Well at least life is interesting

Sometimes I forget that not everyone travels around and lives in different places as easily as I do. I don’t feel particularly different from the people I meet, and I try to live in the moment as much as possible. I have been living in Toronto for almost 2 years (June 12 is my 2 year Anniversary with Canada) and I guess at this point I’m surprised when people think its neat that I am from Australia.

Oh yeaaaah, I’m from Australia. Right.

People is People, as they say (in the muppets 1984) and to be honest, I forget you are all Canadian.

Buuuuut…eesh…awkward…I’m not really from Australia, because I’ve now lived more years overseas than I ever did in the land of my Parents and Grandparents (cheers for the sweet passport). There are days when I miss Sydney like crazy, but I realize it’s the people and the time that it represented that I miss the most (Uni days with the best girlfriends and guyfriends in the world). Okay I miss the Harbour Bridge and King street Newtown, the Beaches and Paddington, but the great thing about my little Navy Passport with the Kangaroo and Emu on it, is that I can go back any time.

And I honestly feel like I COULD just slot back in there. Familiar streets, familiar faces.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I secretly FREAK out when it comes to change, but they also know that I am constantly making myself do weird things and change-it-up because I am like two people sharing the same personality. One, a quiet homebody type who doesn’t really want to rock the boat and wants to live a quiet, friendly, calm, stable life, and the other a crazy, Adventurous, eccentric type who says “f^%$ you, I do what WANT!” And moves to the otherside of the world with no warning.

Like on April 3rd 2013.

On April 3rd 2013 I’m going home to Hong Kong for 7 weeks to work as an Assistant Stage Manager on a rather huge production, home to the land of my High School friends, my mother, and our Irritating but adorable Cat Guinness.

Guinness the Cat

Guinness the Cat

The homebody me at first dismissed the idea of going:

Homebody Me: What about the opportunities here you may miss out on? What about your room, you’ll have to find a sublet, what about…what about…what about…

But luckily for me, my eccentric side listened to the many naggings on my mother, and simply decided, “screw this, I’m going”…and booked a ticket, confident that the rest would just fall into place. (Which it always does)

And with each day that passes since I simply made up my mind to go, I’m getting more and more excited. Because the Adventurous me gets nervous when things are a bit too quiet, and what seems more fun? Temping and doing Volunteer TV stuff, or going to Asia and working on a West End like production? If the universe unfolds as it should, and with the Job market such a dogs breakfast over here…maybe I was meant to take this opportunity all along?

With my new 2 year Canadian work visa up for renewal, and the idea that I will continue to live in Toronto for the next two years, the homebody part of me is somewhat satisfied that there is stability on the horizon.

And the adventurous part of me is PSYCHED to learn some new things, meet some new people, reconnect with old friends, and generally spend some time deviating from the norm some more.

I am an Australian born, Asia Bred girl of 24 who lives in Canada.

Got all that? Good.

The Next Five Years

“Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans” is something my father has been known to say on occasion, but which google reveals to be a John Lennon quote/song lyric. Never is that saying truer than it is for the month of February, which at 28 days most years, goes by in a flash. Here we are March 1st and I’m thinking, we should probably take down the Christmas tree.

My Mum wrote a very funny blog earlier this week, about how she feels she is just hanging around in the waiting room of life. She’s 43 years old and all her children have fled the nest, and she’s not sure what the next twenty years will look like. Well funny that, none of us do.

A day after reading her blog, a package I sent myself six weeks ago arrived. During the Christmas break back in Hong Kong, I spent some time going through some of my old stuff that has accumulated in my mothers tiny apartment. I found my old school blazer (which was gigantic on me in year 12 and now sits the way my work blazers sit…ever an indication of aging and thickening) old programs from Musicals I was in, and I found precious newspaper pages on which I featured.

When I was 15 and living in Hong Kong there was a section of the South China Morning post called “The Young Post” and for a period of time they had different groups of kids (I think they started with 9) come in, photograph them in a couple of different poses, and then send then get them to respond to certain questions. The idea was that you would vote one kid out of the young post every week.

