A friend recently praised bidets. Gave them the thumbs up. I’ve stopped laughing at this now, as I am weak and my sides ache.
I must say at this juncture that the posting was in support of cleaner and more eco-friendly sewage and all the people who commented were in favour of it. So we should be, because when it all goes to shit, none of us want to be the one standing there with the rubber gloves.
And the bidet is apparently a good answer to the problem – or so I am told by people who are prepared to stand for that sort of thing. Or perhaps that should be sit…In any case they take their corporate responsibilities seriously and are trying to cut down the paperwork at the orifice.
Oh Dear God, stop me before I keel over…
I have little experience with them – bidets I mean. I have avoided French toilets by not going to France very often, and the only occasion that saw me sitting at a fundament fountain ( Agg, Agg, Erk…) was in Japan. I am led to believe the control panel by the side of the hoo hoo was to make soothing sounds but I just reckon they were all frustrated Zero pilots there and liked the idea of a cockpit when they put their co….Oh, this is just going to be disaster if I keep typing….
And before you ask, the answer is ” No “. No, I did not press any of the buttons. Not while I was going to be sitting in the ejection seat, anyway. I had a Sears and Roebuck catalogue and I figured it was better to go with what I knew than venture into uncharted waters. I’m prepared to risk my neck, but I don’t keep my neck down there…
You’ve all seen the tee shirt that says ” Been there, Done that. Got this tee shirt. “.
It’s funny and sad on several levels, but mightily encouraging in the end. It frees us from the need to:
a. Go back there and do it again. At least as long as the tee shirt lasts.
b. Go there and do it in the first place. If we really don’t want to travel, compete, shop, or whatever the thing is, we can pretend that it is old hat and that we’re weary of it all.
If we were honest we would wear a tee shirt that said ” Never been there. Don’t fancy going “. Then we could emblazon this slogan over all sorts of images; Paris, Disneyland, Bali, Gold Coast. The reaction on the faces of others would be much more satisfying than with the first version.
c. Envy those who do go and do things.
Again we ought to be honest inside ourselves if we really do not fancy any of it…but instead of emblazoning this contempt on our chests we could settle for a nice silkscreen print of a Messerschmitt or Bullwinkle the moose. Why shit people off over your own tastes and desires?
For myself, I try to avoid any writing on the externals of my clothing – whether that be a brand name of running shoes or the state prison farm. If people want to know where I’ve been or what I like to wear they can ask me.
My forthcoming trip to Melbourne and Sydney will be enlivened this year -and I hope in every subsequent year – by the opportunity to conduct the Backstabbers Guild Of Australia Annual General Meetings in each city. I am preparing my address for each location.
The Guild was founded in Melbourne several decades ago and has flourished – so much so that backstabbers can be found in every state of Australia. The Perth AGM has languished for several years but this will also be re-instituted. Given the boredom and despair – not to mention the red-hot anger and viciousness – that an AGM can generate for any society, the BGA ones are memorable.
I am planning, as Right Evil Bastard, to award medals of dishonour to several people. My chemist has assured me that the pins on the medals are tipped with curare. He was unable to obtain suitable amounts of ricin or polonium but fortunately he has a cousin from Brazil. I always think the organic poisons are the best for the environment, in any case.
In both Sydney and Melbourne I have authorised agents to book tables – a pizza restaurant is the traditional venue – and allowed them the freedom to round up the usual suspects. I am happy to say I expect the worst. If it is to be a German restaurant that would be wurst.
Will there be sadness? Will there be fear and horror? Will there be treachery and madness? Look at our name – it says it all.
Care for an invitation?
I get antsy.
It’s not the calendar and it’s not the temperature. It’s the approach of an interstate holiday trip. I’m going to Melbourne and Sydney in a few weeks. And the mental engine is starting to rev up.
It is not like a trip to either of those cities is great wampum amongst other people – there are no end of Facebook posts from my 223 contacts that list trips to Europe, North America, or Asia and glory in the tourist sights that will be seen. Melb. and Syd. do not have that bragging pressure.
Yet…they have a real place in my psyche. I am comfortable in each city, having visited them annually for years. I know the shops, galleries, and restaurants. I know the transport system. And yet…I do not know them…there is still adventure enow.
There are always shops that wink out of existence – sadly. And others that appear. I adopt the wise Western Australian practice of never assuming anything I desire in shops will ever be there again – and I make sure that I have enough money saved to swoop while the swooping is good. Oh sure, I make some duff choices, but I also make some brilliant ones.
The same goes for the amusements and the nourishments of the towns. Not every plate is a winner, but there is a memorable event and taste somewhere each day. All you can ask is one per day – and in Syd. and Melb. you can find them.
Parochial? Dull? Staid? Why thank, you, don’t mind if I do. Please let me have a glass of water that is not a swimming pool for guardia and a sandwich that does not wriggle. I have the money to pay for it. And the hotel room? The one with the clean bed and bathroom…? Fine, and I shall be down at the bar in an hour.
