Monday, 24 September 2012


Vop was watching Sesame Street this morning. She loves it. She sings and dances and grooves with Elmo, and we try and use Word of the Day in context for the rest of the morning, and all that sort of good parenting stuff.

So, this morning, as The Husbang was getting ready for work, and Vop was watching the TV, The Count came on.

Now, it's more than 17 years since my last child loved Sesame Street, and I didn't realise that in the interim, The Count got married, or at least has a live in, and, yes, she's called The Countess.

So The Count and his squeeze are negotiating their fave thing, to count, yes?

What the Countess said:

"Count, mein schnitzel, until I scream stop!"

What the Husbang heard"

"Pound my schnitzel until I scream stop"

Coffee came out his nose.

SS may have changed since our older kids loved it, but not THAT much.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Einstein's theory of stab-ativity

Lae is known as the city of potholes. You THINK you know potholes until you come up here. Our potholes are on 'roids. Big, deep and breast-shatteringly, kidney-damaging craters. Husbang and I did a bit of off-road 4WDing in our day, but with no word of a lie, EVERYONE up here drives a big all-terrain diesel monster because a sedan simple wouldn't make it to the shops. Think of a fairly extreme off-road tour, and that's my daily drive.

In 2009, there was a pothole so freaking deep on Coronation Drive that a PMV (local public transport, usually a minivan, held together with Blu Tak and dick cheese) got stuck in it and abandoned.

And then looted. And set on fire.

The local council's solution to this pothole was to fill it with 44 gallons drums. That's plural. DrumS. Which were then promptly stolen on a nightly basis by the local louts.

So, you think you're tough enough to expat in Lae? You've "Pffft"-ed at the descriptions online that it's the most dangerous city in the world outside a war zone, You've laughed (somewhat maniacally) at your friend/family's concern over typhus and malaria, and you've learned to say Hello and Thank you in Tok.

Bullshit. You aint ready, Freddy.

You are not ready to expat in Lae until you've had a bespoke bra made, Mine is called "The Spandex Monster" It's glamorous in a Russian Female Weight-Lifter kinda way. But baby, it holds the puppies in place on the drive to the market!

Forget Ah-Bras, unless you want the "ah" to represent "Ah just gave maself a black eye with ma own tittie"

And here's where Einstein's theory comes in.

I have Double E breasts. I cheerfully refer to them as Annapurna One and Annapurna Two.

So, add EE x 2, divide by menopause to the power of having your period and you get stabby.

Really. Fucking. Stabby.

It's like driving the Baja Rally with 2 large plastic bags of boiling water strapped to your upper chest. Some dude that The Husbang bangs on about did the Baja in record time, WITH A BROKEN FINGER.

I am all like whoopty-fucking-dooh, Basil. Try driving to Foodmart, with your period when the Spandex Monster's in for a wash.

One day I'll blog about the joys of being perimenopausal since 32, but when every bounce in the road moves your torso about 7 inches in every plane, while your breasts are pumped up on hormones, and every kidney-slapping jar makes your uterus try and expel itself from your body in a scene reminiscent of John Hurt's death scene in Alien, THEN I'll give you some props. And I do this

Broken finger? SERIOUSLY?

So some douche-canoe better not cut me off, or pull out on me, or step in from of my car or look at me the wrong way when I head up to pick up Vop later on, because I am one bleeding, sore-breasted angry hormone-driven mutha right now, and someone's going to get stabbed.

Fucking broken finger, my ass.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

How Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief helped me understand issues of inter-country adoption

So, The Husbang is away in Hagen, and Vop and I are left alone for 2 weeks. I thought I'd have a nice, quiet Saturday night, alone with Vop, just she and I, and watch some TV. You know, a mother-daughter bonding sess, complete with popcorn and juice ("No, you can't taste Mommy's special juice. It's got Vodka in it. Can you say "Mommy's little helper"?)

And, as it happened, there was a family movie on the telly. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. So, Imma thinking it will be a good chance for Vop to get a handle on this whole acting thing. She's been struggling with seeing DVD's with an actor playing one character, and then seeing that same actor in another role. She doesn't yet understand the concept of acting and playing a role. And as her current fave movie is Mama Mia, which has Pierce Brosnan in it, and so does PJATLT, I thought it would help.

Oh, and it also made a good opp to talk about gods and demons and fairy tales in general.I was waiting for her horrified expression when she saw Sam dressed as a centaur, and I had my whole speech prepared about dress-ups and make-believe ready to go.