I only lasted 3 weeks or so. My downfall week, the question was “tell us a joke”. My parents had a thick book of politically incorrect jokes that used to sit in our bathroom (wildly inappropriate for children, but hey, I learned a lot about sex and sexual interaction from that novel!) Now, I know what you are thinking, I went ahead and did the one about the Nun and the Irishman. WRONG. Because somewhere in the back of my rude-joke-packed-mind I realized that these jokes were hilarious but also WILDLY inappropriate for the young post, I looked up online, “politically correct, lame jokes,” and came up with the following, which I used as my answer:
“What’s brown and sticky? A Stick!”

I was eliminated. Well Fuck.

But that isn’t where our story ends today. The question before the one that ended my career as Supreme Young Person of Hong Kong 2004, was “Where do you see yourself in 15 years?” And I answered the following:

“Wow! I’ll be 30! Well I hope to be working in a creative Job, maybe Acting because that is something I have always loved, living in some far away exotic place, with some really hot guy.”

Well.

This year I will be 25 and that means it has been ten years since I wrote that.

Let’s check in.

I am certainly living in some faraway place; Toronto is NOT exactly close to Hong Kong, and I’m not sure what I would have defined as exotic back then, having lived the majority of my life in Asia at that point. Compared to the busy, loud, crazy city that I consider my home…snow covered everything is pretty exotic. Eh?

As for the job…at this point I’d take any job as the endless weeks of Temping blur into one another and my sent inbox fills with more and more desperate and unanswered emails, (I’m totally kidding, I’m still working towards the creative thing and have actually had a couple of non-creative job offers suggested to me, which I have politely turned down. I didn’t bust my ass being poor and interning for the last 6 months to give up and take yet another Admin job which pays the bills, but kills my soul.)

And as for the really hot guy thing, let’s not even go there. You don’t want to hear me gush about Canuck boyfriend and he’d probably de-friend me if I did. But I think I’m on-track with that one.

But the next five years is going to be pretty huge I’m guessing. There is obviously no way of knowing (because 2 years ago I would have never thought I’d be where I am today), but the one thing I do know is that life is an ever changing thing. You can never get too comfortable with the way things are, for better or worse, and it’s always for the better in my opinion.
I find it interesting that my Mother feels rutted in her life when she is still in the prime of it. I get it that the hands on child-rearing faze of her life has fizzled, but she never gets to stop being our mother (sucks to be you) and she never gets to stop being a part of her already fairly eccentric family. Maybe that’s her problem (and I suffer from it to) there are days when things just seem too calm and normal.

And that is freaky.
The good news is that she has the next generation to look forward to. Maybe not in the next five years, but, thanks to stupid biology, certainly in the next 15. And she’s already threatened to be the grandmother that feeds the grandkids sugar and lets them stay up late and gives them money to sneak out to concerts and will generally be considered “cool” and therefore loved more than me. Stupid ungrateful unborn, un-conceived children.

I guess we’ll just have to see where we’re at, twenty years from now.

MUM MUM! I’m going to be on TV!

I am looking forward to Tomorrow morning because when I wake, I’ll brush my hair, wash my face (usually it looks like a snail slept at the corner of my mouth because of all the shiny drool marks), I’ll try to put on an outfit that doesn’t make me look fat or emphasize the natural redness of my face, and I’ll put on my clipity cloppy shoes, take my handbag full of grown-up things like keys and left-over birthday cake, and I’ll go to the TV studio where I do my internship with a happy little jiggle in my step. Because Tomorrow I get to film a reporter segment. That’s right, some crazy person here in Toronto is actually going to let me interview someone and (theoretically) put that gargled-word-spew on Television. Where people can watch it. People who haven’t been strapped to an electromagnetic pulsing chair with their eyelids held open.

Yay me!

