Oh man, how on earth does this thing work?

Hey hey ladys and lads visiting my page! I don't mean to alarm you but I am a bit of a technical meatsack, hence my ugly colour choice and most likely confusing layout. I apologise but have no real intention of improving. Sorry.

If you were still under the impression that this page was an insight into the life and times of my travels in Chile, that I have to sadly dash your dreams of a hilarious tale of my incompetence- I'm back in NZ baby! However, seeing as I've had such a great response to my blog and since my theripist thinks it's a good way for me to share my thoughts (joke), I am going to continue this blog, most likely in a random fashion, with tales of day to day hilarious misunderstandings, annoyances, and general thoughts from out of the blue.

Enjoy, or don't, its your call.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tunnels, Mui Ne

I cant think of a witty statement for the start of this blog....oh dear. It's too hot, but also I really need to fart, andim tossing up whether I can get away with doing it while like 3 other people in the hostel room...

So on Tuesday liz and I headed out to the cu chi tunnels- if you haven't bothered to research these like I told you to in he last blog, shame on you! More unnecessary typing for my poor fingers. 

The cu chi tunnels were built by the viet cong during the "American war". Using nothing but a brush and shovel (apparently) they whipped up some nifty tunnels- say abut 80cm wide and 1.2m high. These tunnels snaked for kms all over they place- they even had underground toilets, meeting rooms and dorms. It's basically district 13 from the hunger games. 

When they weren't crouching in tunnels, waiting to shoot Americans in the knee through a hollowed out tree trunk (true story), they were making even more unpleasant traps to capture the americanos. My fav was a ginormous revolving lid that was sneakily covered in grass and leaves. Stand on it (or rather, poke it with a stick like our guide did "thes' time la'ies firs'. Hahahaha" ) and it would swing around, leaving u to be walloped on he head and pushed forcefully down into a pit of artfully sharpened bamboo spikes.

We finished up the tour by walking through a tunnel for 40m. It probably would have been a spacious hallway for the everyday viet cong guerilla, but I felt like Alice when she eats too much magic mushroom and gets much too large for the house in wonderland. I had a mild freak out at one stage "omg liz, there's noone behind us, were lost, it's just like in the movie!!! It's so hot, ahhhhhhh I can't breathe!!" about 10 seconds of loud, panicked breathing ensued, until a bewildered looking French man turned the corner and looked at my sweaty mug in concern. Luckily, I was metres away from an exit and apparently has gotten everyone unnecessarily panicked. My defence was that we are all responsible for our own actions, it's nt like I actively invited them to get panicked with me "hi, I'm feeling incredibly  claustrophobic and am having a sensation of impending doom, fancy flapping your hands and and breathing heavily in distress for a few seconds?" luckily for me it was the end of the tour. 

That night we met up with some kiwi boys we had met day before and went out on the town- with a sufficient level of drink and food in me, 7 hours after we had started, I don't think I'd spent more than $30 nz dollars. Brill night, but did not make for a fun bus ride the next morning. 

After a death defying bus ride to Mui Ne, liz and I settled into our backpackers, and have taken to lounging on deck chairs and doing copious amounts of reading. They sell what I can only describe as "pirated" books here, so naturally I'm in heaven. 

Anyway, I'm sweating like a pig at Christmas (not sure if that's a genuine saying, but I'm gunna claim it). Might go for a swim! 

Miss everyone at home, hoping everyone is enjoying the time up to christmas. 

Off to Cambodia tomorrow. 

Xx ains and liz. 


Monday, December 17, 2012

Vietnam; an unexpected journey that I had been expecting for the last 6 months.

Chao!! The blog is finally international again, this time, touching down in the old nam of viet. 

Liz and I have been here officially (with our dreamy multi entry  visas- its like having a multi pass to rainbows end, and its just as terrifying as the fearfall) for 10 hours now. I will give you a brief outline of experiences. 

10am- got a taxi, tried to bargain him down but failed splendidly. I had trouble trying to get money from my travellers belt which was under my dress, while at the same time not giving the taxi driver more than he (literally) bargained for. No chance of seeing this golden lotus, pal. 

