Thursday, 30 December 2010

I Have Arrived

An epiphany is described as having a sudden realisation. This happens when you can all of a sudden see the larger picture, or find the missing piece. I had an epiphany the other week. I realised that I finally have enough friends that more than one are sometimes free on the same night. It may sound like something small, but when you come to a new place and start out knowing no one, this is huge. I'm almost 3 years into life in Adelaide, and it did take well over 2 years to get to the point where I've felt as though I'm not so all alone. We often take our relationships for granted when we live in a place our entire lives, so to suddenly be without any (aside from our new spouse) can be extremely isolating. I've often compared making new friends as an expat to dating - we meet up with new people, in public places, for a drink or a meal, and see if we have anything in common other than the fact that we're looking for someone else to relate to. If we get along well enough the first time, we try again, perhaps adding in a movie or other such social event. Often times, after a few months of getting together, we realise we just aren't that into each other, and we move on. If we do find that we have some things in common, we spend a year or so getting to know each other better, until we're comfortable enough to just ring up one day out of the blue to meet up for lunch. It's work, which is probably why, after going through the dance a few times and securing some friends, we stop trying to make new ones. One thing we should learn from the expat friendship quest is that working on new relationships should be ever present and ongoing. In addition to the fact that expats move on much more frequently than those who live in the place they've grown up, and we'll lose everyday friends due to this, we become more aware (or should do) that meeting new people enriches our lives. I never ever make new year's resolutions, but I'm going to start this year by making it an active goal to keep meeting new people, at a time when I could become complacent simply because I do finally have some mates.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

I Feel Emasculated

I just realised that I've begun this post twice, in draft form. I only got as far as the subject line, but an interaction with my neighbour just now reminded me that I wanted to write about the topic. In my 3 years of living in Australia, I have realised that, much moreso than in the US, it is difficult to get men to acknowledge, listen to and communicate with you if you are a woman. One example - our neighbour has been using our driveway to get access to his own backyard, in order to install an inground pool. As a result of doing so, we need to organise a new fence. Here in Australia, both neighbours on the side of the fence being put up have to agree to the type, size and colour of the fence, and split the cost. (This means you have 3 different sets of neighbours you have to work with to get the fence done around your house, by the way.) In the beginning, M_ next door would come over to chat to us about the fence, but only communicate with hubs. He barely looked at me, and he certainly didn't ask my opinion. Granted, hubs lived here a few years without me and M_ doesn't really know me, but it is obvious I'm the wife, which means the fence is my fence as well. It's taken over a week to get any acknowledgement. When hubs went next door to talk to M_ about the fence, he simply advised me he was going, but didn't suggest I come with. Had I not insisted in being involved in the discussions taking place, I'm not entirely sure my opinion would have been requested. This seems to happen a lot with Aussie men; you have to work harder to be heard. Never before living here have I realised that there is not a feminine equivilant to the word emasculation. There should be.

P.S. In this instance, the title should perhaps have been, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (and that's with a u, as Robert Frost was American).

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


I had my braces taken off today, 6 months after they were put on, and approximately 1 1/2 years after the fall that caused me to eventually need orthodontics. While I was explaining to the hygienist who I'd never met before (because that's who takes the braces off and fits the retainers here) about the fall, she asked how I felt when it happened. I paused, and then said...devastated. I never thought about how I felt when it happened specifically, and people have never asked; they only say "well that must have hurt." I thought all the time about 'if only' it hadn't happened, and was upset about it, but never put a particular word to it. But, it was devastating. Here I was, one year into life in Oz, not really having a good time of it - house renos sitting undone, husband working late, hating my job, and there I go and literally fall on my face, and my dentist 10,000 miles away. There were dental appointments, endodontist appointments, splints, bonding, very sore teeth, a bite that was off, not able to eat certain things (only graduated to being able to eat a sandwich without being in pain a couple of months ago), and then braces, for the 2nd time in my life. It has absolutely sucked. The end is in sight however, with just some major and minor cosmetic work to be done, fingers crossed. It felt good to say out loud today..."I was devastated." So I'm glad that hygienist asked me how I felt, even if she did then proceed to crack the bonding right off one of my teeth, but then that's another story.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Siren Song of 'Home Leave'

