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Saturday, April 30, 2011

So I know I turned 30 two months ago....

I turned the big 3-0 two months ago. I was in India at the time and I was too busy soaking up experiences to sit in front a computer screen. This is long overdue, I know.  I remember the day it all started. I had joined the on-line dating site Plenty of Fish, at the suggestion of a friend. My first day, I received twenty messages from complete idiots. I sat there staring at my computer screen, in horror at the atrocities that flooded my inbox. I immediately composed an email to my closest friends, with my suitors messages and my thoughts attached. My two initial blog posts are those emails(read here and  here ).  I was convinced by two people to start this blog. I did it reluctantly, but  soon found that I couldn't live without it. It revived my love for the written word and it was a chance to share my pent up anger and vulgarity. When people would tell me that reading my blog made their day, I knew I had something. Some days I would wonder if anyone was reading the shite that I wrote.  I knew by the stats that they were(even if done furtively). I realised I should just write for myself. That led to some lengthy absences. Sometimes I had nothing to say or I just couldn't express it in the manner I wanted.

My tagline'I turn thirty in... I realise that procrastination, sloth, gluttony, cynicism, flatulence, and sheepishness are traits that are not desirable in a woman of a certain age. This is about my journey to become a lady of discernible character. I have compiled a list of 30 things that I need to complete before that dark day comes and my youth vanishes before my eyes.' summed up traits that I found troubling and wanted to change. I have changed...somewhat. I still procrastinate, I'm less slothy, still glutenous, astoundingly less cynical, as flatulent as the the day is long and as sheepish as a ram. I've always been a lady of discernible character, I've only realised it now.  I've learned to accept a compliment without uttering a self-deprecating reply(most of the time). I've learned how to meditate and to speak my mind. I've learned that I'm only as desirable as I see myself. I've learned that I have remarkable people in my life, who patiently put up with my lunacy.

Although I didn't complete everything on the list, I'm still going to work on it. Much like my academic career, my grade is mediocre. Somethings didn't happen because of timing, fear, self-sabotage,  and did I say fear?  Here is how I fared:

In a beautiful villa, in the Dominican Republic

I kept quiet about this one because I took two swimming lessons that were...not that great. I shall make another attempt this summer. Lesson learned: don't look for swimming instructors on Craig's list...

I went snorkeling in India, in the Arabian Sea. I stayed in the water for four minutes and returned to the boat. I don't consider this long enough to cross it off.

I drank absinthe and it was awesome! Read about it here. Does anyone know where I can get some more?

I upped the ante and went for two weeks as a vegan. It was truly a miracle that I didn't cheat once or punch someone in the face.

Butt flushes are awesome! You should get one too!

I failed massively on this front. I lost about 20lbs...and then gained some of it back and then lost some more in India when I shit out half of my body weight and then I gained some of it back. I'm still working on it...

8.DANCE and maybe sing IN THE RAIN
I envisioned this happening in India, with some street children dancing behind me to Bollywood music(beyond obnoxious, I know). The only time it rained was while I was on a flight. I'll have to rethink the set up...

We all know what a disaster that was. I deleted my account a few weeks ago and I don't ever want to venture into on-line dating again! I would rather have fire ants crawl up my behind.

That one was easy.

I have forgiven and learned to let things go, instead of harbouring feelings of ill will. I have spoken up in situations where I would have kept quiet before. I went to the other end of the spectrum in India and lost it on a few people. I think I've found a nice balance.

I took some archery classes with a friend and now I've got the aim of a middle-earth elf goddess.

I took a private fencing lesson with my former fencing instructor, in a park. I was thoroughly embarrassed when people walked by and laughed. I never went back...

I unfortunately didn't have the budget for this one. Although I really miss my friends there, I have visited them previously. I was just being greedy. It's still a possibility.

I've fallen in love with myself...with a

A trip with so many layers to dissect. Unlike anything else. I loved it, hated it. More to come...

I chickened out. I shall make another attempt this summer.

18.RUN A 5K 
This didn't happen due to my ankle. I also re-injured the same ankle a few months ago. I am now aiming for a 10k in October. Wish me luck...

I went sailing on a catamaran(a Tamil word BTW), in the Arabian sea. I learned about close reach, beam reach and broad reach, jibing and tacking...only to forget what they meant a few days later. Even though the technical aspect didn't stick with me, the experience was unforgettable.

Read about it here. It happened a couple times after that as well. It's a very freeing feeling, riding on dirt roads through the Goan country side.

Animals hate me. They always have. I became friends with my camel Raja and I didn't run from the rabid stray dogs that are in abundance in Goa. I have improved relations with certain species in the animal kingdom. Cats and I...are still on rough terms. They creep me the f#@k out. I won't cross it off until I'm friends with my feline enemy.

I kinda crossed this one off because I kinda almost made it...I lasted about 8 months without using chemical relaxer. On my return from India, I gave into the creamy crack...It was the longest I lasted without it in my life. I'm going to attempt to ween myself off once again. 

I had a few lessons from my not so patience mother. My efforts turned out pretty good. I'm not sure I can make them with out her breathing down my neck and barking instructions...

My first time camping was in the Thar desert in India. How can I beat that? It was also my first time being offered oral sex in the desert. Read here.

I have always been a bit anti-social. It's just my nature. My 29th year saw a social increase of about 15% not including my dates. It's an improvement.

