get up, it’s game day

Yes, I was one of many that stormed the field after we won ;) Only because my husband said "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity...". How could I argue with that? #Mizzou

Not a crazy person. Promise. 

Happy First College Football Game of the Season!!!

Oh, football. What have you done to me? It took my husband five long years, but he got there. He got me to appreciate, enjoy and be just downright obsessed with football. You would think that when we moved to the best college town in the Midwest that I would embrace Mizzou football the moment I got there. It was the opposite actually. I loathed it, to the point that for the first couple of years, I made the point of going shopping or running an errand whenever a game was on. I took it as an opportunity to shop in peace while all the crazies tailgated their precious Saturday afternoons away and then spend another 3 hours in the stadium screaming their little hearts out. It was only fitting that I ended up being those same people I mocked when all was said and done. Oh, the irony.

Now here I am, a gazillion miles away, being forced to get up at the crack of dawn on the Sabbath to watch our beloved Tigers. It certainly won’t be the same. Unfortunately, I don’t think anything will match last year’s experience. Season tickets, front row seats for every single game, traveling to an Ole Miss game in Mississippi, winning the SEC East by beating Texas A&M (and ensuring that Johnny Football ended his College career with a loss) and then, the cherry on top, getting the chance to head to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl…and come home winners.

Football memories, I have plenty of. Now it’s time to make more memories, just on a different time zone. M-I-Z!

three months on

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

We have been Brisbanites for 3 entire months. One-two-three. Time flies when you’re…living life without all of the things you packed more than three months ago.

Six days of packing. Final box tally: 58. Remind me never to do this again if/when we move back to America. I would rather buy all this stuff all over again. They leave for Brisbane tonight & we'll see them in around 2 months!

Yes, three months on and we still haven’t received our worldly possessions. The shipping company (who shall remain nameless…for now) confirmed that the dreadful ship that contains our boxes did arrive in Brisbane. It will get cleared on Monday (by the trusty Australian Customs) and then the aforementioned incompetent shipping company needs 10-15 working days to then deliver our precious boxes to us. We’re thinking end of September because I am certain the delivery will be more close to 15 days than 10 – because that’s how this company works. *rolls eyes*

But hey, enough Negative Nelly! I am just grateful that they are finally in the country and I shall see my Kitchen Aid, decent kitchenware, more clothes/shoes and my crafting supplies. Oh, happy days ahead.

home

ABM_1409013876

If you look beyond the power lines, you will find that our humble neighborhood has a half-decent view of the City of Brisbane 

Every weekday morning, I force urge myself to get up whenever Zach does and go for a walk around the neighborhood. During the first week, I tested out a few routes, up this one street, down the other, sometimes to the left of one or even up and down the same street. But I’m a creature of habit and I finally settled on one route that I do every morning. Some might call that boring, but it suits me just fine. I love seeing my favorite homes, the same people every morning as they catch their buses to work and sometimes, if I’m lucky, I will see the same elderly man who takes his fluffy black & white dog for its morning walk. I even pass three different coffee shops, so quaint and cosy. It defines mornings. Too bad I don’t drink coffee, not even a little bit.

Oh, and as a bonus, I pass this beautiful Queenslander as I go down one of the hilliest streets this side of Brisbane. Note it’s for sale. Too bad I didn’t win the lottery last week.

soggy saturday

So, when it rains in Brisbane, it pours.

We had every intention to attend the Valley Fiesta they had going in at Fortitude Valley. We didn’t really know what to expect and from what others had told us, the bands that were playing where not necessarily our cup of tea. But hey, it’s something new and it gave us a reason to go to “the Valley”. It’s where Brisbane’s Chinatown is situated and this Brunswick Street Mall I keep reading about.

But the rain had other plans and when it wasn’t letting up at around noon, we decided to ditch it and head to IKEA instead. IKEA was equally maddening – everyone who had planned to go to VF most likely ended up at IKEA instead. Just our luck. So after a mad dash around there – we were smart and kept to what we needed and was on our list. There’s really no short visits when it comes to IKEA but when you come with a plan and take all the shortcut paths so you miss massive (busy) sections of the store, you’ll leave with your sanity intact.

Then we drove to West End to check out Mappin’s Nursery in search of some indoor plants. We had visited a few Bunning’s Warehouse stores but their plants were dismal – in their condition that is. I wasn’t about to pay $50+ on an over-watered plant with dying leaves. I kill plants on my own, thankyouverymuch! I don’t need anyone else doing my dirty work for me. So after a browse, we settled on a ficus tree and I saw an ivy plant which reminded me of the same one that grew around Columbia College. At $11, who was I to deny my sentimental inclinations. I hope both plants flourish in our humble abode. We are already so pleased at how much the ficus makes the living room feel cosy. Now the mission is not to kill these poor living things.

Got some indoor plants from @mappinsnursery today!

