Category Archives: Opinion

What I Reckon: My Loathing Hatred Of Airports

Airports. Once upon a time so luxurious and lovely and flying was such a wonderful thing and blah blah blah. In this day and age of ‘terrorism’, low cost carriers, and the cheap flight battles, we have gotten to a point where flying is no longer a source of wonder and joy, but a pain in the arse. In the last two and a half months, I have been 9 times on a plane. In that time I have been screened with baggage about 3 times on average per flight, I have been patted down four times (cause lets face it, I must have magnetic tits when I am walking through the thing wearing practically nothing) and aggressively prodded in the pubic bone during manual search (ummmm…. if you ask someone to stop publicly prodding you in the vagina in an airport does this make you a terrorist with something to hide or must we endure it to get on the flight? Or do we need to subject ourselves to gloved-finger vaginal searches as well?).

Not only is the screening process a pain in the arse, but now baggage has also become one of these ordeals that you wind up paying out the arse for. I find myself standing in a queue with all my heavy toiletries in my jacket pockets, a computer down the back of my pants and all manner of other heavy things jammed in my bra while I am subjected to the weighing of hand luggage, by one of those transportable scales at the actual fucking gate. Don’t check people when they approach the front desk. Get them at the gate and if they are a hundred grams over tell them they have to check their bag and pay sixty fucking dollars for it.  Not only that but once upon a time it was ten kilograms and you could get a reasonable amount of stuff with you. Now it is seven kilograms, which is pretty much enough luggage to take a wheelie suitcase with not much at all in it. If I take my computer in that case, game over. Well unless I am graciously hiding it somewhere in my pants under a bulky jacket.

Airlines do not give a fuck about customer service these days either. It is perfectly acceptable to leave someone in the airport waiting for three and a half hours for a delayed flight, because ‘who fucking cares if you have somewhere you need to be?’ Oh and even better, those times when you have problems checking in online and when you arrive to the airport they kindly inform you that there is no space on the flight for you because you didn’t check in on time. ‘Well I fucking tried, but it’s your fault I am not checked in, it is your computer malfunction and I bought this ticket eight weeks ago!” Nah. Too bad. You find yourself standing in a line waiting to see if somebody else doesn’t show up so that you can get on the flight that they have oversold that you have already paid for. Fucking furious.

Or those times where you are sat on a plane on the runway without information for four hours while they faff about trying to cross reference a passenger list with luggage, which let’s face it, shouldn’t take four hours. Then the airline has the nerve to say ‘oh yeah, we can sell you some food’. People on that plane were going to cause a riot if their hangry selves didn’t get fed and as such the airline after facing a hoard of crazy customers decided to offer one snack and one drink complementary per person. By the time I got up to go and get my snack, it had gotten even more out of hand. It was like watching a new teacher try and manage thirty out of control teenagers as passengers took whatever they felt like from the cart that was more than just a sandwich and a drink. “Oh, but sir…..”. But guess what, sir doesn’t give a fuck and you clearly have no authority as to say no to him so he’s taking his five chocolate bars and four sandwiches and he’s off. As it was I wound up with two sandwiches, a chocolate bar and a drink. I do not feel bad. Whatever.

And don’t even get me started on people who walk slowly with their wheelie fucking suitcases in everyone’s way and taking up both sides of the escalator instead of being polite so that those of us in a hurry and who suffer crippling impatience can beat you to the immigration counter. The amount of people that I ran down in the Stansted Airport in London because of them being slow and in my way I can’t count. But then there was something about London, and London Airports especially, that transformed me into the largest kind of arsehole there ever was that lived.

