- Where is my passport?
- Is my backpack making my skirt ride up?
- I don’t speak Spanish, does anyone else not speak Spanish?!
- Hostel life certainly has a knack to it, doesn’t it?
- Location of passport is…?
- I need the bathroom but I also need to not knock everyone out with my backpack. No more bathroom.
- Maps are hard.
- Ahhh the shower turns THAT way!
- I just tripped, did anyone see that? Oh golly those people are laughing, walk quickly, go go go.
- How do other backpackers dress so nice?
- So I must catch a bus, then a train and a tram…totally doable.
- HOW DO I BUY TICKETS?
- How is everyone so chill?!
- I wonder how long it’s been since that guy’s showered?
- How long has it been since I’ve showered!?
- I wonder if people can tell I am Australian just by sight.
- Everyone literally has a cough. Is no one healthy?
- It smells of damp towel.
- People are so friendly here! So many hi’s!
- I am killing this!
- Is three ice creams in one day too many?
- How do I get a photo of me that isn’t a selfie?
- Literally everyone is Australian. Like 3% from the rest of the world.
- Small talk goes like this, every time: where you from, where you been, where you going, oh I’m (insert name) by the way, this is my mate (insert name)…are you going on the pub crawl tonight? Friends made.
- Nah man, that’s too expensive.
- Yes I will spend 9 euros on a muffin.
- Where did I put my passport again?
- Mate, I saw you use that saucepan and I see you walk away from the dirty thing. Ugh, wash it up ya sloppy slob.
- Falling asleep at 3pm? Totally acceptable.
- Bringing loud person(s) back to dorm room at 3am? Totally unacceptable. Out, OUT!
- Woah, someone trusts the world. As if you’d leave your laptop, phone, kindle, iPad and two minute noodles exposed!
- Woah, a lock on your locker bro! Do you not trust your dorm mates? Rude and presumptive.
- Does a book exchange mean you have to give a book in return?
- Yes, I can totally fit that in my bag.
- Who will sit on my bag while I zip it up!?
- I am so unsophisticated compared to these backpacking veterans.
- I wonder when this blanket was last washed…?
- Literally everyone has a thief horror story…when will mine come?!
- Who, in the name of the Croatian Archbiship’s big toe, is snoring?
An exam-hangover is a real thing. I’m calling it, and I’ll probably create a website all about it so other people can diagnose themselves too.
The symptoms? A strong feeling of being overwhelmed by all the possibilities you pushed aside when you were studying. The hours of note re-writing, practice paper-bewilderment and procrastination-eating have to be substituted by something, right? But there were just too many choices that I imploded.
I wanted to knit a blanket and garden and watch 14 episodes of Rake and develop a better fashion taste and book a holiday and unashamedly learn Taylor Swift songs on the ukulele and also exercise everyday and just find some ME TIME and get into politics and sleep in more and go out for coffee with pals and eat a bit better and start a bullet journal (high-key obsessed, check it out) and get back into yoga and read some high-brow literature and and discover some better music and maybe bake this cheesecake I had my eye on and CAN YOU SEE MY PROBLEM YET?
Day one of university freedom: woke up early to do ERRYTHANG (no sleep in), had tim-tams for breaky because it HOLIDAYS (no better eating), chickened out at the price of herbs and wool and holidays (pledged to find less expensive hobbies), forgot to buy brown sugar (no salted caramel cheesecake) and then went home and watched Gossip Girl for 3 hours telling myself I BLOODY WELL COULD but hated myself for doing it. My day was as though I was finally fulfilling that Macca’s craving but walking away with deep, deep regret for embarking on a ten-pack of nuggets journey.
I got a bit of a sniffly flu and told myself my immune system was finally giving itself a little rest after a month of hard-hitting exam adrenaline (hah lol). But really I knew that was a false truth: I was indoors all day, busy doing everything but achieving nothing. I failed to invest in those aloe-vera tissues that are soft on runny noses as a sort of self-punishment. It was a guilt-penalty for being failing to be efficient: for when the day is done and I can’t tangibly list all the things I achieved, I’m inundated with a morbid sense of failure and a fear that if I could waste this day, I could waste my whole freaking life.
