Monthly Archives: August 2014

Do I even have an IQ?, Its moments like these I wonder how I’ve managed to keep myself alive all these years!

Typical Kirst moment driving home from work with the fella the other day.
Were sitting in the car, there’s traffic, I’m gazing around in my own little Kirst world and we come to a stop behind a car which has a sign on the back.

Now here, I decide to exclaim: Oh look that car says to wed, I wonder if its a wedding car, doesn’t look like one, there’s no decoration and its dirty…

At which point my boyfriend tells me its TOWED the car is being towed.

Oooooohhh! Ha ha ha, and I laughed and laughed all the way home!
I have a surprisingly high amount of these ‘golden’ moments 🙂

IQ-Test-1

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My epiphany…Linking Deet to my allergic reaction!

Finally I think I have discovered my issue. You may remember my recent blog about my allergy seemingly to the Philippines. Well after a bout of steroids which were fantastic for my skin, although bad for my moods, (man was I an aggressive cow for the week?? I’ve never wanted to actually stab my fella before, poor guy only moved a fan I wasn’t using, etc… Ha ha) I felt great, BUT I stopped taking them and the rash returned.
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Granted my face, so far, had been left out of it, which is nice, but my extremities are covered in a lovely red, itchy blotchy number and boy is it angry! I’ve sat about all day thinking what it could be:

If it were washing powder it would be my tummy and areas my clothes touch plus its the same powder I’ve used since childhood

If it were food, my face should be bad again or at least my tummy, I have IBS and usually it will flare up if I eat something I shouldn’t but no..in fact I’ve been nicely regular these last few weeks, I feel quite healthy in that dept

If it were heat rash, surely it would be relieved a little when I am in a cold shower and worsened in the sun but nope

Then it struck me..the only thing I put on my arms and legs, it was literally sitting on the table staring at me the whole time…DEET! I’ve been using it quite excessively for weeks due to the fact I am very tasty and insects LOVE to eat me. I dare say I’ve been accumulating large amounts of it in my system and I have been using the max strength version too!

Oh how silly I feel, going through all this!

Still I shall dispose of the deet and probably need more steroids to clear the rash..as I said its literally back with vengence (probably due to the massive amounts of deet used over the last 2 days whilst I was out in the wilderness) but where do I go from there?

Malaria and Dengue Fever are very real risks out here and with deet out of the equation what can I do? Are there alternative repellents available here that work just as well? Does anybody know of any?

I don’t fancy choosing between a parasitic disease or having to literally scratch the skin off my body!

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Kirst Vs Mosquito’s….Part one!

Mosquitos….Those sly little buggers just LOVE a taste of Kirst, always have, ever since i was small ive been feasted upon and aggrivated…I’d say outright singled out and bullied!

They forced me into outright war ove the last 9 weeks of living out in the Philippines, there have been many battles won and lost by both sides but STILL overall those little assbags are winning!

This is our battle so far:  MosquitosBloodEditThumb2

Them: Lets wait by her door and feast!

Me:  I shall repellant up very time i go out…

Them: OK, were going to have to venture in, its time to invade

Me: Here is the intense incense repellant…get out!

Them:  Fight it guys lets get through this and get her

Me: Fine, Things just got personal… here is the electric fly swatter…fry, FRYYYYYY!

Them: OK guys lets regroup and start some basic avoidance maneuvers, we’ll still get her, dont give up the sweet sweet Kirst nectar!

Me:  Fine i shall wear repellant all day and night, i will stink to high heaven!

Them: You forgot the soles of your feet

SOLES OF MY FEET GODDAMN!

I need to rethink this…Im losing the battle!  I even woke up both myself and my boyfriend the other night vigorously scrathing my ankle against him in my sleep, like literally just reached it over and started to rub it againt him…hard!  poor thing had no idea what was going on, neither did I to be honest!   It was quite confusing!

Anyone know any goood repellant/bite treatments I’d love to hear from you…help me…Help me win my war!

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After some serious-ness…I give you heaven on …um…Philippine soil!

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They call it samala cake….I call it magic!

