8 Jan

A week into 2013 and this is only my first blog post? I start a lot of blog posts apologizing for the previous drought of blog posts, so I will start this one by saying happy new year!

It’s so weird to say certain things happened a year ago… like I haven’t seen my family, my Melbourne friends or my bf since last year. I haven’t seen Australia since last year and Melbourne since super last year! I haven’t been to a yoga class since last year. I haven’t eaten a pad thai since last year!

But on that last note, let me do away with the negatives and focus on the positives of the 2 weeks I just spent on festive vacay with other vols, expats, friends and wellwishers in the visayas, an island group in the middle of Philippines.

I got back just a couple of days ago and my trip home, on a usually 12 hour bus, took 25 hours, so was super happy to be back. I also had my usual manila provisions, like flat bread, parsley and spinach, to keep me happy for a few days.

I kinda needed that food happiness because on my 2 week holiday, I ate so much amazing food that you generally can’t get anywhere else in the philippines! Black bean burgers, yes! Vegetable paninis, yes! Canellini bean tacos, yes! Calamansi muffins, yes! Roti bread and dhal and Indian curries! Yes yes yes!

I could not go straight back into my soup life after all that joy (although admittedly, I do eat better than lots of the volunteers in other places due to creative provisioning and fantastical experimentation). When the volunteers get together, especially vegetarians and vegans from Melbourne, you can bet your bottom dollar conversation will soon and painstakingly turn to food. Haloumi…. Droooooooooool!!!!

So after the initial happiness of being home and not on a bus and eating good food that doesn’t cost Australian dollars and in my own portion sizes, I am missing my holiday family. On holiday with so many people, the biggest group ever assembled in the history of 9 months in the philippines, you could hang with this person for an hour, then join those people, then split up from the original people and go off by yourself before joining a larger group of people.

In gubat, to hang with people, I used to get on a jeep then minivan for a 4 hour round trip. Now, tania is my closest Melbournian and I will see her this weekend for an overnight to break up and 8 hour round trip. I have made some new peace corps friends in sorsogon, only about a halfa away from home here, which will be amazing and definitely stop me from becoming a recluse, with my best frenemy George R. R Martin as my only company.

You realize the amazing luxury you have back home of picking and choosing who to hang out with and when. You realize the stupidity in complaining about being too busy because you have so many catch ups after work and on the weekend. I have certainly realized how lucky I was to be part of a yoga community in Melbourne and could talk to yogis and teachers after class every single day.

Being alone is awesome. But it’s best after being with other people and being yourself in both of those settings. Too many happy hours, green tea bullshits from starbucks, midnight swims and subsequent wet underwear can be too much. But so too can time spent with my new friend Gregor the praying mantis, to whom I may have to give up my apartment in order to have a peaceful night of sleep. If he really is like Kafka’s Gregor though, I will have to befriend him, because after all he is a human spirit trapped in the oversized body of a bug for no known reason, a misunderstood soul.

See? Too much time alone has me thinking crazy.


K Lo and I enjoying a Christmas game in our formal sleep wear


beautiful Boracay



My dream kitchen – Real Coffee Cafe, Boracay



Even though I told these wild American vols I am Australian, not Kiwi, they insisted on doing a haka for me


The stairs aka steep ass ladder up to my private room


My fellow 25 hour bus commuters


Gregor the praying mantis


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