So, we're snuggled down on the couch, slamming fistfuls of 'corn pop' in our gobs, and having a very nice family moment. when we get to the Medusa scene.

SO, I'd forgotten about this bit, when Percy cuts Medusa's head off and holds it up. It's not too graphic for kids a little older than VOP, or kids who have an understanding about make-believe and movies and the like, but for a kid who's only being viewing TV for a couple of months, and thinks all that shit is REAL, it could be pretty scary. I mean, not as scary as Yo Gabba Gabba, but close. That Yo Gabba Gabba shit will fuck you up, man. I mean has some kids TV producer got a zoned out Gen Y geek on crack designing that shit? WHAT IS WITH THAT HAIR, Man?? I swear I saw  the dudes from My Chemical Romance on there, the other day, singing with some gay-icon/unicorn-loving/bubble farting puppet.

SO, no more vodka on the weetabix for Mommy.

But I digress.

Back to PJ.

SO, Medusa's severed head is lying on the floor. And it's kinda graphic, so I look across at Vop, thinking she may be upset. But no, she's happily downing more corn pop and looking chuffed.

SO I ask her "You do know that's just make-believe, don't you? That lady's not really dead?"

And she replies "Oh, yes she is Mamma. When the bad raskols come to my village, they have knives and they cut man's neck like this and him REALLY dead."

And draws her finger across her neck.

So, thankfully, I am only on Voddie #two, but even so, I was WTF???

I admit my gob, she was smacked. I didn't have the faintest idea how to deal with that statement. Should I have turned off the TV and had a big heart-to-heart with her? I confess, I didn't. She was happy and stuffing her face and didn't seem in the least traumatized. So I let it slide.

She's nearly 5. Surely there will be plenty of time to deal with things like this... later?

But it made me realize that I have not just taken on a 4 year old with health issues, I've taken on a child whose entire cultural reference is so far from mine I can't begin to understand it. When my kids were four, their greatest horror was my risotto, NOT seeing people murdered by having their throats cut.

It's all well and good to read about violence in the Highlands of PNG, and feel all warm and fuzzy about adopting Vop, but this? THIS is the reality of it. My four year old daughter has seen thing that horrify me, And what's worse, is that she doesn't seem the least bit upset about it.

WTF do I do about THAT?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

My Atheism

Prior to moving to PNG I was what can only be described as a lapsed pagan. I'd moved from active christianity (**winces**), to militant paganism (**doublesquirm**). I married The Husbang in a "traditional pagan handfasting".

Despite my repeated prayers and pleas to the goddess or Jesus, or Asatru; or meditating on Abundance or justifying another final notice on the power bill as "the Universe doesn't send you what you want, it sends you what you need" (Please feel free to cue vom sound), no deity of ANY name appeared and gave my husband a job. No matter how often I waved my athame, to the cloying smell of Nag Champa, the rejection emails continued to roll in.

Conclusion: Deities don't care or the don't exist. Either way, I have better things to do with my time and money than talk to an invisible (and indifferent) sky pixie or have my tarot cards read.The "something's JUST around the corner" usually turned out to be another foreclosure notice.

My open, active atheism didn't really come about until I moved to PNG. PNG is a DEEPLY christian country. I mean DEEPLY. Like fanatically so. Christianity pervades every level in life. Banners in Top Town openly claim "prayer cures AIDS", journalists- within their stories, NOT as editorial comment- actually within their factual reporting, will exhort locals to pray. "The will of god" is often cited in news stories as the people survive car wrecks/ boat sinking/violence.

I found myself wanting to go on TV and ask the 100% of Highlands women who have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence  or the hundreds of thousands of people who live in poverty while PNG is listed as the the most corrupt Nation in the Pacific how all that prayer was working out for them? What their best invisible zombie friend Jesus was doing while women refuse treatment for breast cancer because their pastors tell them that prayer will cure them?

I wanted (and still do) to ask the Church that taught Vop to recite prayers in English, but didn't provide any formal education or food= and convinced a four year old that Satan would kill her if she was naughty, I want to ask them how all that prayer is working out for girls like VOP still left in the rural villages? Cos, seriously, I want to know.

And if you think for a minute that my atheism is solely anti-christian, you're wrong.When you muslims/jews/pagans/hindus/buddhists/**insert delusion of choice here** understand why you reject the teachings of all the other religions, then you will understand why I reject yours.

History is littered with dead gods. Yours is next.