Category Archives: Straight talk

Visceral Feelings: Men & Women

Lauren is happy. Last night, her boyfriend Mark finally told her he loved her. She had been wanting that
ever since they started seeing each other four months ago. She had been having sex with him, and it had
been pleasurable for sure, but she was doing so hoping it would turn into something more: love.

Mark had been aloof and slow to give away his emotions. Lauren didn’t mind this, she even preferred it. It meant that she had to work for his love, and by the time he said it, she felt she had earned it
and that it really meant something to him.

Lauren set up an excited brunch with her friends Stina, Terri and Lisa. They hadn’t seen each other in four months, in fact none of them knew she was dating Mark. Right away, she starts telling them
the good news.
“Wow” said Stina, “I didn’t even know you were dating a new guy! That’s great.”
“Yeah”, said Terri, “what is the guy’s name?”
“Mark Smith”, said Lauren. A hush immediately fell over her support group as they began to give
each other awkward looks.

“Uhhhh, Lauren”, said Lisa, “Mark Smith has loved a lot of girls.”
“Yeah”, said Stina, “He told Jackie Valenti he loved her.”
“Okay” said Lauren, “But she probably fucked his brains out, right? Like, he was definitely getting
sex from her?”
Stina cringes. “No” she says, “They never even kissed. He went over to her place drunk one night
and professed his love for her. She never even let him in her bedroom.”

“Alright but that’s only one girl. That’s okay.” Said Lauren, getting nervous.
“Well there’s also Andrea Tedesco. He told her he loved her after two casual dates.” said Terri,
“She was bragging that she kept him around for a while, getting ‘good morning beautiful’ texts from him and other indications of love whenever she needed it, and she only stopped accepting his love when he started to want sex. He still writes on her facebook wall.”

Lauren felt a deep pit in her stomach.

Lisa continues: “Mark told Angelica Messina he loved her the first night he met her. She said he was REALLY into it, looking her right in the eyes when he said it, getting down on his knees in front of her
just to kiss her hand, and he even recited poetry for her. She gave him one of those awkward one arm hugs and that was it.”

He never did that freaky stuff with me, thought Lauren. If he does that stuff, then why did I just
get a plain old “I love you”?

Plus Angelica is the biggest cock tease in the city, thought Lauren. How could Mark fall for her
bullshit? What an idiot. Now she thought Mark was stupid as well as loose with his love.
Stina says, apologetically, “I don’t want to tell you this, but I heard Mark met a girl in a club and
dragged her into the bathroom to tell her she was beautiful, then he gave her twenty dollars. She never even touched him.”

“Okay, please stop” said Lauren. She was growing sicker by the second, her world crushed.
Later, she confronts Mark with her new knowledge. Did he really love all those girls without get-
ting sex from them? She demands to know.

“Well yeah but I didn’t really WANT sex from them”, Mark lies, possibly even to himself, “I wanted to give
them love, that’s all. I wasn’t ready for sex at that point in my life.”

“Uggggghhhhh” says Lauren, “Don’t you know that guys who give girls love and attention without
getting sex are LOSERS??? The girls getting the love and attention don’t actually respect them, they are
just using them!”

“No way, guys can want love without sex, too”, claims Mark.

“Well I heard you told Shirley Thompson from my building you loved her and I have to look at her
every day. Plus she’s really pretty, there’s no way she was going to fuck you! Why did you love her?” says
Lauren.

“Is that what this is about”, Mark says, “You are just insecure because I have more experience
with love than you. You think you can’t measure up to all the beautiful girls I’ve loved in the past.”
“Just how many girls did you tell you loved?” asks Lauren

“I don’t know, about 30” says Mark

This hits Lauren like a brick in the stomach. “30! That is insane, you are a loser!”

“Can’t you see that my past doesn’t matter, and you are giving me sex now and that’s all that
matters?” says Mark, “I love the sex we have and that’s something I didn’t get from the other girls.”

Mark can’t see why this only makes Lauren madder. Why should she be the one who has to pay by putting her valuable eggs at risk by taking his sperm in order to get the love and attention that the other
girls got so easily.

“Well if you give away love so easily, why did you make me wait?” says Lauren, “Was I not as good
as the other girls?”