Right now I bet you’re thinking Jeez Louise this little lady takes herself a bit too seriously, doesn’t she, but I suppose you’re still also a little bit nauseous about the whole nugget thing and the feeling of that time when you overate at Macca’s is coming back and sitting at the back of your oesophagus. Just swallow it down, mate, you’ll be right. But the important thing to take away from this, is that an expectation to live every single waking moment as though it’s a Hollywood film with witty one-liners and quirky music and pavement that lights up where your feet walk is an enormous pressure to place on yourself. It’s like motivation but on vaguely legal self-enhancement drugs, and what this enormous pressure does, my friends, is make you pretty scared.
It made me scared to write things, which is something that I rather like doing. It made me scared to leave the house without makeup on, which was something I never fretted about before. It made me scared to book a holiday for which I’ve been saving my little pennies away for months, because I feared it wouldn’t be as grand or Instagrammable as everyone else in Europe. It made me scared to read (gasp) in case I wouldn’t become addicted to the book like I so dearly wanted to be. In an ironic twist, my inherent fear of being “lazy” actually created my laziness.
It took me a couple of weeks to crawl out from the slump, but hey ho I’m still not all the way out of the guilt-hole. I still feel a bit shit about myself if I choose to spend the night watching fail-videos instead of writing in my journal, or if I come home to an empty house and nap for two hours instead of writing some nurturing things for this little blog I have.
It’s the guilt that’ll get ya, but there’s one thing to remember: just do one thing, and do it well.
And from personal experience, fail-videos are an excellent place to start.
ask any bookshop peruser what they’re reading right now and you’re guaranteed to have a solid conversation.
you’ll go home with more books on the to-read list than minutes in a day and possibly a warm feeling on the inside that can only be described as a ‘post-bookshop glow.’
but question that same person on their favourite book of all time and don’t expect so much chat. there’ll be a lot of pondering, possibly further questions of specificity ~ what genre? what author? what time frame? is this question legal? ~ and a whole lot of annoyance at making them pick just one. prepare yourself for further grimacing, uncertain huffing and chin rubbing when you ask them why that book gets top shelf.
here’s a small but friend-filled collection of favourites garnered from far and wide; the classics, fantasy, memoir, autobiography and the humble novel. if you’ve read one of them, you’ll understand what your reader means. and if you haven’t, there’s more to add on the list. if you’re simply in awe of how these chaps have so perfectly described their love affair with the paper back, you’re not alone. i mostly feel it’s quite inexplainable.
ANNIKA// UGLIES by SCOTT WESTERFIELD
it opens with ‘the early summer sky was the colour of cat vomit.’ what a sentence // a young, smart, kick-ass character Tally is forced by the government to follow the cryptic poem her runaway friend Shay left her, in order to find her in the wilderness and return her to society, but not everything is as it seems // i’ve read it twice. that’s sort of a big deal // it’s the perfect mix of adventure, romance and sci-fi but brings up themes like the pursuit of perfection and unsustainable living // its powerful and defiant//i read it as a teenager and it definitely allowed me to feel cool to be clever and to challenge what society tells me to think, be and feel
BEC // THE BOOK THIEF by MARKUS ZUSAK
it’s about so many things: colours, death, a girl known as the book thief, a Jewish fist fighter and some fanatic Nazis // i don’t know how many times i’ve read it, sometimes i read it cover to cover but most often i’ll flip to a random chapter and read snippets. if i find a sentence i love i’ll read it aloud to see if it sounds as beautiful as it reads // i have a copy bound by sticky tape and also another copy not bound by sticky tape to lend to (deserving) friends // i love the way Zusak uses a well known moment in history and tells it simply through the eyes of a young German girl with a preface and afterthought from Death // he uses common words to paint a world full of uncommon characters // when i close the book and return it to it’s shelf i feel a tingly feeling of content and a small longing to read the words again and again
BELINDA// TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by HARPER LEE
