Tag Archives: Life change

The girl with the red Vespa

Going to Central Market with my bike on Saturdays is the best!

Spring time is my favourite season in Adelaide! I really enjoy riding my bike to go to work, central market or else through the parks. You would think that after all this time I got used to it and I don’t really pay attention but it is not true. I’m still amazed by my commute. For the birds lovers, you will be greeted on your way by cockatoos, magpies and colourful parrots. And forgive me if sometimes I arrive late at work, I was probably enjoying the ride a bit too much and stopping to take pictures of those cuties ūüėČ

Sharing a glass with my friend Sybilla at Brighton beach!

I believe that when you have the chance to live in a such beautiful city as Adelaide, you should enjoy the landscapes, feeling free with the wind in your hair driving along the beach in an old vintage car or a motorcycle, stopping at a terrasse for a glass of wine while gazing at the sunset on the jetty… There is something romantic about vintage transportation, la dolce vita, as they say in Italy… this is actually how I picture it. And I believe Adelaide is the perfect spot to enjoy life and take your time to seize the day. I think sometimes we are so used to the place where we live, we are so stuck in our own routine that we don’t acknowledge anymore the beauty of it, we don’t pay attention to what is beautiful and unique, we don’t feel enough grateful for what we have… and maybe this is the beauty about being a foreigner because you still have this fresh outlook on your country and culture of adoption and you keep being surprised and amazed by your everyday life.

OULALA !!!! Gigi and I were meant to be!

Speaking of it, one of my crazy dreams has always been to own a red Vespa. I think they are so cute and I like their retro look, their style, their shape… To quote this song, that I’ve heard so much on the radio lately : “I’m in love with the shape of your body”… well…for sure the singer was not talking about a Vespa but I am!¬†So when I met my friend Sybilla (Germany) and she told me her husband had a Vespa called “Gigi” , and yes that’s a SHE, I thought the universe was telling me something! So instantly my next question was to enquire about her colour and when she told me it was red… I knew instantly Gigi and I would be an item ‚̧

Sybilla and I being both crazy about GIGI!

For a city like Adelaide, a Vespa can be a good option because you can park easily, which is very important. Besides, you can cruise around the city and enjoy the streets of Adelaide without speeding and it seems pretty safe to drive (even if the first time I tried it I managed to fall…but it was me being clumsy and inexperienced). I believe it can be perfect to explore Adelaide surroundings (compared to a bike where you are a bit limited). And I can’t help thinking how charming it must be to ride a vespa on a nice and sunny spring day, even if it is to go to work, it feels already like an adventure, and it is impossible not to feel happy with a great smile on your face when driving it ūüėÄ

So to Vespa or not to Vespa… this is the question… what do you think?! Shall I find Zo√© (that’s how I call my bike) a new friend? So I can keep exploring and blogging even more about Adelaide and its surroundings!

Looking beyond the horizon

“Being happy does not mean everything is perfect, it means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections” – Gerard Way

My friend Jessica (Mexico) often says that people come to your life for a specific reason. Sometimes it is to teach you something about life or yourself, sometimes it is to bring you love and kindness, sometimes to challenge you… and you have to embrace this feeling!

There will be¬†sometimes, when living abroad, when you will feel frustrated, like nothing is working the way you want and you don’t really understand why because you are trying your best. It is a strange feeling that many foreigners experience because we are far away from our country, our culture, our family… and everything is new and different. The key is to learn to adapt as quickly as possible which is not always easy. But you can’t do this alone, you have to surround yourself with true friends. Friends who will become your second family, friends you choose because they are “like” you, friends who will show you the way when you are lost, friends who will be there for you no matter what. These people will make a big difference not just in your day but also in your life and you will do the same for them too, sometimes without even realising it!

Picnic time in the grass

I recall once I had a “perfect” day with¬†my friend Liliana (Venezuela) and it felt really nice. We did not do anything “spectacular”, we were just 2 girls sharing a nice picnic together, taking pictures/selfies, enjoying a good conversation! But it was sooooo good. Sometimes you think¬†that you need complicated things to be happy and you can feel frustrated thinking that it is going to be hard to get them but thinking of it most of the time it is the simplest things that make you really happy. Think of it, try to remember when was the last time you really felt happy and I am sure ¬†you are going to realise that it was something very simple.

