Last week, I got an unexpected phone call: “Would you marry me? I can give you 20,000$ for it. No string attached. We divorced as soon as we can. You seem like an honest girl”. I met the guy twice in my life. I have to admit the recent immigration law changes performed by our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, mid- April has sent in limbo a fair number of expats hoping to get their permanent residency this year. This particular man went through the process twice, once with his former girlfriend (they broke up, she cancelled the de facto PR mid-way), a second time with his job. And this time, he was about to apply on his own, but this sudden change of law has blown his 8 years in the country. He was particularly depressed and was ready for anything. I answered that I already had two other friends who asked me, one gay and another girlfriend. And to add on the unfair feeling, her file got rejected by immigration too, when the file was sponsored by the company for a head chef position in a Sydney one hat restaurant. If I had to sponsor someone, I would rather do it for a friend than someone I’ve met twice in my life. And let’s be frank, why don’t you pretend to be my boyfriend for two years and I don’t have to lie? He refused as he said he couldn’t bear going through a proper relationship and be dependent on someone’s will for this length of time. For him, a wedding certificate would be a far more efficient process. I am not an immigration lawyer so I cannot say what is true or not. But it made me think that immigration should not stop people who contribute to the country (i.e pay tax and work in qualified jobs in needed areas) and comply to their laws and values, especially if they have been here successfully and happily for more than a certain number of years (ex: 5 mins). But the current trend is not going in that political direction. For example: the 457 work visa got abolished and replaced by a new work visa with a shortened job list. The requirements to become a citizen have also become harder too (ex: English test even if you’ve already done it for the PR when it was not required before; 4 years in the country as a PR, when it was only one year…)
Oh and for the 1st marriage proposal, it was back in Lao on NYE, when a Thai man asked me when I was from. I answered I was from Viet Nam and he said “Oh I love Vietnamese women. They know how to take care of a man. You know, the Thai girls from Bangkok, they want to earn their own money and be independent” And he started to list all the Vietnamese dish he liked…And he asked me “Have you been in Bangkok?”, which I answered “I loooooove Bangkok” and I swear to god, his eyes started to shine and twinkle. Needless to say I excused myself to the toilets and never came back
I never knew but everyone has a primary and secondary love language among the five following:
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Quality Time
- Act of Services
The good news is that you do not need to have the same love languages, and you can learn to love your partner in the way which is the most fulfilling for them
I always wondered how people can fall in love. When it happened to me, it was always unexpected. But here I found this very interesting article and the questions become gradually more and more personal. After doing several rounds with different friends, I realised that people make a choice to open themselves to someone as most of my friends would stop around question 17 or 18, as it was too much to reveal.
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling ... “
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share ... “
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
And then 37. Stare in each other's eye for 4 minutes.
Pour les francophones qui seraient à Sydney, j'ai rencontreé un belge qui vient lancer http://www.voilasydney.com/
Un site d'info d'actualité en français un peu sur le thème du Courrier International mais avec la volonté de faire le tri, notamment avec les faits divers qui sont très chers à nos Sydneysider (j'ai rien contre les bus qui écrasent les cyclistes et les mamies, ou les morts suspects à Bankstown, mais ) Enfin un site avec des infos pertinentes qu'on a envie et qu'on a besoin d'entendre
Dans les premiers articles produits, ça parle des drones, de l'écologie, du sport phare austalien le rubgy (avec quelques explications, pour les non averti(e)s), de la tendance djijahiste rampante, bref, un site plein de potentiel et un rédacteur en chef super sympa qui cherche des braves âmes pour l'aider. François était le rédacteur en chef de l'équivalent de L'Equipe en Belgique, donc pour ceux qui aimeraient une expérience journalistique auprès des meilleurs, n'hésitez pas à le contacter
Yesterday I attended a wine workshop by Peter Bourne. I swear to God, I drank the best champagne and whites (Chardonnay...) of my life:
2010 Chandon Vintage Collection Les Trois Rosé, Yarra Valley, VIC ($45)
2012 Monteveccchio Bianco, Heathcote, VIC
2014 Pierro Chardonnay, Margaret River, WA ($80)
To be honest, the Bianco was a close second compared to the Chardonnay. Considering its price $23, it wouldn't say that it is 4 times less. On the contrary, the ratio taste/money is much higher than the Chardonnay. And I would happily buy and drink the Bianco anytime, whereas the Chardonnay would be too expensive for my wallet. And at that price, I would rather source 'Les Trois Rosé'!!
