Thursday, September 27, 2007


Last year Ed and I were lucky enough to visit Burma for a couple of weeks. After weighing up the pros and cons of going and all the valid arguments both ways we bit the bullet and decided to go (particularly as it was at the inviation of Lek the elephant lady from Thailand.) Obviously while we were there we were keen to avoid spending our money with the vile dictatorship and found it very simple to do so when we got there by staying in small local operations and doing regular local things.

I wasn't sure how the Burmese people would take to us being in their country but I couldn't have been more suprised. Most of the people we met were very friendly and so happy that we had come to Burma. They were eager to talk and quite desperate for news of the rest of the world. Despite being cut off from the world for so long and being so desperately poor I was suprised to discover most people were fluent in a second language (usually English) and loved to read - yet most were limited to secondhand books and magazines left over from the 70's available in the market. But as much as people liked to talk there was always fear. One trishaw driver we caught a ride with started to talk about how much he hated the government before stopping and saying "I'm sorry I cannot talk anymore - there are too many ears on the streets." When we asked our guide about the Government moving the capital out of Rangoon almost overnight he replied 'we can't talk about it here....we'll talk about it when we're in the jungle". To use the internet was an elaborate affair where one would have to very subtly ask for access to yahoo or hotmail because they, like nearly everything are also banned.

It's so sad to see the footage of familar places around Rangoon in chaos and people running from gunfire and who knows how many people whisked off never to be seen again. One comedian we met did 8 years hard labour breaking rocks just for making a joke about the dictators so god knows what will happen to the protesters. To me it seems that most Burmese people don't want that much, they just want to be able to make a decent living, read what they want, travel where they want, talk and have opinions without fear. It's a shame such an amazing, interesting and vibrant country is being stifled thanks to a few. One guy we met even told us that he wished that "George Bush would he did in Iraq." Pretty desperate when you wish that I would say, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I for one have my fingers crossed that change is in the air.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I like where I live

I went out today and passed a house around the corner - on the outside of the house was a colourful homemade painted sign on paper bluetacked to the house's facade that says "Vote Howard out!". Later I spied a pretty, demure looking redhead walking down the street wearing a t-shirt that simply said "John Howard...f**king lying rodent." Leichhardt likes to wear it's heart on it's sleeve I'd say.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I'm worried about the state of my mind, it seems I can't see things for what they really are, I can only see them for what I want them to be.

I just went to my room and got out this lovely scarf I bought in Bangkok last year which I've never worn before because I didn't have anything that matched navy and red. Finally today I found the perfect reason to wear it and when I got it out I discovered that it's not navy and red at all but brown and orange. And the thing is I really, really wanted a blue and white scarf which is why I bought it in the first place. Now before I can write this off as colour blindness only the other day I went to get the nice big piece of rockmelon that we'd got in our vegie box and I'd been saving to have for a snack only to discover that it was actually a nice big piece of pumpkin - guess I really wished it was rockmelon and my eyes were playing tricks.

I hope I don't discover after 3 months that Ivy is actually a boy and I've just been wishing to have a girl. Someone did refer to her as 'he' the other day...maybe I'd better go and take a closer look.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Things have changed

I caught myself looking at a Kmart catalogue this afternoon at my Mums house and thinking, 'hey those t-shirts don't look too bad'. Good god, what's happened to me? I also found myself talking about how much I love Broadway Shopping centre because it's got a Kmart AND a Target. Ooh la la!

On another note I went down to Balmain yesterday to go for a walk in the gorgeous spring sunshine. There's just something about Balmain, it seems to have all the goods, amazing location, beautiful old houses, twisty charming little streets, stunning views - I really really want to like it, I do, but I just can't shake the feeling that it's really Mosman in a slightly groovier disguise.

There are just too many women with blonde streaks in their hair driving over sized SUV's down those streets I reckon. And then...just to confirm it further I popped into a baby shop to have a nosey at the clothes in there. I spotted a cute little cotton dress for a baby, the price tag? $149. The brand name? Collette Dinigan. After almost having a coronary I left the shop and was then confronted with another fun looking shop filled with cute little toys, decorations and numerous tiny colourful outfits that looked like they might be a little bit cheaper than the other store. Just before I walked in I then realised it wasn't a store for kids at all. It was a store for...............................dogs.