In all seriousness, I probably won’t be that bad. I’ve done five minutes of research on the organization we are covering, and I even went to their website. I’ve read the media pack and I am good to go. How much more prepared could I be? Doing this uncut, un-edited 6 minute interview with children will be as easy as squashing my triple d’s into that bra I swear still fits.

It’s going to happen one way or another. I just hope it won’t be too painful.

No but seriously, I am so happy to have this opportunity. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m turning 24 next week, and for some reason I keep feeling like working in retail is crushing my soul and making me question if I’m doing the right thing being thousands of kilometres away from my family all alone in a random country that no one in my family had ever even thought of before I decided I’d never leave.

Oh I’m sorry… I didn’t mention that I’m having one of those what-the-hell-am-i-doing-with-my-life moments? At what point do we just give up and say “Paris you are not just having a what-the-hell-am-i-doing-with-my-life moment, you just generally don’t know what the hell you are doing with your life” ?

In theory, when people ask me about my life-plan, I mumble something about film and television and Tina Fey and riches enough to buy me a sweet purebred dog and an apartment overlooking some kind of harbour. And in theory, North America seems like the place to be for all that jazz, what with its massive amount of productions and population and all that stuff. And yes, you are right, technically I should be in LA or NYC but I haven’t figured out how to navigate the USA visa website without getting exhausted so SHUTUP I’m in Canada, which is like wanting to Keep up with a Kardashian but instead sitting in a room with Bruce Jenner trying to figure out how to find Kim or Koala or whatever the other ones are called.

In the last almost two months since that weird vortex called Camp finished and I came back and joined the real-world after a summer of living under a micro-scope and fighting about who got which days off, I have applied to probably 60 film and television companies based here. I have written funny cold call type emails and attached my Resume, I have tried to network with people I think might know people, I have literally not stopped pushing at that glass aquarium that surrounds the entertainment industry, trying to find a crack. And whoever did the waterproofing has surely done a fine job.

No cracks are to be found.

I did have an interview with a very big production and distribution company thanks to a friend of mines dad (oh did I tell you I didn’t know it was an interview and thought it was a meeting so…kindof just turned up totally mentally unprepared?) and even thought that went AWESOMELY I (surprisingly) didn’t really hear back from them (outside of it was great to meet you).

I know that people search for the right job for months and months, and its winter now and blah blah blah.

But give this girl a break.

I am hardworking and smart and I have a pretty great Resume for one seeking just an entry-level job… what is it?!

I need the Universe to unfold as it should FASTER. I am trying to approach each day as a learning experience, trying to keep faith with the old patience and trying to keep working and chipping at that old job-searching thing but LORD is it exhausting to try to contact 60 people and to hear back from 4, all politely to let you know that they currently aren’t hiring.

I’m not alone I know. I have two friends who just arrived in Toronto trying to get jobs too. And they are in Finance/HR and Business. So it isn’t like it’s just my industry. BUT COME ON! We’re girls and we need to start making some money so we can buy nice things and take our boyfriends to trendy restaurants. This isn’t the 50’s any more. A girls got to work it.

Thank god the internship I’m doing is still throwing challenges at me and making me feel like I’m maybe not probably trying to cling to the imaginary hope of a career in this industry.

So yeah, I’ll let you know when you can tune in. Hopefully the Canadians will be able to understand my accent.

End Rant

(Photocredit: Icanhazcheezburgers.com)

What they Said v.s What they Meant

Oh hello there.

Yes, you, random blog follower/internet Connoisseur.

Welcome to Austraaliens fantastical Wednesday blog post featuring your host (me) blunt, vertically challenged, Australian, do-gooder, and the ridiculous and often troublesome existence of my being.

Shall we begin?

Excellent.

Now, take off your pants and lie down on this slab of marble. The werewolf mechanic will be here shortly.

Oh no wait!

That’s the opening line to the second chapter of what is sure to be my new Erotic BestSeller, ‘Werewolf mechanic, howls at your moon’…

I’ve completely digressed from where I was going.

