Showing posts from June, 2012


The other day I found myself looking to my Scottish coworker for a translation.  Yes, the very same coworker who once told me about the "thud" and it took ten minutes and spelling it out before I finally realized he was saying the "third."  Turns out that a phone call between an American, a Scott, a Belgian, and a German is nearly impossible.  We might have all been trying to speak the same language, but there were at least three very different versions.  Though I've had some interesting times trying to understand the Irish and Scottish accents, the German accent was the one I found the most difficult to comprehend.  Could just be that my ear is getting better trained to understand those Irish and Scottish words.  I am exposed to them almost every day now and so it is much less of a mystery to me.  In fact, I've come far enough that sometimes I end up translating what they are saying for others.

Translator is one of those roles I have learned to take on in …

O Canada!

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

At least once a month someone accuses us of being Canadian.  This never fails to amuse us.  We have a couple theories on this - my theory is that immigrant Canadians are far more common than immigrant Americans.  As many people as there are living in the states, you'd think there would be more around in the world.  Phil's theory is they guess Canada because we're nice - usually people assume that Americans are rude.  It could just be that they are trying to be polite - imagine being from another country and being accused of being an American!

Just the other day I took my sewing machine in for repair and the guy asked where my accent was from.  My first rea…

One Year In

A one-way ticket to the other side of the world, a place I've never been, without my husband and pets, and just two suitcases to last me through the winter.  One year ago I landed in Melbourne to start my crazy adventure.

When I saw the job posted my thought was go for it, no regrets.  Strapped in my seat on the plane, it was what the heck was I thinking.  Driving on the other side of the road for the first time, it was more like these people would give me a lot more space if they knew I've never done this before.

I still miss being able to see my friends and family, knowing what things taste like, our cat, our cars, the comfortable life we had... the easy shopping, the day trips to the mountains, being able to understand what people say the first time they say it.  But I love being in a new country, taking trips to crazy beautiful places that I never would have visited on vacation, learning new words in the language I thought I already spoke, tasting new foods, making new frie…

Flying North for the Winter

We just got back from an amazing trip to Tropical North Queensland.  The Cairns half Ironman triathlon was a great excuse to get away from the cold Melbourne winter and also celebrate Phil's long-awaited 35th birthday.  I say long-awaited because his 35th was actually a year ago, but in all of the chaos that moving across the world involved I managed to forget that he turned a year older.  He was rather confused when earlier this year I asked him where he wanted to go for his 35th.  But he certainly wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to see the Great Barrier Reef.
As soon as our journey to the airport started we knew this was going to be an interesting trip.  We piled onto the shuttle bus to the airport and ended up talking to another passenger who was also heading to Cairns for the race.  By the time we arrived at the terminal we had a new friend and plans to hang out during the race.  As we boarded the plane, it became clear that most of the people on that flight were…