The expat going home for a visit doesn't typically term it a holiday or vacation, but calls it home leave. We take time off to visit family and friends, and if we're lucky we also get to relax and refresh. In order to do both the former and the latter, we need an employer that will allow appropriate time off, because you can't quite do it in a week or two. I'm lucky enough, finally, to have a boss who didn't blink an eye when I asked for 5 weeks off. And at the end of the day, I'd leave a job that wouldn't allow me time to spend with my family. But that's getting off the original topic.

Generally, expats feel a pull between two identities - that of the person he or she was in our homeland, and the person we have become in our new home. At no time is this feeling more present than in the midst of home leave. I left Australia, as a (finally) proud South Australian, and landed in Chicago wanting to raise my arms up and clap upon landing in my home town. Here in Oz, I am a wife, a homeowner, and sometimes, an outsider. In Chicago, I feel like a diva. I whip around on expressways (on the right side of the road), I stay out late and challenge the bouncers at my regular drinking establishments, I know the customs... I can shop late, request an apple martini with Absolute Mandarin without the bartender looking confused, and ultimately, just feel like I belong. To be honest, I was afraid to leave - knowing that confidence wouldn't quite follow me back to Adelaide. There are always tears in the airport, and the relinquishment of the Chicago Susan. And there is the feeling that the confidence, power, and ease that comes from being in one's own environment isn't really worth giving up. And then I get on the plane, and 30 hours later, upon landing in Adelaide, the siren song of home slowly dissipates. Within a few days, I realise that Australia really is becoming home for me. I like my house, my marriage is maturing in a wonderful way, and I love my job. The pieces are falling into place, far from where I come from, and while I may not be Chicago Susan, I'm happy with the person I am becoming.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Being One of the Gang

I have a somewhat blunt & immature way of expressing myself, as my 'friends' on Facebook know. For instance, I think Julia Gillard is a bit of a *#$!. Something that bugs the shit out of me lately is the attitude towards immigrants in Australia, and it didn't help that she pandered to public opinion by stating that 'we don't need a big Australia.' So I take it that means she doesn't want me here - or is it just the supposed undesirables that arrive on the boats. To that I say, we are one and the same, aside from the fact that I had a bit more of a choice, and I can go and see my family whenever I want. When people talk about immigrants and foreigners in front of me, I thank them for being so considerate. And they often state that they mean the bludgers, not me. Well, guess what - I happen to be an immigrant, and as such, I too sometimes feel as though I'm not a perfect fit. After spending heaps of time feeling as though I don't belong here, I finally decided it was time to get over it. The turning point was probably when the clerk at Foodland asked me where I was from (see my earlier post). I've decided that from now on, I belong. The change in personal attitude changes the way people react to me. Try it.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

The Unfriend

I've been doing a bit of Facebook clean out the last few days. I'm 'unfriending' people who I never speak to, who I perhaps added as a result of one or two meetings, as well as those acquaintences who only seem to come onto my page to insult me. The problem with Facebook friends is that only a small minority of them are actually that. Most of the people you link with don't really know you very well, and vice versa. You often link with folks who aren't very mature, and can't grasp the idea that it's ok to agree to disagree. I have a lot of strong, sometimes controversial opinions, which have their place. I don't voice them at work, or among certain family, but I do sometimes talk about them on Facebook. I'm often amazed by the lack of respect others show for an opinion differing from theirs. On the other hand, the bonus is that, while in a new country and trying to make new connections and friends, I can easily suss out the ones that I'm not interested in keeping by posting an occasional opinion;)

