Working in the Sun, the Dream or the Dammed

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I awake, it’s midday and it must be 40 degree’s celsius outside yet it is far hotter in this room I share with my current boyfriend. I stare at the broken window with a bed sheet acting as a curtain whilst my head bangs from a mixture of the drunken cocktails the night before mixed with the severe dehydration of having no water. I stumble out of the sweat filled bed and into the kitchen of the tiny fixed caravan to come across my devil caravan-mate who woke me with the blare of dubstep from the stereo. I have no cigarettes, we all have no cigarettes or water. I stagger out the front door to the killing yet beautiful sun to the neighbours, they are still asleep. I rummage around in their kitchen, grab myself 3 cigarettes and back to bed I go.

Six hours later I awake again with the dread of work. Oh god how bad I feel. If you have ever had a hellish hangover, try that 90 days in a row,  that is a real hangover. I shower in cold water, take one step out the shower and covered in sweat again. What is the point especially when air-conditioning just isn’t a possibility.  I quickly apply some make-up, tie my hair up, grab my stuff and start the 1Km walk to work. I envy all the tourists looking fresh, smiling and loving the sun. Where’s my tan? It’s not uncommon to be sick on the way to work or whilst at work. I enjoy my job, I’m a photographer in pubs and nightclubs and often “prop” on the street, encouraging tourists to come into the bars; the pay is good, the hours are great and the people are fabulous.

Work finishes around 1am which is a brilliant time to finish, many worker’s I know finish 5 or 6 in the morning with less pay than me and not one day off, ever. Yet, it is so exhausting, this routine is taking a toll on my body. I’m pale, im losing weight by the week and generally look ill despite living out of burger king. It could be worse, many people I know have turned to cocaine among the worker community just for the energy boost required, there is a major drug problem. Families fall apart, moral’s are left in their country of origin and the behaviour becomes more outrageous as time goes on. I’ve noticed a change in myself, I was shy and sweet yet I’ve really had to toughen up to survive in this society; the rumours, the lies; the accusations. You genuinely turn quite feisty in this type of environment. It could be compared to eastenders, but this is real life. People fall out, people get severely battered, the police turn a blind eye. You hear of rapes, drug gangs running people out of the area and all of a sudden you become aware of the real situation, but we also turn a blind eye and live in bliss.

Thankfully, the tourists see the happy drunk staff, the friendliness, the euphoric energy we provide and everything we can to make them have a great time. It’s not all doom and gloom, it is the most fun experience you can imagine. Aside all the bitchiness, the workers form a strong bond, we know everyone, and we party till sunrise. We look after each other, do favours and enjoy each other’s company. We are out every night, we cannot help it. You begin the night of working with the mindset of absolutely no alcohol however, in the type of environment its hard to resist. As the night progresses you drink to settle your stomach and before you know it 1 turns into 20 or 30. I wouldn’t change it for the world, it’s a family and its full of laughter.

However, there are some problems with this lifestyle:

  1. Out of Season
  2. Stability & Security
  3. Influence
  4. Psychological

1. Every high season must end in a low season in which for most workers (unless you are an owner/manager/resident) means the loss of jobs. The majority of the venues close over the winter period so you have a couple of options. Stay on and be part of the foreign equivalent to  income benefits or go home which poses more potential problems. For example, you gave up your flat and job just to come back to nothing or possibly you come back to your flat whilst   struggling throughout the summer paying for 2 properties, yet still to come back to no job. The other extreme being students not returning for their course only to be forced home out of season to return to not being able to continue due to non-appearance and general immaturity throwing your life away for sake of a few weeks.

2. It’s sad when you see 50-year-old waitresses hagged from the sun and alcohol consumption over the years working in a backstreet karaoke pub. Yet you see it. Tired and exhausted but no other choice. This is the reality of what happens unless you make something of yourself. Having no connections to the home country anymore, there is no opportunity to ever leave and not being fluent in the native language poses problems for other job opportunities. It’s not just the oldie’s who are affected, youngsters will never properly get their feet on the ground unless they are from a rich background so as fun as it is, I wouldn’t recommend it as a permanent life plan but just as a few summer seasons whilst young.

3. Behaviour, drugs and alcohol. There is a fair amount of peer pressure in these so called holiday resorts, not to just look good but in some ways to out do each other. Everyone sleeps with everyone, fine in our generation and in such a party resort but some take it a little too far. A friend of mine when drunk gets dared to sleep with some of the most gruesome men you have seen and she does it, hilarious to everyone else, mortifying for her the next day but unless you can stand up for yourself these sort of dares are common practice and yes funny but regrettable. There are drugs everywhere, we know the dealers and even the workers influence you to join in. To be honest, it’s not so much of a problem if its discrete and each to their own but I have seen friends change over the years and the dependency is just plain obvious nowadays.