We all know the song ” Sentimental Journey “. It’s very good – music and lyrics are spot-on. But they raise a question for the listener; what do you do if there is no such thing as a sentimental journey that you can go on?
Migrants and refugees who moved from dreadful places or people know this feeling. They ran like buggery to get away from whatever it was back there and going back there is generally not an option – it’d be the poorhouse or the jail house at best. The only sentiments that they could reasonably expect to experience would be fear and regret.
People who have come from easier circumstances might be able to return to a former location and feel a bit better. If they came from a place that is conservative, well-off, and untroubled by war or invasion, they might be able to enjoy a vestige of their former culture. If time has erased this and substituted something else, the sentiment would be loss and sadness. It’s a risky business – the wise traveller makes a study of Google Earth to see what the old neighbourhood has become. Smoking holes or multiple McDonald’s are a warning sign.
The same caution that you exercise toward the place should also be extended to the people. You don’t need Google Earth to prepare. Go to a mirror and look at yourself. If what you see is grey and saggy or red and swollen, expect to find that the rest of your high school graduating class will look the same. You may have to see yourself, but decide whether you have to see them as well.
One sentiment that you can encourage in a journey is longing for adventure and new experiences. To do this all you have to do is avoid the old haunts – the new ones may be awful, but they will be a novel pain. If you survive it you can file it under the ” Goode Olde Dayes ” and stay home next time.
Note: it is perfectly alright to not feel any sentiment toward any place at all. It is far better so to do than to generate a false attachment to some imagined location.
How long is lunch hour? If you are a child at school it is often an hour – if you are adult in retail trade it is often half that. If you are in a situation with inadequate staff, it can be 20 minutes or less – depending upon how willing you are to be chivvied back out to work.
Those people who get no lunch break at all are free to sneer now – but then they are also free to consider why they have no lunch, whether that is a pleasant thing, and what they might do to remedy the situation.
Now that I’m retired, I am always pleased to be able to take some time to eat in the middle of the day, and can do so about 20% of the time. The other 80% of days are ones in which I am flat-out travelling or working at a hobby and eating takes a back seat. In addition, there is the problem of eating alone when out…few places that you care to eat at care to have a single person eating at them.
At least the problem of lunch hour is solved – most cafes and bars will chivvy you out as fast as they possibly can to make way for more money to come in the door. You are lucky to get 20 minutes undisturbed and 30+ is unheard of. You will be ” attended ” until you either spend more or rack off. But I do not blame the owners of the cafes – they are in business for a limited period of time before the next owner.
Time on the road can be a foodies dream or nightmare. I find that truckstops are fine if you are a truckie – they expect you and cater for your needs. The rest of the travelling population can be considered a nuisance and ignored. This is blazingly obvious in some of the roadhouses and service stations on the road across the Nullarbor. It is wise to carry your own food and water – much as you might have had to do in the 1860’s – because you may be bloody invisible to the staff at the truck stops.
One place that nearly always can be depended upon for calories is a country pub. If you are prepared to restrict your desires to pies, sausage rolls, pasties, and chips you can eat. You can nearly always get a cold beer to go with it – the pub with no beer is a song. Occasionally there will be someone trying to make a gourmet paradise out of the pub and you might get a salad and a steak.
Ideal lunch? You’d be surprised how good things can be in some of the Asian cafes that spring up in small shopping centres. Not the big chain ones – the Mum and Dad ventures that can do simple curries, rice dishes, and stirfries. The prices are often a pleasant surprise as well.
Generally we’re told that they do it better in wherever the speaker has been that you haven’t. If they are from an Old Country, the streets there were quieter, the people were smarter, and the bacon was crisper. It doesn’t matter which old country – just as long as the speaker isn’t there any more and they can’t extradite him.
The wise emigrant is a little cannier these days before beginning the brag. Once upon a time the local Australian listener was unlikely to have ever been in Lodz or Barcelona or Poughkeepsie and every place overseas could potentially be talked up as Faeryland. Nowadays cheap air travel may well have sent our locals through the very place that is being extolled and they have seen the fact that the streets were quieter because of the parked army tanks on the corners – or that the locals are smarter because the eugenic police have weeded out all the rest. And it is hard to brag about the bacon in Mecca…
To be fair, there are certainly places that do things better than here in Australia. We might learn from them sometimes…but we need to have all the facts about the supposed wonderland, and not just selected examples of glowing results at the end. We need to see the whole economic, cultural, and political picture before declaring it a paradise.
As a person who has not been shelled, gassed, taxed, mugged, or evicted recently – who can vote and read freely – who can afford food, water, shelter, clothing, medicine, and transport – well, I am pretty well satisfied with the portion of Australia I live in. If I cannot visit 500-year-old churches I shall not grieve – the attitudes and practices of the worshippers in those churches may also be 500 years old. If I am denied cobblestone streets and cramped cities I will make do with my own quarter acre of space and sunshine. And I need no political bragging at all – my own parliaments are as open to me as I need them to be. Without army tanks on the street corners.