http://mustzee.com/consejos-huerto-urbano/feed In 2016 my husband and decided to become expats. Expat, the slang for expatriate, is a person temporarily or permanently residing in another country other than their native country (thanks Wikipedia). We packed up our home and our beloved beagles and moved from sunny Perth in Western Australia to the unknown York, England. We had been to England many times and I have family here, but we had never been to Yorkshire and took the word of a friend of friend (plus one online article) to decide the opportunity that had been presented to us was worth taking a punt on. Over a year down the road and so far, so good. So here is my perspective on the pros and cons of being an expat.Continue Reading
go site My heart begins to race, the cold sweats are setting in and the disabling anxiety is starting to take full control. Everyone is glaring at me, unwilling to help or offer up their seat. I can see the look on their faces and I know exactly what they are thinking, hell I used to be one of them. Somehow through my tunnel vision I manage to spot a familiar face and I know I am only moments from relief. And that was the terrifying moment that I entered the Emirates Lounge in Perth with my three month old screaming blue murder as she needed to be fed and comforted after enduring security.Continue Reading
The Melbourne Cup Carnival is just around the corner, and the perfect opportunity to take 5 with London based Australian milliner (and good friend), Lisa Tan, to get some insider tips for the 2016 spring racing carnival.Continue Reading
Are you about to board a flight in economy and dreading the thought of it? Never fear – hear are my insider tips for the top 5 essential items that everyone should pack in their carry-on to survive their flight in cattle class!Continue Reading
I thanked my lucky stars that I arrived at Burj Al Arab in one piece. The taxi ride en route to one of the most luxurious hotels in the world was quite possibly the most frightening drive of my life. Weaving in and out of the traffic at a minimum of 12okm per hour, my driver who thought he was Michael Schumacher left me white knuckled and sweating with fear. My favourite part being when we had to swerve erratically to avoid the container of fuel which had been dropped in the middle of the motor way. As the traffic starts to slow, the majestic sail shaped building appears over the horizon and this modern day symbol of luxury Dubai is a stark contrast to its dessert surroundings. Set upon a man made island, this building which finished construction in 1999 is currently the third tallest hotel in the world (Wikipedia).Continue Reading
As the saying goes, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas (there is even a sign that greets you with such when you land at the airport). But I am going to let you in on the secret of one crazy night I spent in Vegas for New Years Eve, and which rivals the Hollywood blockbuster, The Hangover.Continue Reading
“Next thing you will be shitting diamonds” was the response left on my Instagram post after my brief encounter with Brad Pitt. Brief encounter may be a stretch – more like a crazed passenger watching his every move. But none the less, I was only a few feet away from the twice crowned Sexiest Man Alive.
It was like any regular internal flight in Europe from the place I like to call my second home, Nice, to London Heathrow. My husband and I were heading back to London to attend Royal Ascot with our friends and to cheer on the mighty Australian champion, Black Caviar, who was making what would be her first and last international appearance.
On this occasion we were only travelling cattle class for the short haul flight. However, given that my husband was a platinum frequent flyer, we were able to book the front row in economy and board the plane at our leisure. Despite only being in London for 2 nights, I had a hoard of carry-on luggage filled with racing attire fit for the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, so we made sure we boarded the plane early to secure the prized overhead locker storage space (and not look like that fool that boards late and cannot find any room). FYI – I loathe those people.
Taking our seats and making ourselves comfortable on the Boeing 737, I wasn’t paying much attention to the other passengers boarding the plane. Until suddenly my husband jabs me in the ribs – ‘that’s Brad Pitt’ he says rather casually. ‘Huh’ I respond, ‘that’s Brad Pitt’ he repeats’. OMG! I could not believe it. The ultimate celebrity sighting, and I have 2 hours ahead to watch his every move.
Nice is bordered by Monaco, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, so its fair to assume that those in business class are all incredibly wealthy in their own right, and most likely have equally famous actors as their neighbors. ‘Bonjure’ I hear him say casually to the lady in front of him as she takes her seat. This woman had at least 5 pieces of carry-on luggage, each of them more expensive than the other – Louis Vuitton, Prada, Hermes, Chanel – the bags alone cost more than an average annual salary.
I didn’t believe celebrities of Brad’s stature flew commercial flights, but he was every bit the professional making sure that he was not recognized. Sunglasses on and head turned toward the window, no one paid the least bit of attention to the unassuming sleeping man whilst they boarded.
For the entirety of the flight, my entertainment was watching this beautiful human being and trying to absorb every detail possible. He ordered the chicken for lunch, whilst we were passed a soft drink and packet of peanuts. Dressed casually in an off white blazer and chinos, his face full of stubble and his long hair pulled back into a messy ponytail. I can see that he is starting to grey, but ladies I can tell you, he is still someone who has been incredibly blessed in the genes department!
