Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A couple of observacions

OK, so I´m still suffering a bit of jetlag, but that happens when you venture halfway round the globe. Spent last night in Santiago de Chile, the capital of that slender nation, and now your correspondant is hunkered down in an internet joint somewhere in Buenos Aires, trying to get a handle on these weirdarse keyboards. So cut it with any nonsense about dud keystrokes and dogy spellings. I´ve got this far, but that´s because I´ve already knocked out a swift one to the olds, and am getting familar with the strange shift key and the ñ. Kinda like in Turkey, when the i key wasnñ the i key and I had terrible trouble just logging on to my hotmail account. Those were the days.
¿So, what has impressed me so far?
Chilean food is the pits. As far as I could tell, the national dish id the sandwich, or a variation thereof. Or many variations thereof, stuffed full of strange looking hams and vegies. Mind you, I was only there for 18 hours. And all I could get my hands on was the ol´reliable cheese and tomato number. They did have some nasty looking hotdogs smothered in mayo (the guidebook aptly described it as a blanket of mayo), and it seems to be what one scoffs with a cerveza, but I´m waiting till I return there in a coupla weeks to sink my pearly whites into one of those. Or more.
Fast food joints must outnumber restaurants in Santiago by about 6 to 1. And most of them sell these hotdogs. Or atleast are named things like "Doggis". Otherwise you´re next best bet is ice cream, which they seem to dig over there.
Santiago wasnñt what I expected of the richest and most westernised nation on this here continent. Way more dirty and traffic-clogged and low-rise that I´d expected. And that magical view of the Andes wasn´t visible through the smog. Though I did get an awesome view of the mountains as we flew over them this morning.
And while Í´m on flights, the Auckland-Santiago leg was hell for a fairly big bloke like myself, wedged there in economy, with, as always, the person who immediately puts their seat ALL THE WAY BACK as soon as the seatbelt sign goes off. Ho`pe your trip sucks dogs balls bitch.
But all was redeemed when checking in this morning the requisite two hours before departure, when a lovely Chileña sidled up to us asking what time we were departing, only to suggest the next flight was available, leaving us with just a half-hour wait at the airport AND bulkhead seats. The clanging of the spheres or just my own hapless charm? I´ll go for the latter.
BA on the other hand is an amazing looking town. Just like Paris or Barçelona, only warmer and with madder drivers. And yes, it is true what they say: this city seriously sports the best looking men and women on the planet. Itñs a constant battle not to phwoar and turn your head as they amble past...
talking on their mobile phones as though they are two-way radios. They hold them to their mouth to speak and then to their ear to hear. As opposed to holding them in the one place to get both things happening at once, they talk into it with not even the slightest pretence at listening to the other person.
Beef. Bring it on. I´ve always been a red meat man, and this place is meant to slice and char the world´s best. So look out parrillas, here I come.
Now it´s time to sample the local ale.
¡Hasta luego amigos!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night

First the heavy news:
Today it was confirmed that a little cancerian skander will be joining the world in 2006.

And on a lighter note:
The work Xmas do is tonight, and I have a rather fetching seersucker safari suit to impress the crowd with.
Then I leave for South America on Monday.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bucking the trend

I have attended a bucks do on almost every Saturday night so far this December. Bucks parties are strange beasts, the sort of thing you look forward to with equal parts trepidation and and fervour. There's the prospect of copious amounts of piss, of naked, dancing bogans, of being stuck with the bride's best friend's fiancé who works in behind a service counter at a university, of barely seen old mates, of illicit drugs, of casinos, of obscure family rituals. My main motivating factor is, frankly, the booze. Then again, as many would suggest, it is perhaps, my only motivating factor. Ever. My love of the demon is well-documented, and it is my understanding that, yes, he loves me back.