Below the complete list of wines incl. red:
I already knew that the best of Sauvignon Blanc is in the Marlborough region, NZ, around, but I couldn't figure out the equivalent in France, as I got told during the session that it would be Sancerre, around Loire River. For my defense, they all reckon that the taste is different. Also I discovered that Australia was the 2nd biggest producer of Chardonnay after France (Chablis, Burgundy). Not too bad!
The reds were really rich and complex. But it is too intense for me. Also for any Shiraz lovers, they are really a high standard choice.
Another very nice thing was the aroma wheel from A.C. Noble et Al. It is very useful when you want to pick a wine. Below picture:
A little holiday in France is always welcome when some of friends are getting married :) After three years, I was quite amazed by the changes performed by the city of Paris and the improvements they were trying to do around the infrastructure. Some suburbs were completely changed (ex: Montrouge, Chatillon...). And some of inner ring suburbs that used to be bad (ex: Bobigny, St Denis) are now being popular with white collars as they are more affordable, yet still close to Paris. I guess the bottom line is 'Is there a metro station?'
After seven years, I guess Paris feels less and less like home, even though my family still remains there. It is not easy to see my parents ageing while living very far away. Plus I have started to invest in Australia more than in France (ie work, retirement, studies...). I am fortunate enough to have parents who are wishing me a better future. Hence they encourage me to stay down under. Still, the time I am not spending with them is time I will not get back. The best compromise we found was for me to call as often as I could (ideally everyday), come as often as I can afford (once or twice per year) and send regular little attentions through the mail (not automated transfers! duh!). I tried to tell them than I could send someone to help them at home for cleaning and nursing, but they refuse. I believe that accepting it, would also mean they reckon they are too old and they are reaching a point of no return, so I can see why they are refusing.
While looking at the situation in France, I was talking with some former expats, who decided to relocate to France. Their feedback was unanimous: I would lose in money, career and worklife balance. Salaries have not increased in the past three years and the cost of living has still gone up. Hence they all feel that they lost 10% in their purchasing power. One couple said you could break even if you come back with kids, as French citizens are entitled to allowances and subsidies from the state for child care and related services.
Regarding owning a property, things appear harder in France than in Australia. Despite record low interest rates, banks are still reluctant to grant home loans to quality applications (ie couple on stable contracts, with 20% deposit and less than 33% debt with the new home loan). Plus you cannot redraw on the equity to expand or deposit on another property. I haven't look precisely in the tax area, as it comes secondary in my mind if no one is willing to finance you. But the other aspect was the mentality around ownership. It looks like that it is not that well perceived to try to achieve financial freedom. Owning a single property is already putting you on the 'rich' niche in some people eyes (Hum .. No! You're mostly in debt). And it is bad to be rich in a socialist country, or even for trying... I find it a bit hypocrite when people wouldn't spit on money if they were suddenly rich!
Another random item was the education level in high school. My mother was a primary school teacher, my cousin is a biology high school teacher, a friend of mine is a geography high school teacher and my Sydney bestie mother is also a school teacher. They all confirm that now pupils do not know how to write proper sentences at 15... I mean 15 years old !! And they cannot write essays with proper subject-verb-complement. One said that punctuation was not even understood properly after primary school. I am like 'What the f*?'. My mother already warned me at the time, because parents refuse their children to resit one year and would prefer to let them pass without the necessary knowledge. Hence a lot of pupils pass their year without actually learning the required curriculum... It is quite scary. How do you prepare these kids to uni?
