chives so I used dried. I found it to be a little boring not sure if it was just the chives though. Here's a pic:

I'm still menu planning and its going really well. I find that i'm getting more variety than I've ever had. Last week I experimented with quinoa which i've never had before. I made the lentil and quinoa stew from La Dolce Vegan and I was very pleased. Also from La Dolce Vegan I made the sloppy Janes which was very good. Mr T has requested it again this week because he enjoyed it so much.

My mother also bought me a copy of the Easy vegan cooking which is not something I would have thought of getting for myself. However, i've already made one recipe from it which has been quite good, the jam delights (below) which were great warm and the next day cold although the recipe did seem to need more margarine than it asked for:

And then to further prove that my mother is the greatest, she made garlic bread and this amazing lasagna:

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I'm alive just cold and feeling a bit bluh!

Winter does that me. Will be back soon.

Btw, I just realised that my blog template is all messed up on Internet Explorer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Book Recommendation

Ann lent me One couple two cultures and it has been the best book i've read on cross cultural relationships, or rather the most relevant. Considering the amount of search terms this blog gets for topics such as 'white female Asian male' 'dating a Chinese man' etc I figured I should probably share with you my thoughts on it.

The book is focused on Western-Chinese couples many of which seem to be based around Hong Kong. The author interviews 81 Western-Chinese couples about love and marriage. Yes most (82%) of the couple were the reverse (White male, Chinese female) but still I found most of the book to be relevant.

I knew straight away I would love it when I read the following blurb on the back:

I have been in social gatherings where people have criticised the Chinese quite rudely and then half-heartedly apologised when they remembered my husband was Chinese. I tell myself I wouldn't want to be friends with people who are so narrow-minded. Having said that, I confess there are traits of Asian culture that I find 'unusual' and I joke about them with friends and family.

The book discusses many of the issues that couple may face including: language, food, culture and in-laws. I also learned about a few culture differences I wasn't aware of from the book including the fact that some Chinese like to hold their drinking liquid in their mouth for a little while before they swallow. Also that there was a group called 'M Club' in Hong Kong back in the 70's made of Western women married to Chinese men. Plus I also picked up a few more Chinese sayings and a few more Cantonese terms.

I love the fact though that the book ends on a positive note and actually discusses the good aspects of intercultural relationships. I've had a few people say to me 'oh that must be hard' about our relationship, but the truth in terms of culture differences there are many more pleasant surprises and education than what there is negative differences. I always feel like I am learning about our culture differences and I like that fact. I also feel as if I have this insight into another word that I never would have if I was dating another Australian man. For example, Mr T often translates for me what others are discussing around us in public. Yes very bad I know, but I'm nosey and I also know what people are discussing about us too. The other day as well I was discussing something about Hong Kong with a Shanghainese woman who I had just met and she said to me 'wow, I never expected an Aussie to understand and describe almost exactly how I feel'. Plus Mr T keeps introducing me to new Chinese vegan food, some of which I looveeeee.

One of my fav quotes sums it up quite well:

many of the wives and husbands I have talked with feel blessed to have shared their love and their lives with someone from another culture. They sense an expansion in their minds, souls and hearts.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I have a camera again-Yayyy

Thanks to the insurance company, and plus I spent a little to upgrade (more pics more zoom, bigger screen, and better brand) But what do I have to take pics of?

Food of course.

Courtesy of vegweb- the 'best minestrone soup ever'. I've made it a few times and i'm a fan, you have to be careful of how much tomato sauce you put in it though. I skipped the pasat this time because i started making it and then realised we hasd run out. Ohhps!

And a new recipe from vegie food. That cookbook has been sitting on my shelf for a year or so and its the first recipe from it, and I was impressed. I normally don't like veg cookbooks because they put too much reliance on dairy in particular cheese-pllllllleasssse get a little bit original. However, this one is not bad and lots of pretty food pics.

It was a simple recipe and very tasty. It basically consisted of green beans, pumpkin, coconut cream, yellow curry paste, lime juice, soy sauce (braggs) and coriander and it was supposed to have cashews in it but we ran out so I used toasted Macadamia nuts. Next time I will add in some tofu and maybe some more veg.

This is served on a plate for Mr T with some brown rice on the side. He prefers plates while I'm strictly a bowl gal. I would eat toast out of a bowl if I could.

Monday, June 05, 2006


So I've been tagged and always willing to waste time when I should be doing homework so of course I will participate:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Native English Teacher in Hong Kong- I did this at two different places. The second place I loved especially since I had a good mix of lesson planning and teaching. Kids in Hong Kong are just amazing and I probably regard this as my fav job ever. But no I don't want to be a teacher here.
2. Sessional Lecturer- at a uni in melb. I did it for a semester and it was a great experience but I don't think its for me. I ended up spending more time preparing lessons than doing my own work. Too much anxiety even towards the end.
3. Call centre operator-somewhere in Melb. Yes boring job, bad pay, but great colleagues. I made some great friends there, and often got paid to sit there waiting for calls while I did homework, or had interesting debates with co-workers.
4. Child Therapist. I was employed by the parents who watched me play with their two year old autistic child. It was a great experience but the first words summarised the problem, I along with all the others (including an expert from Israel) got fired because nothing we ever did was good enough for their child.

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. 12 nights. A Hong Kong chick flick. I've watched it 3 times, I love the little quotes throughout like 'people in love are crazy'.
2. Amelie. So sweet!
3. Ferris bueller's day off. Still makes me laugh.
4. Hero. Just for the cinematography and use of colour.