When France meets Brazil, it’s crazyyyyyyyyyyy! My Brazilian friend and I, partners in laughing crime.

It can be a smile, a compliment, a nice walk, something nice to eat, a beautiful bird passing by… you don’t need your day to be perfect to feel it is perfect, you just need to collect moments, those who make a difference in the rest of your day and will accompany you the rest of your week. And sometimes, total strangers will make a difference too without knowing it, just because they are genuinely nice and friendly when you need it the most.

So yes, all in all it does not have to be perfect and does perfection really exists anyway? The most important is not to be fooled by imperfections, not to focus on them but rather look beyond them, what really matters and enjoy ūüôā

Life is beautiful like a nice walk on the beach

Let’s go crabbing!!!!

What could be better than sitting¬†on the Semaphore jetty, catching crabs, drinking beers and having fun with a bunch of good friends?! That’s called a perfect Aussie summer day ūüėČ

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Let’s go to the jetty!

Last Friday, Kim (Vietnam) came up with the perfect and most original idea: “Let’s go crabbing at sunset”, she said! It is something that none of us have experienced before. We thought, yes sure, why not, let’s give it a try! Jessica (Mexico) believes that each week we should do something totally new in order to embrace our new Australian lifestyle and make some good memories.

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Sometimes it feels like your own private desert island!

I must confess I was a bit confused about the technique and was picturing myself running on Semaphore beach, lifting (small) rocks and chasing (or being chased) by crabs and running even faster should this happen to me! I thought, yes well, worst case scenario I would enjoy the beach and maybe even an ice cream.

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Catch me if you can ūüėČ

But actually, I was wrong, crabbing is easier than I thought, all you need¬†is a jetty, a bucket to hold your catch, a fishing basket with¬†line¬†and a little bait to attract crabs such as fish heads… mmm I know yummy! Like fishing, it requires some patience, so the best way to make the time flying by is to enjoy this activity with some crazy and lively friends!

So lucky to be surrounded by my international friends!

Our friend Kim (Vietnam) was the best instructor ever. She gave us many instructions how to throw the fishing basket far far away. You need to keep if flat and be careful with the strings attached to it because you don’t want to end in the sea with it eaten by the crabs. Three, two, one, GO and fly away!

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Thank god, I have been working out lately and it shows!

We were pretty successful and we managed to catch something like 12 crabs. Actually we caught more but we had to release the little ones. Everybody was super happy and Peggy’s kids (Taiwan) were so proud and they had so much fun. It is definitely a good idea for a family/friends activity.

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Summer time can be so hot in Australia, sometimes the temperature is so high that sleeping at night becomes nearly impossible despite a good air con. Some people prefer instead to spend the evening until late at night on the jetty crabbing. There is a cold breeze coming from the sea and as the sun is disappearing the temperature is dropping. Actually I recommend to bring sweaters, socks, trainers as it can get pretty cold on the jetty… As it was a first time, many of us did the mistake to come in their beach gears, not the best idea especially at sun set, it was “freezing”!

We spent a really good time together and stayed at Semaphore¬†beach from 6pm to 10pm. We also had like a little picnic there because the sea, the air, the activity make you very hungry! Kim was thrilled, I must say some crabs were HUGE and Liliana tried to make me pause with a crab on a picture but I was a bit scared (she is a naughty girl haha). All in all it felt like being on holidays somewhere else. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of money or being in fancy hotels to enjoy life, simple things can actually feel even better. Best Friday, since a long time, I really enjoyed it ‚̧

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But the fun did not stop there. Crabbing¬†is something and eating crabs is something else! And the party went on at Kim’s house. She invited us in her beautiful home and taught us how to cook the crabs. She also made some delicious sauce to go with. It was fun, because we learnt how to eat a crab, breaking it in small pieces and sucking the flesh out of it… does it sound like a zombie/vampire thing?! I must say it was delicious and we all enjoyed it¬†very much and we can’t wait to go again crabbing!

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I would have never imagined that eating crabs  that I caught could be so much fun!

