Have you ever felt like the only one in the room? Might seem like a strange question, but bear with me. Recently, i have, on several occasions and on different levels. This piece sorta builds on my last
post... the one where i asked am i the only one who thinks of these things!
Here are just a few recent examples of where i have felt like the only one in the room:
I often feel like I am the only one in the room who doesnt appreciate spicy food. Personally, i have never liked it and see it as ruining the taste of otherwise good food. My theory is, if you have to put spice
in your food to make flavour you're doing it wrong. Now, to those who say but you put tomato sauce on your meat, i say, well at least my mouth aint burning, i'm not going red and i dont look like i'm crying afterwards. Some make out its a mark of honour to
see how many chillis they can eat and how hot the curry is but that to me is just posing. What about the after-effects? You know what i'm talking about... made famous by the words of Johnny
Cash.. 'the burning ring of fire'. No thanks, not for me! Let me just say, I don't do curry, i don't do chilli, i don't do raw onions, i don't even do pepper and quite frankly I don't feel i'm missing out on anything.
When we got to Nandos I have to scrape the sauce off the lemon and herb burger as its still too spicy for my taste. I ordered a Mango Chicken at an Indian restaurant
once, I thought it would be sweet but after one mouth full I swapped it with my partners dish, you see she doesnt mind spicy food. Even the vegetable rice had spice at that particular venue. I usually go the 'rum kebabs' and 'butter chicken' when i visit Indian
restaurants. These are 'safe dishes' for me. I usually have some 'safe dishes' that i choose when we go to Mexican restaurants too...
It always amazes me how people from tropical
climates seem to eat a lot of spicy food, you would think they'd be all sitting back eating cool salads and licking iceblocks but.. No! They're eating curries and hoeing down on the firiest chillis.. for what? Are they truly fighting fire with fire? Surely,
they are already sweating, they dont need a mouth full of heat as well? I just don't get it... i do realise that refrigeration is a problem in some of the home countries but still... Am I the only one who thinks this??
I have been the only Atheist in a room full of Christians. Been there a number of times, it can be a little uncomfortable but since i grew up in christianity i understand the beliefs. I may not have the faith but I try to respect
those who do and expect them to respect mine. They usually don't treat me like a leper or a heretic but occasionally they do try to bring me back into the fold. When my partner and i were first going out I use to escort her to church, i would sit there and
listen to the sermons but would not take part in the sacraments. I rarely got asked what i was doing..believers tend to be pretty focussed on the message and not the others in the room, in my view.
I have been the only Aussie in rooms full of filipinas both here in Australia and in the Philippines, sometimes i get the sly looks or the smiles and shy nods. I may not understand Tagalog,
the national language or the regional language of Visayan of my partners home but I can follow most of the body language and my partner makes a good interpreter. Filipinas generally are
very hospitable people and would not want the visitor to feel uncomfortable. This goes along with being in a room full of christians... as the Philippines is a heavily Catholic country.
A funny story comes to mind...On my first trip to Philippines to visit the future in-laws, my father and I with my partner were at the family home and we were talking to the wife of a police officer. Dad was asked about what religion he is and his joking
response was that he was 'Calathumpian'..(a fictional religion, something akin to the 'Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster' –
an internet sensation). Of course, the reaction to this by someone who was quite a believer was one of incredulity. Then we explained that hes an Agnostic and i'm an Atheist to which her response was a series of questions like... “you don't believe in
the holy trinity?!” “you dont believe in the heavenly father?!”...it was funny to us but serious to her, you get the picture.
She was trying to convert us back into
the fold but i liken myself to be a 'reformed christian'...something similar to 'a reformed smoker' i.e those who have been smokers and then quit are often more down on their former activities then, say, those who have never smoked. I have never smoked but
i lived in a house where both parents smoked for a long time, my dad quit many years ago but mum continued up to her passing. My wider family all smoked at one time and so again, i have been the only one in the room.. a non-smoker in a room full of smokers.
Recently I thought i was the only Queensland supporter in a room full of NSW supporters during the SOO
(State Of Origin) game 3 – the decider. The Maroons (Qld) won the series.. again (for the eighth time) so i ultimately felt vindicated in a friendly way. Turns out that i am not the only Queenslander in the room and that makes me feel better. Besides,
my current workplace is not one where casual talk amongst colleagues is much participated in, a fair few dont even know each others names let alone what team they go for, so it was not a big deal.
Before coming to Canberra and a number of years ago now, I was told by a workmate in Brisbane Qld that there were two types in that city. He reckoned there were those who lived on the northside and those who wished they lived on the northside. Well,
I thought that was a bit rich... I had always lived on the southside, and never wished to live on the northside. Word up to the Southside. I feel like breaking into a bit of white boy rap when i say this...
I have noticed a trend for living on the southside of whatever town/city i call home... In Brisbane where i was born and grew up, i have always lived on the southside... though i did live in the inner-city for a period. When we
moved to Longreach (central west Qld), we lived on the southside of the town. Now we live in Canberra, we live on the southside of the city and right now we're in the inner south. It is indeed funny how things happen, it hasn't been by design, just a happy
The only southside i wish i didn't live at the moment is southside of the border, given the cold and wet of the Canberra winter. But when we came down here, i said that
we came for a 'cool change' from the heat of Longreach. This does make me think about my State of origin (Qld) The Sunshine State...it is north of here and a lot warmer right now... To a Queenslander, south of the border is called 'Mexico' and previously I
have been known to mock a friend who was moving down south by saying that he would become a 'Mexican'. I guess the joke is on me now eh? :) Bring out the Tequila...
I will leave the
last word to Anna Bligh, ex-premier of Queensland, during the 2010/2011 floods... “We are Queenslanders, we're the people that they breed tough north of the border. We're the ones that
they knock down and we get up again.”
Oh yeah, stay tuned for my next post titled.. 'Much Philosophising'