Expat update: Month 10

February in the UK is usually my most hated month. It’s still so cold, and it has been for what seems like forever, there are no fun holidays to brighten things up, and everyone is still poor after Christmas. So it’s been a breath of fresh air (literally) to be somewhere warm for a February, and I have to say it’s made all the difference. It’s been a fun month – here’s what’s happened.

The Good

Visiting the Sunshine Coast ¦¦ We were able to take a long weekend break to the Sunshine Coast and it was just the ticket. We had a cute AirBnB with our own pool (what luxury!) and we spent the time exploring the area as much as possible, oh and feeding and patting echidnas.

What?

More on that another day but yes it was everything.

In other news, I also tried out some new sunglasses that my husband told me looked too trendy for me but my Instagram poll returned 100% yaaaas *hairflip* result.

If Instagram says it’s cool, I think that’s fairly definitive. Although it’s moot anyway because when we got back from holiday I put them through the washing machine by accident and now the arms have gone all floppy.

Oops.

Being out and about ¦¦ I have a new project and it involves leaving the house! I am really very happy about this. It’s just nice to be seeing strangers on a regular basis. It’s not like I go and talk to them, before you think I’m actually outgoing or something. The new project is surprisingly good so far – I wasn’t particularly happy to be assigned to it if I’m completely honest, as it sounded a bit of a nightmare client and I’m working in a different capacity to my usual. However, everyone there has been super friendly and nice, the nightmare has not yet hit (although I have no doubt it will one day, so I’m enjoying every day until then!) and the commute is so short it’s actually quite pleasant.

Note: not where I work. This is the beautiful Peregian Beach, Sunshine Coast

Networking ¦¦ I realised that if I had no problems whatsoever with emailing fellow bloggers and seeing if they’d like to meet in person, why should I have a problem with doing it to potential professional contacts? So I’ve been messaging a few people in my industry, most who I had a prior introduction to, and everyone has been very friendly and open to meeting. I have had one breakfast meeting already and it went so well. People are nice, aren’t they?

Chinese New Year ¦¦ I haven’t really celebrated the lunar New Year before, but there were quite a few celebrations on in Sydney. We went to check out some happenings down at Circular Quay and it was fun to be inamongst all the celebrations. I love how multicultural this city is! Here’s a mahjong ox looking out over the harbour:

I took this next to one of the ox’s legs, because I saw a lot of Chinese people doing the same.

Apparently the symbol means good luck of getting wealth, according to my Chinese friend. I’ll take it!

We also saw an extremely arty aerial acrobatics/dance/interpretive art show as part of the celebrations. It was far too conceptual for me and completely went over my head, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. You may have caught some of it in my Instastories – any idea what was going on there?

The Bad

My first Twang ¦¦ It’s happened. I had my first Aussie Twang. I was on FaceTime with my bestie Emma and apparently I said the word corner in real Australian. I’m now taking extra care to sound super British and am feeling suddenly very conscious of how I talk. I suppose it’s inevitable to pick up some of the accent of where you live, and I’ve made it this far, but I think it’s all downhill from here. Next time you see me I’ll be calling things ‘bonzer’ and referring to you as ‘mate’. I might even start sentences with ‘Look, …’. You have been warned.

It got quite hot ¦¦ We’ve had a few spells of very hot weather – we got up to 43°C one day, which is almost 110°F. Here is me experiencing the walk back from work in 38°C, which was unpleasant. Can eyeballs sweat?

Joking aside, it hasn’t actually been too bad. We’ve been very glad of our air conditioning on only a handful of days, and I have survived pretty well so far. February is known as the month of high humidity, which added to the heat we get through December and January can get quite unpleasant. But I’ve survived so far so I have the best of hopes for March, when things should start to cool down a little bit anyway.

The Ugly

In case you’re new around here, I’m sharing The Ugly side of things via email so I can be more honest on things that I’d rather not splash up here for all to see.

So if you want to know The Ugly, just put your email address in the box and I’ll add you to the list. You’ll get mail from me a few days after you see this post, just to give everyone a chance to sign up who wants to.

What’s your favourite month of the year? Did you have any Chinese New Year celebrations near you?

Rachel

See previous months’ updates here

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19 Comments

  1. Jen
    23rd February 2018 / 12:44

    It sounds like February in the states too! It’s such a boring month, I don’t like it either.

  2. 23rd February 2018 / 15:07

    I’m glad you had a fun month! 🙂 The humidity has been killer for us this month, it’s so hard for the kids as they can’t play outside, it’s just too hot, so indoors a lot which isn’t so exciting. Now it’s a bit cooler and we have some rain, but still the humidity. Now it’s too wet for them to go outside, ha! Bring on March I think!

    The heat put us off doing anything for new year, but I’m glad you had fun celebrating it, I’ve seen lots of the fun things Sydney had set up for it, will need to keep an eye out for things in Brisbane next lunar new year 🙂

    Looking forward to your sunshine coast post too! We are debating getting away for a little bit when the games are on on the gold coast, but I don’t have that much experience on the sunny coast so I’m a bit lost for ideas!

