Monday, 31 August 2009

Mood: Pensive.

In between 'Goodbye's.

I took a moment to myself to breathe over an iced Chai Tea Late at Starbucks on New Street, Birmingham.
Just before I dug into my gym bag for my new literary interest, 'The Time Travellers' Wife'...
my attention was caught...

by the most beautiful nape.

Yes, nape. The back of the neck.
I have a particular affection for this part of the body.

Which is really annoying, in a sense, because mine is draped in flaws.
Principally being.
The hairy neck situation.

More on that later.

Back in the old days, when people wouldn't mistake me for a boy/ extra on the 'L Word' and I had never suffered from cold ears in the wind, I had the weirdest obsession with how the back of my head looked.

How is this weird?!
To me, it's the equivalent of people wondering if their bum looks good in their jeans.
Only on your head...


I've read that the nape, along with the inner wrist and the ankle are meant to be areas of the body which show a person's sensuality most subtly.
I love that idea.
Smoking was deemed sexy due to the person's display of their wrists as they raised their hands to their mouths....
Ladies in long dresses would flash a bit of ankle flesh, and dazzle the gentlemen into submission...
The classic example.

Subtle sensuality and sexuality.
Something completely left behind by modern culture.

I never saw his face.
Didn't need to.
And yes, his bum did look good in those jeans, too.


... Does my nape look big in this?

*Sudden realisation that I *do* look like a boy from the back.

One with a hairy neck.


Thursday, 27 August 2009

One Summer later...

1 week until I head off to France. I'll be there from the 3rd Sept to the 15th Sept.
Then on the 16th Sept I'll fly out to Sydney, and after 44 hours of travelling (+/- 5 hours) and over a YEAR of waiting I'll finally get a MUMMY HUG.

Don't ask me why.
But lately I've been slightly worrysome over the... existance... of Australia.

Ok explanation?

My family and I have been raving about going back to Australia at some point for the past decade, at least. We used to go there for Christmas Holidays. And the photos from our Outback adventures are the central feature in the photo albums of 'oh-wasn't-she-cute-when-she-wasn't-yet-ogre-size' kiddy photos of me.


And not yet having been to see Mum where she's been living for the past year... has N.e.V.e.R happened before.
Which is why sometimes it seems SO unreal that 'that place' even exists.

You know?
You know.

'What have you been up to the last 2 months Isa?'

Thank you for asking.
- Not getting the degree I was aiming for. Pondering on how to overcome the general feeling of disatisfaction and insane feeling of disappointment of what 22 year old meant for my future.
Apologising a lot to my parents for the above reasons.
Oh, and then I got a grip.
- Worked as a waitress in an Indian Restaurant. And Loved It.
Minimum wage for the win, baby.
- Learned how to drive.
Learned how to drive only to fail my practical test. 5 minors and a major. Major fault due to failure in putting on the handbreak after having stalled the car (5 times) in an uphill roundabout and slowly reversing the car onto a Massive Red Truck.
Which honked it's horn, flipped me off, and changed lanes.
- Worked out at the gym. ALOT. Got to know most of the Personal Trainers ('Youbetterbereadyformegirl' Cooper, 'Ihave2%bodyfat' Jason, 'Youhavepain?WORKTHROUGHIT' Vlad and 'couldiBEanymoreripped?!' Antonio) as well as some regulars (most of whom I don't know their names, but give Great advice on Youtube clips to watch, music, tattoo parlors, movers agencies and how to make your abs hurt just that little bit more).
Obviously, these new found friendships in Fitness 'IwishIlivedhere' First, Stirchley, Birmingham all started as the Great Force in my life, IRONY, would have it - less than a month before I head off to the other side of the flipping planet.

The current state of my room is post-disastrous.
After the delightful news from Mum that 'Actually don't bother sending your Winter clothes here, you won't be too cold here anyway' (WEEE!), I have reduced my wardrobe to a quarter of it's mass (to Athalia and the local charity shop's advantage) and currently have
personal belongings other than clothes and the mass of books I'm meant to be saving for my travels, but I can't resist devouring ... and then moaning about how bad the film adaptation was.