10.03- enjoying the taxi mans music, a mixture of k-pop, Indian meditation, and the occasional christmas song for good measure.

10.5am sing to "Mary's boy child" by boney m. 

11am -complain loudly of the heat to anyone who will listen; "How hot is this country???" and "am going to die of heat, feel really quite faint!!!" No one pays attention. 

12.30- go for some lunch at tiny lunch bar. We are the only customers. Old man outside shop points at liz, looks something up on his smart phone and shows his buddy, who also points at LIz. Can only deduce she is a ringer for some Vietnamese movie star.

1.00pm- waiting for lunch

1.10pm- continue waiting

1.15- lunch arrives!! A bit disappointing, but lots of points for having a friendly chef! 

3.00pm- go for manicure- I get cupcakes on my toenails!! Mani pedi full sheebang- nz $15

6pm- brave the streets to go and look at market. Many many many mopeds, buses and cars. No traffic lights. Do at lot of praying.

6.05pm- alive! And on other side of the road. 

7pm- join in an aerobics class in the local park. So fun, tho I'm sure im  getting laughed at by the locals. My Zumba moves too advanced for them, obviously.

7.40- liz feeling ill, so back to hotel for her to sleep and me to blog. 

8.30pm- loud music outside in the street. Don't they know it's bed time? Just like brocas ave.

Tomorrow we are off to cu chi tunnels- google them, they are so insane. As insane as the people in the country in which they are found. 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Your mother is a butt + other tales from Vietnam

Testing, testing...
Is it going to be achievable to write hilarious blog updates from this device (my iPod)?? Answer; yes!

So Ihave just booked flights to Vietnam, which will be leaving in just under 11 weeks!! Needless to say, I am shite-ing myself with excitement! But I'm also shite-ing myself about coming down with the Vietnamese version of "dehli belly" and shite-ing myself for real. Yes, as mentioned  in previous posts, I'm a nervous traveller. However, I'm sure that's an issue that can be dealt with closer to the time.

On to more pressing matters. I decided that if I'm going to go for the 'authentic traveller' (i respect your customs, such a lovely hole in the floor boards!!) not the 'obnoxious westerner' approach ( "you call that a toilet?!"), I'd better brush up on my Vietnamese. My hope is to become so fluent that I will blend in. Once I've convinced the local populous that I am indeed not a foreigner, but infact am an albino native, I shall then experience the real Vietnam. Or so I thought.

Minutes after hatching this cunning plan, I had experienced a vigerous introductory training session, courtesy of vietnameslearnig.com. The lesson had consisted of me trying to pronounce "ma" in six different tones. Not only did I spend 10 minutes in my room sounding like a vaild candidate for the Henry Bennett, but I also had the added pressure of knowing that if I used the wrong tone "ma" in a sentence, I could well end up calling someones mother a rice seedling, or a ghost, or a butt. Talk about pressure!!

Let's practice altogether now! Possible scenario #1

Asian person who I have just met goes to introduce me to his mother who is sweeping the doorway of their small thached hut......and scene...

Him: "Let me introduce you to my Mum".
Me: "Okay".
Him "Chao, ma" (Hello Mum)"
Me " Chao, ma!" (Hello, rice seedling!)
Mum: "uhhhhh....Chao?"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Things I live in fear of: A comprehensive guide

Things I live in fear of

-Being on the toilet or in the shower when a natural disaster hits. A moment where I would literally be caught with my pants down.

-Turning right at busy intersections; I will often take long and elaborate left turn routes just to avoid the tension of a 5 car build up.

-Calling people on the telephone to ask questions that they are qualified to answer. Sometimes I write a script on the phone pad in case they ask me a question that throws me off “himynameisainsley,justwonderingifyoucouldgivemeaquoteonfixingmycar...what kind of car is it?? Uhhh, it’s grey...” I still get the shake ‘n’ sweats.