“Well I saw the chance for sex with you and I didn’t want to mess that up by giving away love too
soon”, says Mark.

Lauren dumped Mark.
She had to.

Someone so loose with their emotions is not a good person to give sex to.
What if they have a son who turns out to be easily manipulated by a pretty face, like Mark?
What if a pretty girl in need bats her eyelashes at him and he gives her money that their family
needs?

What if she just wants a man’s love all to herself and that can’t happen with Mark?

Even beyond that, on a very visceral, base level that she couldn’t explain, she found Mark repulsive. It was as if she had been wired biologically to feel disgust and lack of attraction for guys who allow
themselves to get friend zoned. There was no way she could fuck him again.

Yup, it was as clear as day, thought Lauren. Guys who give away love easily are definitely not
worthy of sex.

A classic post from LaidNYC from all the way back in 2013, and I definitely stand by the principle of it today.

Loss of International Students

I was thinking the other day with the after effects of COVID-19 impacting the wider economy in Australia, how would the higher education sector react to the lingering impacts? How about the general vibe in Universities? Will that shift?

  • More English being heard at The University of Melbourne / Upper Swanston Street area

Well you might have been getting pretty fluent in understanding Chinese, Hindi or Cantonese over the past few years. But now, you’ll have to make your efforts in your own time rather than passing by students on a day to day basis

  • Student accommodation demands dropping

Oh these are always pretty full at the start of every semester, including all the apartments and shared rentals near Universities throughout the academic year. This year though, rents are staying stagnant or dropping or housing simply isn’t filling up. Pretty standard knock-on effect.

  • Businesses around student areas being impacted

Weather its Clayton, Burwood East, Hawthorn, Footscray, Carlton or Bundoora – these are all areas that have large university populations and so I would say those food joints and student hang out spots will be suffering this yer.

  • Drop off in migration

Yeah so nobody local really can say that they love migration. Every year the city gets more crowded, infrastructure struggles to keep up with increasing demands and the cost of living continues to outpace wage growth. But it keeps the economy “growing”, with the government forecasts always including hundreds of thousands in net migration every year to facilitate the growth in the economy, there will definitely be a couple of dull years coming up

This year’s budget had assumed a net 270,000 increase in migration for 2019-20 and just a small drop off the following year. An 85 per cent drop would take net migration down to 40,500, the lowest rate in decades.

It’s not all doom and gloom for some, house price growth will slump so the people that managed to keep their jobs and have saved up can benefit.

COVID-19 Lockdown

For the first time in a long time, I actually got to catch up on things I’ve been meaning to do but never got around to.

No travel for a while and spending an extended period of time in Australia is going to be a nice change.

The Misfit

It was February, I just got back from a 3 week vacation from the snow and settling back into the routine of life back in my adopted home city.

And then it happened, maybe due to boredom, maybe due to a desire to explore.

I met a skank with a unique haircut and dress sense, tatted up and fit, and a total misfit in this homogeneous society I was living in. I didn’t think much of it, initially brushing off her calls to catch up. But in the end I thought it would maybe be interesting.

I would never want to be seen with her in public but the exploration in private was intriguing.

A third cultured up-bringing over three countries, deviation of family expectations and simply ending up with in the wrong crowd at the wrong time left her in this state. But to me that didn’t really matter, her life was funded through previous generations and she simply lived it as she wanted.

The trysts were random, infrequent but intense and it was a nice get away from reality where perhaps I was sometimes overwhelmed with stress. The chill, casual nature of it was a perk as I’d bumped into her once at a shopping centre with the company of another companion and it wasn’t an awkward greeting at all. I guess when people can’t fathom the combination of two polar opposites it’s hard to really feel suspicious.

In the end, I had bigger issues to deal with and “forgot” to reply to too often for it to continue and I wasn’t one bit worried or fussed, but then the other day, I see her at an airport somewhere totally random and we exchange smiles and continue walking in our intended directions.

A state of transience

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When you have been exploring the world, building yourself up by acquiring new skills and putting yourself in new situations – you grow.

But for how long can you sustain that?

There’s a point where there will be a diminishing return for the amount of energy you expend. You continue going down that path, you get burnt out, jaded and bitter.

