My Step-dad would make a good Australian.

While Hong Kong continues to be drenched by rain I have a bright spot in my house as I am hosting my step-dad for a two week sojourn to the Kong. It has been great fun to have him here while I navigate a somewhat precarious transition in the personal realm, with which I will not bore you here. As an O.C.M.P.U. [Only Child, Multiple Parental Units] I have always enjoyed a pretty solid relationship with my P.U.’s, and that remains the case. I have been staying up far too late with him, engaged in conversations and YouTube sessions and cat adoration (okay, this last one is mostly me) and have been learning quite a lot.

My mom and step-dad are both health professionals, and as a side note, are both quite healthy. When my step-dad arrived he was armed with all sorts of goodies, including a new multivitamin that should be taken nine times a day. “Nine times?” “NINE times.” I felt like Mrs. Bueller:

Katie Bueller: Nine times?
Ed Rooney: Nine times.
Katie Bueller: I don’t remember him being sick nine times.
Ed Rooney: That’s probably because he wasn’t sick. He was skipping school. Wake up and smell the coffee, Mrs. Bueller. It’s a fool’s paradise. He is just leading you down the primrose path.

This of course was off-set by two pounds of Hot Tamales™, but brings to bear the point of this post… good health.

As I am now in the throes of my yoga obsession (translation: I am still doing it five or six days a week and all excited to be getting my OM on), we have been talking about eating right (naturally.) And because I live in Hong Kong, much of this discussion has to do with combating the evil forces at work like the pollution, over-use of terrestrial poisons, etcetera.

Basically it comes down to this: pretty much everything one can eat or buy or utilize in the kitchen or bathroom is going to kill you. Not maybe, but definitely.

The discussion of nutrition crystallizes this basic rule: if it tastes bad it is good for you, and of course vice versa. Example: Raw nuts (bleh): Good. Roasted nuts (yay!): Bad. Salt? Bad. Butter? Bad. Olive oil out of the refrigerator? Bad. I don’t even really want to get into all that is good because I have yet to have lunch and don’t want to ruin that experience.

Inorganics and free radicals (in food, not politics) lead to hormone imbalance and all sorts of cancer indicators. That doesn’t sound so good. And apparently we have got to get on the case with Vitamin D because we are all deficient. He is trying to sell me on Cod Liver Oil, but I am not buying it. Yet.

Then there is the question of plastics. Remember The Graduate?

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

Well, he was right. And they are going to kill you too. That means anything plastic folks, so get on it. We all learned that plastic wrap and containers in the microwave were bad, but now basically being around plastics is bad. (My cutting board was the case in point of this discussion.)

And then I went to The Body Shop (always an adventure… I needed shampoo and of course I had to buy like ten more things to get one thing free or some discount I did not understand) and got some stuff… On returning home to share my humorous account of the aforementioned purchasing adventure I was introduced to the treachery of phthalates. They are really bad and they are going to kill you too. But my step-dad checked and all Body Shop products are phthalate free. Phew. Another near disaster averted.

I say this all a little bit tongue in cheek as I know it is good information to have. In fact, I sort of look forward to finding out how whatever I am putting in, on, or around my body can kill me. It is sort of like a game… or Fear Factor. And it brings back some of my fondest memories of travel to Australia.

I traveled to Australia in 2005. I had never been and it was great. I went to Cairns, Alice and Sydney so I like to think I got a nice variety of Aussie-ness. The locations were all so distinctive and unique. But there was one thing that tied them all together: Everywhere I went I met uber-friendly Aussies and what they were most helpful about was telling me all of the ways I could die in Australia, and how probably their part of Oz was, in fact, the deadliest. They were absolutely tickled to let me know of all the interesting and fascinating (and painful and horrible) ways I could meet my maker while enjoying their fabulous country. Sharing a cold Toohey’s and smile they would say things like, “Portuguese Man-o-war? Ah, nah… it’s just like getting acid spilled on ya! It’s the Box jelly you wanna look out for!” Just like acid – “No worries, mate!”


Anyhow, in that same way my step-dad has a wonderful way with warnings… more informative that calamitous, but still making you think twice about that next bite… or that itch… or that lovely scented candle…. So, I know he would make a great Aussie in so many ways… but his true identity comes out when I leave for work everyday and he says, “Have a great day!”

About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
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5 Responses to My Step-dad would make a good Australian.

  1. Matt F says:

    Two things…

    Happy to hear you are still putting down the hot tamales. I honestly cannot go into a 7-11 without thinking of you…

    Please go to N.Z. Makes Australia look like … I dunno … an AM/PM

  2. notgoth says:

    A good post on some scary stuff – its quite depressing. I have definitely tried to keep parabens out of the products I put on my skin / hair but now phthalates? god damnit.

    Plastic / Microwave hmm yeah he has a point.

    Funny when I see Hot Tamales i think of you too.

  3. monkeymama says:

    Hot tamale = Amanda. Couldn’t agree more. Great post, great to hear that you had a good visit with the T-man. If he’s still around, please offer him a big hug from all of us!

  4. Kendralee says:

    Funny that you are so readily identified by the good ol’ hot tamales. Reminds me of the time I made a special trip to 7-11 for you. Hot tamales and diet coke were your only requests… and all you ended up with were hot tamales and diet coke with a splash of ultra sweetened coffee. Ahhh, the days before I had car cup holders: DANG-ER-OUS!!!!

  5. Pingback: Supermarket Shampoo « No, THIS is how you do it…

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