Monday, April 27, 2009

My Lady Gagas

My mom is here visiting, it's her third time in Australia and the first time I actually have friends to introduce her to. I met this gaggle of girls online, just a random assortment of women who all happened to move to Sydney, and have each used blogging to either stay in touch with friends and family, or to simply to deal with the insanity.

So I wanted to give a shout out to my girls, the ones who've made me realize I'm not the only one going through the sometimes traumatic, and often difficult, experience of living on the other side of the world. It's a place where even if you can afford the tickets home, it'll take you twenty-four hours to get there and you'll be as dehydrated as a retired Floridian, smokin' cigarettes at the pool in Boca when you arrive.

These are my expats in the order in which I met them. I know it sounds crazy, and I don't know some of them all that well, but the reality is-- they've changed everything for me here.

Natalie- My gorgeous, hilarious Utah Girl in Sydney friend. Her family is in Sydney for her husband's job. Natalie is smart, funny, and an amazing cook. When we get together I'm always inspired by her ideas and ambition. I wish we lived closer together and got to see each other more often. Did I mention she cuts her kids' hair herself and make them look like rockstars?

Mindy- She's super, she's Mindy, she's a wonderful friend and budding web designer. She single-handedly helped alleviate my homesickness by becoming my first close friend here. Mindy's been in Australia for about a year and a half, since marrying a great Australian guy in August 2007.

Ana- Ana and I were in contact for months before her Australian arrival, I had a feeling we were going to hit it off... and we totally did. They have a five year old who's great buddies with my boys and we see them almost every weekend. Ana's mother is Australian and as of last week Ana's officially an Australian citizen.

Erin- She's cute, spunky, down to earth, and someone you just want to hang with. We have a lot in common and I really, really like her. She's married to a nice Australian and has been here for several years now. We both enjoy Mexican food and probably would have made great roommates back in the day.

Dana- Dana's and I met recently, we live in the same neck of the woods. She's here getting her PhD, and is obviously much braver than I; I had to be convinced for months to move here-- she's doing it for the experience. She's Canadian and sporadically says "ay".

Jenny- She's new in town, only a month down and a couple years to go. We have similar aged kids and are both in the mindset of trying to do anything and everything here before our eventual move back to the U.S. I like her a lot and hope to see a lot more of her and their family.

In other news, today I was in a taxi that smelled like complete ass. I had to ride with my head literally out the window, luckily it was a very short drive. I can only wonder what in the hell that stench was, I was looking around for a dirty diaper smeared across the back seats, but found nothing. It was bad, bad news; I hope none of you ever encounter this taxi.

And since I can't get the song out of my head, I'll sign off by saying: Let's have some fun, this beat is sick, I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.

(Yes I am aware of how inappropriate that was, thanks.)



Angel said...

I spent the first year overseas feeling so sad and lonely because I wasn't brave enough to get out and mingle. I let a language barrier cripple me for the first year.
Then I got over myself, had experiences, and made friends I would never trade for anything!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Angel- Yeah, the first two months I was here I was fine. Then it hit me and I could barely even speak to anyone-- new people here nor friends or family in the U.S., because every time I went to speak I had to hold back tears. Obviously I'm better now, though I still have my moments.

nursemyra said...

don't you have any aussie friends?

Gypsy said...

That's great! I'm glad you've been able to connect with these ladies. I'm sure it makes all the difference.

hot garlic said...

Awe, isn't that sweet? Thanks for your nice bio of me, and I actually had a lot of fun reading about everyone else too.

How great that yer Mum is back in town. You guys are probably tearing it up over there.

Rassles said...

It's got to be nice, finding so many people to share with in a big foreign country. Hooray for fun.

A Free Man said...

I wish I could get my parents to come out. They're being extremely difficult about it, even with another grandchild on the way. Enjoy the visit.