4. Oh the psychological side, my god how much it changes you. Its done me some good to be honest. I use to always be walked over for being so nice I would say, not anymore, at least I can stand up for what’s right. Other problems you shall notice is sleeping, to keep it simple, no alcohol equals no sleep (ever). I think you become so use to konking out from alcohol without it you literally lie for hours and hours awake as the morning arrives, a personal problem I have suffered from. Furthermore, the change back to reality to your home, adjusting again is more difficult than you may think, once again you have responsibilities. You need concentration, confidence and let’s be honest, your morals.

These are the bad points of working in a drink-fuelled holiday resort but I genuinely think  the pro-points outweigh these by far. The lasting relationships you form with people all over the world never seem to fade even if it has been a few years. The drunken giggles, the adventures we share and the plain right stupid things we have all done just make stronger bonds and amazing stories to bring back home. You genuinely care about and love everyone you work and live with, being in such a small environment and being  constantly compannioned with them 24/7 ensures you get to know people more than you would in a nomal home environment. For many years I have been returning to this certain resort and the new faces quickly fit in and continually appear year after year until they are part of the “family”.

I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Cathryn Gribben

The Nine Most Cruel and Controversial World Delicacies

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by CHAN LEE PENG (Health Consultant & Writer)

While looking at these bloody delicacies, do you still feel hungry?

Each culture has their own traditional foods that they enjoy, although occasionally, certain foods that appeal to a person in one place, but may not be appealing to someone in another part of the world.

These following foods from the world cuisine are not only peculiar in their ingredients, but they also appear to be very violent in their preparation and inflict great suffering on animals. Some of the following pictures and videos are pretty graphic, and should be approached with caution. They are included to present visual examples of these types of foods, and to show that these kinds of dishes are not rare in the world, but instead exist daily in many cultures.

1. A Monkey’s Brain

The following dish is actually quite a murderous scene, and the ensuing feast can be quite gruesome. A captured monkey is first forcibly pulled to the dining table. The monkey is tightly held with hoops over its hands and legs. One of the diners uses a hammer to knock hard enough to actually create a hole in the live monkey’s head. Its cracked skull opens from its head and the diners use a stick of iron rod to extract the monkey’s brain. The monkey usually screams terribly before dying near the table.

Some of the more aggressive and “hungry” diners may actually use their spoons to scrape through the bloody monkey’s brain, eating in a greedy manner as though they have not eaten in a long time. The diners continue to eat the raw brain completely, often with their fingers and hands covered with smelly blood. Others may prefer to dip the raw brain into a traditional herb soup in order to add to the aroma while eating.

Comment: I personally cannot understand how these people swallow this bloody delicacy with no apparent regret and without nausea. I think that it is unbelievably disgusting to see how they chew hungrily on the bloody brain. While researching this article, I found many videos on this popular custom but I decided that they were just too violently graphic to use, and I decided to spare you the trauma of these painful scenes.

2. A Baby Rodent

This apparent delicacy consists of a newly born rodent, a small selection of seasonal vegetables, and a traditional eating custom. The diner initially uses a special skewer to stab the live rodent. The first “chi” sound is apparently heard as the rodent, who cannot bear the pain of being pierced, squeals as it is impaled on the skewer. As the diner dips the still-live rodent into the boiling oil, the second “chi” sound is said to be heard.

As the well-fried rodent is finally placed into the diner’s mouth, the third “chi” sound is allegedly heard one last time. Such a delicacy is actually quite simple, but the diner obviously needs to have certain degree of courage, energy, and very possibly, a real culinary open-mindedness to try it.

Comment: It is perhaps not as disturbing for those who eat this delicacy as compared with those who enjoy preparing this extremely graphic type of food. Maybe they should be put in jail instead for abusing these animals in such a terrible manner. How strange it is to see people laughingly enjoying this cruel delicacy in such a happy mood!

3. Turtle Flesh

This dish begins with a live turtle being covered with appropriate seasonings and herbs, while a pan of water is being heated. As the water begins to warm, the turtle is then put into the water. Due to the extreme heat, the turtle will actually begin to drink the water as its body begins to become cooked by the hot liquid. The cook then allows the turtle to remain alive in the herb soup in order to create a good flavor. As the water gradually becomes hotter, the turtle will begin to struggle helplessly in pain.

Comment: It is really quite disturbing to see a live turtle struggling hopelessly in the extremely hot water. Do humans really have to torture the helpless animal in this manner just to satisfy their own eating instincts?

4. Roasted Duck Legs

Here is another popular food that begins with a live animal. A live duck is placed on a slightly hot frying pan. Prior to this, an appropriate amount of seasonings is rubbed all over the duck’s body. Due to the heat of the hot-plate, the duck will obviously try to make every attempt to get off of the hot metal, and from time to time, it will try to jump out of the pan.

Finally, the legs will become fully roasted, while its body is still actually alive. The cook will then cut off the duck’s legs for them to be placed on a plate to be ready to serve hot to the diner. The remaining part of the duck is then put in the freezer for other future.