In hoping that this blog is more than a rant-happy page of (hopefully) entertainment...
Music Reviews! (Insert Theme Tune Here)
- Fist of God - MSTRKRFT
By now I would describe myself as a professional Electro Music Fan (EMF).
And as a newly certified EMF, I thus use my powers of persuation to make you BUY THIS ALBUM NOW (or ask me to send you a copy).
Mental. Heavy. Bass.
MSTRKRFT has *finally* recognised its forte in slightly deafening synth TUNES and definately lets you know about it in this album.
If listening to Fist of God doesn't make you feel like you want to run through the streets naked with firecrackers in your hair, I don't know what will.

- One Love - David Guetta

I hate Akon.
I say it now and I will gladly say it again.

However. Guetta succesfully masters Akon's infamously whiny voice in the AMAZING track 'Sexy Bitch'. Best line of the song = 'She's nothing like the girls you've ever seen before, Nothing you can compare to your neighbourhood wh*re' -which I'm sure we can all agree is lyrical genius.
Unfortunately, 'Sexy Bitch' is, like, the only great song on the album. The others sound like blatant attempts on Guetta's part at gaining the same popularity previous tracks like 'Love Don't Let Me Go' had.
Good vocals in the songs, but weak backing tracks on the most part.
Guetta, I was a top fan, but... what happened?!


Have also recently been on a 'Grunge Music Binge' and have bought Audioslave's self titled first album.
I would actually learn guitar just to play this music.
(Thank you random tribal tattoo gym girl)


On this merry note, it's time to return to my mission of detachment from physical belongings in my preparation to moving to Sydney.
Does anyone have any books/ films/ music they want to recommend or review?
I'd love to read your thoughts!
Hope all is well,
We hope you enjoyed your ride with Air Isatravelista, please be careful when opening the overhead compartments, as some baggages may have shifted during the flight and may fall.


Tuesday, 31 March 2009

La plus etrange des etrangeres...

One week into Easter Break in France.

Essentially, this has been a discovery of significant proportions.

Isa + France = Culture.Shock

As in woah.
As in:


Technically, I should feel right at home in Cholet, France (Place of my birth and yearly visits to see my Grandmother, 'Memie', whom I love love love). I shouldn't have a problem with the language, I should know where the shops are, have friends to hang out with.

Nyuh. huh.

So I'm the girl who has no 'Home Culture', who doesn't know who that celebrity is, what that song is about, or what the answers are to the 'easy' questions on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire'.
Excusez mon ignorance.

2. My 'Accent'.

My family, bless their soul, insist that I don't have a foreign accent when I talk in French.
So why is it that that kind shop-lady who sold me an amber bracelet looked at me like I was an alien and said... "You're not from here are you..."
Hah. You try explaining that you're 'technically' one of them but have never lived in the Motherland and have more stamps in your passport than they can name countries in South East Asia...
So... and I hope this won't come back and bite me in the rear... I told her I was English.

And that, my dears, is what I would describe as the beginning of the slippery slope of lies on my nationality.
I'm from wherever you want me to be.
Mraow ;)

3. Fake Patriot.

My uncle who was staying at gran's this past week believes in the undeniable superiority of 'our Breton race'. [Breton = person from Brittany... look it up on wiki]
Because of this 'realist' perspective of his, he's basically already planned my wedding.
To a Breton sailor with blue eyes and incredible bone structure only Bretons possess (he does have a point there...) That would all be fine and dandy and haha that uncle of yours is so funny, Isa...
But he's actually serious. Actually, actually serious.
In fact, my family members have told me what instruments they'll be playing at this Breton wedding of mine. Mentals.
Now I know where my crazy comes from...

Back to the point - why is it that I support full-heartedly support Japanese patriotism on its culture and food, English patriotism when it comes to sport (but we all know how well that doesn't turn out most of the time)... but when it comes to French patriotism on home food/ race/ culture... I stay shtum.
Better stay quiet than say the wrong thing. Faking French Patriotism would be too exhausting.

4. Reminiscing.

Gran's house. Full to the brim with memories of my prepubescent days... Photos of every single trip my parents and I took together. Barrier Reef, Montessory School in Boston, Castles in Saumur, France, Windsor in England... and about a gajillion pictures of isa when she was sooo damn cute in that 101 dalmations jumper (I also had a matching towel).
Then bam. Age 11. Move to Thailand. End of things I want to remember.
Including the awkward mono-brow, braces and head-gear, knobbly knees and bangs I cut myself - phase.
Thank the Lord for puberty.