At first I was petrified. In the end I loved it! I'll be participating again this year.

For the past seven months, I've been meditating every day for at least 15-20 minutes, sometimes longer. I'm comfortable crossing this one off the list. I really do find it helpful. Surprisingly, I didn't meditate once in India(although I could have used it on several occasions.)

I had refused to do karaoke before this. In case you forgot how magical it was here you go ...

I went on 29. This will get it's very own special post, where I will explain why I haven't gone on a 30th.

This is truly embarrassing...I had two separate people try and teach me, to no avail. I still cannot ride a bike...There are pictures of me on a girl's ten speed bike, with a pink helmet and goggles that will never see the light of day. I shall make another attempt in the next few weeks.

Thank-you for reading my gibberish and I hope you continue to do so. This is not the end. I still have work to do.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rhodesia's tips for the solo female traveller

I'm no expert, but I have travelled alone a  few times, for four to five week periods. Travelling solo requires an astute awareness of your surroundings and razor sharp instinct—especially as a woman. People will often question why a woman would travel alone. The answer is simple: BECAUSE I F**KIN WANT TO! I have been followed, mistaken for a prostitute(and no I wasn't scantily clad), scammed, etc. Here are some tips that may be helpful if you're a woman considering travelling unaccompanied:

-Trust your instinct and if you have horrible instincts, trust NO ONE
-Carry pepper spray
-Carry a pen knife
-Carry a sharpened pencil or fine point pen(for writing/sketching/stabbing)
-If you notice someone following you talk loudly to yourself about your herpes flare-up
-Develop a death stare or what I call my "I'll shank you" face.
-Even if you are petrified and want to shard your pants, SHOW NO WEAKNESS, use your death stare and rely on a tight anal sphincter!
-Do not let strange men buy you drinks unless they are hot and have long tongues
-Do not get intoxicated
-Don't give out too much personal information(I often make up stories about myself)
-Carry a cell phone and text your location
-Sharpen your upper canines with a metal nail file and strengthen your jaw muscles with a kettlebell
-Have fun

I hope this doesn't deter anyone. Happy travels!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What did I do on my 30th birthday?

A few people have asked. So here it is...

I went to the beach. I met an expat. We played Frisbee. I drank coconut water and lassis and beer. 6 hours spent on the beach. She invited me for dinner. I called and couldn't get a hold of her. I went to dinner by myself. I had an amazing meal of giant prawns. The owner of the restaurant showed me his tents(which I fell in love with and spent 3 days in). I walked in pitch black darkness back to my accommodation, through a field of empty bamboo shacks, then some bush and I almost ran into a cow. Pepper spray for protection, massive lighter for luminescence . One of the only times I was truly scared. I didn't want to die on my birthday. I made it back. I was invited to a trance party. By the time they knocked on my door, I was happy were I was and told them I would stay in. I locked my door, took off my clothes and spent the rest of my birthday dancing to Bollywood music videos in my birthday suit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


A few years ago I engaged in a colourful conversation with some girls at work. They were chatting about their couters in the most graphic and obscene way. Being a lady of unshakable virtue, I steered clear of the conversation. I personally think you shouldn't know what my couter looks like, unless your face is buried in it. The instigator demanded that I give a description. I offered these three words " medium rare steak".  Riotous laughter filled the room. Some were horrified, others wanted more detail. I told them to think of a medium rare steak:dark on the outside, warm ring and pink centre. How much more descriptive could one be?

 A few weeks later the instigator told me that she went out for dinner and ordered her steak medium rare(as she usually does). When she cut into the steak, she said all she could think of was my flower. I had ruined that glorious piece of meat for her. Personally I think medium rare is the only way to eat a steak...and a couter.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The absence of love

I returned to Vijay's guest house after my eventful camel safari. After freshening up, I took to my balcony, plonked down on a wicker chair and stared out yonder. I watched dusk fall and  listened to the call to prayer from a nearby mosque, while sipping the nectar of the gods(orange Fanta). It was such a simple, banal moment, but it was the kind that etches itself into your travel memory forever. As I enjoyed the simplicity of  it, an overwhelming sadness enveloped me. I was alone; Unattached, mate less, solitary. I have travelled solo a few times and never felt that itch, that clawing sadness before. There was something about that unspectacular moment that  illuminated my solitude. Perhaps it was turning  thirty, or the comforting/irritating Indian familiarity and the frequent questions about my unmarried status and comments about my eggs, beauty and youth that would soon expire. Whatever brought on my melancholy moment(which lasted about an hour and then I let out a series of rip roaring farts that made me laugh and reminded me why I was single), it lead me to write this piece of poetry. I think I'm only good at writing poems about pork, but I'll share it anyway.

The absence of love

Why do you elude me so?
Do I not deserve you?
I await with bated breath for your arrival
I await the flutter in my heart and butterflies in my belly
Your admirers so often speak of

But time does not stand still
How long am I to wait?
This bated breath  incapacitates my lungs
My heart, she murmurs, not flutters
My belly, she pangs with the hunger of unrequited love

Tell me, what am I to do?
I have searched for you
amongst countless unworthy men
Your tree seems fruitless, barren
I am told you are unsearchable
That you must find me
Until then...
I await with bated breath
An open heart
And a ravenous belly