Trip Start May 27, 2010
97Trip End Aug 31, 2011
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Also reported in the paper this week was the unfortunate story of a transgender commuter who fell to his death when he was pushed by a female friend. It's not really an interesting story, except for the newspaper's obvious uncertainty as to whether to call him a her, or her a him
I had a relatively boring week, and came to realise just how much I rely on my laptop for entertainment these days. While it was at the computer shop being repaired I had to resort to watching free to air TV in my room on a television smaller than my hand. I felt lonely without my laptop on the bed next to me. There are loads of things I could do to entertain myself rather than straining my eyes to see the speck on the shelf that is my TV: I have books I could read, I have housemates I could talk to, I have a gym membership that I could make use of (and incidentally, I did, once during the week). But no. I remained defiant and insisted on watching normal British TV. I learnt a lot though. For instance, I always wondered why X Factor was so big over here. X Factor at home was always the poor relative of Australian Idol, and so no one really ever watched it at home. But here, it's huge. What's more, I never took the time to realise that X Factor is actually a singing show, as opposed to a talent quest with people juggling and old ladies doing the splits. So now I understand why it's so widely followed and loved. I still think it's shit - the singers are hopeless
On another equally random subject, I observed some interesting microwave behaviour this week at work. I was a good girl and took my lunch to work every day, and thus I had to use the microwaves at work. In most of the offices I've worked there are generally microwaves in the kitchen on the same level, but at NR London they only have two industrial microwaves that are inconveniently located in the dining room on the ground floor. This means that two microwaves are potentially shared by up to 1,000 staff. So, if you get there a minute too late, you have to queue to use it. On Monday I waited about 15 minutes before one became available for me to cook my three minute noodles - whoever said they were two minute noodles was lying: it takes three minutes. I had to wait because the cleaning crew appeared to have taken up residence in the microwave room and were taking forever to heat their lunches. I exchanged some bemused looks with another girl who was waiting as patiently as me, and agreed in silence that these cleaners were taking the piss by heating their three containers of food one at a time when there was ample space in the microwave for all three containers to be in there at once. On Tuesday I encountered the same girl with whom I'd agreed by ESP on the ridiculousness of Monday's piss-taking. We nodded in acknowledgment and noticed that we both had the same lunches as the day before, so we knew we wouldn't take long
In the ongoing quest for perfectly straightened hair, I learnt this week that holding my trusty GHD by the ceramic plates is not an effective hair straightening technique. I have burnt my ears countless times. I have burnt my hands countless times. Heck, I've even burnt my face before. But holding the hair straightener by the wrong end certainly does not help in achieving the straight, glossy locks we strive for, nor does it make typing easy. Ouch!
I thought about Christmas this week
Christmas came early when I won a competition for tickets to the Top Gear Live show! I entered a competition in the paper and got a lovely email to inform me that I'd won. Brilliant. The downside is that I have to go to Birmingham to see it. It should be a feast for the eyes though - all those chavs, dreaming about the cars they will never be able to afford. Ohhh but that's just mean, innit. Phil will have to park his new Golf in the middle of everything, so that the blokes can all stand back, arms crossed, and go "phwoarrr, sweet ride mate". A few weeks ago I also won a voucher for 34 of my closest friends and I to spend a day paintballing, so my luck is certainly looking up! But, as the old adage goes, you have to be in it to win it!
Dublin was calling this weekend. Nat, Gemma and myself were off to the International Rules at Croke Park in Ireland's capital. Nat and I finished work at our usual time on Friday and set off in search of Gatwick airport, the one London airport we hadn't yet visited. We got the train out there from London Bridge, cleared customs and got ourselves some grub before boarding our Ryanair flight
Given that the last time I was in Dublin I disgraced myself and spent the night out on the tiles with some randoms, I didn't get to see a whole lot of Dublin itself. Our tour bus driver from last year wasn't the most helpful either, because all he seemed to be able to point out were the chavs in pink velour tracksuits pushing prams and/or drugs. So I made a vow to myself that I would have a half-decent look around Dublin in daylight, even if it meant getting the big red bus tour to take me around the city hassle-free. As it happened, I never got around to going on the big bus tour, but I did walk through the main shopping precinct and wandered through Trinity College, making sure to step on the grass where the signs read "do not step on the grass".
