Tag Archives: People

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

DSC_0302
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.

DSC_0121
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.

16105724_1806461109627008_8560925652795794293_n
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!

img_3535
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.

16114520_1806461419626977_1168457014796176118_nimg_3522

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 ‚̧

img_3544img_3547

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!

img_3566
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

IMG_0662
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.

IMG_0963

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.

DSC_0139_18672

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.

Frog_cakes

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!!!

Notting Hill Carnival 2014 - 085

“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!

An angel to watch over me

I was seven years old when my mother passed away. I don’t remember much about her but to me she was a loving woman who rarely raised her voice with anger at my sisters or myself. She was also an excellent cook and despite the little money we had, there was always a lovely smell in the kitchen. I remember her beautiful hair piled on her head and her long black skirt under which I would hide when an unannounced visitor would knock at the door of our home. Unfortunately, she died very young at the age of 32. I remember the day well, for it was the first time I’d been confronted with death. My sister woke me up early in the morning saying that mum had pushed on Heaven’s door, but I could not understand. I knew mum was sick. She had asthma and could not breathe properly¬†; she needed to rest and it was not easy to find a doctor in the countryside at that time. But I was just a kid and all I could wonder was how she managed to get up out of bed and open a door since she was so weak and where had she gone?! My sister brought me to Mum’s room to kiss her goodbye.¬†¬† Lights had been covered and, despite the lilies, there was a strange smell floating in the air. Mum was lying still and cold on her bed, her hands folded on her chest. She was different and so pale. She looked like a wax doll with her long hair by her shoulders and her eyes closed. My sister whispered to me that Mum’s new home was in Heaven now and that her soul had been set free. Now she could overhear not only what we were saying but also what we were thinking, so we had to behave and make her proud so she would always love us.

From this moment, surprisingly I was not afraid! I knew mum would always look after me and eventually protect me because she was an angel now and her spirit would always be around. I could talk to her about my life, pray to her and ask for help if I needed it, which I did quite often. I guess this thought has empowered me and helped me to go through life, which has not always been easy but she has never let me down. I survived a devastating house fire without a single scratch, I was captured by the Germans during World War 2 and by some miracle I managed to escape. I have reached 96 years of age and have never been sick in my whole existence.

But today is the saddest day of my life and I need her more than ever to help me get through this painful time. I am praying to her to welcome my son, her grandson, whom I am mourning, into her home.

————————————————————————————-

This sad story¬†is one of¬†my assignments from¬†creative writing class that I wanted to share with you. We were asked to look at old pictures we owned and to write a short story up to 500 words about loss from the perspective of a person we had chosen. The idea was that the loss had occurred when the person was a child and we had to tell what happened and how it had impacted our character’s life. We were also asked to write in the first person subject past tense as it was a recollection and many years had¬†passed since the tragedy had¬†occurred¬† We had to show what the child had learnt through this experience that stayed with him to adulthood. I must say it was a difficult exercise since generally I prefer to write¬†about fun things and loss is not really my favorite genre. It was also a bit¬†overwhelming for me since I decided to base my story on a true family life chapter. Actually I chose¬†my grandfather who¬†lost his mother when he was only a child and I became his voice for the duration of this assignment. On one hand¬†it made me sad and a bit depressed to write about these past memories, I mean I can only imagine how hard it must have been painful¬†for him. But in the other hand I am glad I could transcribe as a tribute stories I have ¬†been ¬†told a ¬†couple of times by my grandfather. His mother, my grand-grandmother,¬†was a beautiful woman who sadly died very young from asthma and I am grateful¬†she is¬†a caring and loving angel watching¬†over my grandfather¬†in sadness and happiness helping him to go though life giving him hope and bravery.

