Site inspection

Disclaimer: engagement post. Abandon all hope ye who enter.

dore-divine-comedyIllustration by Gustave Flore

After being engaged for almost exactly seven months (yes, I had to look it up), Partner 2 and I are actually making steps towards actually getting married, or having a wedding at least. We are looking at our first venue, a beautiful island in Indonesia. Though I’m slightly more excited to spend a few days snorkelling and lying on a beach, the prospect of actually looking at a venue is giving this weekend away a very serious and business-like overtone. I can’t shake the feeling that I need a clipboard. I thought it was flashbacks from when I worked as an event manager but a quick google of wedding venue checklists revealed that perhaps I needed a series of binders instead of just a clipboard. My checklist at the moment is pretty much:

Is the food good? Y/N

Is there enough accommodation? Y/N

Apparently the venue must be ruthlessly interrogated, under the threat of duress if possible, on anything that may affect the potential event. Bird migration patterns, local historical events with anniversaries coinciding with the event dates, fluoride content of tap water, coarseness of beach sand, it’s all fair game. How awful it must be to be on the other side of this interaction. Having highly-strung, wild-eyed couples descending upon you and being quizzed with the enthusiasm of a bored airport security officer. Any stutter, pause or unsatisfactory answer runs the risk of the happy couple sprouting black wings from their shoulder blades and screeching “IT’S MY SPECIAL DAY!” That’s how I’m planning to behave anyway. Brideharpy Bridget at the ready.

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On a slightly more serious note, looking at a venue makes this whole getting married thing seem real. The ring doesn’t do that, it’s too pretty to be taken seriously. Actually going to a place and assessing if it’s ‘right’ for our wedding? Bizarre.

I’ve been slow to shake the feeling that we’re waiting on permission from some mysterious higher-up. A government body perhaps, that deems people worthy of marriage.

Dear Partner 1 and Partner 2,

It is with deep regret that I write to inform you that your application to wed has been rejected. While we are unable to provide individual feedback, common reasons for rejection include:

  • Failure to lodge the correct paperwork,
  • Pre-existing marriage,
  • Inability to make a decision on what to have for dinner,
  • Singing the theme song to “Rainbow Road” from Mario Kart loudly at your partner in public,
  • Throwing a Frisbee into the sea and making your fully-clothed partner get it.

Please return your engagement ring to the relevant case worker assigned to your relationship.

Regards,

Committee to Oversee Marriage Appropriateness

We’re yet to receive our COMA results so this weekend is a go. I’ll post some photos when we get back. You can be the judge of how it went: I’ll either be wearing sunglasses and smiling with a Bintang in hand or I’ll be beating my wings and clutching the shreds of a binder in my talons.

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Bested in Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia

As someone who has travelled fairly extensively in Asia and is a vegetarian, I considered myself immune to all but the most insidious cases of food poisoning. You get used to scanning for the gastrointestinally problematic. Check the ice, avoid the salad, look for the popular street food stalls, is it hot? Can you peel it? It becomes second nature when travelling in Asia. Singapore though has incredibly high food safety standards, you’d be hard-pressed to get sick here without having to import some Indonesian tap water. As easy as it would be to fall into blasé patterns, usually I’m very aware that as soon as you step off an aerobridge at Changi you’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. My history of digestive trauma has been fairly well-documented, but the last episode was years ago, at the end of my last trip to India. These factors meant that my food guard was down on our recent trip to Europe. Way down. As in, “Europe, do your worst!” down.

It was a perfect storm. Living in Asia snobbery (“Please, if that road-side lassi stand didn’t make me sick, nothing will!”), assumptions of vegetarian immunity (“Bacteria eats rotten flesh, not me. Veggie power!), combined with a long spell between attacks (“I am the possessor of the iron stomach! Haahahahaha!”). Naturally, it all came crashing down, in Barcelona of all places. A beautiful city of culture, art and architecture,  and one that’s famous for food and drink too. On paper, we did everything right. A restaurant close to our hotel, in the tourist district but still crowded with locals every day. We ordered a selection of tapas, nothing that we hadn’t tried before, nothing outlandish. Everything tasted great. We paid and retired for the evening. Everything was fine.