Anyway, my point is, I hate airports. Fucking hate them. It is the part of travel that I loathe the most. I would rather take a bus and for the most part, I have done most of my cross-continental travels on the bus. Planes are only a necessity when going across water. The people who work there hate their lives and are rude. Security is a bitch at the best of times and depending on where you are, they can be so rigid that it takes forever. Even flight attendants these days seem to hate their jobs. The glamourous and fabulous experiences of the past are dead. Now everybody gets herded like cattle in a transport van, all jammed in at once into tiny seats with their knees around their heads so that they can sit uncomfortably and hungrily for hours without food and water unless you buy a ten dollar box of crackers or water, or manage to get an empty plastic bottle through that you can fill with hot water in the bathrooms because the arseholes don’t have a cold tap anywhere to encourage you to buy more plastic water bottles that end up in the oceans you fly over so we can watch the penguins choke on them. Exactly. Fuck the airport. The only good thing about it is that after dealing with two of them, you can leave for a while and go explore somewhere new until you have to go back again to go home. Ugh.

 

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What I Reckon: Consumerism

I stood in the mall the other day on the escalator and got overwhelmed. I had made a special trip with a friend to buy a specific thing and then that was it. I didn’t want anything other than the thing I needed. But as I slowly started to take note of what was happening around me I realised a few things. There were people everywhere loaded up with plastic shopping bags. Many of these people were shopping for the sake of actual shopping. Not because they actually need anything. But because they have nothing to do and some money to burn so why not just go see what is out there to spend money on for the sake of it. For someone who has sat on the side of the road with refugees that have nothing and yet still have a smile on their face, this general attitude towards consuming annoys me more than I can even express. I am from a country of incredibly lucky and yet entitled people. People who moan how tough they have it because they can’t afford rent this week because they had to buy that carton of beer because alcohol is a typical life ‘necessity’. People with 50″ televisions in their living rooms and more clothes than they know what to do with. And then after three months when it’s all “out of fashion” it’s back to the mall to buy more shit that is made by some poor slave for stuff all money in a developing country because we can’t be seen to not have the best or most fashionable things. That would clearly make us unhappy because that is what society tells us. That is what media manipulate us into believing. Things make us happy, and the more of them you have, the more updated everything is, the better the life you have.

I can’t deal with it. I just can’t. Because if there is one thing that I have learned in this life it is that I don’t need any of it. And neither do you. After returning from travel, I came back to so much shit sitting in the cupboard from my old life that taught me that ‘shopping’ was fun and having lots of stuff was required. I donated or threw half of my things away. I kept majority of my old clothes because I figure I will use them until they die, then use them as a rag and then move on to another item that I bought a long time ago that I have barely used. And even as I sit here, preparing to move, the weight of having more than just a backpack feels like it is so heavy that it could bore me a hole to the centre of the earth. But I am torn between my hatred of waste, and my hatred of owning too much.

The saddest thing of all is that we live in a society that is becoming more and more obsessed with demonstrating life successes through material possessions. You need to have the latest model phone. The largest television. The nicest car. The latest fashion in clothes. These things apparently demonstrate your worth to society, but unfortunately, with every new thing that you acquire, you are only going to need something greater, something grander, to get to the next step of being awesome. Everywhere you look, the media continues to propagate this idea to people so that you will go out and spend all your money on these things to keep the pockets of those who head corporations exploding with more money than they know what to do with. And for some of them, it would be enough to wipe out debts of entire countries, or eliminate hunger and poverty. But obviously, these things aren’t a priority compared to a luxury yacht and designer outfit that they can then post on Instagram to make everybody else feel inferior and depressed about the fact that they can’t do the same.

The backwards thing about this is that so many of these consumerist people are depressed and are not happy. Why? Because instead of focusing on being grateful for the things that they have, they focus on all the things that they don’t have and how obtaining these things will somehow make life better. I can tell you now, it doesn’t. Happiness is a choice you make everyday when you decide to be grateful for the things that you have. If there was one thing that I could have told my twelve-year old self, it would be that. None of it matters and you can’t take any of it with you when you die. It doesn’t define whether or not you are a good person. Your actions do. And it is the relationships you have with others that will define you, not all of the shit that you can put on display to others. Having more, does not make you more.

In a world that is already dying because of overpopulation and awful distribution of resources, buying and buying and buying exacerbates the problem. If we stop buying all the shit, then there will be no need to produce it. The destruction of our environment will lessen, and maybe we could live in a world where everybody has enough instead of a world where the large majority have nothing and the minority strive to take it all. The reality is, it is out of hand and snowballing big time. Eventually there will be nothing left and we will be living on top of a giant pile of trash. 

