Archive for May, 2008

Notes on Singapore

After 14 hours;From the Singapore river

  • Singapore is a bit like Sydney crossed with disney land. I have photos to prove it. Everything is extreamly clean and everywhere I go I see cleaners.
  • The toilets flush themselves for you, Which completly bent my brain out of shape at 6:45AM when I arrived.
  • The food tastes like the cities look, sweet and gentle.My dinner in Singapore
  • The Melbourne winter uniform is innappropriate to wear – 10degrees in Melbourne = 38degrees in Singapore. I melted even after shedding layers.
  • Terminal 3 is the place to be. Lounge after lounge stocked with comfy couches and wacky fast food shops and cavernous bathrooms with dressing tables and individual sinks.

On Mommy Blogs

I have to say I am the least maternal person you may ever meet. Someone once handed me a child and I just held it there at arms length hanging from its armpits. It looked at me, and I at it and we mutually agreed that neither of us was enjoying ourselves. I think they’re unnecessarily loud and that they smell, I know that anything under 7 years old feels this way about me too. I have no problem with this.

The reasons I read most blogs are exceedingly simple; I am a web designer – I read web design blogs or I am a mac user – I read mac blogs. Im sure most folk function this way. However, a few months ago while trying to tame my RSS feeds I stumbled onto a surprising trend in my reading habits; I read a lot of blogs by women with children. Being the self confessed non maternal child hater I am, this intrigued me.

So I asked – “Self, whats going on?” and the brain committee huddled and came back with some possible answers;

  • Some suppressed urge in my subconscious to breed?
  • Embers of maternal instinct beginning to glow?
  • Recent alien abduction?

I pondered on this for a week or so then was confronted by a child in a store, a little girl. I think to most people she was cute, skipping up and down the aisles singing. Her fair hair was in pig tails and curled into little ringlets.

Actually in all honesty I had completely ignored her to better focus on which brand of moisturiser I was going to inflict on my face, until she face-planted right in front of me. I didn’t see the start of the fall but I saw the end, her tiny hand trying to keep her face from being smooshed by the carpet. I can still see it in slow motion. She had started crying before the rest of her had hit the ground.

And yes, I was shocked and concerned as I would be by any living thing in pain. But I just awkwardly stood there and stared at this poor kid, my mouth slightly agape with a really dopey look on my face, there was no urge what so ever to go hug, assist or even enquire.

Eventually mum was alerted to its offspring’s plight by the sobbing. And the noise was over soon after that. But before it was all over my brain had managed to cross reference this event with something it had been working on earlier. If I had a heads up display it would have appeared like this.

[Low to absent maternal instinct – CONFIRMED]

And then I was back on the question.

I looked to my RSS feeds and saw another trend; I read very few blogs written by my own demographic (female, unmarried, no children, 18 – 25). The ones I do read I find mildly unsatisfying compared with the ‘mommy blogs’.

Unsatisfying? They seem just a little bit vacuous, I didn’t care quite as much, “the characters weren’t resonating with me”.

Then, after reading Dooce’s post about being molested by television and being referred to as a “Mommy Blogger”. I was inspired. One line got me good;

“Because even though some people use that label to belittle the fact that there are women out there writing about their experiences as mothers…”

And she’s right, whoever came up with that label wasn’t talking nice. They were all “not real bloggers – mommy bloggers” then they slapped their high horse on the bum to gallop away into the sunset.

And I got it. The cowboy had it wrong, Mommy Blogs are up there with the best kind (the ad revenue alone proves that).

Having a child had richened their point of view making them much more interesting writers, it wasn’t just about them any more, or just about their children. I like the way the mothers openly and frankly share their troubles and issues and how even if you don’t have a kid there are basics there anyone can relate to. I like it that they admit that having children isn’t at all like pooping rainbows that society does tell lies for procreation. I like the networks they make to help each other. Their lives have so much more meaning than the 23 year old web designer that writes about having problems dressing herself in the morning (taking about self here). It’s just a better read.

I do have to say that the blogs I read don’t always exclusively talk about their children and I don’t personally consider them strictly ‘Mommy Blogs’, to me they’re just about lives. Lives sharing and reaching out.

Stop wasting your time here and go read some;

Training

So right now Im on a train, in a tunnel under the Melbourne CBD. The dark outside of the window has just taken a highlighter to my reflection and is in the process of pointing out the red spots on my face to my fellow travelers.

The blonde next to me is squinting downward trying to covertly read what Im writing and I’m going to wish her luck because glancing back up the page, I’m going to have problems reading it myself, and I’m supposed to type it out later.

I’ll blame the train, and my blonde friend next to me for squishing me into this tiny space and denying my left elbow the room it needs to swing around should my handwriting be legible.

I promise I’m trying. Im trying (heres where it get’s tricky – careful now) because I’m going to Spain soon. And I have no idea about the quality of left hand side elbow room they have over there. So I figure I better get used to all kinds. This may not make sense to you, but you’re not going to Spain, I am.

I’m going to thank the blonde, and Connex (despite the inconvenience caused) for this mostly uncomfortable seat. ‘Cause it all feels like training for the multiple plane journeys I get to endure traveling over to europe, or the cross land bus trips or even rides on the Barcelona metro.

I can’t wait to be sweating my ass off while also baking it to the vinyl bus seat in the early Spanish summer sun. Not to say I thought this years Australian summer was a slouch, there were enough 40ºC days to bake my back garden dead, but I digress.

Im training for my first solo adventure into the unknown, the unknown being a plethora of things including, but not limited to: Multiple 12+ hour flights, booking travel insurance, Europe, travel backpacks and being alone. One would possibly observe that Im pretty excited about it all too and one would be correct. And amongst all the bubbly school girl excitement (next to the schoolgirl fear) is the urge to share. So Im training that up as well.