In the basement of Gran's house is everything my parents and I ever owned until the move to Bangkok. Including the pottery I made of a fox... with a blue tail because I couldn't find the black paint, my *cough* Bar *cough* bie *gag* collection. My favourite was Ken. You can take that however you want, he's a total doll.
I found my train-set a.k.a the best Christmas present I've EVER had.
And some pretty fit clothes of my mothers from the early 80's. Shoulder pads, massive gold buttons and tweed in every colour.
Pictures of my parents in their 20's. I guess I'd forgotten they'd been kids and teens too... or that they'd done other things in their life apart from get married and have a daughter.

5. The Same. Over and over again.

Trying hard not to sound jaded... but places don't change.
Those butterflies in your stomach about going back to somewhere you haven't been in a while - they're lying to you. The place will be the same, the people, the daily routine, the things on tv, the food...
Conversation. The same. Over and over again.
And to me, that's what makes moving and travelling around just that much easier.
Never being anywhere for long - it gives you a really twisted perception of what 'a long time' is. For me it's that 'same-ness' between places that scares me into wanting to go somewhere else.
Most of my friendships haven't had time to go into those amazing X-hour conversations on anything and everything and I blame myself for that.
Apart from Japan. We were all on the same page - we had to be. It takes the same kind of person to be ready to leave everything behind to study in Japan for a year. To you all, thanks - it's rare to naturally have that 'thing' that makes you want to/ able to risk missing that feeling of 'home' and going somewhere where you have to build everything from scratch.
Thank you so. so. much.


And so, I have 2 weeks left in France. Revision, doing everything possible to help Gran around the house, and catching up on that French Patriotism I've been missing out on.

They are the mission, figuring it all out is the cause.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Recession Shmecession

So it's officially happened.
I am no longer waiting for replies from companies with regards to my job applications.
I have been rejected from everything/ or have been put down as an applicant for 2010... or whenever the graduate programme starts up again.
Bloody, bloody recession.

It's kind of refreshing actually, because that means that Australia is now a definate... and there is no longer the "what-if-I-get-an-amazing-job-offer-in-the-UK" possibility to contend with.
So thankyou, Recession, for confirming at least something in my future. If it is the certainty of 'nothing' in the UK.
At least for now.

So, Recession. This one's for you.

Angry Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake thing) says "Stick it".

In other news. Driving.
What. Is. Up. With. The. UK. System?!
- Applying for a provisional license at the Post Office - 2 weeks later call my new friend James at the Birmingham Driving School to start classes with a semi intensive course - apply for theory and practical tests which take 2 weeks and 6 weeks respective waiting time before being accepted for even taking the tests...
- Which means that we're looking at having completed the whole... caffufle... in 12-14 weeks.
Easy, right?

As for flights... for the moment I've set my mind on the 20th July.
I'll graduate between the 10-17th July... so it makes sense really...

So that's all the official news on Plan-Australia out of the way.... Next stop, why I'm right and you're wrong.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The One with Lists