    Hope you are having a lovely week so far!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  3. 23rd February 2018 / 17:45

    HAHA I remember going back to NYC after having lived in London and people would say I had an English accent. Saay whaaa? I laughed, hard, because I most definitely DID NOT sound English. But I definitely picked up English words that I can’t beat out of me now. And before moving to Singapore, I would laugh and say, no way will I be saying lah. So how? I have definitely picked up Singaporean expressions/way of speaking. Though I most definitely do not speak Singlish!! My accent is all sorts of confused!! HEHE

  4. 23rd February 2018 / 19:38

    I love your thing about networking, it’s awesome! I feel maybe I should do that too!! Inspiring 😉

    Also, love the sunglasses!

  5. 24th February 2018 / 01:34

    Oh my gosh. 110º? Ugh. It’s already 77º where I am and I think that’s too hot. At least you’re headed into fall, right?

    How awesome that you were able to see how Sydney celebrates the Chinese New Year. I’ve never been anywhere that celebrates it, so that’s something I’d love to see and learn more about. Maybe Australia celebrates because they are closer to China than the US is? Of course, I know some places in the US celebrate. Where I am, though, they just don’t. :-/

    And I just wanted to say “good for you!” for networking. I really need to get better at that. But it’s hard. I hate talking to people about work things. But it is fair that if you aren’t afraid to meet up with other bloggers, then why not do the same with your career? You never know where it will lead! <3.

  6. 24th February 2018 / 04:00

    It sounds like everything has been pretty good for y’all lately, with the exception of that hot weather! It gets triple digit hot where I live in Texas but not 110 hot! And I think that’s so awesome that you’re getting out of the house on a new job! Chris just started a new job where he’s working from home 100% of the time and he’s starting to realize that he needs to have one day that he gets out and sees people. You don’t realize how much you miss having the people interaction until you don’t have it anymore.

  7. Sarah
    24th February 2018 / 11:55

    THE FIRST TWANG!!! Hahaha. Love it. I still remember the first time someone told me I sounded British, I was like “what?? No!!!” By the time I left England, most British people would recognize I wasn’t English but not be able to place me… A LOT of people thought I was Irish. I’ll take it lol. I think my American accent has returned a bit since coming back to the states. But what a momentous occasion for you lol!!!

  8. 25th February 2018 / 12:55

    February is such a boring month, but it sounds like you got up to some fun things 🙂

  9. 26th February 2018 / 07:24

    I feel like you had the best month of everyone I know! I love that you’ve been getting out of your comfort zone and meeting people professionally. (I still owe you an email about work life, btw.) I’m totally jealous of your sunshine coast adventure. I’ve been longing for the beach and sunshine lately! LOL at your Aussie twang. That’s hilarious. I think that needs it’s own instastory for the rest of us who don’t know the difference!

  10. 27th February 2018 / 22:12

    I can’t wait to hear all about your Sunny Coast trip! I almost texted you the other day when I saw your 43 degree forecast on the news. It doesn’t get that hot here, but the humidity is such a killer. March will be much better (at least for you, I feel like it’s still hot here).

  11. 28th February 2018 / 18:48

    Month 10 already?!?!?

    I’m a bit green with envy that you got to see all the Lunar New Year things. Life has been so hectic for us that we never got a chance to get into the city to soak it all up!

  12. 1st March 2018 / 02:52

    It may have been hot outside, but you look really cute in the walking home photo — and the one next to the Mahjong ox (which is such a cool concept!).

  13. 1st March 2018 / 23:40

    It was funny to watch the Australian Open and see everyone talking about the heat so much, then watching the Olympics and everyone being freezing. Crazy to see that contrast. There was a british reporter that covered both reports and said it was like a 50c change between the two places (or something crazy like that, I can’t do Celsius very well) Enjoy it!

    Thanks for linking with us as always 🙂 And i also vote a big YAY on those cool sunglasses 😉

  14. 2nd March 2018 / 05:05

    I can’t imagine being somewhere hot in February. Like for the whole month. Awesome!

  15. 2nd March 2018 / 06:32

    yeah, that’s how it happens, how you lose your accent and pick up words. it’s a snowball. it’s sad. i try really hard but i don’t even know if i know how to talk like an australian anymore.
    yay for getting out of the house, and those sunnies are heaps cute (trying to be heaps aussie right now mate, but does typing even count? probably not). i must have missed that poll but yass instagram is always right, tell husband to be quiet. lol

  16. 4th March 2018 / 12:48

    Ha! You’re first Aussie twang – that’s hilarious! Being able to go out is nice, isn’t it? Well, my work is all working alone at home, but I do sometimes miss having work people to talk to and getting out. I love that mahjong ox as I looove playing mahjong! Your CNY sounds more festival than mine haha! And yes I can confirm that symbol means get luck/wealth :). And omg I need to hear about the echidnas NOW!!!

  17. 6th March 2018 / 01:00

    Haha the first twang. Things aren’t really dire until you start saying Gidday, surely?! I cannot WAIT to read the echidna post(s) – that tongue! And total heart eyes for that beautiful beach. I have massive summery-February envy.

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