People come, people go, and the genuine desire to go through the motions and meet new people wane with time.

Weather you’re working in an expat hot spot like Hong Kong, or doing your own business in a remote island, are you really “settled”?

At the back of most foreign expatriates’ minds is a confession. The truth that they know that this period in their life, it will not be permanent. This “freedom” so to speak, is it really going to last?

I had this feeling a number of times in the last few years. Should I buy this? Should I commit to that? Will I even be here to experience these? Those were questions that would pop up in my mind when it came to more mid to long term decisions. That uncertainty was exciting but also sometimes a little limiting in some areas. I would avoid activities, tasks and commitments as I would feel as if they would tie me down in a location.

The questions kept resonating heavily with my feelings towards my most recent environment, slowly beginning to look forward to a new atmosphere and change. I kept looking back at the happy times that had heavily accumulated in my adopted home city. Naturally, I compared my feeling of the present moment to those I remember feeling in past photos, or reading past stories, the hindsight bias kicked in and I naturally felt as if the most fulfilling and satisfying periods were those I had left behind.

Whatever trickery I tried to convince myself otherwise, failed. Business circumstances, societal changes, they also did not help, factors outside of my control continued to fuel the desire to explore again, to just enjoy something new.

Was I just a hamster on a wheel? Was I just another millennial trying to get their rush of dopamine? Ultimately, despite wanting to believe otherwise, there’s some level of truth to both of those. I had grown myself professionally and personally a lot over the last few years. But I never once imagined integrating into the society I was living in, fully. I was always a foreigner.

So, it happened, something inside of me sparked a thirst for change. Like what happened years ago, happened again.

Sloppy Aussies

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Sloppy Aussies! They exist everywhere these days, just go on a trip and you’ll find one in due course.

If you’ve travelled through Europe or South East Asia, you’ll always come across the rubric of travellers from Australia that tend to stand out for negative reasons.

Weather its Thailand, Bali, London or Budapest, the loud, drunk Australian is a known travel icon. You talk to bar owners and local shop keepers and they complain about how repulsive and arrogant Australians are. Dropping stories of “that one time” when things got out of hand and cops had to be called. Sometimes you’re left with that awkward pause of just simply nodding and agreeing with them about how the behaviour abroad from Aussies aren’t necessarily very respectful of local norms and traditions.

When people ask you where you’re from, and you drop “Australia” as your response and get that visually unappealing reaction as a response you begin to wonder if it might just be a better idea to say you’re a Kiwi instead. Less people, lower risk, right?

This continues to extend onto the ease of slaying Aussie girls. If you’re chatting to a few local blokes about Australian girls, they’ll always drop how they banged one out in the last week or so. It’s great that those worn orifices are given out like tap water abroad. Sharing is caring, after all!

I was travelling through the middle east once, and talking to a few local guys over a meal and they loved how easily the girls from Australia spread, some of these guys had year long dry-spells relieved due to this phenomenon. I saw the humour in this, and they gave me this “fist bump” as a sign of acknowledgement.

Friends of mine living in London often tell me that they actively avoid Australian areas such as Clapham due to the negative reputation that Aussies have earned themselves over there. Some even avoid making friends with Australian-sounding accents to avoid bumping into any embarrassingly sloppy compatriots.

 

Shifting Paradigms

It’s incredible, more than five years can pass and you can remember some people with such strong feelings but a few days can pass and you won’t remember that slore you slammed out in a public toilet cubicle over the weekend.

 

Memories

Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

How true that is.

I was sitting by the park bench enjoying a late summer vacation somewhere warm, and I was talking to a local about some of the adventures, some of the mishaps and battles I had overcome in the last few years, and his response?

“Your life sure is interesting”

That’s when I thought back, opened up my Google Photos and reminisced about some of the times and for a second, I really missed them. It’s impossible to go back and re-experience exactly what you went through at that point in time, but the memory brought a smile to my face.

Other than that I went to some places that were really off the beaten path and got a taste of truly isolating myself from the world for a few days. It was relaxing, but also reaffirmed how much some amenities and luxuries are hard to go without even for a short period of time.

