hard yakka

Good grief, this learning business is hard work. I’m getting into a routine now. Get up at 5am, quick coffee, then a run or a walk (most days), shower and breakky (breakfast that is), into the office for an hour of work then off to school for six and a half hours, walk home, go grocery shopping, cook dinner, walk Chicken Little (most days), collapse.

I am now friends with The Indian Girl, who from now on shall be known as Harjinda. That is not how you spell it but thats how you pronouce it. There’s a funny little bit more on the end but I can’t catch what it is. I’ll ask her about it tomorrow.  She has been living in Australia for two years and still getting the hang of it. She wants to talk a lot so she can improve her english and I’m to tell her if she says anything inappropriate which is a bit of a worry because about 80% of everything I say is inappropriate. Lol, there was a moment today when she told Lou, one of the other girls in our group, that – if you get much fatter you will have health problems – that I felt could of been on the verge of inappropriate but Lou handled it fine. She knew what Harjinda meant.

She is in that situation that I think a lot of people find themselves in once they arrive in Australia. In India she had a qualification, worked with computers in some way, then came to Australia and couldn’t use it so she’s gone back to school. She told me that she doesn’t want to be home, washing, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking. I hear you!! She’s really putting in the hard yards to get ahead. She gets up at 4am (makes me look like a baby) because her husband gets up then to get ready for work. She spends over an hour, on two buses, morning and afternoon getting to school and back. She has a four year old in childcare where she lives and her two year old is living in India with her mother for the six months it will take to do this course. She said that between Australian and Indian cultures that is one thing she really notices and misses. When she was living in India there was always family there to help and to look after the children.

And she’s vegetarian as well. Religious reasons. We had one very confusing conversation, well actually we’ve had a lot of them but in this case we were talking about being a vegetarian (She hasn’t met many here) and I thought we were talking about if I ate figs and she was talking about if I ate pig. And I was saying – oh yeah yeah I love fig but they’re really hard to find where I live. And she must have been thinking, what kind of vegetarian is this!! Then I said – did you say fig?? No, no, pig, pig!!

I must say she has very nice looking lunches though. Today she had some kind of homemade stuffed chappati.

Seriously though, I never imagined that after all these years the day would come when I had to make my own school lunches. I was a maker of awesome school lunches. Every school day I got up and prepared morning tea and lunch for my three kids. I’d cook pizza’s or scrolls, prepare gourmet sandwiches or wraps, pack fruits and nuts. And a lot of days I didn’t feel like doing it at all, but it was just nice to send them off with a lovely lunch. And all their friends were jealous because they either had to make their own or got money or a vegemite sandwich or nothing at all. Lol, although I did hear more than once that – I’m the only kid in the whole school that doesn’t get chips for lunch every day. (They were also – the only children who didn’t own mobile phones when they were 12). But one of the happiest days of my life was the day I realised that I’d never have to make a school lunch again. And here I am after twenty years still bloody doing it!! Guess I’ll have to update this page that I did a few years ago.

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15 thoughts on “hard yakka

  1. When my younger daughter got to high school, she asked me to start making her bento boxes. I said, what? Are you kidding? You’d rather have cold rice than a turkey sandwich? She said, well, you’re Japanese, right? And my friends at school said that’s what Japanese kids eat for lunch…. I was working then and no way in hell was I going to spend an hour making a bento box for her. I thought it was great when my son asked for chips and all sorts of junk food. It was easy to pack, but it was so expensive that eventually I started giving him money to buy his own lunch.

    Do you get a lot of homework? That was what floored me about grad school. A book a week, and we had to write a paper about each one. I spent so much time reading, I had no idea what was on TV back then. Even today, you ask me about shows that were popular in the early 00’s, I have no idea. Friends? Seinfeld? No idea what they’re about.

    • Lol – my dream is for someone to come and make me a bento box every day.

      Not too much homework yet but definitely a lot of reading. I have a real problem with wasting paper and I never print things out unless I really have to and I always use both sides of the piece of paper so I’m still trying to come to grips with the amount of paper that is used in this place. Every day they hand out reams and reams of printed paper. I’ve managed to keep my mouth shut so far but it drives me nuts.

  2. I teach in a University and also in several administrations to train their officials. I am touched by your experience … you’ll see : it will be so rich ! … I hope you’ll realize your ambitions or dreams.
    Have a nice day.

  3. My pharmacy technician course two nights a week for 8 weeks almost killed me. Your schedule is far more intense but I’m glad you’re building up callouses already 🙂

    Have I ever mentioned the awe in which I hold your culinary fortitude? I hate cooking so very very much. My kids – had I actually made them lunches – would be the peanutbutter and jelly kids. Or whatever I could pick up at a drive-through. Truthfully, I used to be much better as a parent but when the last one showed up, I was done.

    I hope you enjoy that you can make whatever YOU want for lunch and no one will complain about not having chips anymore 🙂

    • I think I’m building up toe fungus actually which is a little disturbing and more than a little gross. You have to wear covered shoes every day (in case you drop a book on your toe or something and break it) and as you know it’s been pretty hot and humid here. Hmmm, more investigation required on that.

      I failed in the kitchen last night – we had thai takeaway. Just didn’t have dinner in me. It was all Chicken Little’s fault really but thats a long and very possibly boring story so I’ll leave it at that. We don’t have peanut butter and jelly here. I’m never sure what it means. By jelly do you mean jam? Because when you say jelly I think of wobbly jelly. Pretty sure it would melt everywhere by lunch time.

      • Jam is considered slightly different than jelly in that it has fruit bits in it but is basically the same thing. Or so I’m told. Or I just made that up.

        There are some very clever socks that look like shoes. Maybe you could get some of those?

        Chicken ought to be ashamed of herself for whatever she did because I know it was quite naughty. Betty probably rolls her eyes every time Chicken walks by.

  4. LOL I am sitting here trying to remember, but I think I was pretty pleased with the lunches I got. Unless it was a cut up apple (brownish = yak!) or crispbread preferable with fresh cheese spread of some kind (after 3 hours in my school bag macerated = yak!). The 3 years I got lunch money and could buy what I wanted I gained almost 15 kg.
    Today I still sometimes make lunch packages because we don’t have a canteen at work. Though mostly the grocery store across the street has to do.

    • Oh no the dreaded crispbread. They’re never really very crisp by lunchtime. I think I’ll buy on Fridays. It can be treat day. Although I’ve noticed they have hardly any vegetarian options. Today was the first time I saw one at all – a vegetable noodle dish.

  5. I remember economist son commenting once that he had a friend whose mother “mustn’t love him very much” . When I asked why he said “because she never makes him lunch, he has to buy from the canteen *every* day”.

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