25 November 2009

Interview Time

For the second time, I participated in the Great Interview Experiment. And with everyone in the world to chose from, I got interviewed by someone in my backyard. And I interviewed someone who lives in Melbourne, where I lived for 6 months. Small world.

So, without further ado, here's Carla's interview. She's a magnificent writer, so you are in for a treat.

Hi Carla, sorry it took me so long to get to you with questions, you've already completed yours! Impressive. I just wanted to read your blog a bit and make it a bit more personal.

I do have some questions in mind but I want the interview to be a bit more organic and conversational, so I'll just feed you one at a time.

You mentioned you are in Uni getting your Master's and you are a mom with two young kids. How do you do it all?

Xanax. Yep they are everything that people say they are... Seriously though...you forgot to add in the busy Cafe that I own! How do I do it all?

The kid's part is relatively easy. Once they can wipe their own tushies and open a pack of cornflakes in the morning everything else is chocolate brownies! (well forgive me- but I like chocolate brownies better than a piece of cake.)

Business...well to be honest I just halved that workload recently by selling one of my cafes earlier this year. I'm not sure if I had the seven year itch with them...but I'm glad that I made the decision. My hubby who works in the technical-sphere said he has noticed a huge difference in me on the scale of calm to frazzle.

I was tired of frazzle.

As for the studies, it would have been easy at that point to sit back and enjoy some quiet time, but instead I applied for the post-grad masters course in writing because I felt that it was time to release a dream that has been sitting dormant inside for awhile. I'm not sure if it's a win or a fail yet... but if you want something bad enough you simply find or make the time for it. I truly believe in the old adage that we can only be the best mothers and the best wives and the best friends that we can be when we are happy within ourselves.

the kids get a big kick out of sitting down to do our homework all together...

I can't believe I left out the cafes, especially since I worked in a variety of them for EIGHT YEARS! That makes that Xanax super super important. Three of my four parents were in school at some point during my childhood, but we never did our homework together - lucky kids!

Eenywho, on to my next question. I studied abroad in Australia (Melbourne Uni, even!) and have long wanted to live abroad again. If you could pick up and move anywhere with no drama, where would move and why?

You've lived in my beautiful town of Melbourne... so it's no surprise that I'd say- I wouldn't live anywhere else in this world! (...and I've crisscrossed the globe so I know what I'm talking about...) But for the purpose of this exercise I will say London, England. I'd like to say it's for the history, or because it's the perfect geographic base to allow me to trace back through my European roots of England and Ireland and Poland and Russia, or due to any other number of intelligent and culturally significant reasons...but really...the truth is...it's because men with British accents make me swoon...

Feel free not to use the you-tube link... I'm a little mad for Colin Firth so I thought I'd share (perhaps overshare!!!) LOL

When did you live in Melbourne?

Great question by the way!

I'm enjoying the way you are doing this... it allows me not to think too much ahead and it does feel very conversational...

Oh the link is a keeper. I LOVE Colin Firth as well. One of my life goals is to make a man with an accent fall in love with me.

I was in Melbourne from February-June 2003 - almost seven years ago! My little sister spent her semester abroad at Bond in Queensland, so I got the chance to visit her this past April. As lovely as the beaches were, I'm a total Victoria snob.

You mentioned crisscrossing the globe - do you have a top five foreign locales that everyone should visit? Did you do much of this traveling with your kids? I also lived for year in England when I was growing up and me and my large family drove all over Europe. So while I can say that I've been to Venice and Paris, it was as an 11 year old with all my siblings - I imagine it would be a different experience today!

I feel blessed to have been able to travel, and I understand the importance of exposing my children to the greater world in which we live. They are by now pretty good travelers having journeyed across Australia and having done four trips abroad to such far away places as China and Japan.

