Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Because of India

The past four days have contained five flights, nineteen hours in the sky, forty-seven hours in airports and one very irritating canceled flight, resulting in one rather lovely night spent in the Hilton. (See how I make lemonade?). But it was worth it. All of it.

Because of India.

Its pretty hard to put into words what it is about India that gives it that famous, potent pull that seems to draw people in from all corners of the world and then spits them out, somehow different. But there is certainly something very powerful and unique at the heart of this mysterious country. Something which is easy to hate, but even easier to love.

I've never believed in the phrase "[this or that] changed my life". It seems to suggest that life is already set out, already scheduled in some very tight diary, and that only very few profound or significant experiences can alter it. I've always felt that every moment, every decision, every experience changes your life, if in some subtle or major way. Life is fluid. It changes every second.

I would say, however, that at some fundamental level India changed me, wanky as that sounds.

India has a tendency to pull you completely out of yourself, in a way that is sometimes violent, confronting and uncomfortable. It yanks you out of the Western bubble into a world that is foreign, dirty, beautiful, and ultimately very very real. India seems to say: yes, our roads are covered in rubbish, our streets are polluted, everything is dirty, people are poor - but guess what? The world is dirty and polluted and covered in waste, and the vast, vast majority of people are poor. This is the reality of our existence, and the West likes to hide this from you by carting or keeping all that is unpleasant, smelly or confronting in the world's poorest countries. So here, here is reality on a golden platter, surrounded by incense and spices and offerings. And a lot of beauty. And a deep, spiritual sense of calm in the face of incredible chaos. Come to terms with it, and you will love it.

India pulls you out of yourself in other ways too. Outrageously friendly strangers often ask personal questions about family, work, how much you earn, why you no married? And the seeming inevitability of a dose of 'Dehli belly' insures you loose some of yourself physically, too, making you strikingly aware of your embodied mortality.

All in all, India reminds you in a sometimes shocking way, that you are, indeed, alive.

To say that India is fraught with contradiction is probably to quote the opening sentence from every guide book ever published. But it is, in so many ways. Paradox is everywhere. People throw garbage out of train windows, or burn it on the street, yet at the same time there is a sense profound respect for nature, for animals and for the balance of things; most people are vegetarian and rickshaws run on non polluting CNG fuel. Cows and goats rule the streets. Physical modesty for both women and men is important, yet women wear saris which openly expose their midriff, and men piss on street corners, completely nonplussed. Sweet things are seasoned with salt, and savoury with sugar. It's all about balance, apparently.

South India is truly a sensory paradise. Beautiful environments and colourfully adorned people, animals and vehicles constantly dance before the eyes; the scent of fragrant sandalwood oil, spices and flowers constantly fill the air; delicious, complex and rich food can be found in any direction in any city, town, or the side of any highway; Bollywood music is blasted from speakers placed on street corners and outside temples or private homes, boat paddlers sing traditional songs by the orange light of a full moon; and the rough texture of elephant skin, the cool hard touch of a deity carved from granite, or the soft ears of a wandering calf's ear constantly brush against dangling hands. Every sensory pleasure competes for supremacy in a mind-spinning kaleidoscope of colour, spice, rickshaws, offerings and dance. It's thoroughly exhausting and exhilarating all at once.

I left India with only one thought wandering through my increasingly tired head: to return. It seems that potent pull hasn't fully spat me out yet, and I feel that there is so much more of India (and myself) left to discover. I can't wait.

And I can't recommend you go enough.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Internet Fail

Due to a freak bolt of lightening that struck in our back yard, the magical box that gives me access to the interweb has been fried and i'm forced to drive 40 minutes to my parents house to check my Facebook account. Lame.

Sorry kids, i'm going to be out of action for awhile. Julia, however, gets back from her amazing India trip this evening and i'm sure she'll be just dying to talk with you about it.

Love etc,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Big Big Love

Aghhh! Look what i just bought! I just adore it. It's from the Paper Apartment on Etsy, and gosh i love her blog...

And here's a song that I just can't stop listening to that i think somehow fits the picture.

Happy new week everybody!

Friday, January 9, 2009

My 2008 Favourite Dirty Pop Secret.

Much to my friends dismay, I am a dirty, dirty pop princess. I whore it up with hip-hop dance classes, I scream when a dirty pop secret comes on at a club, and roughly twice a year, I force my friends to come with me to Canberra's trashiest clubs and together we transform into top 40 trashbags.