-Answering the front door when I can’t see who’s there. It’s less of a fear and more of a intolerance to peddlers/pesky neighbours/awkward meter measurer people (I once thought those guys were robbers and I was frozen solid for about 3 mins till my Mum explained why they were round the back of our house. Come to think of it, it would be unusual for robbers to be wearing fluorescent orange vests. Or incredibly cunning).

-Cafe’s not serving date scones

-Cafe’s not serving diet coke

-Cafe’s being closed

-Talking to people about how their day was (please let it have been ‘fine’, I don’t know how long I can fake listen).

-Talking to people that find the Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men funny (To be fair I haven’t really watched those shows, but I know I wouldn’t like them, just like I know I wouldn’t like skydiving. It’s INTUATIVE.

-Someone taking me on a ‘mystery’ date, putting me in a plane, attaching me to a stranger (grraass), and throwing me out the door; “Surprise, I got us a skydiving package!!!!”

-Basically anything adrenaline related. I’m going on a Kodak Moment family holiday this weekend to none other than Rotorua, action capital of the North Island. Stay tuned for fear/fun filled tales of hysteria.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

J K Rowling's new book: Ainsley Whitfield and Half-Blood Test. (A drama).

JK (pun), JKR has no new book. But I do. Well, a post, anyway.

It all started when I headed down to the doctors to get answers for some badgering questions; do I have hypochondria? Or am I just overreacting?? (lol).

Since I'd made the cross town trip, the good Doctor suggested I take a blood test for my troubles. Oh dear.

Now, I'm not the sort of gaaaal who is pathetic when it comes to pain. I have a stomach like an ox (is  that a saying?), and pierced my own ears in 4th form, listening to "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. I feel that it is clear from those examples that I am an exemplary form of a 'hard woman'. However, if there is one thing that I can't handle, it's blood. It's not my fault that I don't like it, it's really not. I'm not actively trying to dislike it, I don't have a death list of blood types that "MUST DIE!". It's just that when I see it, my head starts pounding, my eyes blur and probably roll back in my head like a mental, and my ears sound like an ambiance CD "Sleep Sounds; Song of the Ocean". I just can't handle it.

 But on this fine day, I was feeling confident. I decided on my 10 second walk down the hallway to the nurse's office that I wouldn't enlighten her on the debilitating effects of showing me my own blood. "And don't you pull any tricks, either" I said to my inner psyche"Just be cool, it's only blood".

I stroll in confidently and sit myself down.
"Alright, I'm just going to take some blood from your arm today" said the kind looking and also indian looking nurse.
"Does it matter which arm?" says I (as if there is a more premium supply running along one arm as opposed to the other).
"No, no, either will do!". Was I paranoid or did she sound a little too eager to be sucking the life-force from within my veins?

I'm determined not to end up withering around in my seat like a maddo, so I try to make light conversation as she performs her vampire act. "So where do you send the BLOOD?" (Somehow the word seemed louder than the rest of the sentence)
"Just down to our local lab"
"Oh that's nice, so not to far then?"
"No, not too far."
"Oh that's nice."

Once we had both agreed that it was nice that the local lab wasn't very far away, conversation dried up. Luckily for me, it had held just long enough to last through the test. I assumed, with a little arrogance, that me and my psyche had outwitted the BLOOD with our divert-and-distract strategy. It would appear I assumed wrongly.

"Just need to check a few details love" Indian Nurse said.

Inexplicably, in the next second, my eyes had drawn me like a magnet to the three lovely viles sitting on her tray. Full of my blood. "Bloody hell, she's leeched me dry!" I thought peevishly. I would have liked to think some more disgruntled, peevish thoughts, however my bod wasn't going to allow it. My psyche had seen the blood and was screaming "MISSION ABORT, MISSION ABORT" in such a loud voice that my bod had a panic and went for a cheeky shutdown. Fortunately the nurse didn't assume I was rehearsing some kind of spiritual interpretive dance, and my torso swaying/head rolling antics where quickly transitioned to a more seemly (or not) "Head between legs, stare at the ground" position. I stayed this way until I got bored and embarrassed (so not long then), and weakly stood up.
"I think I'm good to go" I said bravely, a lone soldier in the war on Blood Tests.
"If you're sure." She eyed me warily, howevs as I was last patient of the day, and she clearly didn't want to have to sit with me in the recovery position for the next hour, so I was released to pay my bill (lucky me).

