My photo
Always a traveller but occasionally settled for a few years or more. I've lived in Sydney, Adelaide the longest with stints in Darwin and Perth too, as far as Australia is concerned. In terms of more than six months then I can add Rio, Cairo, London and now Madrid, for the past five years. Regular visits to rellies near Venice and jaunts to various parts of Europe keep me fresh and my larder well stocked.


Monday, 24 May 2010

Update 1

It's been a while.
Life tends to get in the way of writing and sorting put photos etc. The pressures of work (or worrying about the lack of it) can also drain your energy, convincing you that watching a movie is a better option. And sometimes it is, especially when you have very little to say.

Living in a country not your own has a complete set of problems that never even occur to citizens going through their daily grind at home. For example, having to deal with another language all day. Even if you are (more or less) fluent it can become a chore and you long to switch back to your own. Speaking your own tongue with non-natives is not quite the same and can be a bit draining as well.

For me, this situation is acerbated by the fact that I'm training others or teaching. I use my own language most of the day but I cannot do it fluently because of the requirements of my students who are paying me for my skills. This means that I tend to avoid English in social situations because it becomes a bit too much like "work" when people ask you to clarify, to correct them or to repeat many times over. The problem can become even worse with people who are fairly fluent because then you tend to forget that they do not have the cultural background, the shared history to fully understand what you're trying to say. It becomes frustrating because you wander why they don't understand something that for you is self evident. Are they stupid or what? I ask myself.

Of course not. They are going through the same emotions, feelings and frustrations when they listen to me speaking Spanish or when they say something I haven't quite grasped because I don't have the necessary baggage with me, that shared history I mentioned earlier.

I'd be interested to hear any comment or diverging points of view.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Seville & Cordoba

I have fond memories of  both Seville and Cordoba. I was in Love and went there with a beautiful lady. I had been to Seville before and wasted to show off the city. The weather was very warm to hot but it cooled down a bit at night. The hotel was great and it had very effective air conditioning the company was fantastic, the food was good and the colours spectacular. The orange blossoms had gone but there was still the perfume of the fruit in the air so the whole "package" was quite wonderful.

Thursday, 13 May 2010


I started life very young and have travelled since the beginning.
We were expatriates when I was born and I am an expatriate now, living in Madrid.

But then, what does the word "expatriate" mean if you don't really have a Patria or "Fatherland" from the translation. Yes, I am Australian and I feel Australian, some of the time. But I don't have the Ocker accent everyone expects. Comes from having emigrated there (not just me, the whole family) when I was about eleven years old, I guess.

I also have an Italian passport because that was my parent's nationality and you always keep your father's nationality regardless of where your parents happen to be when you pop out. In the US and other countries it's a different story. Deep down I feel Italian, sometimes, and those roots really come to the fore often enough. But I don't have a strong Italian accent either. I also am not very fluent in any dialect (very important in Italy) though I am pretty good at understanding Venetian.

So there you have it: sometimes dazed, often confused but still managing to get through life with a smile (or a sneer) on my face.

What's your story?