You’re Gonna Listen To Me

[Faint – Linkin Park]

Preeetty sure I won’t hit 15 this month. I noticed I haven’t done a song post in ages so I might knock that over tonight as well.

So yesterday was Australia Day, and true to tradition (actually, it was my first recall-able time in the near 11 years since I’ve been here) I went to an Aussie Day BBQ.

I haven’t done a long and almost pointless documentation post in ages, so I might do it full on properly now.

Everything was going pretty peachy in the morning, despite being nearly late for my bus. But as I got on the train, with my hair sitting perfectly (pfft, who am I kidding), it started to drizzle. By the time I’d reached the 3rd station, it was a downright animal zoo out there.

Thankfully, Melbourne weather decided to mood swing towards niceness, and the skies let up the tears – albeit still rather dark and moody. I decided to be adventurous, and take a different tram to the one I would have normally taken.

Yeah, that was a bad idea. I got utterly lost, missed my stop, and had to wait an extra 10 minutes to take the tram one stop back. Then came the confused tourist walk to find the group. There was an awkward moment when I started walking towards a bunch of people near a BBQ purposefully, only to realize I didn’t recognize anyone there. Finally, I spotted a familiar face – the only one who’d arrived.

James, Jen’s friend who joined Juggling with us but then he actually went, had brought a football (the American kind) and, I know how ironic it sounds, but we started throwing that around. He tried to teach me how to throw it properly, but I suppose my hand-eye-ear-brain coordination simply went into hibernation this summer, because I don’t think I have the knack of it, still.

After a while, the MacRob girls arrived, meaning I had actually found people to talk to who don’t insult my lack of sporting abilities. So passed a good hour of sitting around chatting and catching up, followed by what seems to be a time-honored tradition of playing Big-Two and having at least one person not understand the rules and/or tactics. I am ashamed to say, however, that I lost a game.

When Jen T noted that there was another MacRob group who was also at Albert Park Lake (probably forgot to mention where we were), a few of us decided to take the walk to their area to say hi. We started the trek with enthusiasm, having been promised friends “just behind those trees”. The mood soon turned sour as “just behind those trees” turned out to be “halfway across the lake”. Annie, Julia and I watched in high mirth as Tiff weaved her way through the carpark, completely sober, but drunk on being herself, and Annie laughed so hard that she choked on her 20 years of existence.

We met up with the other MacRob group, which was essentially the other Japanese class plus some of our own. Huey had come back from her year in England, tanned as a Jersey Shore kid (oh, did I just make that reference), which was illogical to start with because she spent a year in ENGLAND.

Having stolen one of their drinks and made some great conversation about where people had been in 2010, we decided it was around time we started heading back. We went back in time to realize that while we were gone, the ice at the party had broken and everyone was getting along. So, in true MacRob style, we all sat in a circle and consumed food. Jen went on to consume half a chicken. Not kidding. I wish I was.

Er at some point I drank beer on an empty stomach and got a bit blurry but obviously nothing bad happened, because I’m not like that. So people started putting ice cubes down other people’s backs, and it may or may not have been at my instigation.

Anyway, at one point people started leaving, and as I saw two girls leave, I shouted, “BYE! NICE MEETING YOU!” only to realize I hadn’t actually spoken a single word to her. To correct myself of this mistake, I decided to introduce myself to the next new face I saw. The next new face I saw happened to be a name that I’ve heard many, many times previously, and with whom I share many mutual friends – Linh. So, you can imagine how creepy I was when I said, “LINH! Oh I know you! I know who your friends are! I FINALLY MET YOU!”

Lesson, children, don’t do that. Ever. Play it cool. Thankfully, she’s heard of me before too, but that didn’t stop her from noting that the awkward scale just went from 4 (random introduction) to 10 (admission to online stalking).

Lily showed up at, I don’t know, 4, and I finally managed to give her a birthday present, 2 months late. It was a toothbrush that played music for 2 minutes, in attempts to cut down her nightly bathroom ritual time. Also, it freaking played music into her mouth, man.