Upon arrival to the front desk, I was gearing up to pay when suddenly, I was back to the old routine: eyes rolling, head twisting, shoulders slumping. I made it to a chair just in time. When I look back now, I see it would have been a perfect opportunity to make the call "Nurse! Nurse! Help! Somebody! We need a doctor in here!" but unfortunately all I could do was gurgle in a strange voice and try to lock eyes with the receptionist. "Can't you see I'm fainting here?" was the message I decided on trying to relay with my eyes. As luck would have it, Mrs Reception and a doc both noticed at the same time, and I was ushered towards the couch, where I was ordered to "LIE DOWN" and "PUT MY FEET UP!" (I'm fainting, not going deaf!). After my dramatic tumble onto the couch, I was dished out some jelly beans (3 whites and a pink, yuck!) and left for dead.

I was staring vaguely at the ceiling, wondering how my life had come to this (I was actually quiet enjoying it, see yesterday's post on Hypochondria), when a small man ,who looked like he was dressed to go fishing, and an even smaller dog (!) came shuffling past. Small Man peered down at me with a concerned (old) face, and then broke into a grin. "See you have another one after the jelly beans Mrs Receptionist!" he said. Needless to say, I was quiet offended by the remark, and considered saying something like "are you saying that I'm FAT?? That I came to the doctors to eat JELLYBEANS??" but instead went with "Yes, it's all an elaborate ploy to get free jellybeans, and you fell for it!". Small Man was pleased with this remark, but his cruel taunts weren't finished yet. "It's quiet normal you know. To faint after a blood test.". But I'm special! I thought. I glared at him haughtily, but he continued "you should build up your tolerance to it. Cutting your toenails close to the skin could do the trick". He cackled wickedly as he wandered off.

After being the subject of amusement and humiliation from a number of other medical staff; read "happens all the time" and "having a nice snooze??", I went back to the reception to pay my dues and get the hell out of this madhouse. While fumbling clumsily in my pockets for my EFTPOS card, Small Man suddenly appeared behind me. "Looking for this?" he waved my card in front of my face.
"Your like a magician" I remarked. A creepy magician.
"Kenneth, leave her alone!" Mrs Receptionist said sharply. Suddenly my angst towards Small Man disappeared, and was replaced with a warm association with my favourite pet. "My cat is called Kenneth! Captain Lieutenant Kenneth Adams" I exclaimed brightly. I meant it as a complement, but I think Kenneth sensed I was taking the piss, and regarded me suspiciously as I paid and made my exit.

So as I made my way back to the car (was the grass greener, or was I just excited I had made it out alive?), I pondered over my visit. I had been accosted by a vampire, fed free jellybeans, lay all over a couch like the Queen of Sheba, and entertained by a magician. "All in all", I thought " I haven't done too badly".

Love A xx

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hermit's adversion to participation with the outside world weakens immune system (The missing Chile Files!!!!! Written June 2010)

Tonights top story; I have a cold. Like a legit cold, with the watery eyes and the runny nose and the brain that feels like its going to explode. It seems that due to the amount or lack there of contact with many people of the outside world has weakened my immune system to the point where I pick up any old bug doing the family rounds. That might not sense, if so just laugh it off as a crazy cold related incident. jajaja. So I may have exaggerated the hermit status, but its true that I do spend a lot of my day time milling around the house, a task that is starting to become a little to mundane for my liking...there is only a certain level of pottering around that one can do before one feels like they are under house arrest or a mental in a looney bin something of that nature. Anyway as soon as I find anything to counteract the situation I will be sure to tell. In other news, work with the kids is going well, in fact as I write this Samantha, the twin with the weakest walking abilities (just stating a fact), just preformed some sort of fantastic gymnastic move on her mini trampoline, I feel as proud as if she were from my own womb. Three kids is really enough to keep you on your toes, kudos to everyone out there who has taken on the great task of childrearing.

