Monday, June 20, 2011

Money for Food

I was watching Jule and Julia for the Nth time today and for the nth time, I can't help but identify with both the characters. I am in a phase right now where I am so lost and I've been starting to question my purpose in life. Yes I am young, by Filipino standards. I am, after all, only 23. I actually started living independently earlier than most Filipinos, I moved out at 21, right after college graduation, that's something I kinda pride myself in. But now, I'm lost. Like in Julie and Julia, I don't want to waste my twenties and start living the life I love at 30... I want to be an adult now and feel like I'm actually doing something worthwhile.

I quit my job working at a call center even though I was really good at it and it looked to be a promising career. It just wasn't for me, I wasn't happy. I hate the environment and deemed the people too materialistic and there is just too much politics going on it was seriously negating my creativity. So i quit my job and decided to pursue my passion and become a writer, an artist of words. I cannot deny that I love doing this way more than taking calls from crappy customers or teaching defensive agents proper soft skills, but ever since I started writing for money, the excitement has sort of sapped out. Maybe I'm just too romantic for this era and this economy.

Now speaking of money, even though I really hate thinking about it, I really can't help it. I want to travel the world, and unless I land myself a job like Andrew Zimmern's or Anthony Bourdain's I can't do it without money. It really sucks having to think about the bills and stupid stuff like that. But unless I start making more money soon I won't be able to travel the world or worry about other things other than money for food. Won't it be nice to worry about things that really matter like doing something more to save the environment and the animals or ending world hunger?

I need to get out of the Philippines, I have no future here career-wise or financially. i want to live in Aussie or any English speaking first world country that will give me the opportunities that I don't have here. I love my country, I do, but it's just a dead end.

If I can't find means to get myself a US or Aussie working Visa I might just go ahead and bite the dust and be a CSR in Singapore, i can still continue freelancing so that'll keep my sanity. *sigh*

 Will any body help me get out of here?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Foot binding and Kinky sex

I just finished reading Peony In Love by Lisa See and I found the story quite interesting. 

Well, first off, a little commentary. The story itself was quite enthralling that I finished the book in less than two days... with lots of job procrastination done on my part I might add. I did skip a few pages on the last two chapters because they were, I deemed, unnecessary to the overall essence of the story. 

The style was rather... hmm.. a little pretentious, with the conversations sounding out of place in her chosen era, which is to say, Ancient China. Anyway, not like you wanna hear about that. But let me just say that the writing style is not excellent, the story is interesting albeit some parts sounding a bit too familiar and repetitive. To sum it all up, the story and writing style was Cheesy. To give Lisa See justice, let us say her writing style is a few notches more sophisticated and much better researched than drugstore paperbacks. 

The reason why I'm blogging about this book in particular, and not the others I've read for the last month, is because of the Chinese traditions that I found rather interesting and quite honestly, a little, if not TOO appalling.

One of which is foot binding.

In Ancient China, bound foot was considered a mark of beauty and social status. I'm not getting deep into the history since you can find that in among other sites. In a nutshell, women with lotus feet as they were called, are women of the elite. Since their feet are bound, they cannot do any manual labor or anything much really so it means they must belong to the upper class because they need servants to help them with everything. A girl must have properly bound feet or else she will be considered neglected, of lower class, and therefore, would not sell for a good bride-price. Since girls in Ancient China are considered useless branches in the family tree, they were raised like cattle for sale. They must be properly educated in the fields of entertainment and art like embroidery and playing musical instruments to entertain for the largest part, their husbands. Another trait that they must posses is beauty. They must be beautiful so that they can be betrothed to a rich husband that will be able to pay a high price to bring her in to the family. Being beautiful included having tiny feet.

Look at the little baby feet!!! Aawww.... *gag*

A line from the book spoken by the lead character's mother, Lady Chen, to her Sister-in-Law upon seeing her niece's poorly bound foot:

"You must remember that a plain face is given by Heaven, but poorly bound feet are a sign of laziness, not only of the mother but of the daughter as well. What kind of message does this send to prospective in-laws? Girls should be as delicate as flowers. It is important that they walk elegantly. sway gracefully, and show respectability. In this way girls become precious gems."
So girls with properly bound feet had to have feet that measured ideally around 3-3 1/2 inches from heel to toe. It mentioned in the above quote that they swayed gracefully when they walked these lotus feet women, Lily Gait they called it.

Well WTF, if you had feet the size of an infant's who wouldn't sway while walking? you would be extremely unbalanced.  But men found this really graceful and attractive. Probably caused an erection on these horny sons of... well you know what.

Now you can go to Wikipedia on the link above and cringe as you read the process of how foot is bound. To give you a little excerpt, feet is bound when the girl's feet measure around that ideal length, which is to say around age four. The toes and arch were broken so that they can be pressed tightly towards the heel and wrapped tightly with bandages. If you are like me, you would try to make your toes reach your heel and know that it really, really effing hurts. and I can do no more than just make my feet appear like their pointing. haha

So the toes and arch were broken making gangrene the most common infection on lotus feet women. Toenails, although great care was taken to keep them really short, will tend to cause additional infection because they would often in-grow. So sometimes, toenails were removed altogether. YEAHAY! and since the feet were bound so tightly making circulation poor to non-existent, these injuries never healed so the toes would rot and sometimes fall off. But this was a good thing! no toes means smaller feet! sick-o.

