Mangoes World

Welcome to the world of Ms M Mango


So this is Christmas

It’s finally approached my most hated time of the year.

The older I get the more I realise what exactly it is that I hate about Christmas. On the fundamental level, Christmas for me is forced happiness. It is forced by a variety of differentiating factors.

Forced happiness is developed through a variety of mediums of exposure. From December the 1st, when you walk into the big-chain supermarkets, the torturous Christmas Carol album has been completely flogged to death by the repeat button. The only joyous moment is your actual departure and the mutilation of your ears finally ceases.

What is more poignant is the fact that artists make Christmas albums before their imminent death from the music scene. Oh Mariah, please sing ‘rum a pum pum’ one more time whilst I can still breathe. It is at this point that I can feel only compassionate to the workers at the checkouts. 38 hours a week of Christmas tunes would ultimately destroy my capacity to function.

Forced happiness at Christmas time is not a reality for many Australians. Obviously the peer pressure of presents and ‘family get togethers’ only highlight the fact that a happy Christmas is not realty.

Which leads me to my second point, the widespread commercialisation of Christmas as a source of budgeted income for retailers.

This is what ultimately disgusts me the most. Christmas today is so far removed from its foundations, that no longer is the family gathering the focal point for the holiday. How many Christmas celebrating Christians actually attend a church ceremony?

How can I celebrate something that I do not believe in? What’s worse is the tremendous expenditure of Christmas hooligans in the hunt the perfect gift. Before you know it, you’ve spent $100s on gifts that might not ever be used. I believe that Christmas shouldn’t be about gifts, and expensive presents should be savored for birthdays.

Then there are the Boxing Day Sales, which aim only to insult this theory further. People scramble into stores for the perfect sale, and leave with empty wallets, and much less faith than they came with.

My frustration with Christmas not only is centered on materialization and forced happiness, but on the day itself. Life practically ceases and people are consumed in the celebrations of the day. For me, I’m stuck. Constrained by the closure of life itself. And it is for this reason that I endeavor to be abroad each year.

I often ponder, that perhaps when I have kids, I might actually enjoy the day. But at the moment, the joy of Christmas is nothing but a burden on my mind. Its desolate destruction from its original meaning is frustrating and fraudulent. It is ourselves that need the reality check.

And where the hell did Santa Claus come from?? He was an Americanization of the St Nicholas character that was ultimately solidified in the years following the 1920s by Coca Cola.

Australians reject the Americanization of Halloween, as adopted from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, as it has manifested itself into a secular celebration of ‘trick or treating’ and costuming. So how has this over sized bearded man managed to slip into the homes of millions?

Globalisation is the answer. Globalisation of the Coca Cola products has ever adapted the face of Christmas into a subliminal message about the drink itself. Although Australian’s do not see the snowy Christmas of our European and American counterparts, we are still as much addicted to the commercialization of the day. The scorching temperatures of the Australian Christmas, only see us to purchase the cola flavoured drink to quench the first.

So in 2012, we are left with particles of the real meaning of Christmas wrapped only by the insane expenditure of gift giving slaves. Perhaps my theories would be less prevalent if I had the millions to spend, but I wholesomely doubt that the gifts I purchase would have any more emotional value.

The pressure of the festive season only leads me further into dissociation with the celebration itself. So until the time in which Christmas actually means something to me other than the burden of forced happiness and solid commercialization, I will still remain detached to the celebration as a whole.
“Be only what you believe in.”


“Transport: Who does that?”

A brilliant beginning to our journey, as the Jurassic
ticket machine at Gardenvale station apparently doesn’t take notes
or credit cards. Which is overly perfect considering people
wouldn’t always have coins. In effect we missed the first train and
had to wait patiently in the cold for the next train. A great start.

