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At about 6pm yesterday I got on a bus to South Maroubra. Up the back were a whole lot of really loud Westie guys just talking and so forth. I ignored them. Then about 3/4 of the way to Maroubra the bus stopped at a light, and one of the Westie guys ran up to the front of the bus and proceeded to talk with the bus driver while doing what appeared to be a strange on-the-spot dance. So the driver opened the door and the guy sprinted across the road to the left and halfway across the next road, stopping on the grassy median strip in the middle. Then, with his back to us, he proceeded to fiddle with the front of his pants and pee in the middle of road. With cars going by in front and behind him. The story doesn't end here however. The light changed before he finished his business and the bus started moving, much to the chagrin of the rest of the Westie guys, who tried yelling at the driver to wait for their friend. The entire bus was then treated to a running commentary of what the whizkid (hah I'm so punny) was doing to try to rejoin the bus, by his friends who were on the phone to him. First he ran behind the bus, trying to catch up at the next bus stop. When that obviously wasn't going to work his friends advised him to catch a taxi. Not to their destination, but to rejoin the bus... And sure enough, just as I stepped off the bus a taxi pulled up in front of the bus and out gets the whizkid, yelling at the driver to wait for him while he pays the taxi..

I wish I could say that insult was added to injury as the bus sped away once again, but sadly it was not to be. And thus ended another day living in the west of the east :p
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The time was 8am. The actors, a 12 year old girl and a 40-ish ballet teacher. The weather on that day was, to put it lightly, brisk. The teacher, bundled up in jacket, scarf, and all manner of other clothing looked at the girl, standing at the barre wearing nothing but the standard-issue leotard, tights, and canvas ballet shoes, and shivered internally. "Aren't you cold?" she asked. "Nope!" came the cheerful reply as the girl pushed her insteps against the floor in an attempt to increase their flexibility. The girl's ballet exam was just a month or so away. She and the teacher were in the church hall on a Saturday morning for a private lesson to work on her technique. The teacher looked at the girl again. No sign of shivering. No visible awareness of the temperature. The teacher sighed. "You must be cold!" she said with just a hint of questioning. An innocently blank look was her only answer. She took the only option left available to her. "I think there are some leg-warmers and a crossover in the Lost Property. Wait here." Minutes later, with the girl properly attired for the weather, the class finally started.


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And that is a much-expanded version of the story I always tell when trying to illustrate my apparent indifference to the cold, the time my teacher (who's Welsh by the way, and so should be more used to the cold than me) refused to start a ballet class until I put on some warmer clothes. In reality it's that a) I warm up very quickly when doing any form of physical activity, b) I have a peculiarity of liking to have my arms free and my hands uncovered when doing said physical activity, so I either don't wear long-sleeved tops or push the sleeves up, and I very rarely wear gloves of any sort. It's probably a holdover from all those years of doing ballet with completely bare arms. c) It's not that I don't feel the cold, it's that in typical INTP-ish fashion I find it easy enough to ignore the discomfort as long as it's not actually impeding me in any way (so if I'm actually shivering or my hands are starting to go numb I take it as a signal that maybe I should be wearing something warmer). Having said that, this winter has almost been too much even for me. The new flat is so cold that sitting around playing PS2 causes my hands to go numb after a couple of hours, and gloves just don't cut it. And yesterday at work it was cold enough that I didn't have a whole lot of feeling in my hands for most of my shift. Last Sunday morning saw the AGL temperature display in Bondi Junction saying 3 degrees Celsius and the cold certainly had enough bite for me to believe it. One of the older ladies at work decided I must be British because apparently I have a hint of an accent and then of course there's my seeming to be completely acclimatised to the cold :)

Number of people so far this week who've asked me "Aren't you cold?!": 5 (average of 2.5 per day)

If I get asked a few more times I think I'll start making up reasons that are more interesting than "I don't feel the cold that much"

  • It's against my religion, the Frosterians, to avoid being cold
  • Cold is a myth perpetuated by fundamentalist conservatives who want to see everyone cover all exposed skin
  • I don't believe in the cold
  • I'm trying to lower my immune system in the hope of catching an exotic disease and making medical history
  • I'm starved for attention, being asked whether I'm cold is the only interaction I get all day
  • My jumper got eaten by a migrating polar bear on the way to work
  • Yes I am cold, wanna warm me up? *wink*
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I told this one before but here  it is again. A female USAID worker went to Afghanistan in the 80's and she came back in 2007, she was amazed to see that women were now walking in front of men,  she told her Afghan translator " I am amazed the progress your country has made  regarding women's rights, when I was here 20 years ago a woman had to walk  behind the man, now, they walk ahead of them" The Afghan man looked pleased, and  replied "Yes, landmines".

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