Friday, 23 July 2010

The Slow Track

I love my 'new' job, but it has been absolutely full on lately. We're down a few staff, which is both a good and bad thing. It's good, because it gives me an opportunity to pick up new projects and challenges across different areas, and...well, not bad, just a tad tiring. It's made me realise that after years of feeling bad that after a proper education, I was just an administrator, I'm actually quite glad that I've only slowly moved up the food chain. If being down a few staff has made me busy, it's got a couple of my managers running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Makes me glad that I haven't yet gotten to the point in my career where I'm just someone else's bitch.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

How to Make Waffles in Australia

....with a US waffle maker, that is. Spot the transformer?

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Adelaide Zoo

I forgot to share my zoo pics. This is what I get for posting things on Facebook - too many social media outlets! I can say that Adelaide Zoo is fairly impressive, and this is coming from a Chicago girl (we have 2 zoos and one of them is even free). The pandas are all the rage these days and bringing heaps more tourists to Adelaide. Here's Wang Wang in all his glory - no shame at all, this one!

Monday, 7 June 2010

You Been a Good 'Ole Wagon...

There's nothing like growing up spoiled to make you suffer when it finally comes time to make it on your own (meaning, buy your own shit when there's no one around to give you new or almost new stuff). I've talked about my beloved 1st car, and well appreciated 2nd car...and my absolute bomb of a 3rd car/1st car I bought on my own. This car I have now is just waiting to get defected. She has a power steering leak that isn't worth fixing. Someone let their dog chew the parking brake handle off. The last owner obviously hit something on the the front passenger side, and kept on going until a big gash was created all the way back to the back door, then filled it in with Bondo and used white spray paint, which rust is now showing through. I think someone poured Coke all over the back seat, and I recently found a half-eaten package of Tic Tacs in the crevice where you fold the back seats down. Today I was asked to take one of the work cars home for a few days....a 4wd diesel. I got home an hour a half ago and I'm still giddy. My husband, the petrol head, still doesn't realise how much we have in common when it comes to loving cars (I love the new and he loves the fast) so he laughed at me when I rang him to talk about my wonderful drive home. Keep your fingers crossed for me I get to keep this one a few days. Regardless, old wagon...sad to say, but you are soon on your way out.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Novelty of the Day

One of the common irritations of being an expat is being constantly asked, at the beginning of a conversation with a stranger, where one is from. It didn't bother me so much at the start of my days abroad, but at this point in time I'm over it, particularly when it comes from the local checkout person. Yesterday while hubs and I were paying for our groceries, the lady behind the till said..."And where are you folks from?" Stunned out of my flirty discussion with my man about how I'd snuck an extra chocolate bar into the cart, I turned my eyes to our lady with a glance that asked if she had two heads and said, "We're from here." Of course I got a confused look back, so I followed up by pointing to hubs and stating "He's from here. I'm from Chicago...but I live here now." That led to the usual questions about how long I've been here, and whether I like it. I realise people can't help asking, but it seems like just when I'm being most at home, I'm treated like an outsider. It gets on my tits, gives me the shits, and will probably be the same 20 years from now. My mom said the reason the checkout chick knew I was a foreigner was because I'm rude;)

Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Path to 'Normalacy'...or...It's Fun to Reflect

(Happy Bday Trang-ster!)


Just look what my husband has done to me. I read an article many years back about the new STDs, meaning bad habits you acquire as a result of a new relationship. I've had many incarnations over the years. I used to have a shaved head (and a few other unique haircuts). Now, I use a straightener:/ I blame the old man....

