Archive | September, 2011

A Bizarre Encounter in Aisle 4 Woolworths Checkout

16 Sep

So, apologies in advance _ I do not have a pretty photo to reflect my post. I just feel very compelled to write about a very bizarre encounter I had this morning. It was unexpected and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about tit since.


I had to buy a trolley (literally) full of bread (for work purposes) early this morning.  The ‘check-out chick’ looked over 55+ and had big, bushy ‘Frida Kahlo-like” eyebrows. They were definitely the distinguishing feature on her harsh, but podgy face. Being the friendly person I am, I greeted her with a warm smile & said a ‘hello, how are you?”.  


Not in a million years could I have anticipated what was to come next. Let’s just say, the probability of what came out of this ‘check-out chick’s’ mouth, can be aligned with the probability of Victoria Beckham voluntarily sifting through a bargain bin at Target. Yes, unlikely.


I wish I had found out her name. She wasn’t wearing her badge.


Anyways, I expected a simple “I am well thanks” to my question. Instead I got; “I am feeling good tody, as my boss let me off last night and I got to watch the re-run of Miss Universe.”


I thought it was going to stop there. No…she continued. For 15 minutes. On the topic of Miss Universe. I wish I was exaggerating. But I promise I am not.


I don’t know if she was lonely or she was genuinely obsessed by the topic. Nevertheless, her facial expression remained deadpan. She rattled off statistics & figures like it was a math’s Olympiad. “Did you know that 3 of the top 5 finalists of the 2011 pageant were from Spanish speaking backgrounds – don’t know find that biased?” before, I had a chance to get over the shock, she was telling me; “In 2008, I knew that Puerto Rico had a 76% chance of winning, she looked natural & was a stand out from the start”…”Did you know, Angola was a Portuguese colony? No wonder she won”


She then went on a tangent, on the meaning of beauty and for her beauty is when she ‘can’t stop looking at someone’ (alarm bells, started to set off in my head – what the hell?). She told me how she didn’t like ‘long pins’, but instead preferred bodies that didn’t look like they had been ‘worked out’.


She spoke fast. Very fast. Was direct. And struggled to take a breath.


Let me remind you – by this stage I had already had all my goods swiped and paid for. She just didn’t let me escape, she kept talking as she served the line of people behind me. Each of them, giving me the ‘I feel sorry for you’ look.


Ok so admittedly, 5 mins into it – I may have added fuel to the fire. I told her my friend from school was MissAustraliain 2007 (Caroline Pemberton). She was already onto it – in 2 seconds flat, she started rattling of facts about Caroline. It was truly unbelievable – “Oh yes, the blonde one, who does a lot of charity work & does quite a few TV appearances”….opinions on Rachel Finch, Cherrie Lee-Biggs and Jennifer Hawkins followed….she ended her speech with “It must feel so good winning Miss Universe”


I was running late, I didn’t want to seem polite….but I slowly started edging the trolley away. But then…. the strangest thing happened (even after our 15 min engagement), instead of saying goodbye or any closing comments, she just turned to the customer she was serving…and said “cheque, credit or savings”. That was it. Speech over.


I was left there amused and in shock & disbelief…did that just really happen?


It was a very interesting experience; I have never met a die-hard Miss Universe pageant fan before. To be honest, I thought majority of the audience were  men  that enjoyed watching women parade around in swim suits or American stage-mom’s taking notes for their unborn daughters to increase their chances of becoming a beauty queen one day……Never in my life, would I have picked this 50-something Woolies check-out chick ….BY no means, I am not judging…. I say good on her for being so passionate about it!


I still don’t understand, why she chose me to download all her Miss Universe opinions on. It was very intense & unexpected for a8:00amtrip to Woolworths.


Maybe it was her dream to be a beauty queen. Maybe she enjoyed the pageants for its cultural currency. Or maybe I should brush up on my pageant knowledge, go back to Aisle 4….and ask her these questions myself!


A visit to the art gallery…

12 Sep


Subdued whispers. Voiced opinions. Silently shuffling. Pausing every few steps. Staring. Gazing. Getting lost – not physically, but instead getting lost in the metaphysical. Blurring boundaries between imagination and reality.  No control of where your imagination may venture to next.  Colours. Lines. Textures. Each element constitutes a whole. Each element a dormant catalyst – you never know what it might activate within you– a physical facial expression, a long-forgotten memory, a potent emotion.

Art Galleries. Visiting one is like stepping into a vortex. The art gallery space has a universal vibe. On the outset art galleries are physically predictable – paintings on walls, sculptures on floors, people politely wandering, tour guides excitedly proving insight. Yet, beyond the basic structure and social etiquette, lies the unfamiliar. On the surface it just seems like people viewing art, however, those who have been to an art gallery know how much deeper this actually goes. Each piece of art has the power to take you on an imaginative journey. A journey with no predefined destination. It is not like reading a book. Or watching a movie. There is no fixed ending. How your mind makes sense of a piece of art, is dependent on a culmination of your own logic, rationality, creativity and past experiences. How you perceive a piece of art is important, because whilst someone else has created it – it is ultimately a reflection of your inner self.

