So due to the whole glass-smashing thing you missed the update on my thrilling week of culinary delights. There was the kids from Brissy taking me out for Nepalese on their last day here. There was Chinese New Year, which involved a lovely lunch in Chinatown with my colleagues. Salty fish and chicken fried rice, oh yeah. Also jellyfish. There was my birthday work lunch at an Indonesian Chinese joint featuring siu mai dumplings with tons of awesome peanut sauce. My birthday take-out dinner - Malaysian asam (tamarind) fish with peanuts, ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and rice. And then i capped it off with my day-after-birthday dinner at a Mexican restaurant with nachos, fajitas, margaritas and churros to boot.
I should tell more about my day-after-birthday dinner. I think this is the first time since i was a very young kid that i've invited people to do something on my birthday. Normally it's just another day - sometimes i'll skip work and just spend the day doing what i want to do (thereby also avoiding any cake or fanfare). But as you all know i've been pushing my boundaries lately, so i thought okay fuck it. I'm going out for Mexican on my birthday and i'm going to message all my friends and if people come then awesome and if they don't then hey, i still get to eat Mexican. So i messaged about 12 people and to my amazement something like 10 said yes. Like... Seriously. I had no idea i had that many people in Melbourne who actually gave enough of a shit about me to come have dinner. It really floored me.
And then when i was there, some people brought gifts. And they all chipped in so i didn't have to pay. Wow. I never really expected. You know... "grown up" friends who both wanted to and could afford to come out and have a good time for ME! I kinda felt a bit weird being the center of attention, and trying to have a conversation with tons of people at once, but ... it was pretty special. Very glad i did it.
That's when i got home to make myself a slice of watermelon and the fucking glass fronting thing fell off the next building over and smashed all over my balcony as well as across our whole property. The happy ending is once the body corporate realized how shockingly bad the situation was - and the body corporate next door got in contact with them so they could pitch a crane in our courtyard to remove all the rest of the glass still attached to the building - i did get a guy in to clean my balcony. But man, that was some stress right there.
It just kinda added to the additional stress of my lease having run out. After the 2001 debacle where i returned home from vacation to find my apartment had been sold out from underneath me, i made sure i got a lease extension for six months this time round. And then after the 2002 debacle where i returned here from America only to get treated like a terrorist because my permanent residence had run out, i made sure to get my permanent residence renewed this time round too. See, i'm not completely stupid, i learn stuff. Heh.
Yanno and i hope this really is the last fucking time i have to get my permanent residence renewed. The last time i really believed would be the last time. It only lasts 5 years, so this means i've now been in Australia for over 10 years. That's a shitload more than i ever expected or hoped when we first arrived in 97. What really fucking shits me is that i have a friend here from England who has been working and paying taxes for over a year and is an upstanding member of the community and she can't get permanent residence... And i would only be too happy to give her my permanent residence when i do get the fuck out of here, but apparently that's not the way it works - instead immigration decide to make people suffer. Meanwhile jackass layabouts continue bludging off our fucking tax dollars just because they were born here? It's ridiculous. They're the ones who should be deported.
In summary, fuck immigration, it's the most backward, retarded fucking braindead government department in i think oh, just about every fucking country in the world. Honestly. If someone is young and healthy and willing and able to work, what reason in the world is there to refuse them free entry to live and work? It's SO fucking stupid.
Okay, that's this month's immigration rant out of the way. In exactly a week's time i'm gonna be in the air a couple hours out of Vancouver. Still no grand plans for what i'm gonna do. Probably Seattle. Possibly Oregon or even California, but also possibly Whistler... or maybe just Vancouver. Who knows? It's all right there, two weeks to enjoy a new culture. I can't wait.