A bit after that, the BBQ drew to an end, and everyone dispersed. A large group decided to go to Fitzroy for milkshakes, and even though Julia, Annie and Tiff all left me, I had Jen, Steven, Brendan and James, and my newly made friend Linh (she kept on noting how awkward I was. I had to have Julia vouch that I was tired and usually I was rather sociable. Julia sort of nodded slowly and sarcastically).

The Milkshake place, whose actual name I forgot, is actually a pool arcade, so we all got our delicious milkshakes, and played some pool. I think I met more people at pool than I did at the BBQ, purely from making fun of one guy, Victor, who missed shots that first-timers would have managed.

When the games have been played and lost, and the milkshakes drank, we all headed back to Parliament. For some reason, the guys thought it would be a show of dexterity if we walked instead of caught the tram, so we had a nice cool dusk stroll back to the station, and I took the train home with Linh and Donuts (his last name is Duncan, so Dunkin’ Donuts. Get it?).

When I was at Glenny station I got stopped by this tall white guy who wanted to talk to me. He asked why Asians seemed to “only want to assimilate with their own kind, and not talk to others.” At that moment, I heard my mom honk to let me know she’s waiting, so I said “sorry, my parents are waiting.” He scoffed, and said, “I knew there was a get-out clause”, and walked off like I offended him. I thought, “How about ‘there was a my-parents-are-holding-up-traffic-at-a-busy-carpark?”

Some people need to calm down. He’s reading racism where there aren’t even text written.

At any rate, I had a busy night on Facebook last night, what with all the new adds and hellos (I made friends with the girl I forgot to make friends with as she left, and it turned out we had a LOT of mutual friends. Small, small world). I also got sunburned in the duration of an overcast day.

Alex.

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Hyah!

Have I mentioned this? Tomorrow is Multicultural Week at our school so I’m dressing up as a ninja as per agreed upon with April last year after watching Viking Girl go nuts onstage.

Today we had to wear blazers as we had this proper assembly about how we’re acknowledging that the land we are on tradtionally belongs to the Aboriginal people. I think that…well hey it’s about time something happens in that field, and it’s good we’re one of the first schools to do such a thing because I know in the future this’ll become a big deal. Like in the future, my kid (my kid? Look let’s not get into specifics) would ask me “Mom, when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Sorry in 2008, where were you?” And I would be very proud indeed to be able to tell my kid that “Mom was watching the broadcast live on TV at school. That day, no one really had any classes, and everyone went to a classroom with a TV and we all watched Mr Rudd give that speech. And then we watched Brendan Nelson give the other really awful speech. It was a really big deal, you know, what happened.”

Anyway, so, ninja.

I went to Dani’s place this afternoon to pick out some black clothing (I borrowed all black stuff, so I said to her, “I could lose these clothes in the dark, you know…”) and Andrew so skilfully bagged my size by leaning on my head. But yeah, I’m ready for tomorrow. The scarf is a bit of a problem it always slips off. I don’t know, we’ll figure something out. And maybe April might get her hands on the balaclavas.

I also nabbed a ring off Dani. See, my fingers are very thin, and most rings fall off, but this one not only stays on but actually got stuck a bit. So I get to keep it because…well if it sticks on me like hell Dani would ever be able to wear it…

I have a bit of Eng Lang to do (a bit? A bit my ass) tonight and for the next few nights, and some Legal to do by Friday. But yeah, other than that I am literally winging it as it comes. Did badly at Maths, too.

D.F.

If only…

If it weren’t for the extra NON-COMPULSORY Chinese homework, I would have just finished ALL of my holidays homework, bar printing out and sticking on.

I realized that I do homework and study better when my parents are NOT around to supervise. When they are around, I’d do maybe 3 maths questions before giving up and setting it aside. But today, they both went out to the city to meet a friend and celebrate Chinese New Year, and I went and finished 3 exercises in Maths without taking a single break (even to pee. That was a small mistake. I’ll pee next time).