Come Saturday night, it was time to go to the game. I don't follow football (Aussie Rules), rugby, or soccer, so it seemed a strange thing for me to go to a football match. In Ireland no less. But it's not just football. It's International Rules football. It is an annual match between Australia and Ireland, where a hybrid game of football is played, a mixture of Australian Rules and Gaelic football codes. Mick Malthouse, coach of the 2010 AFL Premiership team Collingwood, was the coach of the Australian team this year
After the game we made our way back into town, taking pictures of peculiarly (that's a hard word to say isn't it!) arranged shop mannequins and waving politely to the cab full of boys who pulled up next to us at the lights. We dropped in to a basement bar where some semi-traditional Irish music was being played by three men: two pirates and Jesus. Jesus was the drummer, a very good drummer, but a very eccentric alcoholic drummer with a twitch that saw his head nearly topple off every time he moved it to the beat of the music
Throughout town there were loads of ghosts, ghouls and other random characters, the result of some brilliant Halloween costumes. From MJ to Gaga, Tetris pieces to Sonic the Hedgehog, there was something for everyone. I've never been anywhere in the world that celebrates Halloween, so it was a fun time checking out all the people who'd made such effort to dress up and play the part.
Another pub, more madness, then a taxi ride home and I was being abused by the taxi driver for spilling my drink. I assured him I didn't spill anything, even though I'd just asked him to "stop going over the bumps, you're making me spill my drink". I was told it was something along the lines of a 150 euro fine for soiling a taxi, so for the rest of the ride I held onto my can of Coke so as not to make a real mess.
It was a great weekend, and along the way there were some brilliant comments made, so here is a collection of some of the rubbish we spat while we were in the green isle:
At the football when Australia were a few points down:
"I think the Aussies have gone walkabout."
"Show us some of your dreamtime magic, Goodesy!"
At the football, when Ireland were losing:
"What would your grandmother say if she saw that rubbish kick?!"
"Suck it Ireland
On Friday night at the pub, Nat discussing Aboriginal culture with a random patron:
Patron: "Yeah I know all about Aboriginals, I've spent a lot of time in Mexico"
Walking through Temple Bar where everyone was dressed in Halloween gear:
Homeless guy: "Spare any change for the homeless?"
Heidi: "Nah, sorry mate. Nice outfit though."
Also on Friday:
Heidi: "My friend thinks you look like Usher"
Guy: "What, she thinks I look like Exhibit?"
Heidi: "Are we in court?"
Jesus: "You look lost"
Heidi: "Yeah, I was, but I'm not now because I've found Jesus."
To the dude who was trying (hopelessly) to pick up Leanne:
Heidi: "Let me give you some advice, if you're keen on a girl..."
(Dude grabs Heidi's hand)
Heidi: "Don't touch me!"
(Heidi turns her back and walks away without delivering said advice.)
Heidi to the man in the pub (hopelessly) trying to pick up Thea:
"Dude, I think you should do your fly up and leave", shooing him out the door with the end of the Australia flag pole
In the taxi, passing a shop window display:
"I've never seen a man in a suit doing that before!"
To the guy in the pub loitering around our general area:
Heidi: "Do you know anyone in this group of people?"
Loiterer: "Ahh, hmmm, let me see... no"
Heidi: Right. You should probably just leave then, because no one is going to talk to you".
Eating chocolate in between pubs:
Heidi: "Eww, it's got raisins in it" (takes the chocolate out of her mouth and throws it on the road)
Nat: "No, it's caramel"
Heidi: "Ohhhh. Give us another one then."
Heidi, to most people she encountered while wearing a sheepskin vest:
"I'm a sheep farmer. I run a station with forty thou' head of jumbucks. I made this vest me-self mate."
Heidi, to just about everyone she encountered while wearing a sheepskin vest:
"G'day mate, how ya goin?"