Having gone to work with the fella yesterday I spent the day chilling with the Philippino guys on the course and over te last 7 weeks of the course we’ve beome…um….friends(?)…Well they talk to me which, out here, is as close to friends as it comes.

They often offer me food which I usually decline, you know on the basis that its pigs eyes or something like and to be honest I’m just not ready for THAT level of culture.

Last week I had leftover baking which we needed to get out of the house, my partner and i are big into fitness, we have one cheat day a week buut my willpower sucks, if its in the house i will eat it packman stylee!   Anyway so I sent the leftovers and the guys loved it…fabulous right?

Yep apart from then, they insisted i try their cake…Ive tried some rice cake before and it was slimy ans stodgy and not nice tasting, in all honestly I was offended that they dared to label something of the like ‘cake’ it was very misleading and I wont lie i was a little outraged!

Let me just say I am  massive food fan, cake in particular is my speciality and it rages me when its just not as describes…I wont even go into the time I was served ‘cheeseake’ in La Palma.   There wasn’t even a buttery biscuit base!!  Hellions!

So yesterday these Philippino lovelies all but forced me to accept some cake, upon inspection it was squidgy, sticky, stodgy and it had cheese, yes CHEESE on top!  I nibbled the corner whilst they all watched all mmmmm yes OK..actually was that? is it? did I….Did I like that???  More nibbles…I think I did, I do!  What a treat, once you get used to the consistency its actually rather tasty and somehow refreshing!  WHAT?  Yeh you heard…a refreshing sticky cake with cheese on top.

Therefore if you ever come out to the Philippines, try some Samala cake, its very local and available at all sorts of vendors from street to those in the malls and supermarkets, there are a few varieties so dont stop at the first hurdle, persevere and I assure you its worth it when you find ‘the one’!

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Kirst Vs Philippines…My most serious ‘Kirst moment’/event as yet!

Now I’ve always thought the health and safety system in the UK is a little excessive…OK I admit I think some of it is outright ludicrous and actually had negative effect prohibiting the use of common sense both in the workplace and in every day life.

I mean if you trip over your own shoelace you can probably blame and sue the shoelace company for making laces which haven’t stayed tied, I expect the poor shoelace companies are having all sorts of issues trying to find fabrics they can use to adhere to regulations making sure people don’t trip over…OK I made this up and its a little OTT but you get the idea and I’m sure a lot of you feel the same,

So, upon coming to the Philippines I was expecting a nice break from all the rules and regulations and a little bit of common sense usage and for the most part this is as expected. Some cars just don’t have seatbelts (our jeep for instance, but it comes with a handlebar to hold on to), people ride motorbikes in sandals and shorts, the pavements are uneven, have many items which could be tripped up and down, have buses and cars parked sometimes 2/3 wide into the road and on the pavement forcing you to walk on the busy road and the amount of debris left lying around makes for an obstacle course wherever you go. This is the adventure we were expecting, the different life.

I must admit though I was not expecting the holes in the pavement, 2 by about 3 feet wide and down into the sewer below, at some parts the whole strip of pavement looks to be falling inwards. Some areas have been covered. When I say covered I mean a few bits of 2 x 4 which are rotted and breaking or some metal sheets which have bent in due to cars driving over them. Some are completely uncovered and this, my friends, is the type of hole of which I had an…um…’experience’.

So its dark, street lights?? don’t be silly! There are rubbish carts parked along the side of the curb and the road is busy. I pass between two rubbish carts to get to a bit of pavement…which incidentally is exactly where the hole is. You would have thought it was done on purpose, why in the world would you leave a walkway between carts to a hole in the pavement on a dark street where the carts are blocking out the light coming from car headlights???
So anyhow I am incredibly lucky. Being of scatty mind I often walk around in my own world hopping and skipping down the road and in this instance it saved me serious injury….possibly even my life!