There needs to be a very large shift in the thinking of majority of the world. Shopping needs to be something that occurs out of necessity instead of as a fun hobby. People need to learn to accept who they are and define themselves by how they behave with others instead of how much stuff they have and can flaunt in the face of others. People need to realise that they are spending their entire lives being craftily manipulated by advertisements that very cleverly brainwash you into specific ways of thinking to make a small minority of people very large sums of money. They need to develop a consciousness of our environment and our planet and learn to preserve it for others instead of constantly thinking about instant gratification and comfort. It is killing our planet. And it is killing our self worth and self esteem. And I don’t know about you, but those things are worth more to me than a new Gucci handbag or the latest iPhone.

What I Reckon: Parenting

I have read many an article from psychologists, teachers and citizens alike on the problems we face with our children these days. The reality is, much of it comes back to parenting. And in this world that we live in, where people are very quick to shove things into the ‘too hard’ basket, our children are suffering. So if, as a global citizen, I may have one request, it is this:

“If you decide to have children in this world, please, please, please for fucks’ sake, parent them”. Tell them no. Take their phones away from them at night. Force them to sit at the dinner table and have a conversation with you. Then force them to do the washing up. Teach them how to take responsibility for their own actions if they screw up. Teach them that there is more to life that having their heads jammed in an iPad or taking a million pictures of themselves to post to social media. Teach them the value of money by not giving them every single thing they fucking well want because when you say no the first time and they throw a tantrum, and you decide it is too embarrassing or too difficult to deal with and so you give in. Well done you. Because what you teach your kid when you give them everything is that they have to work for nothing. That anything I give them on loan has no value so they can break it and put it on the floor because ‘who cares?’ That they are amazing and all deserving and that they world will just give them whatever they want as long as they throw a big enough tantrum for it. The other day I stood and watched a kid break about half a dozen pencils on his forehead like he was Chuck Norris or something and then walked out all impressed with himself…. awesome. Now I have no more pencils and when I tell him I want him to replace them he tells me he won’t be paying for them because it’s ‘just 20p’.

In so many kids I see going through the school system right now there is zero respect for adults, other people in general or property. They cannot see anywhere past what they want in the immediate moment. In that second, that is what they want and anything else beyond that is too hard to comprehend. Working for anything is too hard. It drives me insane. And then you meet parents and you realise why. They are afraid to say no to their children. They are afraid that other people will look down on them as parents if their child is behaving like an arsehole in front of others. So instead of getting at them about their behaviour, they let it slide. They let these children speak awfully to them and each other. They don’t have the time to take from their busy work schedules or are just too damn tired to make the investments necessary to ensure that their children don’t become arseholes. Or they are just too busy burying their heads in the sand.

But letting your child turn into a lazy self-righteous arsehole does not do them any favours. Nor does it do you any favours? Don’t you want to sit and look at your young adult children and think ‘wow, you are an amazing human that I want to spend time with that is full of respect for yourself and others and has ambition and drive to do amazing things’. Unless you tell them no and train them to be this way, they won’t turn out this way. Instead they are going to be soul sucking leeches still on your couch at 30 with no job screaming at you to bring them their dinner, and you will still bring it to them because you still don’t know how to say no. And you will despair at the human you raised because despite loving them you probably won’t like them. So do yourselves a favour.  Parent your damn children. Because I am sick of the buck getting passed to the school teacher and I am sick of the daily disrespect and blame I receive from parents and kids alike because it is my fault that your kids are whining, lazy, unambitious brats that are going to turn into a generation of lazy, unambitious adults.

End rant.

What I Reckon: Being Single In Your 30’s.

