Wednesday, March 15, 2006

holy s***

It has taken years of in-depth field analysis but I am finally ready to deliver to the world my scientific break though:

This research has entailed surviving food poisoning, giardia, cyclospora and dysentary infections in developing countries; house-training 5 rabbits and 3 dogs; and being a nanny for years, at one time looking after 10 week old twins and spending my days up to my armpits in dirty nappies.

I am finally ready to reveal that I have solid evidence of the relation between poo and sanity: i.e. personal sanity decreases in inverse proportion with the amount of faeces in any given environment.

Its a fact. Just ask any mother.

(now I am off to the pharmacy to try to buy some antibiotics for a giardiasis infection... usually when my chinese vocab runs out, I play charades, but I am not sure how to mime 'diarrhea' in polite company.)

Where did all the good people go?

I am standing in my nice hot shower and listening to Jack Johnson being pumped into the bathroom by the surround-sound speakers the landlord conveniently wired into this apartment. At the same time as the song "Where did all the good people go?" starts playing, I being pondering on the fact that ironically I have a better standard of living in China than I have ever had in my whole life.

How do I reconcile myself with this?

How does the girl who traipsed off to disaster ridden East Timor, with nothing but a backpack and a desire to do something good, reconcile herself with the fact that she now has a maid who comes 4 times a week to wash her dishes and clean her dirty clothes?

How does the girl who lived in a village in Nepal for a year, organising skills-training and income-generating programs for the poorest of the poor, reconcile herself with the fact that when she is hungry she can phone for a pizza that cost the monthly earnings of the 60 year old man begging outside her apartment for the box the pizza came in?

How does the girl who's worked for innumerable not-for-profit organisations reconcile herself with the fact that she can go to a bar and spend what it would cost to feed a family for a week, and then walk out the door and tell the mother begging on the street that she has no change?

How does the girl who recieved a Young Australian of the Year Award for the Blue Mountains area in 2001, now recieve a monthly income that far exceeds the average local wage?

Phil and I are far from living the rich expat life of many foreigners here, and even less so now that I have quit working full-time. Yet even though we are tightening our belts and sticking to a strict budget these days we can still afford to live a fairly luxurious life. I have tried to find some organisations to donate my time to, however finding a truly accountable NGO in Government-controlled Shanghai is no easy task. I know I could try harder in this quest, and am wary of making excuses for myself.

After I returned from Nepal I was so overwhelmed emotionally and spiritually that I felt I needed a break from poverty and injustice. But when I strive to be an ethical citizen of the world, how long a break is too long? Have I become truly disillusioned with the development world? Or have I just become disillusioned with myself? In 3 years I have gone from "campaigning development worker" to "capitalist scum".

Where did the good me go?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

scalpel, STAT!

I'm thinking of inserting a big fat ol' hypodermic through my eye socket and into my brain to relieve the inter-cranial pressure brought on by the simultaneous sinus headache and migraine I woke up with this morning.

"Coz the drugs don't work..."

Something tells me that the medical training I have recieved from watching A LOT of e.r. will not be sufficient for this proceedure.
I could always just slam my skull in the front door...

When Boredom meets Blogthings

Your Elf Name Is...

Spicy Tinsel Toes

Check out Blogthings for all sorts of time wasting crap.
Spicy Tinsel Toes.

Monday, March 13, 2006


I finally have a website just for my art in the process of being made (thanks to Phil and John Stay tuned for the near future unveiling.
For now here is the latest piece, an abstract this time.

Acrylic on canvas, 80cm x 120cm.