This year I was blown out of the water by the revival of the queen of America's white trash. No dear readers, I'm not talking about Paris Hilton, I'm talking Princess Britney.

In 2007 when Vanessa, Julz and I saw Patrick Wolf cover 'Gimme More' at the Metro, i knew we'd be in for something special with this album. Patrick has his dear little fingers on the pulse of trashy-radness.

Britney Spears album 'Circus', has been chockablock full of catchy hit tunes. Between 'Gimme More', 'Womaniser' and now 'Circus', we've been force feed on a pop diet of blond hair and catchy synth riffs. Not to mention the fact she no longer looks like a whale and has either got herself a pretty funky wig or managed to grow back her hair.

Either way, Britney rocked it last year. And she is this pop-princesses favourite dirty pop secret.

Heh, awesome.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Distractions and your mum

What's keeping me up late at night? Fashion blogs. I have discovered they are the best thing to distract myself from the fact that I can't sleep because of the friggin' heat. As well as distracting myself from terrible "what am I doing with my life" thoughts. The worst.

My current obsessions:

{Lulu and your mom} Love Lulu's style and her sassy attitude (oh geez, I feel like such a grandma when I use phrases like 'sassy' to describe people)

{Chictopia.com} Fashion community. Incidentally co-founded by Lulu of Lulu and your mom. I've been aware of it for awhile but have never looked properly, until recently. Extremely addictive.

{Go Fug Yourself} I don't know if I have mentioned this blog before, but it's very funny. Girls ragging on celebrities outfits. Not for everyone, but I think it's brilliant.

{glamcanyon} Combining the best of Facehunter and The CobraSnake.

I hope these keep you as occupied as they do me, or not. Sleep is also advisable, not everyone is unemployed like me. I'm off to watch Gossip Girl, much love to all!

P.S. Google image search never ceases to confuse me, when I typed in "Ya Mum", this monkey picture is what I got...so naturally I had to use it.

When the night turns cold.

I'm not sure where this image is from but i kind of love it.

I've had a strange night dear lovers. I've been pretty miserable for the majority of it. There was no reason for the onset of my melancholy, well, at least none that makes sense. I'm not sure if you ever find your self feeling down for no reason in particular, but i find it extremely frustrating and can't help thinking about people who have 'real' problems and that i should turn off the 'Jaimie show', get over myself and help them. Of course those of you who know what i'm talking about know that it doesn't quite work that way.

So i went about doing the usual things that are supposed to put you in a good mood. None worked. Frustrated i gave up and retreated to the safety of my bed, hoping for dreamless sleep. Sleep didn't come and as i lay there, growing hotter and more agitated, my hopeless melancholy slowly transformed into anger, then reflective stillness. It's not unlike the stillness you can reach after a violent cry. So calm, so refreshed.

You find me now writing to you at that strange time at night, where all the heat from the day suddenly shifts, and you feel as though you are the only person in the world. I love this feeling.

Here are a mix of songs that helped shift me from my black hole. If you need, maybe they can help dislodge you from yours too.

Three Days, Four Nights- Castanets

The Only Moment We're Alone- Explosions in the Sky (Peel Sessions)

Long Time- Deer Tick

The Lightness- Peter and the Wolf

Easier- Grizzly Bear

*Hopefully these Mp3's work. I've been having issues with our file host so have decided to try a new one. Let me know if there are issues...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My 2008 Hate List

This past year, surprisingly, my hate list is made up of only one thing, one band. One god awful band that some how manages to eclipse all other things i've hated this year.

MGM- fucking-over-hyped-piece-of-shit- T.

Can you believe these are guys?

AGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Worst band ever? Probably not. But i just don't get why people like this band so fucking much! Is it because they think they're uber-alternative-trendy? No, no, it must be because these type of people like shit-boring melodies. I guess annoying vocals could be a selling point to some. No, it must be because they are the most spectacularly shit live band i've ever seen. I heard wankers like watching shit live music.

Talking about being amazingly shit live, did anyone at Meredith notice that as soon as MGMT started playing, the festival site was suddenly swamped by singlet wearing, beer drinking, shouty, pushy bogans? Eugh, worst. ever.

Well go on then! Vote for it in Triple J's hottest one hundred. Agghhhh!!!!!!!!!! I hate you!!!!!!!!!

You know what's even better? I'm probably going to get a whole heap of electro wankers telling me that my taste in music smells worse than a donkey's behind in summer. Well, bring it on. Bring it on.

An honerable mention, coming in a close second behind MGMT, goes to Soko. Man do i hate that french bitch.