20121226_201354
My grandfather’s mother who died at 32

Speak, cook, love

Tuesdays rhyme for me with English class and cooking!¬†Actually there is an original¬†free English conversation class at the North Adelaide Community Centre hosted by the talented and hilarious Malcolm. The theme of this class is: World cuisine. People from all continents attend to this joyful English class, there are no homeworks, no grades but only one rule:¬†each¬†participant¬†is invited to share about his culture and his country through cooking. In my opinion it is a¬†very interesting concept and a good¬†way to practise English while learning about other customs and fooding. Malcolm puts everybody at ease, he is a very encouraging teacher and he has a lot of humour so everybody, even beginners, has an opportunity to speak! There are very interesting stories to hear about and it is like traveling the world! So many foreign countries are represented: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Spain, Iran, France, Italy, Croatia, Chili, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela… it is wonderful to be surrounded by all these different accents and good vibes. I have met really amazing friends thanks to this class and¬†it has made a huge difference in my experience here for sure!

IMG_1153Once a month or so, thanks to Malcolm and our amazing coordinator Kellie our English class takes place in the community centre kitchen. We cook all together traditional dishes from our respective countries but also sometimes Australian meal (like Anzac biscuits) and learn about the story behind. Malcolm says that it is a good exercice for us to put our English into context with real life practice: reading recipes in English, understanding the vocabulary, solving problems together,¬†connecting with each other, joining forces…¬†The results is always incredible, so many different ingredients, colours and flavours: the world in a plate! We have a lot of fun as you can see by yourself in the following short video. If you start watching at 1:14, you will see our teacher Malcolm being interviewed about this wonderful class and if you pay attention you will see me as well with my friends at the North Adelaide Community Centre kitchen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip0LqXRDRpg

 

IMG_0469But the fun does not stop here, because after the cooking we can taste all these lovely dishes and share with the community centre guests. Again it is another opportunity to meet locals, mingle,¬†express our opinions and please our palate with worldwide food.¬†I am glad we have also the opportunity to taste Australian traditional dishes: pavlova, lamington, anzac biscuits… because we don’t have those in our countries and the point is to learn more about Australian culture because this is where our ‚̧ is at the moment. So come and join us at the North Adelaide Community Centre, you will love cooking and speaking English for sure!

North Adelaide Community Centre

176 Tynte Street

North Adelaide SA 5006

Tel :(08) 8203 7990

Spread the love

When it comes to spread, Americans have peanut butter, Europeans have Nutella and Australians have Vegemite!

Vegemite has a special and unique flavour. It is like the sword in the stone: only true¬†Aussie hearts can enjoy it ūüėČ So I took my chance and bought a pot of this Australian sacred delight. This is how bad I ‚̧ Australia!

Vegemite¬†is a kind of brown paste, very thick and dark in colour like waste oil. To me it smells like a loaf bread which stayed all the morning¬†on a table¬†outside¬†a beach house. As for the taste, it was nothing like I would have imagined, it is VERY salty… ¬†maybe as salty as the sea but with a kind of meat juice flavour.

¬†It is really a hit in Australia: people enjoy it on their toasts, in their sandwiches, crumpets… ¬†I must confess I wanted to like it too so I really tried hard: spread on a toast (Ew), with tomatoes (Ew), with cucumbers (Ew), with walnuts (Ew). Nothing worked and it was so salty that I spent the whole night drinking water like if I had walked hours in the desert. I am sorry but honestly I did not like it at all ūüė¶ it has a weird taste and the texture is not easy to work, I had difficulties to spread it!

Maybe there is something I am not doing right or maybe the legend is true: you have to be born and raised in Oz world to fully appreciate Vegemite, if not you are condemned to keep an horrible taste in the mouth and looking with envy at Aussie people savouring the mythical black paste as it was the best treat in the world!

What about you, are you a vegemite addict? Do you have any tips to enjoy it? Any techniques? I am curious to hear about it ūüėČ

Adelaide Zombie Walk

Have you ever seen a zombie walk? Basically it is a social gathering of people dressed as zombies walking around the city! It is becoming more and more popular and a lot of¬†cities such as London, Montreal etc… are hosting a walking dead procession around Halloween time! I have seen a zombie march when I was living in Montreal and I must say despite the cold it was really entertaining some people were really into their “characters”.