Until a few hours later. I woke to Partner 2 leaping out of bed to stagger to the bathroom and make some very upsetting noises. The full spectrum. Use your imagination. When he came back to bed, his face was grey and his hand shook as he took a sip from his water bottle. “I don’t think that dinner was good. How are you feeling?” I was fine, I told him and made some assorted comforting noises and sentiments. Partner 2 is a bit notorious for having a delicate stomach, as much as he loathes to admit it. I was not concerned. It must have been whatever meat he and his sister shared.

As Partner 2 lay sweating in the foetal position, just waiting for his next urgent dash to the bathroom, I went back to sleep. Empathetic as always. Looking back on it now seems like a horror movie when the girl goes down into the dark basement alone. Stop, stupid girl, obviously you’re going to get murdered! But it’s always too late. Hindsight is 20/20.

Sure enough, an hour or so later, I awoke to stabbing pains in my stomach and ran to the bathroom to revisit dinner. Again and again. In between attacks of vomiting, I remembered two things. The first that males generally have faster metabolisms than females. The second, and more critical point, was that no-one had ordered any meat. We had all shared vegetarian tapas.

After a fitful few hours of sleep punctuated by sprints to the bathroom to purge any remaining stomach contents, there was a resigned knock on the door. Partner 2’s sister was at the door looking like she’d been hit by a truck. We all sat on the bed trying to comprehend the fact that in just a few hours we had to get in a taxi and go to the airport, then fly to London, then sit on a train for an hour. Drugs. We needed drugs. Partner 2 and his sister bravely went on a mission across the road to the chemist while I threw up a few more times for good measure.

Retrospectively, it could have been a lot worse. The hotel gave us late check out and the medicine we procured gave us a few hours of precious vomit-free sleep and meant we could keep down some water. By the time we had to head to the airport, after some sleep, electrolytes and a shower, our collective condition has been upgraded from “Kill me now” to just “Awful”. Needless to say it was a long taxi ride, I clutched a plastic bag fearfully, the electrolytes I had drunk threatening to reappear at any moment. But we made it. I even ate something at the airport. The flight was mercifully short and our Uber driver was right where we needed him to be.

I think he was in real danger of being hugged by his three passengers. Despite the signs of inevitable recovery, I had never been so happy to see a blow-up mattress before in my life. We collapsed into bed and slept for 12 hours. Barcelona had bested us. My iron stomach had been demoted back to a regular human organ. And I doubt I’ll ever eat tapas again.

 

 

 

My first wedding magazine

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Oh boy, it begins. I have my first wedding magazine. It was gifted to me by a friend who is getting married in 10 days and has no further need for its whimsical dresses and bespoke chopping boards.

I’ve only flipped through it at this stage, I’m planning on saving it for my upcoming long-haul flight as a bit of mental fairy floss once I’m sick of movies. Even the most perfunctory flipping reveals a few things. Lots of white girls with long hair in perfectly tousled waves. Forests. Forests are hot right now, or at least they were in February. There are lots of pictures of impossibly beautiful couples holding hands in the woods as though it’s the most natural thing in the world to hike in a white gown and suit. I wonder how their guests find these places, do they provide GPS coordinates? Or a map and compass? And what about toilets? Do they hitch a donkey up to a Portaloo and drag it into the bush or do they provide their guests with shovels to dispose of their waste more naturally? That adds a whole other dimension to the whole bridesmaids-helping-the-bride-pee thing. “Dig me a latrine, maids!”

Pinterest has been a great source of mirth for Partner 2 and I: particularly with its suggestions of “21 things you ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE AT YOUR WEDDING!!!!”. Those things invariably include Grandmas as flower girls and writing your menu on a mirror.

There just seems to be a lot of things that, all of a sudden, you desperately need to have. Monogrammed napkins for example. Seating plans, shirts that say “Wifey”, wedding diets,  cutesy poems explaining to guests that you don’t give a shit where they sit (hey, I haven’t seen that on a chalkboard sign before!), garters, favours, a theme! The theme of the event is wedding. Wedding. It’s a wedding. That seems like a very unnecessary thing to have to specify: please come to my event, the theme is birthday.