These moments make me realise how important it is when you are abroad to be surrounded by amazing and generous people that you can call friends. They will make you smile, welcome you in their home and share some part of their culture with you. This is the beauty of living overseas, getting to know new people, bonding with them, discovering new places, opening your heart to new experiences and so much more. The more you are discovering about what is surrounding you, the more you are learning about you ‚̧

Who could have imagined that crabbing could be so deep ūüėČ

 

Twinsters

I don’t watch TV very often but I do have a Netflix account where I can watch on demand films and TV shows (speaking of the latter, did you hear about the Gilmore Girls being back?!!! I don’t want to gossip but I bet Rory is pregnant and Lorealai is freaking out.. as for Luke I am sure he is going to propose to L). I like to think of my life here in Adelaide like a good “old” GG show, by the way still haven’t found Luke’s Caf√© but I am still looking and opened to any recomandation ūüėČ

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This is the kind of food, Luke would definitely serve! You can enjoy this breakfast at the Royal Oak in North Adelaide.


Lately, as I was browsing on Netflix, I decided to have a look at the documentary section and one called “Twinsters” (fusion of the word Twins and Sisters) caught my eye and I decided to go for it. So basically, the story line is that in 2013 Samantha Futerman, a 25 years old American Asian girl living in Los Angeles and using youtube to post funny videos received a life changing message via Facebook from Ana√Įs Bordier, a French Asian fashion design student living in London. Actually Ana√Įs friends watched a video on youtube featuring Samantha and they were so surprised by the identical appearance of the 2 girls that they encouraged her to contact her copycat! After a few Skype sessions, the girls discovered that they¬†shared much more than just the same face: it turned out that they were both born the same day and both were adopted in Korea shortly after they were born!!! Could it be possible, could they by any chance be twin sisters?! This documentary is about the journey of Samantha (American) and Ana√Įs (French) discovering¬†about their past, their history and the bond that they may share together through social medias.DSC_0057

I believe it is a real sweet story and I really enjoyed watching it, witnessing the different emotions these two amazing girls (and their respective French + American families) explored. What stroke me the most while watching this documentary is how life found a way to reunite these two girls that shared different lifestyles, cultures and mother tongues. It is like no matter what, it was meant to be. How perfect it is that Samantha Futerman (the American) was making cool and fun videos on Youtube that will be seen overseas (and obviously in UK) and what were the chances that Ana√Įs Bordier (the French) would decide to study fashion design in London and become fluent in English. Even if the two girls were raised in different countries and not sharing the same mother tongue, they were able to communicate straight away in English together which made the relationship between the 2 way easier. They both chose artistic careers, one being an actress and the other being a fashion designer, they are so similar and so different at the same time… so interesting to hear about their journey.

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But beyond that, it makes you reflect on your own story, your family, the bond you share with them, your relationships. It makes you appreciate even more the luck to have  grown with your siblings. What it feels like to have a sister, a brother (maybe both). What they mean to you and by extent what life would have been like without them. It is a special and strong bond and nobody can deny that.

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I have a sister and a brother (I am the eldest), we spent all of our childhood together but our adults’ life separated us geographically. My sister lives in France, my brother is an air pilot in Canada (yes girls don’t get too excited ūüėČ ) and I live in Australia. As you can imagine, it is not so easy to see each other and to give you an example I have not seen my brother since 2013! ūüė¶ I know it sucks… I miss my sister (and her kids a LOT) and my brother too of course. I am hopeful that in the future, as our respective lives settle down we will live closer from each other.

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When I see them¬†(especially after a long time apart), it is AMAZING! ¬†I¬†‚̧ family reunions and to catch up with everything I missed since last time. Luckily, I come from a big family and I have also many cousins ¬†around my age or my brother’s age. It is hard to feel lonely or depressed when you are around your family! Each year, during summer time, a¬†“cousinade” is organised (we made up this word in French) but basically it is a “cousins party” where all cousins (on my mother side) are invited for a barbecue and drinks at my aunts place and it is really¬†fun! Christmas are also pretty fantastics¬†and are celebrated several times in the same week since the family is huge! Each year my family (on my father side) organise an unusual christmas dinner to spice up the routine and so far we had a Mexican, a Texas, a Caribbean and I believe last year it was an Australian theme christmas : AWESOME and so refreshing!!!