Nonetheless, bucks parties are strange events. All that testosterone in one place, all these fathers and husbands and boyfriends and lovers all sitting round the same table/standing around the same bar. And it always begins with the small talk:
"Ah, Chook, it's been ages mate, what's news?"
"Well, I've got three kids and work's kicking goals"
"What it is you do again? Last time we saw each other it must have been, oh, seven years ago mate, and you were still working in that pub/agency/factory/building near the train station."
"Well, I'm still there mate. Loving it, been working my way up. I'm running the place now. Here, have a business card."
"Ah, so the concrete business is doing okay these days?"
"Well, Katie and I have just bought a place in Pakanham, huge land, and, yeah things are looking good. What's your story mate? Do you ever catch up with Macca these days?"
"Hello Mr Spack!"
"Hello Skander! I haven't seen you for years, not since that time we had to drop you home after you'd had too much to drink at that party all those years ago"
"Yeah, well, older and wiser, you know what they say"
"I hope so. And what are you doing with yourself these days? Something creative/high-powered/to do with cars, I'm sure"
"No, I'm doing well, everythings going just fine. I'm off ot South America for five weeks in Jan, so I'm really looking forward to that"
"Oh that sounds wonderful. I've always wanted to go to South America. Tell me are you going to Capetown? I hear it's lovely."
"Oh, silly me. Now, tell me, how are your parents? Judy and I would love to catch up with them someday."
or worst of all
"G'day Ando! Man, it's been ages. How's things?"
"Oh, they're alright. Chrissie is letting me see young Oscar again these days, so I guess things are looking up"
"Oh, that's good news. I didn't know you guys had been having trouble?"
"Um, yeah, she started seeing this other guy a couple of years ago, and you know, neither of us thought they were serious. Just after Ollie turned two, she felt she wanted a fling, and so, whatever. We had an arrangement. And then one day, I just come home from work and all her stuff, and all of little Oliver's stuff is gone. She'd even put a restraining order on me! Can you believe it?"
"Man, it was tough times. But I'm doing ok now. Doc tells me I'm almost ready go off the prozac soon."
"Oh, and do you find they've helped?"
"Well, as I said, it was tough times. But since I've been allowed to go back home, I have really been finding that I'm on the improve. I spose the drugs help. Yeah, and Mum still drops round and cleans the place up n stuff. Cooks me dinner."
"Oh really, how is your mum?"
"Oh good. Now, do you know where the bathroom is mate? Cool. I'll be back in 5."
And so it goes.

But the oddly defining part of the last two bucks affairs I went to were that the first buck organised his own stripper, and the second one was a play-by-play copy of the best man's bucks party held 3 months prior. To the minute.

And that's kinda wierd. Well both of them are. You don't bloody well organise the stripper at your own bucks party. If you have one at all, and I'm not averse to the bucks party that does not have strippers—in fact, I'm rather partial to them. But like, greeting and looking after the stripper, like, "I'll be sitting here, so you come in from over there..." is all a bit strange. I mean, it's supposed to be degrading and somewhat embarassing, not all familiar and like "Hi Joanne, welcome" And the groomsmen are meant to pay from a hat passed round (preferably before the event), surely? Not the groom chasing her after her routine with a wad of cash...

The second one, on the other hand, just seemed completely and absolutely unoriginal, and by that, was rather uncomplimentary to the buck. I kinda believe that bucks parties are tailored to the buck, to the sorta things he's into, be it paintball or horse-racing or strippers or fuck-off expensive wine. But to just regurgitate what this bloke did for you a couple of months earlier is a cop out. It was a frame-by-frame remake: first go-karting; then lunch in Port Melbourne; then a room at the casino; with a pair of topless waiteresses; everything.

Which is not to say I did not enjoy myself at either of these events. Indeed, I am sure I was not making any sense whatsoever when I finally disappeared out of the casino from the later party. Sure, because I couldn't stand up straight either. And because I was having trouble seeing anything in the singular. As I said, I love that demon alcohol. And he loves me.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Best Neighbours News EVER!

Patrick Harvey is pulling up stumps in February, and taking his character, the shite and balding Connor off our screens. Have you ever heard anything more exciting?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Is this woman the devil incarnate?

Condi yesterday refused to either confirm or deny the existence of the CIA's supposed network of secret torture prisons, or Black Sites, across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Let me paraphrase: I'm not saying they exist, and I'm not saying there don't exist, but, were they to exists, they would be a very important instrument in the War On Terror®.

Now, aside from the fact that she seems to have been taking lessons from our very own Dear Leader, there is only one problem with her refusal to state categorically whether the US has broken international law by setting up these clandestine gaols. Our Man in Bangkok (or alternatively, My Favourite Mogul) Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has vehemently denied reports that a Voice of America relay station in Udon Thani was operated as a Black Site by the CIA, before he had it hastily closed down after a reports surfaced in the Washington Post.

Still, Condi's line seems to be the standard one: I'm not saying yes, and I'm not saying no, so at no time in the future can anyone accuse me of lying. But it does sound to me like she's already making a play for the Republican candidate for the 2008 Presidency (and who better to take on that lesbian beeyatch Hillary Clinton?)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

My thoughts precisely

As enunicated by Dr Scott Burchill.

See, the Left can be coherent.