Sunday, June 26, 2016

Think you're too old to stay in a hostel?

IN YOUR 20s  vs  IN YOUR 40s+
• You meet new people.
• You meet new people without children.

• You can sleep through anything - plastic bag rustling, people talking on the phone in Chinese till midnight, slamming doors.
• You discover other people besides your children are so annoying you want to (metaphorically) kill them.

• It’s cheap.
• It’s about the same price as going to the doctor to ask for a prescription for Valium.

• Your friends think it’s cool when you tell them where you’re staying.
• Your friends laugh their heads off them when you tell them where you’re staying.

• You’re nervous about snoring or farting in your sleep.
• You’re nervous about someone besides your husband snoring or farting in their sleep.

• You can use the communal kitchen to cook.
• You don’t have to cook, ever.

• You can come home drunk at 4 in the morning if you want to.
• You can come home drunk at 11pm if you want to.

• You can go out every night.
• You can go out two nights in a row.

• You have to use a communal toilet and shower.
• You don’t have to clean the communal toilet and shower.

• You think the hostel’s pets are adorable.
• You don’t have to walk, feed or pick up the poo of the hostel’s pets.

• You have to check out by 10am
• You can sleep in for an eternity!

• You might meet a hot half-naked Japanese guy in the hallway.
• You might meet a hot half-naked Japanese guy in the hallway.

I'd love to know: what's the most memorable experience you've had in a hostel?

Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Feeling lucky?

I love watching people smoke. This is because you don’t see smokers very often these days - they’re either dead I suppose or they’ve given up. 

Many have been scared off by the gruesome pictures on the packets - bloodshot Clockwork Orange eyeballs and missing digits, or else they’ve been bullied into quitting by mobs of righteous primary school children who have been shocked by the deliberately shocking TV advertisements and who now run to attack anyone they catch with a fag in public, shouting ‘Hey! Don’t you know that thing can KILL you? What are you - like, CRAZY?

Most of the smokers that are left are in hiding these days, exiled to the exteriors of buildings, loitering alone usually behind columns. They hold their cigarette as far away from them as possible like it’s not really theirs and look over their shoulder every time they sneak a drag. They blow the smoke skyward and bat their hands to wave it on its way…

It’s not like the old days, where people leisurely indulged their nicotine addiction, puffing out smoke rings. It’s not like the old days, where people smoked everywhere - in restaurants, in cars with the windows up, in nightclubs and bars so choked full of smoke that the pile of clothes beside your bed would reek like an ashtray in the morning. Those days evaporated like a packet of Lucky Strikes at a rave.

Most of the smokers these days are apologetic and secretive… there’s barely any hardcore ones left. So when I see one it’s like spotting an endangered black rhino in an African reserve. I have to stop and stare.

As luck would have it, I saw one today, walking down Victoria Road, an old dude - it was awesome. Watching him was like witnessing someone giving Death the finger. Every time he took a drag on that cigarette it was like he was saying ‘You know what Death? Fuck you.’ And I felt proud, like this old geezer was taking one for the team.

The Puny Human Team, shivering in the face of death, trying all manner of things to stave it off - giving up sugar, limiting carbs, only drinking wine on weekends, running on treadmills and climbing Stairmasters… why not paint the front door with goat's blood while we're at it?
Death must be laughing his ass off, knowing full well he could knock us off in the blink of an eye the next time we cross the road. 

I looked at this guy, this unassuming old bloke who was probably already wheezing with emphysema, maybe only taking in a quarter of a lung’s worth of oxygen. His skin was sallow, fingers stained with tobacco, the skin around his mouth wrinkled into a permanent pucker, he was probably riddled with tumours, and he was thin - all his money went on smokes, the rest spent on white bread and bacon loaded with nitrates… he probably jaywalked as well and took his dog for a walk without a leash. What a dude.

He’d be dead soon probably I thought, leaving the rest of us terrified humans behind, leaving us all quivering together into old age, clutching at walkers and call buttons and webster packs full of pills, until Death finally came.

Photo Credit: 'The Cigarette Smoking Man' by Ferdi De gier via flickr.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

This Perfect Moment

There's nothing wrong with crying, or laughing either.

Most of the time I laugh, but sometimes I cry,
and it takes me by surprise.

Usually it involves me noticing the passing of time,
how it's gone by and I haven't even noticed.
How things I've taken for granted have floated downstream, 
well out of reach,
and I seem to now only have a moment to realise this, 
before waving a fading goodbye,
before they are lost to the current of time.

Because you see, everything is lost to the current of time,
Whether you want it to be, or not.
Time is impartial and constant,
and permanent.

When I die I will return to the opposite of time,
to the spark of creation where everything and everywhere is experienced simultaneously,
Every feeling and emotion and connection.

I will be with the ones I love forever, but never like this -
Each moment uncoiled in such exquisite detail,
Each second as it is chiseled with precision 
into eternity's unclosing eye.

The sorrow of realising something too late is beyond words.

When the sorrow comes, it is to remind me of my stupidity.
How, over and over again, I have missed this moment. 
This perfect moment.
It will take more than many lifetimes to teach me -
I am stupid and egocentric, and deaf to guidance most of the time,
Even when my heart burns a hole in my chest
and the buds of angel wings appear, spun like raw silk,
Ready to awaken the sleeping worm within.

And so, this is what sorrow is for, 
it is to wake me up, over and over again.

So that I never miss another perfect moment.

Image by Josh Chavez sourced from Pixabay

Social Media Share

Get widget