Four places you have lived:
1. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong: my close second fav.
2. Melbourne, Australia: still my fav.
3. Tasmania, Australia: only for a few years thankfully when I was young.
4. no fourth, unless you want me to get into suburbs!

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Seinfeld. Mr T and I have been doing our own little marathon with all the dvds over the last couple of months.
2. House- makes me laugh!
3. Chief and commander. I'm addicted
4. 6 Feet under. First got addicted in HK when a friend lend me a dvd.

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Macau- I love the place, the buildings, the mopeds, the food, the cheap wine.
2. Phi Phi(Thailand) - I went there only a few months before the tsunami. I wanted to give up anything and sell coconuts or something just to live on the stunning island.
3. Byron Bay-Aus- I was disappointed. It is too touristy, it almost felt like being in Melbourne.
4. Shenzhen- China I can still hear the staff at the big shopping centre just across the border calling out to me "Missy Missy DVD" and "Missy missy manicure". There is only so much I can take of that place before I start getting irritable.

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Bloglines
2. Hotmail
3. The Age
4. Gmail (yes two emails)

Four of my favourite foods:
1. Chocolate - green and black (brand), maya gold and peppermint (flavour) mmmm
2. Pretzels- I have a very sad addiction here that I've had for years and still trying to give up.
3. Mangos- or in Hong Kong even better Mango juice. There is nothing better in summer.
4. Avocados- If I could eat them every day I would. I love them especially with my fav recipe for guacamole.

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. On a holiday anywhere-maybe back in Phi Phi, or on some tropical island in the sun.
2. Out for a late breakfast at soul food eating their 'vegan monster' breakfast
3. Shopping-with money. Anywhere (I am avoiding homework).
4. At a good music show.

Four Friends that have been tagged that I think (might) will respond:
1. Mr T
2. Harmonia
3. Ann-ok I'm not sure but running out of people
4. Claire- again not sure.
The ism that no one talks about


According to Wikipedia there are two common forms:

Although ageism can refer to bias against any age group, ageism (and age discrimination) are usually focused on either of two targets, the actual age limits being vague:

* Adolescents (Ageism against adolescents is also called "Adultism"), stereotypically calling them immature, insubordinate and irresponsible
* The elderly, stereotypically calling them slow, weak, dependent and senile.

Well I'm in neither of those groups, but I'm relatively young (in my 20s) and as a result feel ageism all the time. Last semester as a lecturer, in the class room as a masters student, in conferences where people seem to love saying bad things about young workers. Someone even suggested that perhaps I am trouble finding a new place to rent because I am young.

I'm particularly feeling it in my new job though especially when one of my colleagues says things like

x was really nice, probably because she is young and stupid

In conferences I'm starting to feel more and more insecure voicing my opinions and contributing because there always seem to be one worker who has something negative to say about young workers in whatever field they are talking about.

I feel like standing up and shouting:

just because I or anyone else is young doesn't mean we don't have experience and skills of our own. Not to mention enthusiasm, passion, energy and ways of looking at things that might be just outside the square.

Well for one thing young workers are not generally burnt out and bitter like some of the workers who seem to have found themselves either in the wrong job or just stayed on longer than they probably should have. So as a result they snap at everyone and just spread their negativity. Btw, I don't mean all or even the majority of the older workers are like that, but I figure its one issue that you don't see with younger workers. So basically more experience is not necessary a good thing.

I know the ageism I experience is partly because the offenders are insecure about their own age. But it sill hurts, it still makes me feel more and more like my thoughts are worthless and that I have nothing to contribute when I know deep down that I do.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I hate the Department of Immigration(warning: big rant)

perhaps I shouldn't post this for fear of them reading this and punishing us further, but it is somewhat anonymous so I think I am safe.

Mr T and I applied a few months ago for his spouse visa, before was his temporary spouse visa which was approved.

We poured our hearts out for that application. It is so bloody time consuming chasing around everything, make copies of everything and then getting everything certified. We provided everything they suggested and more. Photos (of both of us in 4 different countries and more, photos of him with my family and then my friends, even a photo of one of the gift packages he sent to me for valentines day) long stories about where we met etc, phone records showing calls daily while we separated, his text message records showing he messaged me daily while we were separated, testimonials, airline tickets showing our joint holidays, our joint bank account statement showing that we both contribute a small amount each fortnight to our savings, letters, emails, proof that I purchased one ticket here for a holiday as a part of his bday and xmas present, and even a sample little gift tag that we got made from a company that has a little pic of me and him and our name and so much more.

Was that enough though? NO!

Now they are asking for more. Invitations we both received etc. The problem is we haven't received any invitations since we have been living in the same place. No weddings, no big birthday parties. Just verbal or text message invites. They also ask for utilities bills in our name which would be easy if we were renting but we are not at the moment (yes still at mothers place).

I want to scream!

And to make matters worse because it has taken so long he will have to redo the police and health checks. Yes police checks from overseas and health check (including xrays) which isn't exactly cheap.

We are in a genuine relationship, perhaps I should provide my blog address as proof of it. Because I don't know how to provide things that don't exist. What am I supposed to do it, fake it? Fake things for my genuine relationship: fake invites, change a utility bill but only for a month before we move out. Its ridiculous!

Ohh feeling slightly better now I got all of that off my chest!