on the surface it is a story of radical injustice and discrimination however I think it is more significantly the coming-of-age story of a young girl’s changing relationship with those in her life as her innocent view of the world is transformed // i make an effort to read it once a year. the first time i read it was when I was 13 so i’ve read it about eight times // the book is such a dichotomy of experiences, some points radiate such warmth and make me feel so positive and optimistic, but other points make me feel so enraged at the inequalities that the legal system presents to vulnerable individuals // it actually inspired me to study law at university, to pursue social justice at every available opportunity and instilled the fundamental life lesson to consider situations from others’ point of view in order to be kinder and more understanding // it’s no secret that i love the book. i work at a bookshop and despite it being more than 55 years old it frequents my ‘staff picks’ choice. however i enjoy the private ritual of reading it once a year, so i mostly keep that habit to myself
BLAYNE // THE HARRY POTTER SERIES by J.K ROWLING
everyone knows my love for Harry Potter // i’ve read the series over five times // i love it because it is written so well with a fantastic plot, great characters and a theme of magic and wonder overall // it needs to be read before you die // it makes you feel like you’re magic and exciting too // my inner wizard has been brought out
DOMINIC // THE INHERITANCE CYCLE by CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI
this is the sort of book that completely takes you to another dimension // it’s a 4-book series and i’ve read the series twice now // it immerses you, the way the author has created a whole fictional world of people, languages, history and religions // it’s not a series for everyone so i don’t really tell people about it unless i know they’re the type of person who’d enjoy it // it transports you to a time beyond this world, plus it has dragons // it makes me want to see the world // i’d like to think it makes me bolder. if Eragon can get through his tough times then ultimately so can i
LAINE // THE AUDACITY OF HOPE by BARACK OBAMA
Barack emphasises this need for governments to be founded on values of common good for all citizens // it addresses politics in America and globally and he gives his personal thoughts on particular values and ideals that have guided him through public life // i’ve read it nearly twice now // it makes me feel inspired, motivated and purposeful! // i’m telling everyone to read it because it’s fab. that’s all i can say // it makes me want to work towards progress that promotes common benefits rather than being self-serving // it’s totally changed my perspective on politics and makes me get up and make a difference in our political system
LAURA // MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by ARTHUR GOLDEN
i love memoirs, and although this isn’t a traditional memoir it is told in that style // the voice of the main character, Sayuri, is so strong. she speaks in this beautiful descriptive way that at times is almost childlike which makes her very endearing // i love that Golden had to embody this woman at all stages of her life and research the realities of a life totally disconnected from his own. it’s fascinating // i think i’ve read it about four or five times // the book captures her whole like so i feel like it takes you through a whole range of emotions // i like to tell people about this book, because i feel like it changed the way i write and it made me value the power of research in writing // it influenced me to travel to Japan earlier this year and honestly i felt like such a know-it-all walking around the streets of Gion telling my boyfriend little fun facts i knew from the book // it changed the main genres i read and also added more description into the way i write. that’s really helped me out
“never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them” – Lemony Snicket, Horseradish.
For a long time I wasn’t a fan of silence. I had an ever-pressing urge to tell people everything, too much, just to say something that would kill the quiet. It felt as though by not having conversation, I had failed.
There’s actually a technical term for the fear of silence: sedatephobia. Look, it’s not a promising diagnosis since it harks back to Greek (like all good words do) meaning ‘dead’ or ‘forever asleep.’ Quite frankly I think it’s only allowed for vampires.
By no means am I saying I’m a cured mute who now meditates exclusively in a salty, poignant hush. By golly, I’m quite the opposite! But I suppose it offers some small insight as to why I haven’t been writing much here: I’ve been a little bit scared that what I’m writing is just for the sake of saying something, without actually saying anything remotely meaningful. I’m still crawling out of a trap between writing what I felt like and writing something that matters.