Being single in your 30’s is shit. Let’s be real here for thirty seconds. You’re at that age where everybody expects you to settle down and get married and have children. And you are confronted with two realities…

  1. You don’t want to get married and have kids because you are perfectly happy on your own and couldn’t care less. (In which case you are going to cop it from all of your friends and family about what is wrong with you because God forbid you want to be on your own, and God forbid you wanting a life without those ankle biting, life sucking midget’s they call children).
  2. You want to get married and have kids but you just can’t seem to find the right person to be with. (In which case you are still going to cop it from all of your friends and family about why you are still single, and why you can’t find a man and how your ovaries are going to shrivel up and die and you will be like Bridget Jones, alone, found dead 3 weeks after passing under a tub of Ben and Jerry’s you were cracking into on your death bed with your body half eaten by Alsatians).

Now while there is a possibility that I will reach the point where I decide option 1 is the way to go…. (give me a few more years of dealing with arseholes on the dating circuit and this will happen believe you me), I would like for this blog to mostly address point 2.

Hello dear friends and family,

I know you are all well and married with kids of your own and have been that way since you were in your early 20’s. The rest of us however are left to suffer with the ridiculousness that society has dealt us.

Dating today happens through online websites and Tinder. Great. Swipe right, meet up, shag, go home with a probable STI. On to the next. Never get called back.

Go out on an actual date with a person. But don’t stress, he has 7 other dates this week and while he is trying to figure out if he can get the super hot boring girl in the sack he isn’t messaging you for a month and ooop! There it is, the message 6 weeks later that says ‘you were not my first choice but since I have exhausted all other options I thought better looking or funnier than you I figured I would be kind enough to message you now’.

And then there is the guy that loves a massive challenge. And so you provide one. But as soon as you take that next step, bam, he is outta there faster than The Flash and on to the next challenge cause why would you want to revisit the destination you have already been when there are a whole world of destinations (vaginas) out there to explore?

And so we rinse, lather, repeat.

In this world of instant gratification that we live in people expect that they will have Hollywood butterflies all the time, every time and if they don’t, oh well, it’s over. People don’t want to work at their relationships. A friend of mine said to me the other day ‘he said this and that isn’t respecting me or my feelings. I asked her how many times in our 17 year old friendship I have said shit that has disrespected her feelings and we’ve managed to yell at each other and get on with it. ‘Fuck loads’ she says. I am like ‘well why is this any different? It is about how your partner behaves after you call them out on something that upsets you and whether they then try and avoid it’. New relationship teething period. But people give up, freak out. Too hard basket, move on. People are too afraid of investing any part of themselves into anything anymore for fear of getting hurt, fear of making the wrong choices, fear of the thing that most people in the entire course of human history have spent their entire lives endeavouring to find.

And yet here we are. 30. With limited choices. A bunch of scared bratty, ungrateful morons hanging about until the next shag because heaven help us if we actually have to feel anything more than guilt, confusion or a slight amount of disappointment at the end of the day. We are a product of technology, society and too much choice. And we are also our own downfall. Until we decide to make some hard choices, we will never find what we are looking for. And even worse, when you are ready to make those hard choices, you then have to find someone that you have that romantic spark with that is also at a point where they are also willing to make those sacrifices and hard choices. Very few people are. And so back to the drawing board we go.

What I do know is this. I am not afraid to be alone if this dismal fucking dating scene cannot offer me anything more than a cheap weekend ride that won’t call me back later in the week. I don’t want games. I don’t want a disrespectful arsehole. I don’t want someone who is only going to message me once a month to see how I am going because their other shags on the go are busy. I don’t want someone who cannot consider my feelings and my time and treat me as a person they adore.  I am not afraid to instead go and invest my time into my friends who will be with me through my whole life and support me through whatever I need because those are my people. It is these people that will stick by me through thick and thin. And if I can’t find these qualities in a romantic partner then there is always the Rabbit and Duracell and the odd Tinder right swipe to keep me occupied.

 

 

 

What I Reckon: About Being On A Diet

*WARNING – Prepare for somewhat rant…..*

A while ago I decided that I was sick of being at the size I was at and that it was time to do something about it. Seven years ago, I was boxing, tiny and felt great about my body. After a glorious bout of pneumonia which cut me out of exercise for a year and then a nice long stint in the bread basket of Canada where everywhere you look is a processed food, I finally found myself in the position to be able to do something about the weight. And so after 3 months of boxing and getting into a decent fitness routine, I started on the Atkins diet (because my body retains water when I even look at a carb). I lost the weight, then under the stress of work and more travel, it happened again and I ballooned. So back on the bandwagon I go. To make myself do it, I booked a cheap Groupon photoshoot for fun.