Training from Gardenvale to the city is about 25mins to
Flinders St. So it’s perfect to leave my house at 7pm. Sitting on
the train at Flinders St, awaiting departure to Southern Cross, we
began to notice a couple of things.. Firstly we were sitting there
deciding ‘Pina Colada’ stories for a later date. Traveling with
someone you don’t know extremely well leaves the capacity for ‘Pina
Colada’ story time wide open. Back to the fact we are sitting on
the train waiting for the exit, it was becoming obvious that there
was a large number of people of Indian decent boarding. This is not
a particularly common occurrence on the Sandringham line. With more
continued reflection on 2010, the train began moving with the title
‘Sydenham’ line. At this point we were able to realize two things,
where the hell is Sydenham? and the other- we had sat on completely
the wrong train. Apparently the Sandringham line is not city loop
worthy as it becomes a train to the West. Scared and shocked at the
fact we had sat there, began reflection and not paid enough
attention to a Melbourne train, we disembarked at Parliament

I am traveling with Linz, who “arrives in Cambodia in the
middle of the night with no accommodation” and I’m also not a
travel virgin. We completely took for granted that all trains to
the city ride the loop- a statement intended primarily for most
city bound Frankston trains.

So jumping off a Parliament station, left us with hardly any options as the next point for the majority of the trains is Richmond station. It’s a confusing web of platforms similar and less organized to the London tube or NYC subway. So, we caught a cab to Southern Cross, bearing in mind the
time. I found the first smelly cab possible, and by smelly, I mean
the stench of alcohol. A familiar scent from living with males in
the past.

$8 AUD later, we arrive at Southern Cross and high tail
it to the airport. Along the journey we had committed ourselves to
certain changes/resolutions. I had committed to be wary of my
marriage plans to hot chips and make a concession to order, with
meals one only once a week. (If I’m able to stick to this
commitment, I shall make Daws and Bam proud.) Linz on the other
hand, had given up chocolate. This would be the last time she would
consume the sugary delight. We of course have created a photo diary
of this life changing moment.. And after consuming a Twirl and some
MnM’s, she felt sick. Dairy is no longer a dietary option, and I’m
not a massive chocoholic.

Upon checking in, we had decided that a weigh in for luggage seemed appropriate. As I had packed almost nothing on the notion “it’s Hawaii, they’ll have everything” and Linz “I’m giving away things to less fortunate people”. I weighed in at 12.2kgs and Linz at 20kgs. Hhmmm. It was at this point we were informed of our 30kg luggage allowance. We both celebrated
appropriately! However this did not go without removal of the Bon
Bon from Linz’s Christmas kit.

Skimming through Duty Free, we headed straight for the cafe. Linz in search of non-dairy and gluten free and me in search of something tasty. We nestled into chairs for the photographic opportunity of Linz’s last chocolate. I had wished for some of our colleagues to be there to recreate
Davinci’s ‘Last Supper’. It was a moment of parallel followed by
brief sickness.

I was also struggling with my own demons- no mobile
for an extended period of time. Gagh! Only once have I refrained
from Facebook for a period of 24hours, a dare enforced by Mr
Wright. For the purpose of the story, I was able to cope. My mobile
is purely a device I am attached to, and would prefer it over
breathing. No biggie!

Upon boarding the plane, I realized how many children and babies were on board. I wasn’t concerned as I had my iPod, with freshly charged up tunes to rock out to. Red Hot Chill Peppers are always part of the reoccurring beats. I generally order vegetation meals on planes, so that I get served first and I don’t turn my nose up at chicken/meat/fish. Scoffing the roll, I settled in for the night. This meant playing footsies with the man in
front. He was hot, I was happy. Simple pleasures!

A shitful sleep for Linz. On the other hand i was exhausted and wasn’t really
bothered till the child began screaming. Gagh! Arriving at NADI
airport, we were awaiting a transfer to the hotel. It’s 6am
Melbourne time and 8am here. It was at this point we finally got
lei’d! It was quick and virtually pain free. I advise you strongly
to get lei’d. I’m looking forward to doing it again in Hawaii. Our
transfer never arriving, we jumped into a cab with a great driver.
He informed us of many things, that if I wasn’t asleep inside, I
might had bothered speak back. The difference in Melbourne is, they
say nothing and smell of alcohol. Yummy!

Finally: Power nap required. The next three days are for recuperation. And doing nothing. The hotel is less than can be desired, but cheap and good
to sleep in. And it’s hot!

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