Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I Want A Sex Change

Over the last 3 weeks I had a taste of what life must be like for a lot of working men.

Each morning, I would awaken bright and early, shower, (then perform female activities such as apply make-up and breastfeed child), dress, and walk into the dining room to be presented with a delightful breakfast. Breakfast consisted of a first course of fruit salad, followed up with muesli and yoghurt, and then chased down with a hearty serve of scrambled eggs and wilted spinach. I would always politely decline offers of tea, as habit dictated I had this once at my desk. Should I attempt to put a single dish in the dishwasher, or start to soak even a single pan, I would be hustled out of the kitchen and told to "get to work, don't worry about any of this, you're far too busy". O-kaaaaay....

And the day would just get better from there. At work, I would engage in adult conversations with colleagues about politics, work and a smattering of sport. I would mention the delicious meal that was cooked for me the night previous, as I heated up the left-overs lovingly packed for me that morning. In the evening, I would return to a happily bathed baby cooing sweetly and blowing raspberries. Dinner would be served and again, there would be no convincing anyone that I should wash up. Ice cream and mango was brought to me some time later with the urging that I needed to keep up my strength, and chamomile tea was delivered with a kindly warning not to stay up too late. Clean clothes appeared magically in my wardrobe. The floors were consistently spotless. My only task, it seemed, was to make a suggestion regarding what I might feel like for dinner.

When someone else does it for you

What parallel universe was this? The universe we all probably experienced to some degree as children. It's the universe where you live with your mother. (In the case of grown men, it's the universe they are also lucky to inhabit once they move out of their slovenly bachelor pad and in with their girlfriend/wife).

And oh how glorious it is to step back in to the mummy cocoon once you're a high functioning adult female with an infant. Life was lovely. I received the unconditional love that only a mum can give. She took my side on pretty much everything. She worried that I worked too hard and didn't get enough rest. She folded things the way I folded them (or really, vice versa, since I'm a product of her techniques). She fussed over me in the way men don't really seem to know how to fuss. Oh God it was marvelous, and how I cried when she left.

I feel like I should say something funny about being reincarnated as a man or having a sex change, but that's kind of depressing because (a) I like being a female; and (b) it signals a lack of hope that things can change. And I know I'm not just trotting out an outdated stereotype: my girlfriends complain about it, and there are entire books written on the topic (in particular the hilarious Annabel Crabb's take on the topic in The Wife Drought). So yeah. I guess for Christmas I should put in an order for a Fairy Godmother who has studied at my mum's school of child rearing, cleaning, caring, fuss-potting and folding of clothes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Travellers to Japan will know that dining out in Japan without Japanese language skills can be a real challenge. Although English is taught to most Japanese from a very young age, this doesn't necessarily translate to a population with excellent English language skills - or maybe they're just really coy about showing off their English. And of course when you're going for the authentic Japanese meal experience, I think it's safe to say most of us steer away from restaurants with the somewhat off-putting plastic toy depiction of menu items sitting in the front window.

At Tokyo's top sushi restaurants, it's typical to take the omakase course, where the chef decides the menu and explains what everything is as it is delivered to the table. In Japanese. To assist travellers who'd like to know with certainty what they're eating, Sushi University recently launched, which enables customers to dine at a sushi counter with a translator by their side. As the website states:

In SushiUniversity, we offer escort interpreting services so that you can not only tease taste buds, but you can gain deeper knowledge of the culture and history associated with sushi, seasonal sushi neta (topping), Sushi Chef’s relentless pursuit of sushi perfection and his bar’s tradition and you can ask questions you feel at that time. Have a memorable time with a feeling the Chef’s passion and dedication contained in each piece of sushi at this Sushi Bar.

Ok, so the English isn't perfect, but the concept is!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Happy Friday: CRIPES! (Let's Go to New York)

Holy bejesus-bottoms it's December! I'm not sure where the year went, although I believe it flashed by while I lived in remote South Australia, up the duff and unable to really enjoy all the glory that South Australia has to offer (that would be wine). There were a bunch of trips to China in there but, like my current workplace, the location was not remotely glamorous and I was wearing safety clothing and steel capped boots rather than dancing the night away on sparkly, Shanghainese dance floors after eating my fill of dumplings. Admittedly, I have eaten a lot of dumplings this year, but I put that down to pregnancy. Let it be known that a pregnant woman can sniff out dumplings wherever she is.

This year's top Christmas gift award is taken out well and truly by Gilt (purveyor of beautifully curated, highly covetable, heavily discounted designer goods). For a paltry AU$4,500 you and a friend (i.e. me) could be winging your way to NYC to enjoy individualised 2 hour styling sessions at Gilt, a $1,000 Gilt gift card and (best of all) 2 tickets to the Kate Spade new York's Spring 2017 fashion party during New York Fashion Week on 8 February 2017.

There's a bunch of other stuff, including goodie bags, accommodation, tickets to MoMA and a Kate Spade gift bag, but frankly I shouldn't need to go into all that detail:

New York. Best friend. Shopping spree. Kate Spade.

New York, I love you

If they threw in "free babysitter", I'd be there 😉