Comment: This is an extremely disgusting and cruel delicacy when it is viewed from the initial moment of preparation until it is finally served to the diner.

5. Donkey’s Meat

This queer delicacy involves eating fresh donkey meat, where the flesh is actually eaten raw without cooking. The diner uses a special fork and spoon to scoop out some of the flesh from the donkey. The meat is then totally dipped into the fresh red blood before it is eaten. According to tradition, the more the diner heard the screaming of the donkey, the more excited they will then be to dine on this delicacy.

Comment: What types of human being are these? They appear to be quite inhumane as they show no benevolence towards the donkey’s painful screaming. This unusual eating behavior is among the cruelest in the world’s delicacies that I encountered.

6. A Dried Chicken

To make this dish, the cooks need to work fast in order to create it. With the chicken completely alive, they quickly peel off the chicken’s feathers, taking out the heart in an astonishingly short time. Later, they fill the chicken’s abdomen with seasonings before sewing it up. Finally, they hang it up to dry it out before serving to the diner.

During the preparation, the chicken is still alive, and it will keep on making a noisy sound. It will often struggle violently to get away from the cooks. The cook’s hands eventually become totally bathed in large amounts of red blood.

Comment: This chicken has to bear an extremely painful torture as first its feathers and then its heart are removed. The diner eats this dried-alive chicken with apparent pleasure. Indeed, the one time I saw this personally, it caused me to me vomit while looking at the other diners eating it in such a high-spirited mood.

7. A Flesh of Live Shrimp

This seafood dish is not only raw, but served while the shrimps are still alive. First, a cup of Brandy, Whiskey or Vodka is poured onto the live Shrimps. Then, the diner eats these live shrimp, apparently with great excitement.

Comment: This seems simply disgusting, and although it looks harmless, I was still shocked and disgusted by this peculiar eating habit.

8. Grilled Unborn Lamb

First, an entire pregnant female goat is butchered and thrown onto a charcoal fire to burn until it turns a golden brown color. When it is entirely baked, the cook will then cut through its abdomen to take out the cooked, unborn lamb from inside its mother’s body. It is said that in this manner, the softness of the young lamb can offer the diner an especially pleasing taste.

Comment: This is another delicacy that just seems tasteless.

9. Baby Herbal Soup: The most horrifying, cruel and disgusting delicacy ever

This is an even more horrid nightmare when people are eating human foetuses or preborn babies for a nutritional value and to boost sexual power, overall health and stamina. Now, though, the world is encouraging and at times tolerating with abortion issues and ignorance which has allowed the selling of and consumption of human foetuses. What on earth is going on in this world?

There is a growing trend of eating humans in a town located in the Southern province of Canton (Guangdong), China. This delicacy is called “Spare Rib Soup” in the local jargon and it is said to be a nutritional food to help boost stamina, improve overall health while enhancing sexual performance (potency). Allegedly, this human foetus dish is claimed to gain popularity in Shenzhen, China.

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This disgusting herbal soup uses human foetus (or pre-birth babies) as its main ingredient. It is then boiled with pieces of chicken ribs/chicken meat along with other Chinese expensive herbal ingredients which include Chinese Angelica, ginger pieces, Melina officinalis, Qi Zi and Codonopsis pilosula for at least 8 hours of steaming/boiling. This bowl of Spare Rib Soup is not cheap, but costs around 4,000 Yuan, currency in China (or US $600). Even though this cruel food is accepted in certain regions of China, it is not accepted by the majority of Chinese, either those who live in China or those living outside China. This delicacy has stirred a controversial debate as it involves human life and an issue of the existence of cannibalism. Definitely, it against human rights!

This so called exotic delicacy is not available on a daily basis. According to the local people, one has to order the dish ahead of time and then have to wait for a couple of weeks when the baby is available there for cooking. They may have to wait longer depending on the availability of the babies being sold to the restaurant. Usually, there is no shortage of babies as several pregnant foreign workers who are working there are willing to sell their unborn children and are contacted for their pre-birth babies in case there is an increase demand of this delicacy. Sometimes, babies which were already dead from miscarriages are sold to serve as the main ingredient of this delicacy. This is without conscious, disgusting and deplorable ways to make money and run a business!

The price the restaurant owner pays to purchase a baby depending on the baby’s age. It will also depend on whether the baby is dead or alive while selling to the purchaser. The one aborted close to 9 months costs around 2,000 Yuan (or about US $290), and those aborted earlier than 9 months cost several hundred Yuan. Even the placenta alone can be sold for about US $30. Of course, the paying price is higher for boy foetuses.

Blog Comments:

I would like two say thanks for these two fantasic article’s combined by Chan Lee Peng. I utterly agree with him and find it disturbing and completely wrong. I believe no animal should be subjected to such suffering nor should be take advantage of those of lesser power (look up speciesism). It’s a scary world and I genuinly believe we will kill of the majority of the animal species and eventually our own species with our destructive powers.