Yesterday was my Dad’s 70th birthday. Happy birthday, Dad. My Dad is a kind, hard-working, fit and intelligent guy who can contribute on any topic and can always fit in dessert, no matter how much dinner has already gone down.
Originally we’d planned to celebrate his birthday when they were in Austria earlier this year. Secretly I was entertaining the idea of being in Australia for it. Obviously neither of those things happened. Instead, we had a group Whatsapp call with the family, a mess of technical difficulties and waving kids and laughing and catching up. My mum and I both had a cake and candles to sing happy birthday – and my brother was coincidentally on his way to a birthday party. It was lots of fun. It was also a little bit heartbreaking.
Like many people out there in these times, I am required to take all of my holidays this year. There goes my secret plan of saving them all up and taking 6 months off next year!
This requirement is kind of sucky, because holidays to me generally involve getting on aeroplanes, visiting other countries and changing time zones. And in Covid time there is none of that. I’m used to packing a bag, and packing as much as possible into every day, tasting new and exciting foreign foods, and running on empty. Usually my holidays end with me needing a holiday from my holiday.
I realise it’s a first world problem, because I am thankful to have a job and also to have holidays that I can actually take. So I figured I was better off taking the bulk of them in summer, when the weather was warm.
We’re pretty settled here in Austria – we own a house, I have a passable grasp on the language, and I don’t have much to complain about. But never say never. Because moving back to Oz is always a possibility. So here’s my top ten things I will miss about my life here if or when I move back to Australia.
Ok… it’s not actually called Jelly Meat. It’s actually called Aspic – or in Austria – Sulz. But I call it Jelly Meat. Because that’s what it looks like. It reminds of the old Whiskers ad… Whiskers time, chunky tuna; Whiskers time, jelly meat… remember that one? No? Just me, then.
Austrians tend to do the reverse of what I’m used to – they eat a big lunch and then only need a small snack in the evening, rather than a full cooked meal. One of the most common evening ‘snacks’ is Jause. I’ve already written a blog about Jause, but I’m going to take it one step further now. Because Jause, although when you order it at a Jause Station or mountain huts, will be served with specific meats or spreads, is really just a general term for ‘putting stuff on bread’. Essentially it’s an open sandwich.
I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia. If you haven’t heard, Victoria (the state where Melbourne is located), is currently in the middle of a pretty serious lockdown. This was even reported in Austrian news, which means, it’s huge. Melbourne is now in week 4 of a six week planned lockdown, but from the numbers it seems like they’re going to be stuck in there longer.
I have a bit of an obsession with food wastage – as I’ve already mentioned in a previous blog, it kind of upsets me. In an ideal world, I shop once a week and have a basic idea of what I’m going to eat each day. Back in my bachelorette days this often resulted in very boring weekday meals. Because if I bought a whole broccoli, then I was forced to eat broccoli almost every night to use it up.
The more people you have in your household, the more variety you can purchase without wastage. And when you’re just one… well it can make it difficult.
You know how it goes these days… it seems that everyone is on some kind of special diet… everyone is intolerant to something. Look… it’s not like I don’t believe them, because I know plenty of people who have legitimate intolerances… but it’s almost like sometimes… well… I don’t really believe them.
This is not helped by the fact that it seems there are those who practice ‘selective’ intolerance. They make a big deal to get a gluten free meal in a restaurant, but on Sunday afternoon gorge on ‘standard’ pizza with apparently no ill affect.