Friday, 14 May 2010

Everybody Poops

Australian women are funny about the toilet. I noticed it straight away when we stayed with my in-laws out first few weeks here and they had smelly spray in the loo...even the kids used it. On top of that stuff being carcinogenic, everybody poops, and everyone's poop stinks. In my workplaces here, the toilet spray has been present at all. Some even had automatic sprayers attached to the walls. (I'm not sure if they are motion, time or even smell sensored!) To be fair, Aussie loos (at home) are small; they only contain the toilet as the bathroom next door has the sink and shower and/or bath. And then there is the aspect of water consciousness - dual flush toilets and the lesser amount of water in the bowl. The other week at work, a sign appeared. It stated - "Be consider to your fellow toiler users. Remember to flush and brush!" Now, tell me what is worse, a bit of a skid mark on the bowl, or a brush, next to the toilet, with feaces on it? I would suggest that these women...pull their heads in!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Our Bodies, our Choice

Many years ago, while working for a large non-profit organisation, there was a very heavy woman, some would even say obese. Despite this, she wore short skirts...and she made it work. I mentioned this to a co-worker who was surprised, and seemed disgusted, by my comment. At the time, I was simply thinking that if this woman felt comfortable in that skirt, and it looked no worse on her than it would look on me, at 110 pounds (back then anyway!), why shouldn't she wear the skirt. Others didn't want to be subjected to her thick legs and round bottom, perhaps, but who were they to impose their ideals about weight and dress code on her. I was reminded of this situation in the past weeks while reading about the suggested ban on the burqa in Belgium and then France. The Belgians and French want to make it illegal for women to wear head and facial coverings in public. They, and their supporters, claim this is a common sense approach to terrorism. In France this week, a resolution was passed that calls the wearing of the burqa and similar covering 'contrary to the values of the nation'. It was passed by all lawmakers in the French parliament. This resolution will make the next step easier - to ban the burqa. It amazes me that so many people can't see this for what it is - racial intolerance and anti-immigration sentiment. What will happen if the burqa is banned? Muslims will stop moving to France, and women will be stuck inside. Ultimately, this is a feminist issue, and for as much as the French people get in the streets to protest, I'm surprised French feminists don't rise up right now. Some Muslim women wear the burqa, niqab and hijab because they want to, some because they have to, and some probably do so because their peers do (the same reason I straighten my hair - I saw it on someone else). A few of them might stop wearing it, but many might simply become prisoners in their own homes. So a seemingly progressive, free nation like France is completely ignoring the rights of female citizens/residents in order to remain 'French'. I love to travel, but I consider where my tourist dollars are going, and as much as I love France, I won't heading there anytime soon.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

I'm Out of Words

So I've been doing the expat blog thing for the last 5 years or so now. I think I'm out of topics! Have I become a boring old married, settled into my new home/country/marriage with nothing more to write about? It's all work, house repairs and the hope of an occasional trip these days. The blog has dwindled down to a once a month post, on average, this past year. The expat roller coaster has settled down and there's not much to get off my chest, which is a good thing, but not helpful in keeping me active with my writing. Perhaps I should put out a call for topics, although I'd bet I've lost some readers in the past 12 months.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Whoosh Whoosh .. Bang

I just experienced my 1st earthquake. (It was kind of cool.) Initially, I thought it was wind, then after the bang part, I was worried the waterbed was finally about to crash into the basement (we have added water quite a few times). So I sent a text, chatted to a friend on the phone, then I got online and checked Facebook, then Twitter, then online news. It never once occured to me to turn on the TV or radio....

Thursday, 8 April 2010


On the 3rd April, I celebrated two years of residency in Australia. As mentioned in a previous post, I set the 2 year mark when I first got here as a sort of milestone, committing myself to having patience with the frustrations of living in a new place, with a new husband, being a new homeowner, on the search for the right job. I can say with confidence that at this point in the game, any frustrations I feel are the normal frustrations of a homeowner/wife/professional. The intial annoyances of being an expat have mostly worn off (although I still get irritated when someone at the shops asks me how long I'm in Oz on holidays) and I do feel at home here. I'm still wanting a few major things completed on the house, and a newer car would be nice, but I have the job I want, I've made some friends, and Adelaide is where I want to be.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Enjoying the Silence