An art gallery pulsates. An art gallery breathes. An art gallery lives. Certain pieces of art live on in your mind. Even when your consciousness has put them to sleep, your subconsciousness keeps them awake.

I visited the ‘Mad Square’ Berline exhibition (Weimar Period 1919-1933) last week. I went there by myself. People might find that weird. But I found it incredibly meditative. I could take my time. I could take in each piece without interruption. I honestly had such a good time. The lighting, the humidity, the temperature of an art gallery – all so controlled, seemingly contradicts the chaos that runs through your mind whilst viewing art.

Being myself, meant that I could focus deeply on my own reaction to certain pieces. Whilst  I was in there – my mind quietened. My breath slowed. I immediately realised how powerful this space was. No wonder art has stitched itself into the material that makes up human culture. No wonder art galleries are so highly valued all over the world for centuries and centuries.

You forget the world outside. Art galleries demand total focus. Fragmented thoughts of daily life, suddenly are put into perspective. Upon viewing art, your view becomes myopic.

Art galleries. Powerful places. Powerful spaces.

Secret Car Behaviour

4 Sep

All of us have been involved in SCB at some stage. Incessantly drumming your palms on the steering wheel. Cruising, with one hand out the window, doing ‘the rollin’ with the homies’ move (you know the one). Or, with all windows rolled up…belting out Mariah Carey’s ‘One sweet day’. Yes, you got it – SCB – Secret Car Behaviour. Except…that it is not so secret. Although, it feels like we are in a protective bubble…it is too easy, to forget that we are actually caged in a perspex mobile vehicle. Tinted windows? Don’t kid your self… people can still see in.

One SCB which I am very well acquainted is car singing (at the top of your lungs).

You know what I’m talking about…the awkward moment, where you stop at the traffic light and your favourite song comes on…all of a sudden you let down all inhibitions. Your shoulder begins to twitch, before you know it…your head is bopping, you hands are beating the wheel and you are singing (VERY loudly). Your peripheral vision catches something by your side. You stop mid-verse, only to see the driver next to you is either horrified or laughing…..hard. In this situation there are two paths you can take:
a) Sink down in your seat & stare hard at the red light – hoping it will turn green quickly, so you can speed off.
b) You continue your ‘performance’, smiling at your traffic acquaintance, hoping they will be inspired to do the same.

We spend equivalent of 1 year of our life stuck in traffic (ok, I made that up – but I reckon I am pretty close). It is considered wasted time….or is it? I have recently taken up to downloading ‘intellectual’ podcasts, as a result my trivial pursuit game has improved ten-fold. I also received a free Mary Poppins CD this week, which I have been paying on repeat- this has definitely improved my high soprano notes & vibrato….

Another one of my favourite things to do, is put on my ‘Gangsta Nix” playlist & drive one-handed (again, very safely), put one hand on the window pane…and pretend that I am driving down an alley way in the Bronx in New York. It makes me feel empowered. (NB:- If you want to recreate this amazing sensation for yourself, I recommend Coolio’s -Gangsta Paradise)

Moving on from SCB, the car is the perfect place to ‘think’. Over the last few years whilst driving my (yellow) Honda Jazz, certain ‘car-related’ innovation ideas have arisen (Please kindly do not try and steal my ideas, they are all copyrighted)

1. There should be a car dating service. Come on admit it, how many times have you been distracted by a hottie in a near by vehicle? Purposely switched lanes? Given a flirtatious smile at the traffic lights? I am guilty of doing this many times. So this is my idea…If you are single & interested, you should be able to display your name, number and a small message on your window. The love interest can then ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ your message. Viola! On the road to love….

2. Car-o-ke – A (safe) way to be able to display lyrics of a song on the windscreen of your car – like a projector…Yes, there are a few flaws in this idea – but come on…its genius! What’s not to love! My new ‘thang’ is recording myself singing on my iphone when in the car – instant playback was a great invention – especially when you have such a gorgeous voice like mine. I’m sure a recording feature could be integrated into ‘car-o-ke’.

3. The ‘wave’ – instead of ‘waving your hand, I think we should install a back windscreen wiper with a hand that says ‘Thank you’. I also, think there should be another option to attach a hand signaling the rude finger with such phrases as “Stop driving so closer to me you [insert rude word here]”, “Hurry the [insert F word here] up”. Again, genius!

Some of my other ‘illegal’ SCB, includes painting my nails (using the wheel as a flat surface), changing my bra whilst driving on the way to soccer training, even been known to read a book whilst being stuck on Ryde Rd. If you are part of the police force, please disregard above comments.

SCB – productive, exciting and oh so satisfying.