In normal, everyday life, these things are ridiculous, indulgent non-essentials. The domain of rich people with too much time on their hands. But suddenly when you’re getting married, they are somehow supposed to be your entire world. It honestly makes my mind boggle and my eyes roll involuntarily. I may yet give myself a migraine from overly aggressive eye-rolling.

h1rotp

 

 

As a disclaimer, all power to the people who want these things in their weddings. As sarcastic and snarky as my tone is, I truly do not mean any disrespect. This is a big time ‘good for she, not for me’ situation. All I want from our wedding is it to look like us. I can appreciate the beauty and romance of all the stuff: the photos in the magazine are gorgeous. But staring lovingly into Partner 2’s face while we frolic in a pine forest while dressed in clothes that cost more than two month’s rent (Singapore rent!) just isn’t us. We do name-calling and street food and wrestling on beaches and poo jokes (I now know what a waffle stomp is, thanks babe) and chasing our cat and tuk-tuks, not flower crowns or “curated food stations” or choreography. At the end of the day, and I am aware of how clichéd and cheesy and sanctimonious, the important thing for me is to end up married to Partner 2. Plus we have a trip to Vegas coming up so there’s always that…

Distractions

I didn’t even last a week! Six days in and I’ve failed my challenge already. Sigh. Not a huge surprise, perhaps I was overly ambitious… May I present though, the reason for my absence yesterday?

IMAG0889

This masterpiece is one of four costumes for FS’s office Christmas party coming up on Friday. The theme is retro and, of course, just pulling on some spandex would be too easy. No, our costumes are a cardboard tribute to that classic, retro game, Tetris.

Like everything, pulling this bad boy together was not as simple as it looks. Rather than just tape a bunch of boxes together, each side was meticulously measured, cut out and re-taped together. This was because we had a snowflake’s chance of getting 16 – 20 boxes of exactly the same size when we were begging supermarkets for their rubbish and digging boxes out of our own recycling bin. Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to take the easy way out, must be nice.

Anyway, now the about ¾ of the hard work is done, I’m pretty impressed. They look very cool. Hopefully they’ll still look as cool when we’ve cut face holes in them and climbed inside… We just have one more piece to build, everyone’s favourite.

tetris-pieces-funny

Our next challenge is transporting them. It’s difficult to tell the scale in the photo but the bigger ones (I and L) are taller than me and will never fit in a standard taxi. Because we’re stupid committed to the historical accuracy of our costumes, they do not bend or fold and solidly three-dimensional. Now that I think about it, the original Tetris would have, of course, been 2-D. *Face palm*. Anyway, we’re going to cross our fingers that Uber has a van available because taking four of those on the MRT would cause a riot, no matter how many ways we can make a solid, horizontal line.

All I can say is that we damn well better win best costumes.

Observational

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It’s pretty grim when, on day four of a blog writing challenge, you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for blog ideas. Never fear, dear reader. I’m hoping that delightful observational insights from Singapore will keep you entertained until tomorrow. After all, there’s only so many times I can write about weddings, PhDs and my cat.

In Singapore, there’s a different seating hierarchy on public transport (hoooo boy, a public transport post already!). There really is though. In Australia, it’s pregnant women, people with disabilities, and older people who get the seats. Not you. Stand up. Go on. That’s the way. You get a warm fuzzy, the person in need gets a seat, not so complicated. Here in Singapore though, it is more complicated. There are significantly less seats. And those seats are taken way more seriously.

In Singapore, the MRT (and I really cannot speak for buses) seating hierarchy goes pregnant women, people with disabilities, kids then older people. Yes, kids are in on the seating chart here. In Singapore, people will give up their hard-fought seats for kids. Children. As in those small humans with bouncy bones and young legs. Yeah, them. They get priority over an older Aunty with two fistfuls of shopping bags. But the Aunties love it, they smile and coo, all the while eyeballing the person on the seat next door. They’re happy to give up their seat for a kid, but if they do, they damn well want yours to make up for it.

They say that the fastest you’ll see a Singaporean move is when there’s a spare seat on public transport. I’m not sure if that’s true, but what I have definitely observed is the number of people I’ve seen leap out of their seats for someone who they think is more deserving. I do hate to finish on a warm fuzzy but it’s a Friday night and I’ve had a few drinks. Happy weekend, readers!

Snow-ward bound

let-it-snow-jon-snow1-268x268

It is the second day in December and the silly season is starting to set in. It’s also the second day of winter here in Singapore. I’ve been layering the bed with thick doonas and cosy blankets, I’ve wrapped myself in a warm cardigan and the kettle is boiling for that first winter cocoa. Not really. Right now it’s only 28 degrees which is actually cooler than usual. The kicker though is that it’s 88% humidity. Oh Singapore, never change. Winter is more of clothing style than an actual season here. More accurately, it’s monsoon time. Our second of the year, the northeast monsoon is characterised by loud, thundery storms that build up through the morning and explode in the afternoon. Similar to Australian summer but here the storms are all bark and no bite. Anyway, Singapore’s “winter” is making it difficult to fathom what Christmas will be like this year.

