Summer in Australia

Posted in Australia by Sandra on January 29, 2009

The day starts early, with heat that I would be grateful for if not for the overwhelming intensity that it soaks into the house.

The portable air-conditioner struggles to cool the air, creating a ruckus as it works through the night and much of morning.

Lethargy sinks in.

Deep.

The hot air is alive with the essence of summer. It comes in waves, leaves me feel like I’ve been baked in a dry sauna.

I thank some unknown entity that I have a laptop, rather than a desktop. For this week, I think I shall install myself in the lounge room, which has a normal air-conditioner. Away from the stuffy heat of the study, which worsens every time there’s more than a single person in it.

Having a cool shower this morning, I thought to myself, that I’d never taken a shower so cold before and enjoyed it… And that I’d miss this heat immensely when winter comes around.

Even putting on clothes to go out was a chore – every stitch of cloth on me felt like a soft prison, wrapping the heat thicker around me.

The sun was merciless. I came back from the beach with two distinct colours on my arms, though by now the tan’s evened out so I’m a darker Sandra.

Days end late here… about 9pm. Temperature plummet in early evening, something that the Murloc rejoices in.

Summer in Australia.

Is nothing like “Summer” in Singapore.

Thinking back now, Singapore’s summer is humid, sticky, clingy, unwelcoming. Like a suffocating blanket. It renders one slow to motivation, just like Australia’s. But a thousand times worse, because of the wetness. One perspires profusely without air-conditioning, and it’s so difficult to keep clean. Dry-clean, like how I’m used to now.

But at least Singapore’s weather was predictable, since we have a constant climate.

Australia is like a fickle mistress. She forecasts for 35*c, and when the actual day comes she decides to have a heat party at 47*c.

Dion the Terrorist’s new favourite snack are ice cubes. And sleeping is increased to as much as 85% of the day. He finds a cool spot and lies down, belly up, panting with a red tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth. When we switch air-conditioners on, he’d be sure to plonk himself down right in front of it so that he gets the direct blast of cool air.

The Murloc gets somewhat cranky, has more showers, naps more, drinks more (water).

Me?

I behave somewhat in between the behaviours of the dog and the murloc. I sleep more, station myself in front of the air-conditoner, drink more, have more showers, and my new favourite snack is cold drinks.

Wouldn’t give this up for anything.

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Lou Hei

Posted in Thoughts by Sandra on January 28, 2009

It’s 00:14 now, and I’ve been lying awake for at least the past half an hour, trying to court sleep.

I’d starting thinking about my dying grasp of Mandarin. As many who know me would know, my command of the English language is far superior to my mother tongue’s. Which is a real pity, even more so now that I hardly have to speak it. Here in Australia, even the Asians speak to one another in English, unless they’re friends.

Many a times I’d asked a question in Mandarin in some desperate attempt to remind myself how to speak it, only to have the other reply in accented English. To which I would reply in English, a little shame-faced at my audacity to speak in something other than Mandarin. After all, they could be of some other ethnicity.

I feel like I’m losing my cultural identity, not that I had much to begin with. Ever since I was 11, when I chanced upon the phrase “white-washed Asian”, I’ve identified with that. I’m about as Asian as a Westerner who happens to eat rice every other day. Chinese New Year, before I moved to Australia, was but a time for collecting angpaos and meeting people I didn’t know. Now, I’m struggling to keep any semblence of it in my life, to the point of deciding that I’d make my own “lou hei“. I’ll find an ingredients list for it tomorrow, as well as the words one speaks as she mixes the ingredients up.

Admitting that I’m losing so much of myself that I didn’t know existed in the first place feels disconcerting.

I think I shall toddle off to bed now.

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Personality Tests

Posted in Quick by Sandra on January 18, 2009

This is the first personality test I’ve done since I’ve come to Australia (which is a new chapter in my life as I would say), and I think it would be interesting to note down what these tests have managed to classify me, an individual human with individual thoughts, into.

Jung Test Results

Introverted (I)  60% Extroverted (E)    40%
Sensing (S)       52.5% Intuitive (N)      47.5%
Feeling (F)       66.67% Thinking (T)   33.33%
Perceiving (P)  57.14% Judging (J)     42.86%

Your type is: ISFP
ISFP – “Artist”.
Interested in the fine arts. Expression primarily through action or art form. The senses are keener than in other types. 8.8% of total population.

Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving, hmm. Vaguely, that would be how I describe myself if I felt I could be honest without being judged, because over time I’ve come to treat being “artistic” to be useless in this world… But that might be because of my upbringing. I still feel this way in Australia because of the visa issues I face, but it’d probably change next year.

Enneagram Test Results
The Enneagram is a personality system which divides the entire human personality into nine behavioral tendencies, this is your score on each…

Type 1 Perfectionism             |||||||||||| 50%
Type 2 Helpfulness                |||||||||||||||| 70%
Type 3 Image Awareness     |||||||||||||||||| 73%
Type 4 Sensitivity                   |||||||||| 36%
Type 5 Detachment               |||||||||||||| 56%
Type 6 Anxiety                        |||||||||||||||| 63%
Type 7 Adventurousness      |||||||||||| 43%
Type 8 Aggressiveness         |||||||||| 40%
Type 9 Calmness                    |||||||||||| 43%
(type) (score) (behavior-motivation)
3          22         I must be impressive and attractive to be happy.
2          21         I must be helpful and caring to be happy.
6          19         I must be secure and safe to be happy.
5          17         I must be knowledgable and independent to be happy.

A bit of an embarrassing result, I’d say… 73% on image awareness, and hence, “I must be impressive and attractive to be happy”. Unfortunately this is all too true. I always feel that I’m not good looking enough, not intelligent enough, not talented enough etc etc to, for example, be deserving of a wonderful man like the Murloc. I used to drive Zioncross crazy because I had (and still do to an extent) such low self-esteem… Lucky for me, the Murloc is mature enough to ignore my little fits of inadequacy.

If you want to do the test for yourself, it’s here. There’re more tests in the <a href="http://similarminds.com/"main page as well.

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Main reason why I want my own webspace…

Posted in Thoughts by Sandra on January 17, 2009

I’m happy with being hosted by wordpress.com, but every time I see a beautiful, clean template like “Aeros” (see it in action on DruidHeal.com!) I just get this mildly resentful feeling – Why can’t I have such nice templates on my blog too? Why don’t I have my own webspace and domain? Why, why, why! Oh, the unfairness…

I’m easily attracted to translucent graphics, clean lines, neatness and quick-loading templates. When I see one of those I begin to imagine what it would look like after I’ve customized it. I visualize my words flowing down the satin background of that 20% transparent blog entry area.

And good god, what wouldn’t I give for WoWhead’s linking javascript to work on my blog…

Sigh.

Partner Diet

Posted in The BF by Sandra on January 14, 2009

As some readers of this blog may know, the Murloc is currently on a diet.

To be more specific, he’s on the Meditrim Diet – which encourages small meals throughout the day, the main course of which would usually be a diet shake made from powder.

Since he’s been on this diet (started 5th January) we eat out a lot less, but we’ve made concessions for his birthday and sometimes for his cravings.

Yesterday, I teased him about Subway when we were in the city where he had an appointment. After he finished the appointment he came to meet me at the Subway where I was just finishing up – and promptly ordered a foot-long sub for himself.

And just ten minutes earlier he got the housemate to get a family-size “Carla Special” pizza on the way. (It’s two inches or so bigger on the diameter than a “Large”).

I’m so disappointed in him, I don’t really want to talk to him – especially since he claims that I messed around with him talking about food, in spite of the fact that he started it. I don’t think I should be blamed for his own weaknesses just so that he could feel better.It’s pure bullshit.

It’s not like I didn’t try to help him by offering him compromises. Since he wanted Indian for dinner earlier, I agreed to him wanting a tandoori entree. I then said that he could also have a plain naan if he would bother to walk down to the restaurant a street away – a short walk, really – so as to “compensate” for the carbs and such he would be ingesting. He protested.

Then the housemate walked in, informed us he was going to get “real food” – aka pizza – and that’s when the Murloc made his pounce.

Really, why do I even bother trying to help him keep to his diet when he’s rejecting it outright?

Update:

Today, Jan 18, the Murloc came home from a trip to the Kmart frustrated.

He couldn’t find food that he could have for dinner – everything was too fatty or not healthy enough. His “one saving grace”, as he calls it, is crumbed fish, and he couldn’t find it because they were out of it. His frustation is so upsetting that even I felt bad about all the shit I’ve given him for breaking down now and then.

He just gets too hungry, because he’s used to so much more food and suddenly he’s down to nuts and a shake for every meal. I feel terrible for not giving him the understanding he needs…

I’m sorry big one :(

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