I bumped into some friends in a few big cities and caught up on their endeavours and projects – things were all pretty good, and have some pretty cool ideas coming up for the new year in terms of travel spots.

Change

When you’re in a place, or with someone, or doing something that brings you happiness, enjoy it as much as you can, cause it won’t be the same once you leave and return.

Stern words and totally admirable. But on the contrary, when is it time to move on? When should you change things up, or leave behind a job, person, or place? This question definitely comes up more amongst peers these days, and the specifics are different for everyone, no doubt. Here’s a few that people regularly brought up to me:

1 – When you look back more than look forward.

You know you have a limited time when you think about the past constantly, weather you’re in a city you’ve lived in for many years or in a job that you’ve outgrown, you remind yourself about the good times. When everything was new, exciting and brought you that joy you craved so much. Some people look at old photos, some people reflect on old accomplishments, but when you’re not too excited about what’s coming up and constantly looking back, maybe you’ve accepted that the best is behind you and the need for a new challenge is coming up.

2 – When the every day seems like a grind.

When I was a kid, or even during university, I would sit in classes or lectures and think about what I’d do later, weather it be hanging out with friends, or some cool activity over the weekend, I would think about that and it would give me this really joyous feeling to get me through the task at hand. But in the situations where I needed some change, I would always get down a stop watch counter app and have the impending departure date counting down daily to remind me that this torture will end soon.

3 – The feeling of treading water.

Ultimately, your mind will probably tell yourself you’re not growing, nor happy with the comfort you’ve achieved in your present state. That feeling of no progress – that’s somewhat of a poison that just never goes away unless you make changes.

 

These are just common occurrences based on anecdotes amongst a few peers, but there’s definitely a lot more signs than just the above.

The “caste” system

Many know the caste system that relates to India, such as what is described below:

The caste system in India is the paradigmatic ethnographic example of caste. It has origins in ancient India, and was transformed by various ruling elites in medieval, early-modern, and modern India, especially the Mughal Empire and the British Raj. It is today the basis of educational and job reservations in India. The caste system consists of two different concepts, varna and jati, which may be regarded as different levels of analysis of this system. Vaidyanathan argues that the caste system existed at the village level to serve the needs of its people, however, the method in which the 1881 census was carried out in India by the British Raj institutionalized the caste system on a much larger national scale.

But this same concept seems to apply in so many areas of our lives. Well not so closely but to a degree.

There’s just so many “tiers” in people these days.

Top tier people whom you aspire to have around whilst feeling comfortable and proud to have as companions or partners.

Mid-tier people that are doing ok, and you respect but are at a level you think is one that isn’t achieving their maximum potential.

Bottom-tier people that lack the ability or are just inherently lazy that you cannot bring yourself to respect them.

Weather its professionally or in social contexts, I notice how closely people judge, despite the agenda these days to “not judge”, the opposite occurs subconsciously.

As an expat, you’ll come across different tiers of fellow foreigners in every city you visit. Some cities will skew towards bottom and mid-tier expats, whilst others will have more of the top-tier individuals. This depends a lot on your field, and the location also.

In competitive cities, which university you go to, what you do, what field you’re in, what you earn and most importantly your personality, will all come into play when it comes to so many areas of your life. Weather its meeting new people, job interviews, dating or general respect amongst the community.

A recent example is of a lower tier individual I met through some friends on a night out a couple years ago. This guy was basically hitting 30, smoked weed non-stop through his early 20s, finally graduated school at 27, was a total loser back home working in retail and now was doing some customer service gig abroad which was the pinnacle for him. He was banging foreigner chaser sluts in our city that were considered the lowest rung of girls available and barely a step up from jerking off (assuming you didn’t cop an STD in the process of banging).

But for him, this was heaven. Coming from a total dump of a city, being a basement dweller with no motivation – being in a foreign country with low hanging fruit as women and a somewhat stable income (Albeit zero progression or respect) was great. There was no sense of achievement, nor a sense of development that drove him to excel in any task, it was merely just putting in the bare minimum, grinding to the weekend then boozing, weeding, gaming until Monday. It was sad, and I knew I simply can’t get along with scrubs such as these.

And nor should anyone. As they say “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.

Cut the filth, keep the quality. Aim high as you can, dare to dream.