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Niece: What's a dutchie?
Me: Something that must be passed on the left-hand side.
Niece: Huh?
Me: Something that must be passed on the left-hand side.
Niece: *Comes back 5 minutes later*
Niece: You're not funny.

Oh! The Drama

“People don't want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.”   
– Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor

Tribe Talk

Once in a while – perhaps five or six times a year – I’ll find myself standing next to an Asian girl on the train silently wondering what she’s like as a person. She’ll usually be like me in many ways: not ├╝ber glamorous but not exactly Waynetta Slob either; dressed conservatively from a western point of view, but liberally from an eastern one. Perhaps I’ll catch a snippet of her phone conversation or see her pause at an interesting poster, and suddenly I’ll feel an overwhelming sense of wistfulness.

7 Tips for Travelling Alone

As someone who lives alone and who has spent much of her career freelancing, it’s safe to say that I’m pretty comfortable in my own company. When it comes to travelling, however, it’s a different story. I like sharing the experience with someone else, be it a friend, boyfriend, family member or colleague. I like having someone to share thoughts and ideas with, someone to put me right when I'm heading down the street in the wrong direction, someone to fret with when it's 3am and the bus that's meant to take me from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville is 2 hours late.

Snippet

Z: What are you listening to?
Me: The Weeknd.
Z: Aren't you too old to be listening to The Weeknd?
Me: You know The Weeknd!? I'm impressed.
Z: *Giggles*
Me: Wait, you're blagging, aren't you?
Z: I think it's safe to assume you're too old for anything you listen to.
Me: Fucker.

Things I know at 30 I wish I knew at 20

A 30th birthday is an anomalous creature. For some, it’s a day of genuine celebration; for others a time of wistful reflection. As mine fast approaches, I find myself suitably philosophical. I look back on the last 10 years and, while I agree that we are who we are because of what we’ve seen and done, I wish I could reach back through the years with these five simple truths:

The Fourth Decade

Is there a term to describe an abandoned blog? Perhaps it entered the vernacular a few years ago and has now become obsolete because everyone already knows that the cool kids don’t blog anymore. Even so, it saddens me that my blogging frequency has dwindled from one post a week to one post a year. It used to be a place in which I could voice my anger and disappointment, trumpet my triumphs and lament my failures. Here, I could write outside of my ‘writer mode’. Some posts were tooled together in seconds, others took a bit more thought.

Snippet

Me: Is it okay if I run in my North Face or will I get too hot?
P: It's fine. Just take it off if you get too sweaty.
Me: But I don't want to sweat in my North Face!
P: What? But that's the whole point.
Me: No, the whole point is to look like the kind of person who sweats in a North Face!

In Pursuit of Happiness

I should probably be heading to bed but I wanted to write one more entry before the year is out. It's that time of year when people start evaluating their lives and thinking about the year ahead. In 2008, I made a to-do list for the next year to roughly complement my 'life to-do list'. It felt good to cross off all the items (ok, most but let's face it, I was never going to get fit). I made no such list at the end of 2009.

Late Expectations

A female friend recently tweeted the following: ‘Work colleague has just come back fuming from a first date where they went dutch. Should the man always pay?’