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“Family is not an important thing. It is EVERYTHING!” – Michael J. Fox

I really can’t wait to come to France and pay a visit to my loved ones ‚̧ and I wish all the best to Smantha and Ana√Įs!

Easy like a Sunday morning!

Spring time is my favorite season here in Adelaide. It is not too hot, it is not too cold and when walking in the parks, all the colours are so vibrant. I have never seen a sky that blue, a grass that green, a flower that orange, a bird that colourful. Every day is the perfect excuse for me to take my bike and wander around.

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The best way to enjoy Adelaide is by bike!

One of the many things I enjoy the most is to go to the market (central market on Saturdays is my fav). But I have my little routine: it has to be with my bike (so rainy days are excluded) and I like to have a purpose like : today I need to buy parsley or triple cream cheese or blueberry muffins or god knows what! Give me a mission and I am on my way!

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Take the time to smell and gaze at these beauties!

There is a cute little market on South Terrace, I discovered it lately and I really think this is the perfect spot¬†to meet friends for brunch. It is called the Market Shed on Holland street and it is a lovely place to be on Sundays! It has a cool vibe with its local fresh products and its intoxicating scent of freshly ground coffee ‚̧ Besides there are bands playing live music and it has this “je ne sais quoi” in the air that makes it so welcoming.

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Feeling down?! Have a kermit!

If you are into healthy drinks, may I recommend this kermit beverage. It is full of vitamins with oranges, apples and seasonal greens (Kale, Spinach and broccoli). Delicious without guilt, so the perfect combination!  Besides green is the colour of luck so it is a good start for a perfect day!

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Fiesta on your plate, fiesta on your palate!

There are many different stalls and food from all other the world are well represented. Lately I ¬†have been obsessed with Mexican food (probably related to the fact that one of my Bestie is from Mexico). So my eyes were caught by this stand. I mean, look at it, it is so colourful that it is already a Mexican party in your plate before hitting your palate! I am instantly attracted to it but then, I can’t help it and there is always the same old question “Is it spicy?”. Let’s be honest, I am French and apart from pepper, spicy is not really my thing ūüėČ

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Feeling zen!

Aren’t these terrariums adorable?! The simple fact to gaze¬†at them is already a blessing. Maybe someday i will buy one but I am not sure it will survive the trip by¬†bike! Actually I have a green succulent at home (a present from my colleagues), I put it on my desk and I really like it. It is hard to explain but somehow I find it very calming.

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I confess, if that exists, I am definitely a chocolatarian!

At the back of the market, there is the real deal: Belgium hot chocolate! I tried it once with my friend Cathy (from China) and we both felt in love with it! Besides the guy working at this stall is soooo nice. Don’t hesitate to have a chat with him, you won’t regret! As a matter of fact, he comes from Brussels, he used to work in a Bank and he decided to change his life, to come to Australia with his wife and start his chocolate business! Sweet!

So next time, why not sit and relax at the Market shed on Holland Street and take it easy as a Sunday Morning!

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The Market Shed on Holland

1 Holland Street

Adelaide SA 5000

open every Sundays from 9am to 3pm

Total blackout

South Australia was in the eye of a nasty storm on Wednesday 28th September 2016. Despite all the announcements on radio and social media, I believe nobody really expected what happened.

Since it was my first storm in Aussie world, I decided to play it safe. I just went jogging early in the morning as it was very sunny and I noticed it was windy (I mean more than usual) so I made my way back home and decided to stay there for the whole day, working from home, just in case. Around noon the weather dramatically changed and turned into lightenings, heavy rain and a lot of wind but nothing THAT scary. I thought “well ok, not a big deal”.

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No light, no worries! I’ve got this ūüėČ

But then around 5.00pm, things got ugly. I was chatting with my friends on “WhatsApp” and we were worried because our friend Jessica (from Mexico) was outside with¬†this terrible weather, when suddenly we experienced a major power cut. What was unusual, is that my friends and I live in different parts: some in the suburbs, some by the sea, some in the CBD and we were all left without electricity, meaning: no lights, no heating, no TV, no internet (except on our phone for those who¬†have enough battery). We joked about it and thought it was time to reach out for some candles (thank god, I had few big ones at home), very handy!