Behold, an enormous Eve Malone shake up. There’s a new bit above you called Eve’s Being Serious where little tid bits of current events and important news type things are there for your perusing. There’s a little bit of ranting about justice and rights and all the things I’d like to school any Q&A panel on in the event of several ABC airtime minutes
Where is Eve? is also a little bit recent and will soon be telling you ‘things’ about many fabulous places that will enchant your most wanderlust-riddled day dreams. Please feel free to cat-call me on the street in my daggiest jeggings if you’ve got definite YOU-MUST-DO-AND-INSTAGRAM-THIS locations.
Finally, Eve’s Pals is there for when I’m curious about your thoughts. They’re cut out pieces of some dear people’s lives and are simply wonderful for life pondering and maybe even some peer-reviewed inspiration.
Eve’s little hiatus, I suppose, has definitely told me that there’s an itching little worm of words begging to get out and that no matter how cheesy or clumsy or inherently invalid they look written down, it’s better than letting them eat you up. Because that’s when the silence really gets too loud to bare.
Ohh flipping hell, that could be a Taylor Swift lyric.
Being a referee is no walk in the park. It’s a job for the thick-skinned and those uncaring of copping abuse from passionate fans. It’s the nature of the game we love, but there is a stark difference between hating on a referee because they’re the referee, and hating on a referee because she’s, god-forbid, a woman.
Women in football have garnered significant media attention over the past six months, but more often than not female refs aren’t counted in that number. It’s probably because they’re pretty darn scarce at all levels of the code. In 2014, females accounted for under 10% of referees globally (FIFA’s Women’s Football Survey partially attributes this to the mandatory use of female referees at a FIFA competition level).
Yet, 2015’s stats show female referees resign at a rate three times more than men as a result of verbal abuse. This isn’t just at top league games though, parents at domestic games as young as Under 9’s have featured in reports of abuse towards female referees.
Granted, women have to earn their time in the stripes just as much as their male counterparts; they’ve got to have all the qualities of a competent and resilient referee and should not be appointed just to fill some quota. Former UK Referee Manager Janie Frampton noted,
“At the end of the day the girls have to be good enough, there will be no positive discrimination. If we go down that line it’ll set us back 20 years. Out there, the girls have to have credibility, that they’re there because they’re good enough.”
Admittedly though, many in the public eye of the traditionally male-dominated game haven’t made it easy on them.
Back in 2011, Sky Sports commentators Andy Gray and Richard Keys were infamously sacked after they were recorded off-air ridiculing Sian Massey-Ellis, then an EPL assistant referee, saying “women don’t know the offside rule.”
In 2014, the UK’s Northumberland County FA vice-president John Cummings was suspended for 4 months for telling Lucy May, a referee and football development officer, that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen” and “she wouldn’t be able to handle it.”
“It’s nothing against you personally but all the time I’m alive, a woman will never referee.”
Ahh, such a shame little Johnny, because women from Wendy Toms and Sian Massey-Ellis to Bibiana Steinhaus, Kari Seitz and Australia’s own Sarah Ho and Kirralee Andruschak have since proved you wrong.
Beyond referees though, women making their mark in football are having to do so with a heads-down attitude. When Manchester City took on Chelsea in 2014, a player sought treatment from a physio who happened to be a woman. Lo and behold, chants of “get your tits out for the lads” were heard from the crowd.
Is it really a surprise, then, that when someone gives ‘female footballers’ a google search, the top answers have absolutely nothing to do with their ability and everything to do with appearance?
Just recently, Just Not Sports videoed men reading out the online hate copped by US sports journalists Sarah Spain and Julie DeCaro in a social experiment to highlight rampant online harassment.
“You need to be hit in the head with a hockey puck and killed” one tweet read, before the women were obliged to post screenshots to prove that they didn’t make that shit up.
It’s quite a confronting watch, but necessary if sexism in sport is ever going to change.
Thankfully, FIFA’s Head of Refereeing Massimo Busaccua shows some promise:
“Men and women have to work together, because we are convinced that this should be our philosophy. The game is the same, the decisions they take are the same, and thus the preparation for the referees and assistant referees should be, too.”