I'm glad to be back in Adelaide after a long weekend in Melbourne. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the break and a wander around a new place, but one thing I couldn't wait to get away from...was the people. There were just so many of them. Coming from Chicago, I wouldn't have expected this to bother me, but after 2 years in Adelaide, I think I've simply gotten used to a slower pace and fewer crowds. I feel like I can breath again, being back here. This brings me to a topic that's been heavily debated in the news here in Oz lately - population growth. Australia's population is anticipated to grow to 36 million by 2050, heavily due to immigration. Our prime minister is keen to see this happen, stating that we need a "big" Australia. The question is, do we/will we have the infrastructure to support 14 million more people and why do we need that many more people? I'm all in favour of immigration, as long as we aren't taking in people we can't support, and as long as they're going about it the right way. There are boat loads of illegal immigrants showing up in Australian waters, many of whom are being granted some sort of residency. I say, turn them back. I had to pay over $2,000 and provide two folders full of supporting evidence for my spousal visa, to show I had a genuine reason to migrate to Oz. If we intend to purposely grow our population, we need to do it the right way, plan properly, and make sure we can not only support those already here, but any persons coming in the future. Those who immigrate need to have something to bring to Australia, and earn their residency.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

We Bin to Mel-Bin

Because it's NOT pronounced Mel-born! All in all, it was lovely to have a weekend away and time together exploring a new place. That being said, I can't recommend Melbourne as an international tourist destination. We here in Adelaide have heaps better sights to see.
For example, we have beaches. They have to do their diving in the CBD.
There's only one TV in Melbourne, and you have to go to Federation Square to watch.
Despite all this, we enjoyed our weekend, taking in the sights.

Made new friends.
Ate heaps of sweets.

Steve enjoyed the artwork.

And I was overjoyed to procure a bottle of watermelon Jarritos on our last day.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

More Home Reno

So far, we've replaced the cooktop, fridge, microwave, and now the flooring in the kitchen. In about 5 years or so, we'll gut the lot. So glad to be rid of the 70s carpet! If anyone needs a recommendation for a flooring (vinyl/carpet) installer, let me know as I'm more than happy to recommend the fella that did ours. He did a great job and was reasonably priced; will be having him back eventually to do carpeting.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Grocery Shopping in Oz

One thing Steve and I almost always do together is the grocery shopping. It's more fun, it shares the responsibility, and we tend to save money when Steve's along;) Note above the Aussie tendency to shorten all words, and the legal issues regarding stating where your dollar is going.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Election Woes in SA

Tomorrow is election day. Yes, on a Saturday, millions of South Australians will be forced to take part in compulsory voting on the weekend, in order to elect a new Premier, among others. They'll muddle through a preferential voting system, ranking their preferred candidates according to who they would least mind winning. Upon questioning my husband as to who he is voting for, at least who will receive his 'top' vote, he told me definitely not candidate A. That seems to be the consensus from all the Aussies I've spoken to. They don't like anyone for Premier, but there is one they dislike over all others. So, on my first proper election day in Oz, my understanding of preferential voting is that Aussies vote by ranking the candidates according to who they dislike the least being on top. (It doesn't really sound that much different to home does it?)

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Adelaide Festival(s)

Adelaide is known as the Festival State. At no time is this more apparent than in February/March, when the Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival, and Womad are on. We went to a play last night as part of the Adelaide Festival, than wandered down to the riverfront, to see the Northern Lights and stop off at the Artists' Bar.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Most Expensive Pairs of Shoes I've ever Bought - or Why American Healthcare is Better than Australian

I estimate that these shoes will end up costing me approximately $6,000. As of next Wednesday, I'll be around $3,000 out of pocket for dental work, with another $3,000 or so to follow over the next 2 years. Hopefully, that will be the end of it although I'm guessing that there'll be some (not cheap) cosmetic maintenance for the rest of my life. That big smile you see in this pic doesn't exist any more. For the second time, I'll have braces, although this time around, I'm opting for the clear ones. After that, I get a cap on one of my teeth. My goal is to be able to eat ribs again some day, but eating crusty bread without pain would be a good start.