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Adelaide was plunged into darkness after wild storms disrupted power supplies across the state. (ABC News: Tony Hill)

A bit later, I called some friends¬†to enquire if everything was ok on their side and to inform them¬†about the situation. They¬†told me that it was the same issue for them¬†at work and actually that the whole South Australia state was experiencing a total blackout! In other words: no traffic lights in the streets, no lights inside and outside, businesses, shops, librairies force to close… So basically we are talking about a whole state and its 1.7 millions residents left in the dark! Jessica texted me to tell me that people were running in the streets, all shops were closing and supermarkets were full with people buying supplies such as water, milk, candles… (she also mentioned there were good deals on chicken breasts haha… ūüėČ ).

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Zinaida cooking on her camping gas stove

As the hours were passing by, my friends and I decided to limit the text messages since our phones were running low of battery and we did not know when we could recharge. It was getting darker and darker and despite all the candles, it was not very efficient to read, ¬†write, cook (thank god I have a gas stove). It was so strange to see the city and the streets that dark. According to the newsfeed, it turned out that 2 tornados destroyed some critical infrastructures causing a network shutdown. On top of that, 22 interconnectors were knocked down by the wind. Thank god no death was reported, only properties damages, broken trees, flooding etc… People tried to make the most of it, lighting candles, playing board games, reading, drawing, meditating, checking phones, getting bored, eventually sleeping… two men were also spotted in the streets walking around with banners saying “the end of the world is coming”, “Aliens are here”…

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what a “nice” way to start a shitty day!?

On a more personal note, the blackout lasted in my house from 5pm to midnight. First time, I was in bed that early, I think around 8pm! I could not really sleep since one of my neighbors’burglar alarm went on and on the whole night forcing me to sleep with ear plugs (which I hate). And cherry on the cake, when I woke up on the next morning and I opened my bedroom door, water was falling from the ceiling so I had to contain the situation with buckets and towels and call my landlord to let him know that there was a leaking due to the storm. By the way, he sent someone to fix the issue and so far so good.

Thursday was supposed to be as bad maybe worst than Wednesday. People were asked to stay home if possible. Fortunately, despite of the rain and the wind, it was manageable. I stayed home and did not experience any power cut whereas my friend Zinaida (from Russia) did. All in all, it was not that bad but I can’t help wondering about¬†the hospitals who had to use torches and what about if you are in the middle of a surgery when it happens, I assume they have energy power back up. And what about people on life support machines when there is no electricity… OMG I am thinking too much!

“Life without electricity, it is beyond our imagination”- Siddhant Chak

Colour the world, colour your mood

Lately I have been obsessed with coloring books for adults. It’s the new trend and it is nearly impossible to miss them when you are in a Bookshop. Anyway I own a few of them and I really enjoy using those books¬†whenever needed.¬†I believe coloring has a grounding effect.

It all started when my friend Ana (my former Spanish teacher from Colombia) offered me a postcard from the artist: Johanna Basford! When it comes to coloring book, this girl is a GURU, believe me! Her work is amazing: have a look at “Secret garden” (my fav), there is so much poesy in her art, she managed to create a real enchanted universe.

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Colouring book for adults “Secret Garden”, Johanna Basford

So I started with her books and her postcards that I would share with some friends. Sometimes we would go together to the café, with some pencils and we would colour some beautiful magic scenes while chatting. It turned out to be very effective, especially when we were stressed or worried about something. It acted like a colour therapy session and it was a very calming and a comforting activity.

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Texturing and colouring¬†my breakfast bowl: a good¬†way to start the day happy and zen ūüôā

It is a combination of little things that separately are just details, but when all combined, it is like a ritual where all your senses are activated. The colours that are dancing in a farandole in front of your eyes, the paper texture under your fingers, the soft  sound of the pencils pressed on the paper, the delicate smell of the drawing in progress and the taste of gratitude as the image starts to appear more and more alive.

 So now I extended my selection to other colouring books such as: Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford, The mini Mandala by Susanne Fincher, the little book of Mindfulness colouring by Holly Macdonald. I really enjoy them as they are a great help to meditate , to relax and sometimes to escape .

What about you? Have you ever tried it? Tell me all about it in the comments below. I can’t wait¬†to hear about your experiences when it comes to coloring books ūüôā