The first thing i noticed about Phnom Penh: the traffic. It’s basically an art form, if you can cross the road in the penh, you can cross it anywhere. Cars, bicycles, tuk tuks, buses, mopeds with four passengers and a chicken travelling in various directions with minimal road rules.
The thing about the colours: a haze of grey sits over the city, the pollution making sunrises look foggy and boogers black. But the vapour is offset by colourful prayer flags and market stalls and the occasional buddhist monk buying tropical fruits on the side of the road.
The thing about the locals: there’s a lot of them and they’re squished in a very tiny area but they’re awfully cheery despite it. A lot of them they survive off tourists, so many tuk tuk drivers can be quite the charmers.
The thing about the food: it’s cheap and mighty delicious. One of the best meals we stumbled on was whole fish stuffed with chilli and herbs cooked fresh on the side of the road. Fried rice is always a fall back, but have a go at closing your eyes and using the magic finger to chose a mystery meal.
The thing about power lines: new ones seem to be added without old ones being taken down, so they look like chunky bundles of supersized liquorice tangled up on every street corner. I always wondered what would happen if it rained and how their surprisingly adequate Wi-Fi system was even possible with them.
The thing about the markets: bartering is a skill that takes practice and keep note that no merchant will sell for less than cost price. But they’re making a living off their stall and haggling $1usd might do better in their pocket than yours.
The thing about the history: Phnom Penh is home to S21 and the Killing Fields, two sites that honour the thousands lost in Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime. It’s a graphic and morbid day but a tour that must be done so that you can really appreciate how far Cambodia has come from terror that struck only 40 years ago.
The thing that surprised me: despite all the confusion of language barriers and money customs, everything seemed to fall into place. Tours were booked and tickets were bought without drastic misunderstandings. It was baffling how so many people could collaborate to create order in a world full of chaos.
The thing i fell in love with: people watching. I gazed outside my window for fifteen minutes in the mornings, hearing the traffic and beeping horns, watching men in suits, bare feet riding mopeds and children walking to school dressed half in uniform, half in yesterday’s clothes. The old woman on the street corner from whom I bought an (overpriced) 50 cent mango laughed as her children stole her fruit and brought her breakfast.
It was 10.30 yesterday morning and I was sitting on the bathroom floor feeling a steady trickle of tears slide down my cheeks. I was not hungover. I had formed my first grudge.
I never really knew how to hold a grudge against someone. It’s probably because I’m notoriously oblivious and don’t recognise grudge-worthy actions, or maybe I just like knowing I can talk to people. Mostly, I think, it’s because I forget that I’m supposed to be mad.
I tried doing it one day, getting really mad at Mum and channeling all my energy into letting her know that I was furious at her for forcing me to make my bed at a time when I was simply seeping with maturity and independence and it was bloody exhausting. I think she just thought I had period pain.
The silent treatment is another of my favourite attempts at grudge holding. It’s never had much success because it’s kind of irrational and people who make great jokes always win. My lack of resting bitch face doesn’t help my cause either.
But congratulations to y’all who can hold a grudge. It’s a mighty feat, and I’m sure you have perfectly valid reasons for it. I never thought I’d be in a world where I’d say no to talking to someone, but it seems my mean streak choses now to reveal itself.
Gosh, that is not to say I’ve been a pure, angelic body of goodness my whole life. Hell, I’m simply more conscious of the pathetic things people do. I’m snappier, less forgiving, more just-get-your-shit-together frustrated. I get irrationally mad when two different breakfast cereals are combined in one bag to save cupboard space because that is clearly NOT WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO. There’s more doubt in the promise to follow through, less trust in pledges to be better.
Maybe it’s just a phase, a reaction to shock, a response to lies and cover ups, and I’ll be back to my old trusting mindset where I won’t question hidden agendas and the motivations behind kindness. I won’t ache for a coincidental run in with my grudgee when I happen to feel jointly brave and intelligent so that I can SCHOOL YOU REAL GOOD and high five my groupies as I strut away. Lips, hips, kicks and butt.
That, I guess, is the ultimate grudge cure.