Friday, May 05, 2006

Fat is a feline issue

Since we've been back I've had fat on the mind. When I used to read about how Australia was sitting pretty in second place as the worlds fattest country (no prizes for guessing who is number one) I used to find it hard to believe, but having spent the better part of a year in 2nd and 3rd world countries I am astonished by how big everyone seems now I'm back. Also the obsession with being fat or getting rid of the fat or even staying skinny - no matter what the body shape everyone in Australia seems to be thinking about it all the time. From that bizarre biggest loser show on the telly to the amount of over processed sugary "low fat" foodstuffs in the supermarket, and the endless eating plans and diet plans on the covers of magazines; it is quite strange. As a new observer back into Sydney it seems at times all Sydnesiders do is drink coffee, go shopping, eat and drink themselves silly and then get up and go shopping again while getting fatter and fatter each week.

And it ain't just the human folk putting on the pounds. I have even been blown away by the size of a couple of the cats that live in our apartment building. One of them, who I used to call "little thing" has developed quite a saggy gut and a love of haunting our kitchen demanding food. In Asia cats were delicate, dainty works of art with their tiny frames and lithe bodies, in South America cats were, sadly, skinny neurotic freaks who were always on the run from the packs of dogs that roamed the streets.

Here in Oz our cats seem to only come in large, extra large and monstrous. The Queen of the fat cats though would have to be a cat Ed and I nickname "Weirdy". Weirdy was, before we left, already quite a large lady. She is a big build and always was, as my mother would say, well covered. Well in a year Weirdy has been busy - she has ballooned into this ginormous beast who I can now barely pick up - a rough guess would put her weight at over 12 kilos easily. In fact I was so amazed by how she is I had to take a picture. She came to hang out with me the other day and it was like having a wild animal in the flat, the floor was thudding when she took a run off to jump onto the bed (where she promptly settled down on Eds leather jacket from Argentina - oops)

But then Ed and I can't talk about porkiness either. Although some good old food poisoning, 3rd world food, running through the jungle with wild animals and of course a no food whatsoever fast has shed the kilos since we were last in this land I do remember a conversation we had with our Ecuadorian family early on in the trip where we were more than a little on the lardy side. One night over a few wines Marco our host pleasantly enquired of Ed in Spanish "So Eduardo, how long have you been fat?" I was on my way to the toilet and almost fell up the stairs from laughing. But my smug laughter was to quickly turn to mortification as I heard Marcos wife Yolly say "And Katy? How long has she been fat?"

Thank god for Giardia.


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