One of the biggest challenges I have found to weight loss is not even the strictness that is required to stay away from the carbs. I got to that point now where I was 3 weeks in I don’t crave or want them anymore. My biggest challenge to dieting is other people’s attitudes. It is a sad thing to say but for most people, the biggest challenge that they will face is lack of support from other people. I used to have this all the time when I was living at home with Mum and Dad because they didn’t want to eat what I was cooking and I wasn’t being considerate of others. I now cop it from work colleagues who seem to correlate levels of fun with the amount of alcohol you consume. One colleague even finds pleasure in putting carbs under my nose on a daily basis and I want to punch him, not because I want his bread roll (the thought of which now makes me want to puke) but because he is being such an unsupportive turd. Fun also seems to be correlated with excess consumption of not so healthy food also. If you refuse to consume you are then ‘antisocial’.

And so I pose this question… While everybody says that they are happy for you when you lose weight, are they actually? Or are they annoyed that they themselves do not have the strength and willpower to go out and do what they want so they find comfort in bringing you down to see you fail.  And more so, is this not a reflection of society in general and the need to cut down the tall poppy instead of embracing and encouraging the strengths that we have. I see it on a daily basis in the school system with the smart kids getting bullied or attacked for ‘enjoying science’. You will see it in the media with every celebrity attacking each other through Twitter about the clothes they wear or the things they say and do. It makes me angry. And what makes me even more angry is that people tell me that I must be angry because I need a carb. The truth is, it makes me angry that we cannot as people support the positive decisions that others make in their lives because we fear that it somehow makes us inferior or less of a person if we are then not making these same positive decisions.

Truth be told, I don’t want to progress up the chain of command at work. I don’t find the trade off of the title for the extra stress beneficial for me as a person. But I will support those who do because I can appreciate the work and dedication it takes to step up. I don’t want to be an Olympic boxer. But I will support and appreciate those I meet with the natural ability and hardcore work ethic that want to go all the way. Hell, I will support people in whatever positive decisions they want to make in their life. Because it is their life. And whatever makes them happy is whatever makes them happy. Majority of people will support these ventures… but weight loss? Why is this such a different thing for people to come to grips with and support. Why is there such a peer pressure to drink more and eat more rubbish over the peer pressure to avoid clogging your arteries, live longer and be healthy? Is it because we feel less bad ourselves about trashing our bodies if there are others engaging in the activity too? And then somehow we can vilify our behaviour knowing that it is because others do it we can too, guilt free. Therefore anyone who chooses not to engage is labelled a ‘loser’, ‘downer’, ‘spoil sport’ or ‘boring’ and hopefully it will push these people back into the hole of conforming to peer pressure so that everyone can feel good about themselves? So many questions. I don’t know the answers. But what I do know is this….

Please, if you are reading this and you have a friend that is trying to lose weight, please be a good human and support the positive changes they are making in their life. Support the fact that they don’t want to die and early death due to heart attack or obesity. Support the fact that what they are doing is hard. Even if you don’t agree with it. Even if you feel that it imposes on your social life and the things you can do with them. Even if you feel inferior because you think you can’t. Support it. Change your attitude about the idea of ‘fun’ to not include copious drinking and broaden your horizons to include something new. Who knows, you might find something new that you enjoy and feel better about yourself in the process.

And to those on the journey of dropping the pounds, congratulations for making a change! I am with you all the way and we can do this with or without the support of others because we are strong enough and courageous enough to make change on our own. We deserve this. And so we will have it!

What I Reckon…. About Selfies

A couple of months ago while I was roaming around the streets of Sofia, I met a young English couple and we got chatting. Somehow we managed to get onto the topic of his mum constantly being on the soapbox about something. Add to this another conversation about words that people hate. Many women hate the word ‘moist’. I personally hate the word ‘flannel’. My Canadian ex-boyfriend hated the word ‘reckon’. No matter how much I hounded him about saying it, he just wouldn’t.