And since falling toes were good, if you are a girl who was unfortunate enough to have fleshy toes, infection was deliberately introduced so that your big, fat ugly toes would fall off. How did they do this? Simple, before they bind the feet with the bandages, they'd insert pieces of broken glass or shards of tiles in the toes so that infection will fester cause the toes to rot and fall off. Ingenious.

So after binding, after the excruciating pain they'd let the little girl endure, she wasn't allowed to just lay there and cry her eyes out or scream with hysterical pain. No, that'll be too kind. The little girl was made to stand up and walk so that it'll encourage her bones to break even further.

After the initial process of feet binding which could take two years usually, you've got a perfectly formed lotus feet.                                                                  

In the succeeding years, if you are of the extremely rich, your binding would be removed once a day for your feet to be soaked and cleaned and toenails trimmed.

The cleaning process was quite meticulous involving soaking the feet in warm water infused with pomelo leaves, trimming the toenails, the calluses cut away, fragments of bone that stuck out sanded down, smooth away rough spots, feet beaten repeatedly to keep the bones broken and flexible and sprinkling alum in-between toes (if there are any) so that it'll not be infected with fungus and be all stinky and smelly.

According to the book and from what I've learned after my research, these lotus feet were considered extremely erotic. So erotic that there are 48 ways to play with a woman's bound feet during sex, or as what they called it then clouds and rain. These sex instructions are actually listed in the Qing Dynasty sex manuals and my online research failed to lead me to a copy of the pornographic illustrations of these erotic manuals. Tsk... too bad as I was most curious. But I did come across a paragraph from Jim's Asian Studies:

"It was believed that the way foot binding made a woman walk strengthened the vagina and made it more narrow. The girls' buttocks and 'jade gate' were believed to develop to such a degree that she could grip her husbands 'jade spear' more tightly. . . There was also a large number of pornographic paintings and engravings with scenes of men fondling women's feet. It's no wonder that men were so adamant about their wives having bound feet."

 Yes, let us all make our clown feet smaller as to strengthen our vaginal muscles. I think not! thank god we have Kegel exercises today!

But really, Chinese men must be so very kinky! From what I have so far deduced, they play with bound feet by fondling it with their thing or using it to caress their nipples. OH THE HORROR!!!!

Modern interest on the allure of bound feet lead to the production of a soft-porn films by director Li Han-Hsiang. One of which is Golden Lotus. One scene included the male suspending the lotus feet from the grape arbor overhead so the woman looked like a "Golden Dragon Extending its Claws". he then proceeded to have intercourse with her and afterward, throw jade yellow plums at her vajayjay for some kinky fun. When he gets tired of pitching plums at her vadge, he falls asleep. Upon waking up, he takes a yellow plum from he vadge and feeds it to her as an aphrodisiac and proceeds to having sex with her again. How delightful. Oh by the way, just an interesting fact, Jackie Chan plays a bit role here as a pear vendor.

Also in the book Peony in Love, there was a suggestion on one of the ways men used bound feet. This is the doctor talking to the male lead inquiring him why his wife was not yet pregnant even after two years of living as husband and wife.
"Have you been giving her your vital essence? A woman must take this internally to maintain good health. you cannot just spend it between the scented softness of her bound feet"
Unless I am much mistaken, do men of their day jack off with their salamis in between the arches of the bound foot?

The idea is seriously very repulsive. 

So if anybody out there do have the copy of the Qing Dynasty Sex Manual, I'd very much appreciate having a look in it to quench my curiosity. Really, won't anybody be just as curious? 

It is quite disgusting yes, and I marvel at how different our ideas of what is sexy just because we were born in different eras and cultures. Thankfully, feet binding is now prohibited so Chinese girls need not worry about having to experience this kind of Pain for Beauty experience.

But what is even more disgusting and repulsive is the reason behind this practice. It is a prison built to keep women subversive and mere commodities. Playthings of men. I found this site where lotus feet women narrate about their lives as a lotus feet. It's not only Ancient China who has this oppressive attitude towards women. It's like every culture in the past deemed women worthless. SO SICK.

Anyway, on a last note, I leave you with more pictures of bound feet. For your sexual satisfaction.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Reasons to stop smoking

This was before... I've gone cold turkey now. How did I manage it? Well being lazy has its health benefits.

Want a smoke - no fags in the house. Need to go out. Can't be bothered.
Got fags - no lighter. Have to find one. Can't be bothered.
Have a lighter - can't smoke inside the house. Need to go out. Can't be bothered.
About to light a smoke outside the house - Have to brush my teeth after. Too much effort. Can't be bothered.
Don't mind brushing teeth after a smoke - still have that nasty bitter sweet smell on my fingers. Have to wash several times. can't be bothered.
Don't mind getting the smell off my fingers -  Smoke will still linger on clothes and remind me of boys from bars, yuck. Have to take a shower. Ugh. Can't be bothered.

Well there you go. Plus there's a SIN tax now so cigarettes cost heaps more. I'm thinking of computing how much I saved since I stopped smoking more than 6 months ago... but ugh. Too lazy. Can't be bothered.

Having coffee without ciggies. Yay!