Lesson - don't wear girly shoes, and if you do, don't fall off the porch in them and land on your face!

By the way, I bought those shoes for $25 (down from $90) at the Nordstrom Rack store about 10 years ago and have only worn them a handful of times. They weren't a bargain in the end. The second part of the title - if I had American dental care, it would have covered ... every... last... cent!

Monday, 1 March 2010

What we Do Differently, Part 1

Quite often, people back home tell me they couldn't do what I've done, that the change would be too much for them to handle. I've deleted the link, but I found a post on another expat blog describing what that expat does differently, now that she's moved countries. Here are a few things that have changed for me.

1. I drive a cosmetically challenged, '93 Toyota Camry wagon. Since buying it for $1500 a little over a year ago, I've replaced tires, the battery, starter motor, and various other inexpensive bits and bobs. It runs fine, but it's definitely my first 'bomb'. In '93, when I was 17, my first car was my mom's old '87 Camry wagon with all the bells and whistles - electronic readout on the dash, seatbelts that put themselves into place when you shut the door and turned on the car, sun roof, and power windows (none of which I have on my current car). When my mom bought a new Saturn in '97, I talked her into giving it to me (I was a VERY spoiled 'child').

2. I never had any savings to speak of when I lived in the US, and I always bought what I wanted when I wanted it. Now, I put a 1/3 of each paycheck into savings as soon as I get it. I split that savings into 5 equal amounts, for specific things I'm saving for (for example, flights home, a container to ship my US furniture and belongings to Oz eventually, a car fund so I can replace my 'bomb' with something a bit nicer...) If I was still living in the US, I wouldn't need to save for these things. Another 1/3 of my paycheck goes directly to mortgage and house repairs, and I pinch my pennies to live off the remaining 1/3 until the next payday. I have no debt, don't have a credit card to my name in Oz, and don't buy anything until I have the money for it. There are few luxuries, and I don't feel the need for them to be honest. I buy clothes when I go home for visits since it's cheaper, and occasionally treat myself to a pedicure and meals out with friends.

3. I do at least 2 different grocery shops each time I go. For general groceries, and sometime meat, I go to the supermarket, although quite often we make a separate trip to the butcher for meat. For veggies, I either go to the veg shop in the mall, or more likely, to Central Market. Veg is much cheaper, and heaps fresher, there.

More to come as I think of them. In the meantime, to those of you who say you couldn't do this, I say you don't know until you've tried.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Negativity in the Expat World

"The problem is, and this sounds really obvious, that when you move to a foreign country you're a long way from home. What I mean is, you're a long way from your mates and family. You're forced to fit in with everyone else. You don't have the comfort of knowing that later on, down the pub, you can tell everyone "and then she poured coffee on my cornflakes" and get some sympathy."

-In the Merde for Love, by Stephen Clarke

Although no one here has tried to pour coffee on my cornflakes, this paragraph in the above book struck a resonance with me. When things happen here that seem completely, cultural strange to me, there often isn't anyone around that I can look to who will confirm the ridiculousness. That being said, one thing I avoid like the plague down here is other expats who only want to complain. Most often, it seems that other Americans are the most likely to make the assumption that I'm going to readily agree with their thinking that Australia is backwards, the people are less intelligent, and the way back home is always the right way. I can understand the frustration with things being different, but the best way to keep yourself from settling into your new life is to surround yourself with negativity. It's ok to complain a bit, and it's often necessary to a certain extent, but finding the positives in your new environment, even if hard work, is important.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Adelaide in Photos

Great site, if you'd like to see more of where I live - Adelaide in Photos.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

101 in 1001

*Bumping this one up as it's been over a year since I started it now. I still don't have 101 things, but am happy to say that in the past year+, out of (previously) 66 items, I've completed 25 and have another 12 in progress. (January 2010)

As seen on Day Zero
(I don't usually have trouble completing task lists, although this one is a monster. It is a hugely refreshing task in that it allows me to see what will be accomplished 3 years from now, and that's a lot!)