I find this an interesting question…particularly since what is foreign to me may not be foreign to you. And I’m intrigued that you have asked me for five places, not one or three but five, so let’s see if I can give you a place to visit, somewhere. I have been, somewhere to satisfy each of your senses…

Beijing, China

Beijing is for me the ultimate in contradictions, it's all high-tech lightning speed nestled beside ancient hutongs and revolutionary scars. It’s all about the sights. The bustle of humanity, the snaking Great Wall, the immensity of the soul-breaking Tiananmen Square and the most delicious of them all, The Forbidden City- home to the Dynastic Emperors and their hundreds of Empresses and Consorts and Concubines and a mind boggling array of offspring. The grounds of which are now visited by Chinese tourist families, who sightsee the magnificent ancient ways of privilege and excess, holding the hands of their single children tightly.


Pentecoste Island, Vanuatu

Every year the local men of this island village perform an amazingly-scary ritual called N’gol or Land Diving, jumping head first from hand built scaffolds miles in the sky. And between them and death is their Gods and a single ropy green vine. But this is not what will touch you in Pentecoste. As we snorkeled the azure waters pointing in delight at extraordinarily coloured corals and fish, my daughter met a smiling and happy island girl on the soft sands of the beach. And by the very nature of little girls there was no shyness or awkwardness over language barriers, there was just an immediate friendship. They showed each other their bags.

My daughter had her DS and ipod and lollies and toys and other girly treasures.

The smiling and happy island girl had a shell and the stub of an old grey-lead pencil.

It was a lesson in the material nature of happiness given to my daughter, like a gift wrapped in banana leaves, that touched all of our hearts.


Rome, Italy

In Rome I was taken to a restaurant that screamed so badly of cliché it almost made my eyeballs bleed red, white and green. From the expected check of the table cloths right through to the stubs of melted candles stuffed into old bottles of chianti, still in their little straw bikinis. The waiter seeing that we were foreigners took it upon himself to organize the menu. He said it would be traditional. I wasn't holding out for too much.

But what followed was a meal that was operatic to the palate.

Simple pane, bread slices drizzled with olive oil, melanzane- vinegared slices of purple skinned eggplant, forkfuls of mushrooms clinging to tomato drenched tagiatelle,
tender osso buco scattered with shavings of aged romano cheese and flat leaf parsley, and limone gelato so glacial and lemony-brutal that our lips remained puckered in ecstasy till the following morning.


New York City, U.S.A

Good Lawd, the cacophony of New York is the sweetest clang of music to my ears. It’s a heady brilliant scream of conceit, from a goddamn sexy bitch who has every effen right to be conceited.

Traffic and music and words and food and art that’s the hiphop-techno-crunch-folky-rock-ballad of your soul. And the taxi driver who drives with one hand on his horn and the other waving the bird as he screams out the window at the arsehole who just cut us off.

Don’t worry, no probs
, we’re in no hurry! we say wide-eyed-petrified from the back seat.
S’okaaaay the taxi driver sings bringing his head back into the cab,
Relaaaax man!

This is how we do things in New York.


Melbourne, Australia

On any given summer evening there is a smell that wafts, tantalizingly over the suburban fences of my home town, Melbourne.

Can you smell it? Come stand at the front of my house, yes, right here on the footpath. Lift your nose to the air, breath it in deeply. That’s the inhalation of Australia.

It’s blended gum leaves, fresh cut lawn, and steaks grilling on the bbq. You can almost taste the potato salad and smell the coconuty sunscreen on the children who are running around in their bathers eating sausages in square bread squirted with tomato sauce. The salty air of the ocean is twenty minutes to one side and dark mossy smells from the foresty mountain ranges are twenty minutes the other way. And in between, is the brackish upside down river that courses through a city so multicultural that it simply smells of the foods from all nations.

I mean, am I right or am I right? The lady spins a yarn. Thanks, Carla! It has been a pleasure.

ETA: Sorry the font is and has been all kinds of wonky, I've been trying to figure it out, but why deal with html at home when I get enough of it at work? Not that I'm drowning in it or anything, but a little goes a long way...


CarlaDelvex said...

Thank you! Being interviewed by you was a pleasure!

sunnyciegos said...

um that is the first time I've watched a clip of P&P and thought "Elizabeth looks young." Me = old.

also, Colin Firth nom. nom nom.

tatiana said...

Is there a more perfect man than Colin Firth? Not only is he Mark Darcy, he's also fab in Mamma Mia! The man can do no wrong.