This year FS (future spouse? We’re workshopping the labelling thing still) and I are spending Christmas with his family in Europe. His parents are flying over from Australia and we’ll come from Singapore. We’re collecting his sister and her partner in London then heading to Denmark for Christmas with FS’s brother and his family. Christmas in Denmark, in December, in Europe. Winter is coming. And I am not ready.

My last 25 Christmases have been spent in the Southern Hemisphere. To me, Christmas is summer. It’s beach and stone fruits and mangoes and salads and sunburn and cricket and cold beers. It’s light hair and dark skin, and always having a layer of sand (and an empty beer bottle, thanks to a littering passenger) on the floor of the car. It’s not cold and dark, unless you’re sequestered away in air conditioning nursing a hangover or catching a Boxing Day movie.

A white Christmas looks lovely on TV or in movies, or when Bing Crosby is singing about it. But it’s going to be cold. I’ve always wanted to sink a few pints in an old London pub and complain about the tube (also to call it ‘the tube’ without feeling like a twat). But it’s going to be cold. Plus snowboarding and snow kiting sound like so much fun! But it’s going to be cold. I can’t quite get past it.

I don’t cope well with cold. It makes me grumpy and hungry. I also just don’t have the wardrobe for it. The warmest thing I have is a recently-acquired hiking jacket. It’s very much a function over form situation and, though it fared admirably on a volcano hike in Indonesia, I’m sceptical of its worth (aesthetically and practically) on the London High Street or in a snow-swaddled village in Denmark. Also on a shallower, less practical note, how do you look nice and respectable at all those ‘trendy London nightspots’ when you’re swaddled in 13 layers of clothing and resemble someone trying to subvert a Ryan Air baggage allowance? I just don’t know.

friendsjoey

Cold aside, and for me that’s a very big aside, I’m crazy excited. It’s going to be amazing. Apart from a teenage exchange trip to Germany, I’ve never been to Europe. I’ve only seen snow twice. It will be great to spend some time with FS’s family too, it’s been years since they’ve all been together so it’s going to be very special. And if it’s cold, it’s not the end of the world. I can always go shopping or borrow something. What better way to bond with my future sisters-in-law than by stealing their clothes?

Scary age

Partner 2 is approaching a milestone birthday this year. His friends are succumbing one by one to the big 3-0. The first victim fell graciously, shrugging and saying it was no big deal.

Relentless teasing and jokes aside, I’ve come to realise that my own milestone birthday is approaching. Not a milestone by traditional standards, but my ‘scary age’. My throat catches when I realise I’ll be 26 at the end of the year.

That pause was to accommodate the eye rolls of all those older than 26 and the terrified nodding of those who aren’t.

It’s all about supposed to’s really.

By 26, one is supposed to have laid the foundations of a career.

By 26, one is supposed to be on the responsible road to home ownership.

By 26, one is supposed to be checking champagne glasses for potential choking hazards in the form of sparkly rings.

I’m the first one to call bullshit on all these societal expectations, maaaan. Truth is, I’m perfectly happy exactly where I am. Here is exactly where I want to be. Not forever, of course, but it’s great for now. Yet still, the ‘scary age’ looms on the horizon.

The obvious solution would be to throw myself into this year. Squeeze every last drop of spontaneity and youthful exuberance out of my 25th year so when I do turn 26, which in my mind transforms me into a world-weary senior in a rocking chair, I can look back on my well-spent youth with a nostalgic smile. “Those were the days,” I’ll sigh and unwrap a hard-boiled lolly.

A better, perhaps less exhausting and expensive, solution would probably be to look into this whole ‘scary age’ thing. Some fairly perfunctory research (cough, googling), reveals that the source of the phrase is that almighty pinnacle of womanhood, Sex and the City. Wow. Further googling research reveals that it’s mostly women who seem to have a concept of what their scary age is, and that it is, in most cases, related to getting married and ticking biological clocks. Gross. More broadly than that, it’s about expectations. About where people thought their lives would be at a certain point.

That’s never really been my thing. My most dreaded job interview question is “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. Because I never really think about. I’m more concerned about what’s for lunch and maybe what I’m going to do on the weekend. Mature, right?

