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.