Overall, people are depressed and do not think their future is going to be better, short or long term. They tend to think that it is as good as it can get. But it doesn't stop my Australian friends to think that Paris could still be a very romantic city to live in :)
For the French speaking fellows living overseas, you are going to enjoy this little song from Fred Fresh "Y'a trop de français sur le Plateau". Although it talks about French people being too numerous in Montréal, I believe the described attitude is quite universal wherever Frenchies are, and for the matter also in Sydney ! Enjoy :)
Y'a trop de Français sur le Plateau from Fred Fresh
Hum, sometimes I realise I am still a still stranger (or an oldie!). I bumped into this article "Urban dictionary words that have to do" from Melissa Hoyer at the Daily Telegraph, and I don't even use 10% of these words :S
Totes Amazeballs — Used either alone or together. Enough!
Chillaxing — We get it, you’re on holiday.
Passion for fashion — Straight from an 80s department store catalogue.
Fashionista - Enough said.
LMFAO - In fact using any acronym (OMG, IMHO) in real-time chat is so annoying.
Anywho — And that means what exactly?
Hilare — We used to love it. Then everyone started using it.
My bad — It’s just cringe-worthy now.
Nom Nom Nom — Only the late actor Peter Sellers in The Party can say ‘birdie num num’ and make it funny.
Whatevs — It’s dismissive and rude.
Talk to the hand — Grrrrrrr.
Bwahaha — Hahaha usually suffices.
I ‘seen’ him perform — Since when has that become a thing?
Awks — Actually there’s a real word here. It’s called awkward.
Bae — It means ‘baby’ to various celebrity types
Incred — There’s an ‘ible’ at the end of that one
At the end of the day - Snooze
Bromance — Boring
Par-Tay — Was fun. Once. Many parties ago.
Not — At the end of obviously negative statements.
Old school sayings like ‘another day, another dollar’ - Yep, we get it.
‘Like’ - We did this and ‘like’ it was great and ‘like’ we had an unreal time.
Shut the front door - I never got this one.
Hashtag — Words like #justsayin and let’s not even discuss #winning but then, it’s so bad it’s sort of become good again.
Seriously/Literally - ‘I was about to die’. But you didn’t.
Cray cray — It’s just good old crazy and nutty
Bestest — As in my ‘bestest’ friend and it was the ‘bestest’ thing I‘ve ever eaten. It. is. Not. A. Word.
“.com” — Youresoannoying.com, I’mbored.com, getalife.com
Emoshe — As in “I’m totes emoshe”. (That’s emotional to the rest of us).
Embaz — That’s ‘embarrassing’ not a new Baz Luhrmann production.
Boyfie — I have a boyfriend, not a boyfie.
Funky and edgy — We get it. You’re a client and you brief your ad agency to create a ‘funky’ and ‘edgy’ campaign. Yawn.
OKAY TO KEEP (FOR NOW):
Selfie (let’s face it, they’re not going anywhere!)
Grouse (Yes, it has made a triumphant return).
Source : http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/urban-dictionary-words-that-have-to-go-totes-amazeballs-chillaxing-lolz-yummy-mummy-my-bad-whatevs/story-fni0bo9u-1226957836038?sv=aed551a524cdcfaef5986e6d81f2bd0d&&net_sub_uid=74384922
Twitter @newscomauhq and @melissahoyer
For once in my life, I can say I broke a Guinness record for participating to the biggest blind date organised in the world (with 700 other people too!). And I have to admit, there is a valid reason why Sydney is renown to have a shortage of suitable men because the event was sold out for the ladies… But not the men! I attended the event with two other friends at the Sydney Opera House, and the rule was that you had to stick to your allocated date in a dedicated area for a minimum of one hour (Duh! That’s long). So how did go? Drumroll…… My 1st friend came to her zone and texted us ‘Too many ugly people. I’m out of here’ (Well true, I have to admit that 90% of the Sydney Opera staff was more attractive than 75% of the attendance). My 2nd friend got matched to one of her exes (What are the chances?? Or are we already going all circle in this city?). And me? … I got stood up ! No date at all !! At a staggering $98 the ticket, including an all-you-can-drink bar and limited supplies of two-hats canapés from Aria, it really confirms the myth that Sydney has too many single women, and it can now brag about breaking not only the record of the biggest blind date, but also the record of the highest number of single drunk women in one place.