About nomadsojourn

Musings of a traveller who is as pragmatic as she is offbeat, and who entertains random thoughts and trivialities that tickle her fancy. Also contains occasional outbursts from the avid bargain hunter who loves giving things a good toss for kicks.

How to Be Nice when Old

I am on a tirade. 

As we travelled around the regions near Melbourne, I noticed a fair number of old folks toddling about. So the matter of the silver years kept popping back into my head. How would we be living in 10-20 years?

We have established that kids are not necessary in our golden years but people, close kin, good friends and nurses, are essential. If we take away love and goodwill, there is empathy and profit left. The latter two are what we’d get from nurses.

The more I think about it, the more I think I will end up in a home full of cantankerous old folks. Glass half empty or full? Not sure.

When trapped within a bunch of old foggies, we need to endear ourselves to the nurses so they would not dread visiting our gnarly faces every so often to provide the TLC I think we might need then. How so?
I did some thinking and came up with a list.

A. Don’t be nasty. The world is not against you. Ageing is natural and things won’t work like they used to. Be nice to those who are willing to gently clean you and not do something to make them hose you down. 

B. Keep clean and groomed. Age is no excuse to look horrid. No one likes to come near a pig sty with dishevelled, malodorous occupants.

C. Keep connected. Conversations, books, internet, television, interest groups. That is how you will keep active and stay interesting to people who speak to you. That is also how your mental capability won’t wilt away. 

D. Keep busy, Volunteer. If facilities allow, go do something good. The responsibility will keep the mind moving. Who knows, you might even stop complaining about how sad your life is.

E. Seek solace and peace. Some turn to worshipping, others go to the casino. How you meet your end will be entirely up to you.


Planning for the Silver Years

I see facilities for Aged care in Australia that are nice. Pretty enough for the un-aged to want to live there if it were age-appropriate. Why do people end up in homes like these? I find myself wondering as I got old enough to think about that as an option for me. I see older relatives around me fall sick, have surgeries and some don’t wake up after. How does one manage?

There was a debate I found myself drawn in with great reluctance when I first got married about having children. We don’t have any and it was a choice we made, not one that was trusted upon us. Nobody understood why. We were mercilessly bombarded with questions, told of terrible consequences that await us as we got older and we were branded as selfish killjoys. They gave us a hard time. At one point, I was pointedly asked about the reproductive state of my ovaries. I laugh now. 

It was a case of traditions and vastly different viewpoints but mostly, they couldn’t accept that we were bucking the trend. Their fixation could only be changed with time, particularly when the primary persons responsible for the task of spawning young were not having any of it. 

That was all in the past. They gave up and we sorta won the dark fight because I have gone past the fertility window. Peace returned to the selfish killjoys. But one lingering thought remained.

I hate to eat my words but are children necessary just so one can age in peace? I worry. Sure, it is nice to have people you love around you when you need them. I saw that firsthand when a beloved aunt passed recently. But people around her then were not children. She was single. The people who made time to take care of her were very close friends and relatives. So the advice once given linking children and old age is completely illogical. You don’t need them to age in peace. In certain situations, it is probably better not to have any around. We were not wrong to stick to our guns afterall. Relationships you build, no matter kin or not, is what counts. 
I have a very small number of good friends. I only need one hand to count and it does not come up to the full hand – like an introvert should. While it is nice to know we’d have people to grow old with, I am not sure they are in shape enough to take care of themselves, much less others. So, I look to the option of aged care. They usually cost a bomb. 

At some point in the future, the silver industry is going to hit its peak. Before then, businesses related to it would sprout up. I hope aged care is one that is going to be well-developed and it will hit its prime as we arrive there as well. 

Quote that means a Lot

I have not read any book written by Albert Camus because I think I might not finish any. Time is needed to digest his books and I am not sure if I can read anymore textbooks. Heh. 

There is a quote of his though that struck a cord with me and has stayed so for a long time. I happened to be snapping pictures by Derwent River in Hobart and came across a scene that reminded me of the quote.

I played with the photo editor to see what magic I could cast and here it is.

Quite pleased. 


Tasmania’s Heritage Highway

When driving from Launceston to Hobart, it is likely that the Midland Highway, otherwise known as the Heritage Highway, is the route you will choose to take. There are many things to see along the way some of which are heritage towns built by convicts in the 1800s. 

Ross, famous for scallop pies baked in an oven as old as the establishment in Ross Bakery Inn, was one we stopped at. The town is very pretty peppered with old buildings used today as retail stores selling antiques, wool, trinkets and food. But scallop pies and coffee are by far the most popular items here. There are two bakeries for this – go to the traditional one. I was surprised to see laksa curry sauce in their pies because laksa is a very southeast asian flavour. But the pies are not spicy like what we are used to at home. The pies are good though! Lots of whole scallops used!

