Archive for July, 2009

5 Things I Miss About London

OK, so I’m getting sentimental here, but I really do miss living in London.

The Brits have it good, although though they do love a good moan about the weather, the tube, their cricket team, the price of mince meat, newspapers with ink that rubs off in your hands, the fact that a weird-looking Australian tried to encourage fellow passengers on the 214 bus to get involved in a GreenDay sing-a-long at 7pm on a Friday evening on the way home from Sainsburys.

In fact, I frequently tell all my Brit mates that the UK is so great, that I consider it the second-best country in the world. For some reason, they’ve never appreciated this compliment. Ungrateful bastards.

So, in no particular order, here’s my list of the 5 things I miss the most about London.

1. Dunnyman. A uniquely British creation, Dunnyman (or the female equivalent – Dunnymole) is the lovable ‘attendent’ that dispenses handroll, after-shave, condoms, women-advice and philosphical mantras in the pub toilet. He is well dressed, welcomes everyone with the stock-standard  ‘Freshen up boss!’ greeting, and is almost always from a war-torn or famine-afflicted nation. Despite working in barely-tolerable, unhygienic conditions and copping daily abuse from drunk arrogant punters, Dunnyman is always smiling. I thought Sydney taxi-drivers copped a handful taking my mates home on a Saturday night….I’ve finally found someone with a thicker skin – Dunnyman.

2. Fried Chicken Joints. On every street corner in London, there is a fried chicken joint selling £1 fried chicken pieces, deep-fried in month-old vegetable oil. They’re a cornerstone of the British diet, and have been around for centuries. During the Victorian era, London town-planners laid out the city in such a way that every pub would be no more than a 50m stagger from a FCJ. However, the typical modern-British male is ashamed to frequent a FCJ, often waiting until his friends are on their way home in a cab before checking over his shoulder. In fact they’re sometimes so discreet, a casual observer would believe he’s entering an adult shop.

3. The Church. Every Sunday afternoon between 12-4pm, a “nightclub” in Kentish Town holds a massive piss-up called The Church. Completely dominated by Aussies and Kiwis, it’s a perfect excuse to end the weekend much the same way it started – drinking beer, being loud and obnoxious, eating 5 chicken pieces and a kilo of fries from a FCJ, then passing out in a cab.

4. English Accents. Don’t get me started here, I love English accents. OK, let me distinguish for a minute – I’m not talking about the chav accents from South Ruislip that sound rather like down-syndrome strawberry farmers. “O’ight geezer, giv’us one of ya fags love… innit”. Instead, I’m referring to the educated public-school London accents that you hear everywhere. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit (and please don’t tell my mum) – posh female English accents give me the horn. Often I’d re-check my voice-messages just to hear the lovely Buckinghamshire Vodafone lady tell me that I have no new messages.

5. Apathy Towards Terrorism. While the rest of the world is cowering in fear at the thought of mass-murder on their public transport systems, the Brits simply don’t care. During my first week in London in mid-2005, bombs went off on buses and trains all around central London. The locals simply carried on their day-to-day business without even blinking. I thought what a crazy place to live, no one seems to mind!

Vehicles manufactured in Korea are often inferior in quality.

Vehicles manufactured in Korea are often of inferior quality.

Me: How was your day mate?

English Friend: Yeah was fine old chap, but the tube was delayed because a bomb went off on the Piccadilly Line…I wish the London Underground would just get their act together and stop making excuses.

Me: So you honestly don’t mind all these bombs going off. What would you do if a suicide bomber sat opposite you on the tube?

English Friend: I wouldn’t care. Well, as long as he doesn’t try and start a conversation with me.

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July 23, 2009 at 10:34 pm 2 comments

My 3am Blog Post

It’s 3am in Sydney and I can’t sleep.

Predictable really, considering that I’ve touched more timezones than the swine-flu in the last 24 hours.

Apologies in advance, as this will probably be my dullest post ever. I’m using you (the reader) as a selfish means to get to sleep. I’m hoping the act of blogging will exhaust me to slumber, rather like the midnight quickie.

Hey, at least I’m being up-front an honest.

Although I must admit, blogging does engage the creative juices a lot more – sorry to all the romanticists out there.

And you have to use your fingers a lot more when you type.

When trying to sleep earlier tonight, I attempted all the usual. Unfortunately, all made my mind more active and alert.

1. Counting sheep – but then I thought of lamb kebabs and became hungry.

2. Counting backwards from 100 – but once I reached 0, I had a crisis. What now? Do I go back up to 100? Or do I go into the minus numbers? Or should I do it again but count backwards in roman numerals?

3. Staring up at the black ceiling until my eyes fell drowsy – but my hyper-active mind started visualising dark shapes moving around on the ceiling and I freaked out. Were they cockroaches? Or a weird alien blob life-form that breeds on the ceilings of Bondi apartments?

4. Writing down my thoughts – which is what I’m currently doing, electronically. Hence, the reason for this post.

Well, I’m going to give it another crack, after all I have to be in the office in 5 hours to read my expected 300 new emails from the past 2 weeks. I’ll make the next post more interesting, promise.

July 23, 2009 at 4:09 am Leave a comment

Malaysian Bidets

I’m currently in transit in Kuala Lumpa airport, on the way to London.

I just had a rather traumatic experience involving the Malaysian version of a bidet, and don’t have an outlet to express my emotions as my phone isn’t working. So, I’ll blog about it instead.

It’s actually an extendible hose that sits next to the toilet bowl. As I considered myself rather inexperienced in Malaysian-extensible-bidet-use, thought I’d give it a go. I’m always willing to give new things a try.

I’m a germ-o-phobe. As I reached for the extensible bidet black hose, my thoughts immediately imagined thousands of unwashed grotty man-hands fondling this hose.

I picked it up gingerly with two fingers, lowered it beneath me, and turned the hose on.

There should we warning signs on the back of every toilet door in Malaysia.

These bad-boy bidets should be rolled out next time there are bushfires in Victoria. It’s completely unnecessary for a bidet to be as powerful as a Super Soaker 3000 XD. Bums weren’t invented to stand that kind of abuse.

Not only will I be farting out spurts of clear water every hour for the next 13 hours to London, but I also managed to squirt water all down my trousers and jeans.

To make it worse, my jeans around my ankles had soaked up all the shitty-pissy-water that had accumulated on the toilet floor.

Not happy Jan. I can hear my boarding call now…

July 9, 2009 at 11:14 am Leave a comment