Wednesday, July 25, 2012

50 Shades of Lighten Up!

Not one to often deliberately provoke controversy me, but this post may do it.

If you have not heard of 50 Shades of Grey, you might well have been living under a rock for the past couple of months. As with anything that becomes a part of popular culture, 50 Shades has become a hot topic (lol) in many circles. And the subject of many spoofs/parodies. Many of these parodies in some way marginalise a particular group. As parodies often do.

If you are a painter, you may be offended by Selena Gomez's Fifty Shades of Blue

If you are a mother, watch out for the gross generalisations on Amazon's Mother's Day parody

And even author E. L James may take offense to this parody of herself  (my personal favourite, do watch it lol) however she probably is not getting her panties in a bunch (unlike Anastasia - Oh My!) as every bit of publicity buys her more cash for her bad writing and over-dramatized sex scenes. Which I have nearly finished reading all of.

But you know, actually just being a 'college educated woman', I could be offended by the way 'we' are portrayed by the character Anastasia in the book - all that lip biting and eye rolling, the way she drools and succumbs to Mr Grey's demands... and the expectation that all that a man has to do to a woman to evoke an earth shattering orgasm is to basically look at her. And of course 'it' happens Every. Single. Time. Several. Times. A. Day. And because she is like that surely that must mean every single woman in her demographic is like that and E.L. James is making a gross generalization? Stretching it a bit I know, but I am trying to make a point.

I am amused therefore, at the outcry of a little literary parody doing the rounds here in Auckland/NZ. I have included it as an image below. Yes, I can see how this South Auckland parody (which I read on one sight was originally about another Auckland suburb, Avondale, a.k.a "A-von-da-lay") can be seen racially offensive. But it's also bloody funny. Lighten up people. About 50 shades should do it. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

No Like, No Pay! - Yeah, Right!

Another Venetian tale, although this one is not so ambiguous as to whether it was 'worth it' or not.
Shane's ambition on our one Italian stop, was to sample an excellent, authentic Italian pizza. Made by an authentic Italian. I had done some searching prior to leaving NZ and had identified an area away from the usual tourist haunts that recommended we would find exactly that. Unfortunately the iPhone GPS was not playing nicely as we navigated through the back streets, and we kept losing our way.
Hungry tums and hot feet therefore took us back to a place slightly off the beaten track, though still quite touristy looking, which we had passed earlier. Ristorante 1251. A guy had been vocally advertising a mantra of "You no like-a the pizza you no pay". We took a seat not anticipating that this would be a reality for us.
I was a piglet and ordered two courses, starting with a mozzarella and tomato salad, which despite being a little under-seasoned, was quite refreshing and delivered what it said on the packet. When Shane's pizza arrived - funghi with additional olives - it was sans olives so went back to the kitchen. It reappeared with a few cold olives scattered on the top. He ate in silence, leaving the majority of his pizza uneaten on the plate.
Meanwhile the order for my seafood dish had not gone through. I eventually realised this when it had not turned up and alerted the waiter -  foolishly as it turned out as it coincided with the realization that the funghi pizza was not good, and I wished I had just stuck with the salad.
The waiter cleared, enquired after the uneaten pizza, and was told it was 'not nice'. When he returned with the bill, the pizza was charged for. What happened to "You no like-a the pizza you no pay?", we asked.
Exit the meek waiter, enter the firey chef/owner or whoever. What ensued was a barrage of shouted insults from this dude, including his insistence that all his pizzas were excellent, and a good amount of punctuated finger pointing at Shane accompanied by "I no like you! I no like you!"
Well we didn't like him either. And we don't recommend any visitors to Venice eat at Ristorante 1251

PS Ristorante 1251, in a digital age beware the pissed off customer. This is not the only place I have expressed my displeasure!

Ascertaining 'worth'

Well it has sure been a long while between posts - a two week break overseas and the obligatory recovery time will do that for you, but will also provide topic fodder for a few posts to come. Unlike my brother, (link to his travel blog here) who is currently on a 7 week excursion in Europe with his wife, I did not blog whilst I was away - I only had my cell phone and not a lot of data or downtime. Retrospective blogging therefore means that posts will not be chronological in terms of the experiences we had. To give context to the posts I will briefly define the 'we' as being myself and my new best friend Shane lol. A man from my past who has now become my future *collective sigh*.
It was a brilliant, spontaneous holiday, and we packed A LOT into the brief time we had. This meant we did not necessarily do the standard tourist things, but in Venice, we did.

A couple in love in Venice can't NOT go on a gondola ride, can they? A quiet, romantic glide through the back canals of this amazingly unique city? We had already meandered the streets by foot as we made our way randomly from the train station to the Piazza San Marco in the morning, and I had loved the authenticity we found away from the tourist mayhem of the Rialto Bridge area and St Marks Square. The gondola ride was much like that, but with the perspective of being on the canals. Our gondolier offered us the occasional snippet of commentary, but I don't think we were particularly interested; after all the walking we'd done I think we were both glad of the chance to sit down and relax!

So we can tick "Gondola Ride through Venice" off our 'list'; although I had ridden a gondola on my last visit to Venice some 15 years ago, it was with a bunch of fellow Contiki tourists, not with my 'fellow'. But an expensive tick it was. NZD $120 was the 'city price' for this supposedly 40 minute ride; that's some hourly rate! Was it worth it? Of course it was. What price do you place on experience and memories, huh? (Even if it's just to recall how ridiculously overpriced it was lol)