Oh, and I just had to share this photo I took Friday morning before I went for my morning walk. Our back neighbors have a healthy tree that provides a nice shade to our balcony. As I looked out that morning, I saw these two young kookaburra birds just chilling out. I think they were seeking some shelter from the rain. Either way, I was so pleased they stopped by and allowed me to enjoy their beauty.

Our morning visitors on this rainy morning.

the latest

Wow. I’ve been really sucking at this blogging thing, haven’t I? So, here I am trying to catch up:

  • We bought a car! We took advantage of last Wednesday’s Ekka public holiday to check out a couple of car dealers. We are fortunate enough to have dealers within walking distance. We had our heart set on a Subaru Forester – it’s the perfect size for us and it came highly recommended from so many Aussie friends. It just happened, the first dealer we saw had a Forester for sale. But of course we had to shop around, so we ended up visiting 2 more dealers and road tested a nice luxury Honda CR-V. Zach fell in love with it but it was $2K more than the Forester and had more mileage. So back to the first dealer and we road tested the Forester, went home and crunched some numbers. Luckily for us, my Mom is awesome and lent us the full amount for the car so that we didn’t have to get any financing – so instead of paying the Man, we are paying my Mom instead 🙂 We picked up our car on Friday and drove it straight to the DMV to get it registered and to get our drivers license. Then of course, car insurance. We’ve had the car for a week and we love her. Oh, and her name is Frankie.

We are no longer in the mercy of bus schedules or cab drivers. Yay! (P.S. We have given her the name Frankie )

  • One of the first places we went the day after we got our car was go to the hardware store to get some living plants. I got myself a bonsai tree and a jade plant. I was hoping to pick up some large indoor plants, but Bunnings’ range was rather dismal. I think I’m going to have to venture out to a proper nursery. I have such a green thumb of death (is that a black thumb, then?) that I am hesitant to spend too much on plants. But perhaps moving to Australia will change me and I will keep those poor things alive.

The last bonsai tree we bought was from the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St Louis. Unfortunately, that tree died a slow and painful death. Let's hope this one survives! Jade getting its morning sun on. Happy Thursday!

  • I am a creature of habit. So a couple of weeks ago, I forced myself to get up at the same time that Zach does for work and go for a morning walk. So every morning, before 7am, I am out of that door on a 30-minute walk. The first few days were pretty brutal. The hills, oh the hills around our neighborhood is something else. Sometimes I wonder if I have been transported to San Francisco! But I can honestly say that I am enjoying my morning routine. It most definitely gives me a burst of energy to start my day, not to mention it means I am not sleeping in until 9am, feeling groggy and lethargic the rest of the day. Two thumbs up!

We tackled this steep hill during our morning walk today. Brisbane is giving me a good workout!

  • We heard from the shipping company that will be delivering our things. Supposedly, the ship will be arriving into the Port of Brisbane next Tuesday. Then it might be another 15 days until it gets delivered. So by my calculations, we will no longer be living in the bare essentials by mid-September. Fingers crossed that Customs doesn’t charge us an arm and a leg on fees. This has already been a horrid experience dealing with the shipping company, the nail in the coffin will be getting charged an amount that we deem unfair. Oh, the adventures we have had already.

take two

I noticed that yesterday’s post is marked as “July 31, 2014” despite the fact that I wrote it on August 1, 2014 and I titled it “the first day of august”. Well, don’t I look like a fool!

But, but, but…you must all realize that Australia lives in the future. We are a day in front of those in the Northern Hemisphere. We’re pretty cool that way. Perhaps I should tweak the blog settings so that displays my posts in Aussie time. I can’t be living in the past 😉

Last night, we headed to South Bank (aka our second home) and took in the glorious 28 degree weather that Brisbane had to offer. I know I sound like a broken record but the weather here is, as the young kids like to call it, amazeballs. If this is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. We still have a month left of winter. Keep it coming, I say!

Anyway, we headed to one of the local eats at South Bank and met up with a whole bunch of American expats via an online group I discovered after Googling “American expats in Brisbane” back in April (before the big move). Now that the initial excitement of moving here has subsided, we’re feeling a little homesick. Settling in always brings that about, homesickness. So we figured, having a support system of like-minded folks who has “been there, done that” would be a great part of our crash course in settling in to Brisbane living. Plus, what a great way to learn from fellow expats who, we hoped, has solved an expats life’s greatest mystery. It’s the little things, it really is. We spent six hours at the meet-up. Chatting, drinking and we even broke bread with a couple and had our own little meet-up group.

I’m glad we went. I wish I had found a group similar to this when I moved to Missouri. Hanging out with my fellow Australians would have helped me not only settle in, but to have something familiar from home. Sometimes, even hearing an Aussie accent in a crowd of Americans is the most comforting thing for an expat. Now that it’s the other way around, I love hearing American words that I myself still say. Words like cab, Mom, aluminium, gas,etc. I told you, it’s the little things!

I just want to move to South Bank.

South Bank is the bees knees