Bali

15 10 2002

I’m sitting here drinking ‘No Worries’ Tea from a Starbucks mug. Not as much of a culture clash as you might think. Good old Aussie sentiment working hand-in-hand with a franchise plague to help ensure I feel nice and calm. If calm is the word. It might just be indifference.

I watched this thing about the evil Starbucks the other night on the Beeb. About how they force smaller coffee shops out of business by becoming a sort of pleasant-smelling caffeine rash on a neighbourhood, viagra canada search setting up not one but two Starbucks right near your quaint and traditional shrine to correctly foamed lattes. To do this is not economically viable of course, cialis sales but they have the dough so it’s with a hearty ‘chocks away’ that they do.

And then, well, people who live and work near your coffee shop just get lazy. ‘Ah, let’s just get it from Starbucks, there’s one here or across the street’. Mission accomplished. I should be incensed by this company’s corporate greed. But I’m lazy. Half of me almost works into a frenzy, but the other can’t raise itself from the banana lounge long enough to give two hoots. I should give at least one hoot about the state of things. This causes me to worry about myself. About the way I think. Or can’t seem to anymore. Damn tea’s not working!

I worry because I can’t seem to express…I don’t even know what to call it. My spoken words keep abandoning me.

My doorman, Simon, stopped me near the lift on Sunday.

“Hey, lucky you weren’t in Bali,” he says. And there it is again. The words are gone. I smile meekly and press the UP button. Damn lift is at the roof.

I know I have words. I went to school where the standard of words was reasonably high. I even went to University where word usage was almost universal! Andreas used to say I was a walking dictionary. So, I know I have plenty of good words. Big, powerful, snotty words that I know will have people reaching for the Oxford. I like to use word power as my own personal sporting event sometimes, which is terribly pretentious but I don’t have much else going for me. But on this day it seems I can’t even think of the small ones.

“Horrible, horrible,” says Simon, shaking his head. I look at the numbers on the display. Come on lift! Ground floor, ground floor!

“It’s a beautiful place,” he adds. He’s wearing that kind of face. The remembering-of-what-once-was face.

“Yeah,” I say finally. Stuck for something else, I add, “World’s gone mad.”

I don’t know why I say that. Clich√©d and I hate it. I don’t think I believe the world’s gone mad exactly, more like fallen a little off kilter. But I do believe I’m unable to get a handle on how to control emotions and words at the same time. I believe that I cannot understand certain things and never will. That there is this barrier in my brain that refuses to acknowledge. That there is no frame of reference to help things make sense, to give me the right words. They’ve nicked off. Scarpered like shifty crooks on The Bill or NYPD Blue.

I don’t know if this is all made worse by the fact that I’m working from home at the moment. My contact with other human beings is a little limited to say the least. So I’m checking the news much too regularly. I’m feeling very ‘outside the glass’ I suppose. In Singapore reading all the stories on the Net. Watching the BBC and hearing it all from a British perspective. Flipping to CNN and getting it from somewhere else again. And much to my horror, for the first time in my life I find John Howard’s voice to be soothing. Not because of anything he is saying exactly. Just the accent. The Australian-ness of his voice.

It’s obvious whether it’s anger or grief or sadness or whatever the words are I’m trying to grab at, that it all just adds up to confused. It’s all such a lottery, and this introspection is getting me nowhere positive. It’s not bringing my words back, not that I have anyone to say them to anyway. The only words that seem to be available to me are:

“It’s just stupid.”

What, you might ask? Everything. Just look at everything. It’s all just stupid.

I take another sip from the Starbucks mug. So, your words are gone? No worries. So, you can’t express yourself? No worries. I think you probably know what I’m feeling. So we’ll just leave it at that.

Oh, and peace man, peace. God bless.

Toodle-Noo. Here endeth the missive.

Noodle

PS: Got the big Green Card Interview on November 1st.

©Janeen McCrae 2002




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