Not to say I wasn't glad of a break, this past long weekend (of which there is one of at least every 6 weeks, least the Chileans become overworked) where I headed away with some of the other expats for a weekend up in Las Trancas in the Andes, without the kids. This time there was HEAPS of snow, we went up the mountains in the days and spent the nights in a fantastic canbana, drinking beer and playing various cardgames which I was glad to say I wasn't always the worst at (shot Daniel). As for my snowboarding, can I just say, pro or what. Seriously, I was up on those blue level slopes (novice, but still freaking high) within the first half hour of the first day, carving up the power/my butt. My ultimate weakness has to the be the one foot in one foot out situation, and the end of the ski lift my arch nemisis, there were a few times when a tangle-and-drag-encounter ensued after I tried and failed to get off the ski lift in an orderly manner. Awkward, embarrasing, but ulitmately a fair price to pay for an absolutely incredible view and amazing slopes.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Not like the memes

Howdy Blog followers (We did some drama this afternoon and I was a cowboy, alright?).

I just read my last post and it has been literally a YEAR since I last wrote down my musings. Not to say that I haven't still been musing, mind, but clearly I haven't been sharing my intelligence (and hilarity) with ya'll enough.

So where to start?

Firstly, let's just have a moment of silence for the death of my dear friend, Healthy Bank Account Balance. We had been chums for a while, however she took a turn for the worst recently and rapidly went down hill. Sadly, with her gone, my frivolous and free travelling habits have also gone into demise. But where one life ends, another starts, and I'm proud to say I am a mother to my beautiful Quick Saver Account. He is doing well and ideally will accompany me to Vietnam at the end of the year. More about that in posts to come.

Point B on today's agenda: Hypochondria. I looked this up recently on about.com as I was concerned I might suffer from it (laugh if you get it). I'm not sure if it is just me, but I have a strange and rather alarming fascination with having something "wrong" with me. Seriously, I once had this strange shaky finger thing happening- it was so weird that I videoed it for proof (oddly enough it didn't even show up in the video. Figures). Anyway, the next minute I was on the computer, typing in "Shaky finger, symptom of.....?" which was no mean feat when my finger was shaking as much as it was. Next minute and before you know it, the Internet Gods diagnosed me with a rare form of Lupus, and I had dramatically written myself off as dead- "this is how it starts, Mum, promise you will finish me before it gets too bad!". Considering the ill effects of actually having a horrible disease, Lord knows why I would actually get a thrill out of fake diagnosing myself with various ailments. Perhaps it's the feeling of explanation; knowing that it's treatable holds some sort of relief. On the other hand, the excitement of being "special" of having something someone else doesn't could provide a feeling of superiority "Look, I understand that you wished you had only one hand and sores all over your face like me, but you don't. I have leprosy, you see; I'm special. You'll have to find something else to be unique about". Regardless of the reason, my Internet research has about the equivalent effect on my over imaginative brain as adding rocket fuel to a raging bush fire.

When I'm not looking up "symptoms of gastrointestinal parasites", I'm busy using my precious time elsewhere- namely, memegenerator.com. If you haven't been there, go there. It's amazing and your face will melt right off because you will be laughing so much your jawbone will just jiggle the skin off your face. It's basically just a great face-weight loss exercise site. I especially like the "One does not a simply" ones. The reason why I bring up my 'net-surfin' escapades, is because I notice more and more that my life is basically just one big meme, and I (internally), am bringing the house down with laughter and excitement every time I live out an example. Eg: today I was walking in the hallway at work and a teacher went ahead of me to open the door. I was a good 7-8 paces away (approx 5-7seconds), and this laspe of time was just enough to make the situation uncomfortable for everyone involved. She went away feeling awkward, i'm sure. I went away feeling jubilant that I had lived out an experience, just like "in the memes!". Oh life.

Love A xx

http://memegenerator.net/One-Does-Not-Simply-A  (memegenerator 'one does not a simply'.