Maturity may well be the crux of my scary age conundrum. Mentally, I’m 17 and still deciding what I want to do when school finishes. Maybe that explains while I’m still at uni… Anyway, somehow I’ve decided that 26 is the age that you can no longer be a teenager at heart and that 26 is the age when you have to Grow Up. Which is complete rubbish. Partner 2 is living, breathing proof that you can still be a teenager at the age of 29.

Really, age is no measure of maturity. There are a thousand clichés to this effect. “Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional”, “growing old is not growing up”, and of course, “age is just a number, maturity is a choice”, a quote that, upsettingly, Google attributes to Harry Styles from One Direction…

Clichés are clichés for a reason though. There is, of course, truth in the misquoted, unattributed idioms laid over My Ecard pictures. My favourite one, was (hopefully) from Yoko Ono, who said that “Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90… time is a concept that humans created”.  This appeals to my escalating crunchy aesthetic, so I will try and think of Yoko when the thought of a scary age pops into my head. What Would Yoko Do?

At the end of the day though, actually reaching your scary age is a lot less scary than the alternative: not reaching it… A little morbid, but perspective is always important.

So what was your scary age? How did you cope/how are you coping?

“You’ll understand when you’re older.”

If I have a spirit animal, it’s this dog:

Somehow, I was under the impression that legally being an adult meant you suddenly were in possession of a wealth of knowledge and experience. Yet here I am, verging on my quarter-century birthday, thinking of this dog on daily basis. “What did you do next, science dog?” I ponder. “And how did you get your protective goggles on?”

Like many an amateur psychologist, I’ll blame my upbringing. There seems to be an evil underground culture of parents lying to their children about life.

“Hey kids! On December 25th a fat, bearded man from the North Pole will break into our house and bring your presents!”

A timely, classic tale of betrayal. A global conspiracy between parents and shopping malls. But do you know what the biggest lie is? It’s not the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. It’s far more sinister. It’s the endlessly repeated catch-cry of:

“You’ll understand when you’re older!”

When? I’m older, much older. When exactly will this understanding be taking place? A precise time and date if you could.

Nothing yet. Just older, no wiser.

One could argue, if absolutely necessary, that perhaps I put myself in situations like the one science dog has found herself in. A challenging career, moving overseas, enrolling for a PhD.

Oh, that’s what this post was about. I’ve been accepted to study for a PhD.

It’s just you and me, science dog. For the next four years.

Financial planning

Ah, financial planners. The pinnacle of adulthood and fiscal responsibility. You know you’ve made it when you need to outsource in order to keep track of your towering piles of cash.

But instead of advising us as to whether we should have a money fight or purchase another pool to fill with coins, a la Scrooge McDuck, he laid some hard truths on us.

“You will die. You will get sick or injured. There will be a point in time when you stop working for one point or another.”

He wasn’t a fun financial planner, a pragmatic one though which I suppose is probably better. His priorities were insurance and preparing for retirement. Not particularly appealing to a 25-year-old who’s idea of future planning is what’s for dinner (chips and garlic bread). Partner 2 isn’t much better, his first question was to ask how we could get rich in less than five years.

The poor man, he had a cold, and I could have sworn I saw a jaw tic from holding back sighs and eye rolls. Nonetheless, the consummate professional started assessing our financial situation.

“Not married?” Eyebrows raised. Nope.

“Incomes?” He looked to Partner 2 first who listed off his particulars. Then FP’s tired eyes turned to me.

“Ha, more like income, singular, just one! Ha hahah ha.” Why do I laugh at my own jokes when I’m uncomfortable?

“Well… um, my situation is that I quit my jobs that I loved to come here. So my income… It’s been an adjustment. I’m freelancing but that’s… well, you know how it is!”

He didn’t. He looked sympathetically at Partner 2 while I squirmed.

“But I’m doing a PhD next year!” I blurted, desperate to redeem myself in the eyes of this complete stranger. He smiled politely and turned back to Partner 2 to discuss investment options.

The conversation proceeded without me, so I picked at my fingernails. I refuse to acknowledge equity because it’s not real money, I don’t know what a hedge fund is and long-term planning short circuits my brain.

Left to my own financial planning, I thought about what I needed. You know what there should be? Arsehole insurance. Not literally, unless you have an especially valuable behind, like Kim Kardashian I suppose…  But insurance for the less-financially stable partner just in case the relationship doesn’t work out and the arsehole leaves you with absolutely nothing.

