As the years have ticked by in Austria I have managed to leave many of my Aussie-food-isms behind. Part of the reason for this is that logistically it’s difficult and expensive to ship things from Australia. Another part is that I have adapted to the food here and to what’s available. It’s nice to bring back or receive Aussie food on the odd occasion. But let’s be honest, I don’t need it. I can survive without it. Also being close to the UK means that it’s quite easy to get many of my favourites – or at least acceptable versions of them. But not everything. Here’s the top 10 things I still bring back with me from Oz when I go.Continue reading
Getting back to normal
I feel like it’s been a long road back to normal for me. It was only recently that I went to the supermarket without a mask. Most people waved goodbye to Covid ages ago, but having a young baby (and also never having had Covid) meant staying vigilant. It was my choice, of course. But having a child just as the rest of the world was emerging from Covid meant essentially extending the lockdown.Continue reading
Going on a muesli mission
Australians are big into breakfast cereals. Growing up it was Weet-Bix all the way with the occasional Crunchy Nut Cornflakes thrown in on special occasions and of course Saturday morning porridge. The cereal aisle in Australia is pretty much that… wall-to-wall cereal options.Continue reading
You know you’re in Austria and not Australia when… Ash Wednesday is not what you always thought it was
The day after Faschingsdienstag, or Shrove Tuesday is Ash Wednesday. When I first arrived in Austria and this day came up I thought to myself… woah… that’s weird… in Australia we also have an Ash Wednesday. Our Ash Wednesday, however, memorialises one of Australia’s most destructive bush fires which occurred on 16 February 1983. Or at least that’s what I thought.
Turns out that I’m actually just an idiot.Continue reading
Misconceptions about Australia
When you move to a new country there are a lot of questions about where you’re from, and along the way you also discover the weird and wonderful things foreigners believe (or have at least heard) about your country. Here are some of the misconceptions I have heard about Australia since I moved to Austria.Continue reading
I find that the seasons in Austria are a lot more defined that in Australia. Sure, Australia has a definite summer and winter, but a lot of things can be done in Australia all year round, whereas it’s pretty hard to play golf when there’s snow on the ground (though not impossible from what I’ve heard!). We don’t just have a low season here, we have an off season.
And the same goes for food. Sure, most restaurants all over are seasonal in the way that certain things are more available and cheaper when they are in season. But I never saw seasonal like this. Because if you visit a restaurant in Austria at particular times of the year, you’ll find common trends.Continue reading
A new country, new doctors… so how nude should I be?
Going to the doctor in another country can be a challenge. Things are just done differently. In Austria, you have a general practitioner for the ‘standard’ things – your Hausarzt (House Doctor) – but as soon as there is a specialization such as skin doctor, children’s doctor or gynecologist, you have to see someone separately.Continue reading
The bed sharing dilemma
In my pre-birth course, I posed what I thought was a simple question about how to set up baby for sleeping at night, and instead received the disturbing news that… he should sleep with me. In the bed!
Are you mad?
Well, they said, you’re not going to get out of bed to feed him every two hours, are you?
Actually, that’s exactly what I was planning on doing!Continue reading
You know you’re in Austria and not Australia when… you smear cheese all over your body
When I was struggling with back pain I began using a standing desk, which helped, but then my heels started aching. After complaining to hubby, he stopped by the supermarket and as I was chilling on the couch that evening, he smeared topfen over my heels and wrapped them in plastic film. When I mentioned this remedy, astonished, to a local friend she looked at me like duh.Continue reading
A baby away from home
I like my life in Austria. I have lots of support. I am happy here. Yet in the months since I had a baby, I have never felt so homesick and alone in my entire life. I have never before questioned my decision so much. The question to move to Austria, you ask, or the question to have a baby? Well… both.
This whole process of having a baby and becoming a mother is an adjustment. It’s much harder when you’re in a different language, a different culture and family is far away. I’m lucky to have great in-laws who are very supportive and respectful. But it doesn’t change the fact that they’re not my parents. My parents haven’t met Sam. They won’t until he’s almost a year old. They’ll have a harder time cultivating a relationship with him. And all the Skype time can’t change that. I’m lucky that hubby is great at taking photos, but sometimes seeing all the pictures of his parents with Sam just makes me sad because it all hits me again.Continue reading