Let me just re-fill this pipe and we’ll begin again.

Alright.

Now where was I.

Ah yes.

Passive Aggressive Torontonians.

Now, I’m a fairly mild-mannered person when it comes to most things. If I’m angry, you’ll know – because I will punch you. If I’m sad, you’ll see because my face will look like this:

My emotions are fairly close to the surface.

That, and I’m blunt. Maybe too blunt. But the great thing about bluntness is, it saves time and avoids confusion.

I find that Canadians in general, are not very blunt.

This has caused a fair amount of cultural-lost-in-translation moments since I first arrived here six months ago. (Oh you Canucks and your polite-ish ways. How do you stand your maple syrup selves?)

But the thing that most gets to me, is the way people get angry here. No one gets REALLY shouty angry. It’s more quiet, snarky, commenty angry. And quiet angry frightens me. Quiet angry is from childhood, the moment before your parents would EXPLODE with rage.

Side story: When I was a (spoilt) child and my brothers and I were all under the age of ten, my mother made and painted for us the most INCREDIBLE child-sized table and chairs. The four chairs, (if I remember correctly) were shaped and painted like Jasmine, Peter Rabbit, The little mermaid and Winnie the Pooh. The table was painted beautifully and had corresponding character friends in the corners of the table (Flipper was one I can remember…the others not so much). Despite being somewhat of an underrated artist, my mother was also working as a radio announcer on a breakfast show, raising us three scally wags, looking after the house, 2 dogs, cat, 2 birds and being married to my lovely father who was going through somewhat of a midlife crisis (pretty much every 3-5 years) (dyeing hair blonde, buying motorcycles). I now realize that my mother would have only been a few years older than I am now, having gotten the babies popped out nice and early.

ANYWAY

Side story continued: My Mum was/(is) a yeller. When she is ANGRY.YOU.FUCKING.KNOW.IT. She wasn’t really a smacker, but getting shouted at on the occasions we were naughty, was like a smack to the eardrums. Fine. So I can deal with shouting, and while those times were scary, they were hot air and tears and then kisses and forgiveness. It was the quiet, simmering anger, the kind that only came out rarely in my mother, that terrified the living shit out of me. When my Mum was REALLY angry, back in the day, and we’d be sitting at our awesome table, bickering and being little pricks, my Mum would calmly and quietly go to the kitchen drawer, take out the wooden spoon (a symbol of smack-time) and put it on the table in front of us.

No yelling. Just a quiet danger.

Our instant reaction would be to sit up amazingly straight, stop whatever nonsense or tom-foolery we had previously been about, and resume dainty, quiet table manners, like the ladies we would all become.

That is how I feel in Toronto sometimes. Not like a lady with impeccable table manners, but rather as a child at a Disney table who has been presented with a calm quiet fortune of wooden doom.

Today for example, taking the crowded subway downtown because it’s wet and cold, everyone is squished into the car. I flatten myself so people can get past me that want to get out and a women with a bad hair-cut says passive-aggressively “Good job not moving!” as she shoulder charges me out the door.

I never bother to reply, but today I stared at her pallid gross face and said with all the haughtiness I could muster “There’s no need to be rude.” Did I feel good? Not especially. I’ll never see that woman again. Okay maybe I felt a little good. Bitch, that’s right I got the last word in.

There really IS no need to be rude.
She could have said “excuse me” or “could you move please” or “If I could just get by..”
OR
She could have been angry, own that anger, go for it and say “MOVE FOR GOD’S SAKE” or “FUCKING MOVE” or “EXCUSE ME WALRUS YOU’RE IN THE WAY.” I mean I would have gotten it. It’s Wednesday, number one, it’s cold outside but SWELTERING in the subway, and in general if you’re a middle-aged woman with a terrible sense of style, well I mean…you’re just generally going to be mad.

But seriously….

Grow a pair and say what you mean. That, or don’t take the f-ing subway!

Now excuse me while I sip brandy beside my TV which is set on the log fire channel.

Good day.