Big news. We've finally answered the question of whether Santa enters homes in the tropics via the trash chute. Obviously not, as our condo is fumigating these on Christmas Eve. Horrors!
You have to tape it up so that your place isn't the one place the beasts take refuge. This is the one memo not to miss!
In other disturbing news, Kotex thinks its customers are stupid. Why yes, designs change everything, now I have monthly sparkle festivals of kittens and unicorns!
Given all of this, we've packed our bags and booked a reindeer outta here.
Luckily before leaving, I got my first Christmas present! Psalmstre Placenta Herbal Beauty soap (with natural placenta extract, animal not specified), and Be Nice Firm and White wash! Something to look forward to in the new year.
Last weekend, Bono came to visit. He insisted on wearing his hat to cover his shaggy (and perhaps balding?) hair. Apparently Bono, who we call Huey, gets red eyes in the light, so insists on wearing shades all the time.
Bono likes special food served at high altitude, so we took him here.
Nowadays, there are certain things that high restaurants have to have. Two of these are foam, above, and unexpected jellies, below.
This is Barry's nut-free dessert, which I think might have been better than my nutaceous one.
The final thing that we need these days is dry ice. Really adds drama to your third dessert. Bono agrees.
After dinner, Barry put on a special performance of his "Call me Maybe" dance, with special Engrish outfit. Bono was mildly apathetic, as usual.
Barry recently had a bike race in Bintan, our next door island. I too, participated in sport, the rugged endurance sport that is Cycle Spectatorship. The morning for us spectators starts early, waving the bikist goodbye, shown above.
For the early part of the day, the Cycle Spectator must amuse herself in an empty beach resort while the cyclists are on the other side of the island. I started with bike helmet photography, shown above. That didn't last long.
The second phase of this sport is a hot walk along the beach. I dodged the zillions of crab hazards there. To see if you're ready for such challenges, how many crabs can you spot in the picture below?
I then noticed, to my horror, the brains of less successful past cycle spectators, obviously fried in the mid-day heat.
Bravely, I carried on, avoiding the tentacles of the sea creepy crawlies.
I spent some time observing a sea anemone. Anemone watching is one of my favourite parts of Cycle Spectatorship.
Then, I prepared for the Race Spectatorship portion of the day. Here is what you need: SPF 130, cold water, sunglasses, and coke-flavoured mentos, which are an important source of electrolytes.
It can be hard, because there is a lot of spandex, some ripped, some even white. This guy is contemplating how his rear looks in the now-shameful Livestrong tight-wear.
A good Cycle Spectator like me arrives early, to take some very necessary practice shots.
The video of Barry finishing his 3rd race is here. As a Cycle Spectator, I have to accept the defacing of my work by slowing it down and adding rap music. At full speed, the risk I have taken in the name of photography by being so close to the bikists is more obvious.
At the end of the race, the Cycle Spectator has to ensure the survival of the Bikist. This involves large quantities of Indonesian food and fluids. There is also the endurance of co-Bikists making up ridiculous tales of "peloton strategies" and "fluid management". I learnt that peloton is a Bikist made-up word for crowded group of Bikists.
There are still challenges for the Cycle Spectator, like mosquitoes, and sneezes.
woman directing our taxi driver got her consonants mixed up, and when the
driver was confused, she simply shouted the directions louder.My languages skills are not good enough to
try this approach, as I can only say “here” and “where”. This proved not enough
to get us to our hotel.Neither did the
normally trusty hotel card with directions on it.The directions were so small that 5 out of 6
(statistically measured) cabbies could not read it. This is worrisome, since good
vision is something to hope for in a cabby.
become a jerk, and here is the result. An old woman has just had some kind of
attack on the plane. She has been put on oxygen, although no doctor is called
(editor’s note – try not to have an attack requiring more than oxygen on the
plane). My first though was for her, but my very quick second though was about
what I would do if we had to stay overnight somewhere. I was disappointed to
realize we were closer to Bangkok (more friends in Hong Kong), until I realize
none of these airports have curfews, so would likely have taken off again after
depositing the ill passenger anyway.
surrounded by aging people who are on an organized tour to Singapore, and it is
one of these who has succumbed to the excitement. They have no speaking volume
other than a hoarse shout, and my neighbour, who wears a pink and grey leopard
print jacket, continues to elbow me and commandeer precious armrest space. (Editor’s
note: I am aware that there are no pink and grey leopards). They nearly
couldn’t manage to sit down for takeoff, and my neighbour has just mastered the
operation of the seatbelt. This is good news, since I had always thought that those
instructions went to waste. After this accomplishment, she rewarded herself
with a snack of rotten fish. In all my travels, this is the worst smelling food
I’ve experienced, and a potential cause of the aforementioned medical incident.
didn’t meet us in when we arrived, the air was polluted, the noise and MSG
hindered sleeping, and the man behind me kicks my seat while shouting to his
friend. Here is the story of me becoming a jerk.
Becoming a Jerk While
travelling this week, I am taken around by expats, proud of their love for the
place and the restaurants to which they’re taking me. I had big economic plans
to go to the glasses market, as I hear cheap glasses can make excellent
Christmas gifts, worth the painstaking negotiations. My disappointment at failing
in this mission exceeded my appreciation of the food from my hosts.
second night, we did not go to the recommended restaurant, having worked too
late. Instead, we went to what we found to be a Korean place. There, we ordered
dog. No, of course not on purpose. We can’t read the word dog in any Asian
language, can you (editor’s note: Barry can)? So we ordered some dishes from
the pictures on the menu. Luckily, one of the very few words the waitress knew
was dog, so she was able to warn us. We quickly switched to the dish below,
which may have been some kind of squid. It, along with the spicy frog legs (above), was
tasty. Would we have known we were eating dog? Apparently it tastes like lamb.
room had a kitchenette, but no apparent hot water. The first night, I opted for
a sponge bath and a call to maintenance. The second night, coming in from the
cold air, my chilled fingers mistook the cool water for warm, which the rest of
me regretted. The third night, I left the water running for 15 minutes. While
this was successful in heating it and subsequently me, it was likely not my
best contribution to social efficiency. Through
all of this, I’m reading a book about the poor treatment of the Singaporeans by
the British in colonial times, and have just finished a book about some
atrocities in the70s (through which, by
my astute calculations, those shouting around me have lived). Yet despite this,
my colleague and I cannot resist commenting after the 3rd person
cuts in front of us in line while boarding. I can’t help sighing in despair at
the ruckus around me, the fish, and the arm real estate. I feel united with the
Singaporean flight attendants in their (totally hidden) disdain. And I am a