As I hopped up onto the non existent bit of curb, I managed to jump into a 4 foot deep hole. I wont pretend I had any idea what was going on. In the brief moment of wonderment, you know where 2 seconds feels like 2 minutes, I had the strangest feeling, I remember thinking: am I falling? I feel like I’m falling, I can see the pavement coming towards my face…but…I’m upright…I’m upright, that’s not right, what is this magic??….I then heard my partner shouting if I was OK, looked around and realized, Ahhh I’m in a hole I know now and also FUCKING OUCH!

I apparently sprung right out and then stood doubled over y the hole…i wont lie it was the worst pain I’ve had for a long time. I had managed to smash my thigh on a big piece of jutted out concrete on the way down, jarring my hip and knee and causing both bruising and scratches…I had no idea how seriously I was hurt, if id actually damaged my knee or hip or both all I knew was I needed to catch my breath and also how glad I was it was night and there are few people there to see…Oh the embarrassment!

It sounds awful and it was, I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t walk properly for days but it was clear by the next morning that my hip and knee were sore but not damaged and the area of impact would indeed heal.

 

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In retrospect I was very lucky for several reasons…

If I had stepped in just one foot, you can only imagine the damage, serious rib or even face planting damage, pulled or even dislocated hip joints, neck, broken arms etc…

If I had fallen a few days sooner after the monsoon the water would have been much higher, there would have been a very real risk of being washed away under the pavement and droning.

The particular hole had little debris in the bottom, upon inspection some of the others have metal spikes, juts of concrete and other ankle breaking or skin penetrating obstacles.

It was only a few days after this I developed my allergy from the previous post, I still don’t know what caused it, if it was indeed an allergy or something caught from the dirty water and grime in the bottom of the hole, my trainers stunk of faeces the next day! Urgh, whatever it was its taken quite some time to feel clean again and I can assure you I have well and truly learned my lesson!

Now I have my wits about me at all times out there in that there danger zone I now call home, although I’m sure Mrs Philippines still has a few painful surprises lined up for me.
Everywhere I go I see hazards, Live wires hanging down, so many stray animals, possible rabies carriers, mosquitoes galore, possibly malaria or dengue carriers and then just the general roads/driving style….watch this space!

 

 

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So this Racism thing….It seems its not all about aggression and discrimination…Or is it??

Firstly, before I go any further, let me just state that its not a topicI truly understand, as in what is and what isn’t, and my political correctness often leaves alot to be desired BUT it doesn’t mean I am racist, although I have been accused by friends, all be it in a jokey manner.

Basically I am the sort of person who likes to joke with people, laugh and we take the mickey out of each other, whether its for being short (Ruth) Blonde (Mary), Ginger (Hayley), even fat…yes thats right with my close friends we can literally joke about anything…my problem is that i find it hard not to completely be myself…therefore when talking to or about people I dont know it can often come across inapropriate.   My argument though is this:

Firstly my jokes are not race specific, I might for instance make the assumption and joke about most Chinese people being short, but I also do it with Blondes being dippy or redheads being fiery….I am not seriously judging people, I am simply using their appearance in jest and to their faces and alot of the people i do it to have been fine with this, in fact they join in and we become firm friends…My confusion startes when otheer people start to tell me i cant say this or can’t do that.

Surely if both myself and the people I am talking to are OK then its OK?  No?  My other point is that if I stop jesting with these people on the basis that it MIGHT be deemed racist, then I am treating them differently because of their difference, I am excluding them and therefore being inadvertantly racist??

ANYWAY…

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This is a musing brought on by my current situation!

I live in the Philippines.  The people are generally happy, smiley, polite people.  They reply if I ask a question and will help me as much as possible if I ask for help, go out of their way even.   They are lovely peope but thee situation is strange.  Where we live is far from the touristy areas, there are very few white people here and the only 2 Ii have seen since arriving are 50+ white males with younger local women (no judgement, whatever works for them) so basically being a young white woman makes me something of a celebrity!

This can be nice, I often get told I am pretty/cute/sexy in the street or shops, every man I pass  calls out ‘hello maam’ and even the water guy who brings fresh water every week finally worked up the courage to ask if he can have a photo with me this week.  As I said this can be nice.