At the time of the sighting, Brad was filming the movie ‘The Counselor’ in London. In France Brad and Angelina call Chateau Miraval their home – a sprawling estate nestled in an ancient village in the south, and where they were later married in August 2014. Of course they have their own winery (who doesn’t these days?) and I can personally vouch for the quality of the rose which is the signature produce of Cotes de Provence – http://miraval-provence.com/en/
As we touchdown and the pilot welcomes us to Heathrow over the PA, Brad jumps to his feet, grabs his bag from the overhead locker and darts to the front of the plane whilst we are still taxing along the runway. It was only then that the swift moving human captured the attention of the other passengers on the flight and curiosity starts them questioning what makes this person so special to jump out of their seat like that.
In a moment he was gone. I hoped that we might casually bump into him again in customs, chat casually and bond over our affection for Cote D’Azure. However there must be a secret passage for celebrities at Heathrow. The lines in customs are mammoth in nature, and whilst celebrities might fly commercial, they most certainly don’t wait in these lines with the commoners.
I was left wondering what I would have said to Brad if I were given the opportunity. And I came to the conclusion that it would have been “where is Angie”, as I think my girl crush outweighs any crush on Brad! Until next time Brad.
Following a recent trip to Bali, I started asking myself why we travel? I came to the conclusion that we travel to explore, experience and enjoy the vast cultures, sights, sounds, smells and adventures that exist outside of our homeland. I had a fun weekend with my friends in Bali but on reflection it dawned on me that it was no different to any other weekend back home. Pedicures, a splash of shopping, dinner and drinks at a trendy bar in the evening. Same, same, but different. Differing only by the currency and language – although let’s be honest, who even tries to speak a word of Bahasa during their visits to Bali?
On one of my very first overseas trips as a child with my family in the nineties, we ventured to Bali and the then little known Seminyak. I vividly remember arriving and being aghast at the scooters which were fully loaded with families of 5, wearing what looked like salad bowls on their heads or carrying a 6 foot bundle of sarongs. At dinner there would be monkeys as pets (which my parents, shock horror, let us play with), or Balinese ladies dressed in traditional outfits, performing dances passed down by their ancestors and encouraging us to join in. There were no fancy stores with clothing displaying $100 price tags, just lots of art and carvings and silver jewellery which we would heavily barter for. If our purchase happened to be the first sale of the day the shop owner would bless everything in the store by wiping the money over it. Breakfast was at a little cafe where a family of 4 could eat for under $10, and I will never forget my sister being mortified when the apple juice she ordered was pureed apples and not the familiar drink she pours out of a bottle at home. One did not venture to a day spa to have your nails painted or your hair braided, no you sat on the side of the street while the ladies pawed all over you and you worried in the back of your mind that they might run away with your shoes. All whilst a Balinese man named Wayan tries to sell you a “genuine” Rolex from his wooden briefcase of goodies.
But this no longer exists, and I blame the Aussies. Don’t get me wrong, there are beautiful boutiques, hotels and restaurants which have emerged over the past twenty years, but where is the authenticity and the culture? It feels as though we have just picked up a piece of Perth and moved it 2,500 kilometres away, to a place which is slightly more humid and can be subject to monsoonal rain. Some of these affluent places cost as much as a night out in Perth, and even worse, there is a line to gain entrance! The most commonly seen items on any given menu are pizzas and burgers to accommodate the western tourists, but how about some authentic Nasi Goreng or Mee Goreng? And culture does not count as “having a driver” which you can hook your mates up with on their next visit to the holiday island.
The plane ride home is full of fresh tattoos, bintang singlets and hefty amounts of duty free alcohol. This is not something we should be proud of. As we fly across the Indian Ocean I think about how I do not intend to travel to Bali again anytime soon, instead opting for an experience that will provide so much more. Although inevitably there will be another celebration of some form that we will be obligated to attend.
I feel like we are missing out on something amazing that used to be, however we are only guilty of having done this to ourselves. And if we want to experience these times of the past then we will need to venture further and further out of Kuta and its surrounds, which is not altogether a bad thing.
The nineties were simpler times – the internet, mobile phones and EFTPOS machines were only just starting to make their place in the world. I am slightly nostalgic and a little old school, so perhaps I need to stop longing for times of the past and accept (and try to enjoy) what these places have now become. After all, I was the one who willingly attended a 40th birthday weekend at The Bounty Hotel in Kuta, and whilst I was shopping in those aforementioned trendy boutiques, my now husband disappeared to the tattoo parlor and had a drunken man immortalised on his foot.