Anyway, I’m just wondering on how to break it to them.

“I’m sorry, it’s not you, it’s me. Well, I guess it is you. But I don’t know why! I’m just as confused as you are.”

“We just can’t be together when studying is involved. I think it’s better for the both of us.”

“Look, I’m gonna be home late. I got a lot of studying to do. Don’t wait up.”

“I’m studying with someone else.”

Happy CNY to all you Asians, and Aussie Day to all you Aussies. I don’t know, either the shit can really go down with the racist things, or we might have one of the best CNY/AD ever because everyone would just be partying.

新年快乐

Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi!

Yeah…

Keep Cool (and studying hard. All. Night. Long.)

D.F.

Being Australian Part 2

Going on from where I left off last time, I want to answer the second question, “What Does It Mean To Be Australian?”

It may not seem it, but answering that question would not be easy for me. When the class was discussing over the questions Ms E- gave us, April, Sonam and I concentrated on that one question.

Because being Australian doesn’t just include going to the footy, or going to the beach or having a barbeque every other week; there are many different cultures and nationalities in Australia, in fact there are 4,956,863 permanent Australian residents (that is 24%) in 2006 who were born overseas. With nearly a quarter of the population from a different nationality, with their own culture and beliefs – and no interest in Aussie Rules, it is unfeasible to believe that “going to the footy” would suffice as a broad explanation of “what it means to be Australian”.

Perhaps being Australian is to be multicultural. Australia strongly celebrates her embrace for multiculturalism, at least, that’s what she likes to think. There’s without a doubt some degree of racism in Australia, similar to the fact that Australia does not have as prestigious a history as she believes, nor would she be a strong contender in world economy – having not even ranked in the top 10 – which draws me to the conclusion that perhaps Australia has an ideal image of what she is, and while she strives to achieve this, she would always fall short. To be Australian would be to strive for the ideal entity, yet never achieving it. A bit like the Aussie battler, I guess.

De Fluffe. Out.

Being Australian Part 1

In English class we’d started the topic “Being Australian” and to get our ‘butts into gear’ Ms E- gave us some sheets with different questions on them, such as:

“How Are Australians Represented?”

“What Does It Mean To Be Australian?”

And, my personal favourite: “Are We A Clone Of America?”

Those three questions actually (I’d previously thought them inane and predictable) really started making me think about Australianism which in turn led me to realise that it is nearly impossible to define what it is to be Australian. Some of the people in our class listed the ways that other countries saw us: meat pies, footy, beaches, sunnies, etc. Some completely disagreed, saying that they may live in Australia, but it doesn’t mean they embrace the stereotypical Australian lifestyle; in fact their upbringing is still strongly influenced by their own culture. Then, there was the general consensus that Australia offered what some other countries don’t: freedom.

So, how are Australians represented?

Sure, there are the stereotypes – the kangaroos, the beaches – which in their own right do exist; Australia should be proud of its native fauna and such. But there is just so much more to it.

A quick look around About Australia confirmed what I thought. Most of the advertising were for locations that only strengthened what the tourists believed; Bondi Beach, Great Ocean Road, Uluru, Kakadu National Park. But that’s only what Australia has, not what Australia is. To understand what being Australian is, one would have to live in Australia. And even though I’ve lived here for a bit over eight years, I still can’t quite concisely describe to an “outsider” what Australia is.

In general, I’d say Australians represent themselves in the way that has been proven popular to the rest of the world, and in turn the rest of the world further pursues this “larrikin” image of Australia. Like a vicious cycle, the small, less romantic but real aspects of Australia is lost and discarded. Small independent movies such as “Strictly Ballroom” and “Beneath Clouds” show some of what the “real Australia” is like, yet it still does not completely encompass what Australia really is. Perhaps there is no real correct way to represent Australia, just like no one could really explain what life is – many have come up with romantic quotes and intelligent outlooks, but I’m sure none of them could totally sum of what life is.

Until next time,

De Fluffe. Out.