a The Transit Lounge: December 2005

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Sunday, December 25

Do They Know It`s Christmas?

A curious thing happened to me on my way to work last night.
I was walking through the Dotonbori when out of the blue I hear Mariah Carey singing about all she wants for Christmas blaring from a shop window. It actually made me jump, and I suddenly realised it was Christmas Eve.
I was a little incredulous that it had totally slipped my mind because Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year - for me, it is associated with hot weather, holidays, the beach, bbqs, drinking champagne, seeing my friends and New Year celebrations to top it all off. That and the fact that up until 4 days ago, I had been living with a Christmas Tree the size of a Californian Redwood, traipsing through a city that had Bing Crosby singing about White Christmases on every street corner (in itself ironic as the temperature was a hot and sweaty 35 degrees), watching my sister wrap presents for the family and then watching my nephews tear them open minutes later as the suspense became to much for them to bear (they are only 3 and 5), and consuming an abundance of alcohol to the merry clinks of Christmas.
In only 4 days of being back in Osaka, I managed to forget the impending occasion in it's entirety. With the majority of Japanese following Buddhism, while Christmas is certainly acknowledged, it is basically business as usual - and what big business it is.
Therefore, most of my students or Japanese friends do not celebrate Christmas, yet aspects of this Christian celebration are creeping into their lives much like the way my toy Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer noisely struts along the floor singing a medley of Christmas tunes. That is, whatever marketed, gimmicky, iconised image of Christmas you can conjure up in your imagination is what Christmas is to most people here.
From casual gift giving amongst families to 3 metre tall statues of Buddhas being fitted with their very own Santa hats, from shopping til you drop to drinking til you pass out, the Japanese have whole heartedly embraced this festive season minus the religious propaganda - much like the way most of us celebrate it back home anyway!
So, I got to work and throughout the night thought about my family and our very special Christmas Eve tradition, influenced by my German heritage - eating turkey, ham, salads, and my Oma's special black forest cherry cake, drinking champers and gin, followed by opening our presents under the Christmas tree, while we sing bits and pieces of various Christmas Carols, topped off by more drinking and jumping in the pool (it is summer afterall).
You could say I was a little bit homesick. So when my boss asked me to sing a song for everyone as the bar was closing, I couldn't go past 'Silent Night'.

Thursday, December 22

Zombies Heading to Oz

Ohh...My Zombie Nation interview is posted now on inthemix. This guy has quite the sense of humour, especially considering he is German, and I can say that because I am half German. (MRM, before you start, honestly, who would have thought he would throw in a fart joke??).

Tuesday, December 20

Melbourne Madness

Again, due to the madness of my time in Melbourne, my posting has gone a little on the wayside. That said, it hasn't been all play here in my hometown. I've written up the Vitalic interview for the January edition of Kansai Scene, as well as the T-Rek Interview for inthemix.
I head back to Japan tomorrow after 3 glorious weeks of sunshine, family, friends and general rancho relaxo action at the Lambert Family Household. I have had such a good time here - this time of year really is what being a Melburnian is all about, and the time to truly enjoy this gorgeous city!!
Saying all this though, I did miss Japan like crazy, especially the other 2/3rds of 803. I won't have internet connection for around 1 or 2 weeks upon my return to Japan, but I will try to make up for that by writing a shiteload of worthy things to be put up as soon as the connection is up and running.
Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 15

Things To Do On A Sunny Melbourne Arvo - Part II

Wednesday, December 7

Things To Do On A Sunny Melbourne Arvo - Part I

Tuesday, December 6

27 Going On 22 Or 23

Very recently I became aware of the fact that I am no longer 22/23 years of age. Okay, so I have obviously known for the last 4 or 5 years - with each passing birthday actualy - this isn't so, but it hasn't done much to put a stop to me thinking as I did when I was that age.
It is a strange phenomenon I have stumbled across. Over the last 6 months, there are situations I find myself in, during which I seem to "wake up" at some point and grasp the notion that my thinking or powers of deduction for that moment are clearly deluded for a woman of 27 years of age, but perfectly normal if I were still a young gal in my early 20s.
Let's look at Situation 1.
Yesterday, when dropping my nephews off at daycare with my sister, I bumped into a girl I went to primary school with. Stacey is one of the managers at this particular centre. It was great chatting to her and discovering what she is up to - that is being married and currently 8 weeks pregnant. I was so happy for her, although a little surprised and shocked that someone at our age would be tied down and up the duff already...
I possibly have not seen Stacey since our PS Graduation 10 years ago, well I thought so anyway, until she politely corrected me. "That was 15 years ago darls!", she laughed and then went on to say that we have known each other since kindergarten - a mere 23 years. And that's how old I thought we were.
I left the centre with a kind of "what the hell?" expression on my face and more than a little dazed. When my sister asked if I wanted to pick the kids up that afternoon, I had to decline. I wasn't quite ready to face that reality twice in one day.
With Situation 2, a plethora of emotions are brought to my attention when the fact of the matter of age materialises in my head - that is a little like what I described above, combined with a hint of sadness for lost opportunities that occur as my youth continues to slip away between my fingers, along with that very particular kind of filthy disgust I feel when I realise old, gross and perverted men have been eyeing me off on the train or as I jog around the streets.
The problem is that since arriving in Australia, finding myself in this predicament is on the increase.
I just hope the graduating school boys don't see me as "old, gross and perverted."
There are of course many other examples I can give you (like not looking 27 for a start) but it only just gets me down, and thinking about whether or not Q10 can actually turn the clock back as well as physically defying the aging process.
In the meantime, as long as I continue towake up to myself, I figure I should be right. And I've got to keep reminding myself that it's my 10-year high school reunion coming up in January...