DSC_0307
I look very disconnected!

I moved to Australia early September 2014 and when I heard there would be a zombie walk in Adelaide CBD in October, I decided to make it count! This time I would not just watch, I would be one of them: walking crooked, looking disconnected,¬†groaning…¬†But first, I had to find a costume, a character that would express my story… how did I become a zombie, what was I doing last before being bitten? Since I had just moved to Adelaide I did not have much (no accessories or clothes to trash) so I decided to go to a charity shop or like they say here an “Op shop” (opportunity shop)! For less that $10 I found a girly pink top and a dress that made me think of a gardener apron… I decided that it would be perfect since there were some gardening tools in my fully furnished house that I could use to complete my costume! Now I had my story: I was a garden lady taking care of my roses when I got suddenly attacked and bitten by a crazy zombie! Then the trick is about¬†make up, then laminating my costume (using a cheese grinder!) and make it look dirty like I spent weeks wandering in the streets of Adelaide (I scrubbed it on the pavement and in the grass outside)… the result was absolutely perfect!

Zombie Walk - 2014 - 131
Hungry and scary zombie!

Then I joined my peers and it was really good fun. Some costumes were unbelievable and very realistic! I could swear some people have been zombies in previous lives… if it does make sense! Thousand of zombies got together to raise funds for Foodbank SA which is a noble cause (you can donate money or non perishable food)! The event is¬†very well organized with policemen closing the roads where the march takes place (East terrace, Rundle street, Pultney street and Pirie¬†street)… it is hilarious to see people faces when you are walking down the streets: some are curious, some are excited and others are totally speechless because they have no idea what is going on, why all this blood and these strange faces… I am still smiling when thinking of this old couple who nearly had a stroke when they saw me ūüėČ

Zombie Walk - 2014 - 059
Marie-Antoinette had it coming!

I think it is so cool that Adelaide can compete with other major cities by hosting a really amazing and entertaining zombie walk with thousands of walking dead marching on our streets! When you think it all started a couple of years ago with a few people who were passionate about it and decided they will make it happen no matter what… at the beginning it was a really discrete and small event but as the years go by it is getting more and more famous and important and I think it is wonderful to be part of it!

Zombie Walk - 2014 - 234
Did you ask for a pizza with anchoves?

Adelaide Zombie Walk

Every year in October

http://www.adelaidezombiewalk.com/index.html

Red

She stopped the car at the red light. She looked briefly into the rearview mirror and she noticed her eyes were still red from crying.¬† The roses were lying next to her on the front seat. She was wondering who was sending the flowers; probably somebody who wanted to feel good about it! Each damn year on Valentine’s day it was the same old scenario: a beautiful deep red bouquet would be delivered to her work place without a card or a message. In a way it felt good that somebody cared about her, but at the same time it hurt so much because it also reminded her of the passion and love she once had, which had been tragically and irremediably taken away from her.

————————————————————————————-

This text is one of¬†my assignments from¬†creative writing class. Rather than starting to write from¬†an idea, I was encouraged to start with a word that would act as a trigger for writing. The idea is¬†to explore the sounds and meanings of words, to get new ideas and perspectives. I was asked to write only a paragraph (short story) using the trigger word: RED by sound or by meaning… it was up to me! I must say it was interesting because I never proceeded this way before… generally ideas or images drive my creativity! So it was interesting to start from a simple word as “red” and build a story around it! I am happy with the result because I managed to create a story in just 100 words! What I really enjoyed about this¬†exercice is the fact that at the¬†beginning I had no idea where my story would go… I just knew I would use “valentine’s day”, “roses”, “traffic light”, “passion” because they are deeply associated to the red colour but my story really took life under my pen with the words I was using one line¬†at a time, growing like a deep velvet rose on¬†the heart of my white page filling it with its warm colour!¬†