So from here the English couple and I started throwing around the word ‘reckon’. It was agreed that the words ‘I reckon’ are usually proceeded by a massive rant, in agreeability to the statement of another, or is usually proceeded by a dumb activity and the phrase ‘hold my beer’. We decided that this should become the foundation of a blog post and here it is. The first ever ‘What I Reckon’.

The first thing I want to get on my soapbox about is selfies. I absolutely LOATHE selfies with the fire of a thousand suns. While I can appreciate that there is the odd occasion where one might take a photo of oneself to say ‘I was there’ or ‘this was a special occasion’ to family, friends or not yet thought of grandchildren, there is absolutely no need to take a million photos of yourself and post them to the internet.

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Classic Duck Face

I sat behind a girl on the bus who was dolled up to the nines and took about 25 selfies before she chose one to put on Instagram. ‘Hey guys! Look at me! I’m on a fucking bus! How cool am I???’

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Aren’t I Sexy? Face

I was also warned by the hostel worker in Croatia about taking selfies on the boardwalks at Plitvice Lakes. A person died there falling off the edge of a waterfall being a dumb arse trying to take a selfie. Fact. More people have died this year from selfies than from shark attacks. Most of these people are doing dumb shit trying to look cool for the people of social media. “Hey, I am on the roof of a train! And whoops, I just got electrocuted!” or “Check me out on the edge of a cliff! And oops, I just went over the edge of it!” or “Don’t I look cool posing with this loaded gun! Oh I just shot myself or my friend in the head with it! Oops!” Wouldn’t it be nice if people actually stopped to think about safety first instead of how cool they will look on Facebook.

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“Like, I am so excited!’ Face

While I was at Plitvice, I came down the hill and saw a massive line. Thinking to myself ‘this cannot be the boat queue, I haven’t walked 5km yet’, I asked about it. The woman couldn’t tell me what the queue was for, so I started pushing in along the side. Turns out the queue was for selfies. And there they are, hundreds of people lined up trying to get a million pictures of themselves on their selfie sticks. Here is a novel idea. JUST TAKE ONE and then move the fuck along.

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“I am being silly because I am bored and have nothing else to do” Face

Arseholes everywhere are harassing you about buying their selfie sticks. I personally relate to that Cyanide and Happiness cartoon where the guy stabs the other guy with his own selfie stick. This is how much I hate selfies and selfie sticks.

from http://imgur.com/gallery/ffbbcrj
from http://imgur.com/gallery/ffbbcrj

Other selfie related loathing comes from boys. No I DO NOT want to take a selfie of myself or my tits and send it to you. I HAVE BETTER SHIT TO DO WITH MY TIME. That and I don’t need to be putting that shit out there to the world. I have seen what happens here. Ask all the celebs who’s t and a wind up stolen off of iCloud. I loved it when I had a smashed front camera on my phone. Couldn’t even selfie if I tried and what a great excuse! Stop pestering me about sending you a selfie. I look the same as the last time you saw me and if you want to look at my glorious face, find a picture of me doing something cool on Facebook. Because I am not sending you a picture of my tits.

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Boys, this is the only picture of ‘my boobs’ you are going to get!

And of course to all of you out there who have nothing better to do with your time than take a million photos of yourself, GET ANOTHER HOBBY. I once taught a 14 year old who told me she had amassed 10,000 selfies of herself. I told her the same thing. I am pretty sure everyone knows what you look like by now. Stop jamming up my newsfeed with your face.

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Sullen Face

Anyway, like I said before, time and place. I am not saying that you shouldn’t take any photos of yourself. What I am saying is take one or two, put the lens away and enjoy the moment you are in. Enjoy actually living in the real world. Because in the real world, nobody cares about what the fuck you look like this hour. You look the same as you did ten minutes ago. In fact, wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually celebrate the minds of people and the intelligent thought processes they have instead of how well their eyebrows are groomed. I am getting quite fed up of all of the selfie bullshit. Might be time to move to a village where people don’t have phones.