We went to three others; Richmond Town is a little busier since it is near Hobart and hence easier to reach for visitors. 

There’s also Campbell and Oatlands Towns. Drive through these if short on time, but stop by for a bit at Campbell to see the line of convicts’ names lining the pavement of the little town – they are there because they helped to build the town.

Tasmanian Food Trail

Farms after farms whizzed by as we took to the road. We started off from Launceston and worked our way northwest to see the Bay of Fires and northwest to Boat Harbour beach so well-regarded by NatGeo it made their top 10 list.

Binalong Bay along the Bay of Fires

Table Cape Lookout

Boat Harbour Beach

If you google cradle to coast food trail, you will see a double-digit page brochure giving a breakdown of the places to go to. We did that and several not on the list. Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries were in season so I had a field time stuffing my face with that. Because we were along the coast, fresh seafood was abundant. Happiness is me. 

And of course, lavender!

K-drama Fever

So I have been watching Korean dramas for awhile, about 7 years now if we are counting. I have also been a rabid reader of recaps on dramabeans, news and gossip on soompi about the shows that I watch; naturally, the stars too. It has become a habit that is hard to break. 

 The interest I have in these seemingly shallow subjects is borne from the style of writing I discovered that I liked a lot in the blog. While it is not Science Magazine, there are witty pieces that reflect thoughts and appreciation for the art that is Kdrama, littered with onomatopoeia, puns and innuendos. 

In my early days, I read them to try to understand what I was watching. After a bit, I started to read them to pick what to watch because I found myself nodding along to the words on the pages – I had the same laughs, angst and thoughts about how the hair on the lead was so incredibly ugly. It is almost as if they read my mind. Nowadays, I do the choosing. By genre, storyline, then swarmy actors. Heh. It is imperative that I like the leads because I will be rooting for them and they need to be (deemed by me) worthy of time put in for a win-win. 

I never admitted openly to watching Kdramas at first because it was such an ajumma thing to do. I was not one, didn’t think I would be one until the big 4-0 fell on my face one day. Also, I was embarrassed about idolizing actors who were two-thirds my age and squealing silently in ajumma-ish triumph *fist pump* when the leads finally get together after much makjang. 

The storylines are frankly not a lot to shout about typically, but there are some that surprise and stand out. I watch rom-coms and fantasy – the ones I have enjoyed thus far combined both elements, no matter modern or period. I was surfing one day and came across a text that reminded me of a good Kdrama I have seen:

 It’s saccharine-sweet one frame, then shows the worst of society the next. The ups and downs are easy to identify with since Asian societies are culturally similar, and absolutely entertaining as they dramatize the heck out of situations.
They are very successful at it with wave after wave of dramas hitting shores worldwide. Coupled with Kpop, it is easy to see why they hog headlines in the entertainment space. 

The Perils of Travelling Light

SJ and I are very light travellers. We bring what we need and wear sensible clothes because travelling isn’t a fashion show. We gallavant to see the country after all and not to match scarves and bags. Even when we run around with others, we hardly care if we are not coordinated. Of course, hygiene is placed high above all other considerations where clothes and malodorous smells are concerned. Otherwise, we are quite happy to just put on jeans and tees then trundle out.


But, we wear only a single pair of pants no matter how long the trip in winter. We don’t sweat a whole lot, so as long as we keep clean, we are good to go. We see bug eyes and thinly-veiled looks of horror when we share that fact with others. Heh. So far, we haven’t had a single person who has said the same thing back to us. 

There is, however, a difference between packing light and taking things lightly while packing. This was too keenly felt on the recent trip to KL. 

We had discovered in our hotel room on the first night that we had, much to our amusement, exactly one pair of underwear each for the whole darn trip. Good Lordy, I had totally forgotten to pack them into the luggage! I really don’t like Murphy much.

 It is not a wretched situation we were in because the disposable ones we usually wear can be easily procured in one of the many malls in KL. But dang it. Did I have to go commando to get them? I have never done that before. Was this what YOLO at 41 years of age is about? Gosh. Life would be made immeasurably more secure if we had them with us. 

We decided that we must do laundry. We cannot let SJ’s buddies hang out. It is a good thing we were not wearing disposables that day (unusually so) because washing them means I might be missing some vital parts afterwards. I guess the grogginess of waking up for a 6am flight ensured the body auto-piloted our usual routine of wearing proper clothing while the mind was struggling to make sense of what was happening at the break of dawn.

So we laundered our knickers and hung them where the air-conditioning was blowing the hardest, crossed our fingers and went to bed thanking the heavens for soap and water, and prayed that we would not need to wait till tea to don them again.