Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Our New Bed...Finally

For those of you who have listened to me whinge, you'll be happy to hear we finally ordered our new bed. This has not been an easy task, as my husband has had waterbeds for about 20 years...and I'm not a fan of even being on a stable boat, much less a bed that has waves. I think it's been about 2 months since we started looking at beds, and we've come to a compromise. We've purchased a waterbed, but it is almost the firmest waterbed out there, which means it's nice and soft and you sink into it a bit, but when he rolls over, I won't feel it any more than if we had a regular bed, which is a very good thing since for the past 4 months, I've been living on a serious lack of sleep, waking up about 3-4 times per night. I have semi-permanent dark circles under my eyes, and my nephew told me I 'have bags'...even the kids can tell I've been tired. And at least we will still have a heated bed, since we don't have a heated house, although to be honest, the bed cost as much as putting heat in the house is going to. Ah, the further joys of being married and moving Down Under;)

Friday, 25 July 2008

Expats In Adelaide

Just a note for anyone who is new to Adelaide, not from Adelaide originally, and/or has repatriated and would like to get involved in an international social group...I've got a group going on Facebook called Expats in Adelaide. We have 40+ members at the moment and are growing daily. Our members include people from the US, Canada, Scotland, England, Denmark, Colombia, and even some Aussies. Last night, we had our first meet up at The Austral pub on Rundle Street and while we only had a handful of people show up, we had a great time and plan to try and hold a meet up once a month. Please join us on Facebook and/or at our next meet up. We are also a wealth of information for anyone new or soon to be new to Adelaide. If you are planning your move and have questions, or would simply like to meet up with one of us when you arrive for a coffee or walk around the city, please leave a post on the wall. Eventually, I would like to use this group to also start an expat mentoring program, so to speak, so that we can pair up someone who is new to Adelaide with someone who has been here a while, to be a mentor/contact for the new expat. Having a 'resource' in your new home can be very helpful;) Hope to see more members soon!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Social Capital

This isn't a term I'd heard before but read it in a book yesterday by Mari Rhydwen called Slow Travel, excerpt below:

"Social capital was not a term I knew before setting sail but it was one I would need when I came back. It describes precisely the allure of slow travel, the accumulation of a wealth of connections made with fellow slow travellers. Of course I had family and friends at home but what distinguished the connections I made travelling was that these were people I would not have met in the course of everyday life. It is very easy to find oneself spending time only with people with shared values and interests, the same level of education or income, not our of any deliberate choice but just because it's the way things happen."

I miss home sometimes but I couldn't imagine giving up/not having the connections I've made over the past 4 or so years. I have met so many people, some of whom I can only correspond with occasionally over email (and hopefully Skype soon as we finally picked an internet provider for home) as I've moved on as have some of them...back to home, or on to somewhere new yet again. When you stay in the same place most of your life, you tend not to get out there and meet new people, and sometimes you complain that you're not doing so, but for the most part, you are complacent and don't do much about it. I haven't had that option...and it's fantastic.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

"What cultural gift or golden nugget

...has your host country given you to take back to your home country?"

I started this post weeks ago and don't remember where I got the quote/question from, although I'm thinking it was Danielle (blog link on the left). The answer has been brewing but I didn't have enough of an example. I've got it now...the principle of 'Do Unto Others'. Yep, I learned this at Catholic school, but the examples weren't exactly present to back it up. I saw a great one from the bus today. The bus driver had closed the doors and was about to drive off, but there was one more person wanting to get off. That person spoke up but the driver didn't hear him and began to drive off. About half of the people on the bus started to yell, in a tone approaching panic as if it was themselves who wanted off, to the driver to stop and let this fellow off. Incredible...

Sunday, 20 July 2008

An Upright Vacuum Cleaner Puh-lease?!

Why is it that in Australia it is almost impossible to find upright vacuum cleaners?! All the advertisements are for canister models, which is what we have at home. Come on Aussies---these are 1) outdated (we had one in the '70s) 2) bulky and difficult to carry around the house as well as hell on your back and 3) don't work as well!! I think I'm going to be hard pressed to be able to find an upright under $200, and I certainly won't have much choice, but it is on my (lengthy) list of much needed household items, as vacuuming is a pain in the arse task these days. Oh how I wish for the day when I'll be able to shop on-line at such stores as Target and Woolworth's in Aussie:/

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Since When is Immigrant a Dirty Word?

Do you notice that the only time you hear the word immigrant is when it is preceeded by illegal? If you are a legal immigrant, you tend to call yourself an expat. Is it trendy, more professional sounding, or simply more PC. Or are we attempting to separate ourself from what we would consider a lower class of 'global movers'? Our parents or grandparents who moved overseas for a better life were immigrants, and they suffered some of the same hardships we do in acclimating to new cultures. Did they also face a greater amount of discrimiation, and today, are certain immigrants still facing more discrimination than others? Who do you refer to as an immigrant, and who do you call an expat? Food for thought...