But nice is what it is and nice isn’t what real friendships are based on, if we are to make friends we must make the scales balance, we must be equal and start to make a relationship more personal.  This is where the problem begins, the locals are relucatant to progress further in conversation often just emitting a nervous giggle if I try to strike up conversation, they sometimes seem to actively avoid making eye contact in my street and if we do lock eyes and I smile (probably my scary, desperate smile) they flash a quick polite smile and back away slowly.

Now these people aren’t being spiteful or hurtful, they aren’t thinking less of me because I am white, quite the opposite in fact….Yet i still feel excluded, I feel alone in a city where I can pass hundreds of people on any given day, There is not a single time of day I am in total quiet, I can ALWAYS hear people, neighbours, strangers talking, laughing, conversing but I am unable to be a part of this.  Its as if I am watching from afar, some sort of strange big brother where I am able to observe but not partake.

I try, I do my damnest to make eye contact and be open and friendly when the neighbours go by but to no avail, I seem to be on the ‘guest’ list and i’m beginning to expect Iwill never be an actual member.

Is this treatment just people or would you call it racism?  I dont feel targeted maliciously, is that what makes racism racism?  But i am treated different and it is very much because of my origin…does THIS make it racism?

Am i still completely mixed up and lost on the topic??

This is just general wondering by the way, iI am not unhappy here, I am comfortable in my own company  and therefore I am fine with the arrangement, although I wont lie, a friend or two would be nice but still, I am not looking for sympathy or ideas how to make friends even, just some musings it has caused me to have and wonderings…

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I think….Yeh im pretty damn sure I’m allergic to the Philippines!

So i promised you a blog full of amusing swill and i give you sweet FA…Well my lovelies thats because i have been an utterly miserable cow lately due to my allergy to what I can only assume to be the actual Philippines!  Heres my story….

 

2 weeks ago i started to itch…you know just a little bit on my arm, thinking them bastard mossies got me again i thought nothing of it untill it started to spread over my hands and arms and become raised…HIVES!  Having never had them before, i wont lie, i was disgusted…Those things are not pretty and boy do they itch!

You know when you see a dog incessantly rubbing its ass on the carpet??  Well that was me and my arms/hands but unfortunately our floor is smooth so i had to rub myself on myself, and incidentally the roughest part of clothing is around the wastline and flies…Therefore i have literally been rubbing my groin/waist area with that look of complete euphoria ( you know the one, the fuck you parents and friends and anyone else who is telling me not to scratch for my own good…this feels too goddamn good and oh ohhhh yeeaaaaah)….Sadly this is always followed by the ouch…ouchy…what the fuck did i do that for shameful moment of knowing you’ve made it worse…BOOOO!

Anyway on top of this my face decided to join in the game and i awoke last week to find what i can only describe as a shaved chewbacca face looking back at me….complete with shaving rash!  Thats right my face was swolen, red and sore.  My eyes were half closed and the worst bit? my lips stung like a mothertrucker…eating was painful and that made me mad!

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Food is a god given right goddamn and when it becomes less than enjoyable, I become waaaay less than enjoyable!  Team this with the fact my fella put me on a diet of fruit, veg and eggs to cut out anythhing i might be reacting to, well, i cant even find words to describe the utter misery.  At that moment I felt more connected to alot of the locals around here than i care to feel again…those poor people with limited food.  Oh yes and the fact they live in huts and its monsoon season…anyway, were talking about ME

For a week i surviived on this spartan food and it made little difference, i tried re-washing my clothes minus the new softner, i tried using different soaps and although the hives retreated and just became a regular rash and the face became human looking, i was still itchy and every day i awake looking like ive been beaten in the night!  

DSC_2095(getting there but still not a pretty sight to wake up to)

After a long put off trip to the local health centre and a chat with the dermatologist i have steriod antihistamines, new cream and new soap so…Fingers crossed i can be happy and creative again soon!   I did try to sit down and write some blogs but all i could think was itching!  itching scratchy itchy skin!

Just so you can see I’m not a monster….Here i am post workout, makeup free before this all began….

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