Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
Things I Said I'd do Next Year (Apr '09)
- Well, most of these things, aside from OzAsia Festival, are still to come (shhh, I missed OzAsia)
Things to do, Part 3 (Aug '08)
- See the movie 'You The Living' (will have to rent it now)
- Tandanya (will be ticking this off in a couple of weeks when Aunt Liz comes to visit)
- Horus Egyptian Cafe & Shisha House (I'm not so sure I still want to do this one, to be honest, so will consider it ticked off the list)
- I have made it to a few yoga classes since arriving, but I haven't gotten into a routine yet, so my aim is to do so before '09 is over
So I haven't done too poorly, in looking over the lists, but I still have some work to do!
Sunday, 18 October 2009
- No last names (for some level of anonymity)
- Never bag your significant other; it's just not cool.
- Never bag your family; they'll get you back.
- Never say anything you might later be embarrassed to admit you've said (which should really go for verbal speech as well)
- Never say anything that could get you into real trouble in real life
- Don't talk about where you work (same reason as why there are no last names)
When I began blogging, it was more so I could retain all of my stories of life abroad in one place, and avoid the dreaded group emails. Now that I can see I've had approximately 4,000 views of my profile in the last 4 years or so, and have my blog listed and writings posted on other expat sites, I realise that I have some responsibility for my actions here, so to speak. I'd love to babble on about my political views, or give you my thoughts on my workplace, but then I'd have to be accountable for pissing somebody off;)
Monday, 12 October 2009
1. Eating kangaroo and Vegemite. Both are healthy and versatile, and both can be ingredients for chili:)
2. While I'm still learning how to speak strine, I reckon it's heaps good not to resist the local slang!
3. (Some) Aussie pronunciations and spelling. I know pronounce my H's (although only when saying the letter on it's own; herb is still 'erb) and Z is 'zed'. U is added to words like colour, labour, harbour, etc and seems like second nature these days.
4. Mint sauce with lamb. Paula will hate me for this...I tried not to, but I had this amazing homemade mint sauce that was just to die for at an xmas in July party, and then some marinated lamb chops last week that were out of this world. If the mint sauce is made well, there are few things comparable!
5. Another one on the food theme is using both a knife and fork to eat my food. It still seems a bit posh, but it actually works pretty well.
6. Roundabouts, which scared the crap out of me about a year ago, make traffic run so much smoother. I still slow down a bit too much at some times when entering them, but better cautious than crumpled I say.
7. Talking to strangers is at least a weekly occurrence here. Back home, I saw the same people at the bus stop for years on end, would never have thought of saying a word to them, and probably would have thought them nuts and had my keys on my knife as a weapon in the case of them speaking up.
8. Haggling in shops is the done thing, particularly if you're buying appliances or furniture, and I've saved a decent amount this way.
9. I have a clothes line in the basement, which I'm sure I've mentioned before, and hang all of my laundry to dry. I do miss a proper vented tumble dryer, and will probably get one again someday, but it's no longer a necessity.
10. Last but not least, having the toilet in a separate room to the bath/shower seems a perfectly acceptable, and even good, set up!
While most of these things felt strange and uncomfortable to begin with, they're now second nature. Hopefully, in another 1 1/2 years I'll have 20 things to list!
Thursday, 1 October 2009
I started this tour just as summer was beginning, so it seems fitting to end it just as summer draws to a close and autumn takes over. It’s been fun and I’ve met a lot of great people, but touring is tiring, even in the virtual world, so I’m taking advantage of that magic we call the Internet to round up the Kindness of Strangers Tour by relying on the kindness of several strangers at once. In a way, making my final tour stop to ten locations simultaneously seems the perfect ending for it—one big autumnal burst before quietly fading away.
This tour began as a means of promoting my book, but it soon became an end in itself and took on a life of its own. Very often, I found myself having such a good time “visiting” people around the globe that I forgot to mention the book. To date, my trip has taken me from Britain to Canada, sunny Spain, Tenerife and even back to my own hometown, ending up here in Australia with fellow American expat-Suzer.
This is the perfect place to end my tour because, as summer has drawn to a close back home, it is just beginning down here. Suzer tells me she’s going to put some Fosters on ice and fire up the Barbie (I’m assuming she means she’s going to light the barbeque grill and not set a perky little glamour doll on fire). So as soon as I finish this post we’re heading out back to enjoy the evening, watch the setting sun make the earth glow even redder and listen to the didgeridoos in the distance. I think I’m going to like it here.
I have to say, of all the adventures I might have imagined for my life as a young boy, touring the blogsphere on other people’s blogs was not a contender. But then the idea of leaving my quiet, rural life, moving to England, marrying a foreigner and writing a book about it never occurred to me, either. I’m glad and grateful for having done both, however, and although the tour is coming to an end, the adventure continues.
May yours continue as well.
Thanks and Good-bye from
The 2009 KINDNESS of STRANGERS TOUR?
Visit the Tour Page for the latest Tour updates.
Michael Harling is the author of
“Postcards From Across the Pond – dispatches from an accidental expat”
“Laugh out loud funny regardless of which side of the pond you call home. Bill Bryson move over, there’s a new American expat in town with a keen sense of humor.”
-- Jeff Yeager, author of “The Ultimate Cheapskate”
Visit the Home Page: http://postcardsfromacrossthepond.blogspot.com/