  1. Cholet, France. The one permanent place in my life, Memie's house
  2. Bribee Island, Australia. Which I don't remember at all.
  3. Boston, USA. House 1. AKA the 'lollipop house' because we lived next to a roundabout. We had a basketball court on our property where the infamous 'dead mouse' incident occured. Turtles that came up from the creek at the back of the garden and made nests in the flower beds - we rescued them in massive plastic tubs and left them further up river.
  4. Boston, USA. House 2. (or was it House 1?) The house with the daffodils around it...
  5. Bourne End, UK. House 1. Where I was petrified of the ghosts in my bed room and had to sleep in the exact middle of the bed otherwise 'they' would get me. Next to the park where I nearly ran over a grass snake with my bicycle and thought I was ever so brave.
  6. Bourne End, UK. House 2. As most of you know, this is the 'Fawlty Towers' house; the property was built on the site where Fawlty Towers was filmed (and later burned down by an arson attack) (Fawlty Towers site, that is). I loved this house. The ping-pong table in the garage, my study, the living room and the place where I used to sit to practice my drum routines on plastic basins.
  7. Bangkok, Thailand. House 1. Middle of nowhere, right next to the Japanese school. A house I'm glad to have little/ no memories of.
  8. Bangkok, Thailand. House 2. 8 years. The first time I was shown my bedroom I measured its size by how many cartwheels I could do in a row in it (I used to be fit) - 3. I opened the curtains in my room about 3 times during all that time... something to do with how messy it was.
  9. Tennis Courts, Birmingham University. Welcome to your independence, Isa. The wall where I put up pictures and memories of everything, watching people playing footie on the grass outside, dreading the walk to Shackleton for dinner. Best. Year. Ever.
  10. Selly Oak, Birmingham. House 1. Room on the 3rd floor. 5 other flatmates. The really comfy couches, not having a clock in my room and telling time by looking at Old Joe from my bedroom window.
  11. Plume IS, Tokyo. THE LOUNGE. Never using the tiny kitchen area in my room. The bathroom being so small I couldn't shower fully standing up for a year. Some of the best conversations of my life happened in Plume. Webcaming with Ellen.
  12. Mishima, Shizuoka. Only 2 months, but definately the place where I grew up the most. Full independence - work, private life, life. Mum coming to visit and her being on holiday while I went to work. Seeing Mnt Fuji from the office on a clear day.
  13. Selly Oak, Birmingham. House 2. Where I'm writing this. Smallest bedroom of the house but it's mine. CD covers on the wall, 10 library books on my left. Shoes. This is not the place for productivity.
Which is why 14 is set to be Manly, Sydney, Australia.

The next 4 weeks and a half.
  1. 4 Essays - Dissertation, Group Business to Business Marketing Essay, Group Strategic Management Report, Human Resource Management Essay.
  2. 3 Presentations - Strategic Management report on Ryanair - which we will salvage through the use of controversial YouTube videos and free chocolate, 2 Japanese presentations. 20 mins each. On anything. Ouch.
  3. 1 exam. Japanese writing exam. In 10 days. 8 articles' worth of Kanji and vocabulary to learn by then.
All to be closer to a Bachelor degree. Not to mention the 5 exams I'll have after Easter.

3. People I know whose birthday is on the same day as mine. Strangely, I'm the only one who knows this. Come on Facebook, get your act together.

7943. Times I check Facebook a day.

2. Graduate programes I applied to but are now cancelled because of the recession.

475. Facebook friends.

10. Facebook friends I'm frequently in touch with and really 'know'.

14. Hours of music I listen to a day.

500. Free minutes on my phone contract a month.

13. Minutes I actually spent on my phone last month.

11. Number of flights I went on during 3 month summer break in 2006.

7. Hours of class I have a week.

5. Months since I last saw Maman.

5. Months until I next see Maman. (Tu. Me. Manques.)

78. Minutes it took me to write this blog.

7.30. Alarm for tomorrow morning.


Thursday, 12 February 2009

The One with The Introduction

And so we meet again!

Let me give you the lowdown.
As you may be aware, the economy isn't good right now. Actually, it's pretty damn dire.
Which (sarcasm alert), is great if you're graduating, like me, in the summer of '09.

I, like the rest of the UK student population, did the whole 'lookingforajob' thing, with as much gusto as I could.
Lie. I was enveloped by 'The Fear' that I wouldn't get a job by the time I graduated, so sent only about 15 measly applications. I got straight out rejected from 3, reached the 2nd stage of the application process for 4 of them (which I later got rejected from (moral of the story - know some basic financial maths)) and didn't hear back from the rest of them.

When I got back from Japan in October 2008, I had sworn to myself that that was the last time I was moving anywhere. Full. Stop.
The plan was to get a job. Whatever it was. So I could be a fake Brit in Britland for longer than 1 year, and to do the unthinkable...
stay. in. one. place.

As it turns out, I'm doing anything but.

Last summer, Maman moved from Singapore... to Sydney. Manly Beach, at that.

So I had a choice to make.
Be jobless in the UK for at least a year... or move to Sydney to take Grad courses/ get a part-time job/ have a pet kangaroo... (Because all people in Australia have a pet kangaroo. Word.)

Sorry guys, England lost. Big time.


Mid/late July.

Things to do before then:
  • Learn to drive
  • Get onto a grad course - Project Management/ Logistics?... Sheep shearing?
  • Sort out Visa situation... Student? Tourist? Work and Study?
So with all this going on, naturally I need everyone to know/ care about it.
Henceth the creationeth of this blogeth.

Watch this space!