Insurance premiums can start high for those in new relationships, if you’ve been together a week it’s going to be more expensive than if you’ve been together for 10 years. There could be excess amounts dependent on age. He crashed your car? Well, he is 23 so there’s going to be a gap. Shared and individual assets make things more complicated. In the case of a break-up, you will receive a pay-out dependent on the aforementioned factors and break-up circumstances as determined by our independent assessor.

This is not to say that Partner 2 and I are having problems, as much as this may sound like it! We are very happy, sickeningly so if we were to post about it on Facebook. I just got to thinking about this after the financial interrogation. You feel quite vulnerable knowing that you rely completely on another person, if he were to up and leave I would have nothing. I’d be deported, he’d get the cat because I couldn’t afford to bring her home, and I’d have to move back in with my parents. Yikes. I know there’s the whole love factor or whatever, and that he depends on me for things too, but it is quite disconcerting to think about.

So I’m going to go ahead and trademark this idea and start working on some concepts for daytime TV commercials. Funeral insurance ad, life insurance ad, Murder She Wrote, arsehole insurance ad. Hey, only 63 shopping days left until Christmas? This could be the best passive-aggressive gift yet!

“Gee, thanks Mum…” *rewraps to hide from boyfriend.*

“You can never be too careful, dear.” *Knowing smile and wink at the camera.*

The irony being that I would have to request this from Partner 2 for Christmas because I have no money…  Until Arsehole Insurance ™ takes off!

Vegetarian FAQs

I will eat you and all of those you cherish, happy eggplant.

As a relatively new vegetarian, I’ve found myself answering the same questions over and over again. It’s interesting that people suddenly take an immense interest, sometimes even offence, to a lifestyle choice I’ve made. Buzzfeed has a good summary. So, as to ease the pressing questions, many people seem to have about what I ingest, digest, draw nutrients from, and expel, here’s a handy FAQ guide.

When did that happen?

It happened just after I moved to Singapore.

Ahh, so the meat’s not good there?

It’s not great, but that’s not the reason I stopped eating it entirely. Most of the meat here is sourced from the around the region: Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia so on, and most of these countries don’t have the best track record of animal welfare. That was my initial line of thinking, it then progressed to me realising whole meat industry does not have the best track record for that kind of thing.

Are you eating enough protein? What sort of supplements are you taking?

Let me answer your question with another question: have you ever heard of anyone being protein deficient? Iron deficient, certainly, but protein deficient? Nope. I do appreciate your concern though. I’m not taking any supplements. Fortunately, I regularly eat my body weight in Asian greens and tofu, both excellent sources of protein. Also, though trying to generally reduce my intake of animal product, I am definitely not vegan and continue to ingest inhuman amounts of cheese and Greek yoghurt. Thank you again for your concern.

Is this a weight loss thing?

Really? What exactly are you implying? But no, absolutely not. That’s the dumbest reason ever to remove entire food groups from your diet, I’m talking to you non-Coeliac, non-allergy, gluten haters!

But you’ll have a big steak when you go back to visit Australia, right?

No. Steak is meat.

What about barbeques??

Veggie burgers are delicious and come in many forms. I have an awesome recipe for chickpea patties actually. Plus salads, bread, beer, etc. Rest assured I can still enjoy many barbeque staples and I won’t ruin your good time, promise!

What about the plants? They’re alive, they might have feelings too.

Ok. Oh. Kay. This question makes me conclude that you’re being facetious and therefore an arsehole, or you’re legitimately asking and therefore you’re an idiot. Firstly, plants don’t have central nervous systems so it’s pretty safe to conclude they have no pain receptors. Furthermore, plant are generally fixed in one place and can’t escape predators which also lends itself to the pretty solid theory that, seeing as they make no effort to avoid it, plants don’t feel pain. Also, I hate you.

What about your poor partner?

My poor partner, I hear that a lot actually, I wonder what that means? Anywho, as I mentioned, he is still resolutely carnivorous. This however is a trait that is increasingly incompatible with his aversion to cooking. I cook most nights so he eats vegetarian most nights. If he wants meat, he can cook it himself, the freezer is well-stocked. He still orders meat when we eat out and has it for lunch most days, just not so much at home.

You’ll get over it.

Thanks for the support, Mum!

Hawker centre special: Huh?

No meat, no seafood. This dish, no meat. Just vegetables! Yes, no meat! No crab, no seafood, just vegetables. Tofu is ok. Just vegetables? Ok? Ok. Good. Thank you, Auntie.