How come I don't make your list? ;)

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Nursemyra- I do have Aussie friends, but this was a list of my blog friends who all happen to be North American-- I finally have Aussie friends too though!

Gypsy- It does make all the diff!

Hot Garlic- I like the way you say "mum" you really adjust well!

Rassles- Hell yeah, hooray for fun.

FreeMan- You so would have made the list if only we had met! I have several other expat friends online but this list was the people I met and actually see on a regular basis. I will totally revise the list-- just get yourself to Sydney so we can hang like big dogs.

Dr Zibbs said...

That's great you met all those people though blogging.

Marvin the Martian said...

How nice that Mummy is visiting again!

I'm reasonably sure that that song is NOT getting much airplay in the US. ;-)

Jenny said...

Thanks for welcoming us to Sydney! Glad I met you in time to be included on this list. :)

elsja said...

To quote my boyfriend (on the issue of riding in the front seat of a taxi if you are by yourself) he says...

"Actually yeah getting in the back if you don’t care about being rude is a good idea - all our taxi drivers stink."

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Dr. Zibbs- I know, it's pretty freaking cool.

Marvin- Are you sure-- I thought that song was huge in the U.S. -- huge?? hahahahaha

Jenny- And I'm so glad we did meet, it would have been a shame if we went like a whole year before getting together.

Elsja- Well I'll definitely keep that in mind for my next taxi ride!

Teresi Family Oz Blog said...

Right back at you! I don't know what I would have done those first months... Looking forward to more years of fun together.

Ronnica said...

That's great that you have your own little family over there!

JD at I Do Things said...

I'm so glad you have a gaggle of Lady Gagas. Thank goodness for blogging -- a great way to connect with people wherever you are!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Ana- Thanks, right back atcha.

Ronnica- Yeah, and for the most part they don't give too much unsolicited advice and/or tell embarrassing childhood stories-- bonus.

JD- I know, I never would have imagined myself living on the other side of the world-- and I cannot comprehend how people did this kind of thing pre-internet age.

Nicole said...

I just found your blog! I am originally from Minnesota living in Chicago now and moving to Australia next month for a year! Would love to chat sometime about your time there thus far.

Danielle said...

I just said to my husband the other night "everyone lives in Sydney? I only know 2 other bloggers in Melbourne" (sounding a bit jealous)
Maybe we will have to make a trip up there and have our own blogger convention! I do plan on visiting your beautiful city anyway, will let you know when it actually happens.

buffalodick said...

Bonding is all about finding common ground- seek and ye shall find! I was in sales as a career, and if I can't connect with you at some level after four questions, I have at least got you interested enough to keep talking!

SuperMindy said...

Awww I feel special :)

Dana said...

It made my day to be in your list of lady gagas! Even though I haven't met many of the other bloggers, I check their blogs often because it's so nice to hear from others who are going through similar experiences that I'm going through. Yay to all of us!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Nicole- Hi there! You can email me at if you wanna chat about anything here! Glad to meet you!

Danielle- I would love to meet you-- and Sydney is a great place to visit-- come on over!

Buffalodick- I also have a background in sales and it really does prepare you to meet people and make friens.

Mindy- You must feel special because you are!

Dana- It is so validating to hang with people going through similar experiences! Totes man.

Dina said...

Beautiful tribute to all your friends
: )

Christine said...

There's nothing like some girlfriends to get you through the day!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Dina- Thanks.

Christine- You got it.

Erin said...

Saving the best for last! I am FINALLY commenting on this wonderful post.

Like you, I think meeting friends, and other American expats in particular, has made all the difference in my state of mind and my over-all happiness in Australia. It is so nice to have people who can relate to you on issues that my own husband can't even understand. You know?

Yes, I think we would have made fantastic roommates in college! Not sure I would have done much studying! Ha! I agree, we have a lot in common and I'm so looking forward to many fun times to come!

I LOVE being one of your Lady Gagas! Thank you for the mention. It means a lot!