The Mission
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
The Criteria
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Start date : 11 November 2008
End date : 9 August 2011 (I'll be almost 35!)

Not yet started
In progress

1. Paint 2 bedrooms
2. Finish the table I started stripping
Install ceiling fans in 2 bedrooms
4. Complete porch
5. Redo front bathroom
6. Redo main bathroom
7. Install heat
8. Install air conditioning

9. Get new front windows
10. Complete games room
11. Paint laundry
12. Ship container from US
13. Buy new lounge suite
31. Begin a vegetable garden
32. Make the pomegranite tree healthy again
40. Get veranda on porch (possibly a 5+ year project)
41. Remove wall heater from lounge
42. Remove oil heater & tank from dining room/outside wall
43. Get rain water tank
46. Redo walk-in closet
51. Replace carpeting in 3 bedrooms
53. Put screens in windows
54. Put fly screen on vent bricks to get rid of the bees
59. Get new curtain rods for the front rooms
64. Plant a lime tree
65. Make peach tree healthy
66. Install new water heater
67. Replace windows in 3 bedrooms
68. Replace windows in dining room and kitchen
69. Replace sliding door
70. Get light-blocking blinds/curtains in 3 bedrooms, kitchen & dining room
71. Fix roof
72. Get house painted
73. Replace floor in kitchen/hallway

Successfully form an International social group in Adelaide that includes Aussies
20. Invest time in 3 new friendships

21. See a play
22. Find a place in Adelaide to go to for good massages & pedicures (and go once every 3 months)

25. Begin an herb garden
26. Convince hubs to have a planned date once a month
27. Attempt to begin writing professionally
44. Make 2 purchases per year from USA Foods
52. Learn to cook a proper lamb stew or tagine
55. Get a full-time job I enjoy!!!!
58. Attempt to home brew some beer
60. Hike Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty


28. Visit Melbourne
29. Visit Tasmania
33. Go to the Mt Lofty Botanic Garden

34. Go to Tandanya
35. Go on a tour of Parliament House
36. Attend Fridays Uncorked at the Wine Centre
37. Beer tasting at Cooper's Brewery
38. Try Horus Egyptian Cafe & Shisha House
39. Visit Canberra
45. Go back to Hahndorf for a Rueben and Pot Belly pies!
56. Attend an Adelaide United Game
57. See an SA baseball game
61. Suss out Chili Mojo and Norwood
62. Visit Hallett Cove
63. Hit every Irish pub in the Adelaide area at least once

14. Develop a regular yoga routine
15. Drink 3 glasses of water a day
16. Take a multi-vitamin every day
17. Learn to cook 5 (very good) vegetarian meals (1 per week for a month)
Get up in time to either do yoga or have breakfast before work, 3x per week
23. Stop drinking juice and eat 2 pieces of fruit per day instead
24. Bring lunch to work at least 3 days per week
30. Go on a hike once a month
Eat oatmeal or cereal for breakfast 4x per week
48. Eat plain yogurt or toast & vegemite as a morning snack 4x per week
49. Eat veggies or fruit and nuts as an afternoon snack 4x per week
50. Begin a food tracking blog and blog what I eat each day for 2 weeks

Friday, 1 January 2010

Two Years Up

In just about three months, I'll have been living in Australia for two years (consecutively). When I first got here, I told myself I'd give it two years. Most resources for expats will tell you that it takes an average of two years to start to feel settled in. This isn't to say I was planning on leaving after two years if it didn't work out, only that I made a conscious decision to be especially patient with myself, my environment, and others around me for the first two years. Making that decision probably helped to keep me sane these last couple of years. I highly recommend this to new expats.

Happy New Year!