Tag Archives: culture

Culture shock. Again.

Just when I think that maybe twelve years is enough to give me an exemption from culture shock, another layer of it comes.

And really, I know better.

Every few months I hear a phrase I’ve never heard, understand a pop culture reference that previously went over my head, or am baffled by something I see on an Aussie TV program and I’m struck with a tiny little bout of culture shock, which fades as quickly as it landed.

This morning it happened while singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

You guys, the motions are different here. *gasp*

What?? Seriously?

Yup, for real.

Instead of flicking their entire hands from clinched fists to fingers extended like blinking lights, they extend all ten fingers wide and make them wiggle tiny little wiggles. (Like I would make to demonstrate rain.) The movements are small and delicate… kind of like twinkling stars. 

Imagine that.

And maybe this is a little thing, but it kind of spun me out.

I realized that the songs I’ve been singing to my littles at home will be taught differently at kindy or preschool or when they’re watching Playschool on the telly. Sometimes it’s the motions that are a bit different, and sometimes the tune actually varies!

I’ve seen this before but kind-of brushed it off, thinking that the person I saw or heard must not know the song properly. But now it’s starting to sink in that they do know the song properly… just differently to me.

As silly as it sounds it’s sent me into culture shock all over again.

Different is not wrong, it’s just different” is my motto when it comes to all things culture-shock-ish, but it doesn’t mean I don’t like it my way better. (Just keepin’ it real here, friends.)

Anyway, I will continue to teach my kids the American version of things (it’s called the “trunk” of the car, not the “boot”) and their dad and everyone else around them can go all Australian on them I guess. Cuz even if my littles are Aussie, and end up doing everything the Aussie way, at least maybe they can understand a tiny bit of their American heritage too. Even if it is just the way we sing I’m a Little Teapot.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you experience culture shock in your own family? Maybe you and your partner aren’t from different nations but you might have very different family backgrounds or life experiences. How do you meld two worlds into one?

 

Love,
A

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Celebrate, we will

We spent $8 and one hour decorating a wagon in red, white, and blue for tomorrow’s old fashioned pet parade.

Although the kids are still pretty little we know they’ll love it. And since we have no idea when we’ll get to celebrate another 4th of July we’re doing it, well, biggish.

It feels like an eternity ago that I was a kid riding my bike in the parade. Dressing in silly outfits and having my own children in the parade was a million miles from my mind.

But here I am, so excited about some old fashioned small town parade and festivities.

We’ll hit up the free pancake breakfast, enjoy the parade, and roam around the park filled with three-legged races, hoola hooping, and other “old fashioned” games.

And though the boys are far too young to understand what it is to be American, they will understand that it’s something worth celebrating.

Celebrate, we will.

Happy 4th my friends.

STOP.

 

Q for you: If you are American, what are you doing for the 4th?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


What if your kid becomes instantly famous?

I can’t watch talent shows anymore without thinking, “what if that was Levi?” (Or Judah.)

It’s crazy to think that in fifteen or twenty years time, one of them could find themselves on a show like The Voice (our current favorite).

When I was a kid I would have watched wondering, “what if that was me one day?” but now my mind automatically leaps to the next generation.

All parents want to raise their kids to have good character and be able to handle themselves well under pressure. But what about the pressure of fame?

What if I was to raise my kids now as if they might someday be instantly famous? What if I was to pour as much into seeing them develop in integrity, self control, kindness, generosity, and humility that they could perhaps one day handle that kind of pressure – the weight of the spotlight?

The thought of that scares me a little. (Okay, a lot.)

Ultimately, I’ll do the best I can. But I’m so glad it doesn’t solely depend on me.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What character traits do you think are most important for a person who ends up becoming famous?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Staying trendy: chevron nail polish?

I wouldn’t say I’m trendy, but I do try to stay current as much as I’m able.

One thing I just can’t get into, however, is this painting your nails with different colors and shapes thing. Stripes, zig-zags, polka dots, angled tips, curved tips.

Nope, don’t like it.

I think it would be fun for a tween, or maybe even a teenager, perhaps. But a thirty-something woman? Just seems a little wanna-be to me.

(Please don’t be offended if you like it – you do your thing, I’ll do mine.)

I’ve never really been a nail painter in general. I think I’ve painted my nails less than 10 times in my whole life. Ok, maybe more. But every time I do I clean it off moments or hours later. I just don’t like the looks of it on me. (I always said it made me look like a mom – haha – but I suppose I’ve not tried it since becoming a mom. Maybe it’s time for another shot?)

So considering I’m not even into nail painting, I guess it’s not surprising that I’m not into nail decorating either.

Who knows, maybe I’m just showing my age here. But it’s very hard for me to accept the current nail trends in any way, shape or form.

Am I getting old?

Will I change my mind in a year’s time when it’s all “so last year”? (HA!)

STOP.

 

Q for you: Fancy nails – yay or nay?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


City and country

I’ll probably never fully be able to understand it or explain it.

I was born and raised in small towns but I feel most at home in the city. Always have.

I remember as a kid going to Portland – a small city that I thought of as a “big city” back then. It always gave me a thrill. I loved the traffic and freeways and tall buildings and bustle.

I loved the fashion. I loved the movement.

I’ve never been to a city I didn’t love, although I’ve travelled in cities all over the world in both developed and developing countries.

But no matter where they are, cities captivate me.

The countryside is gorgeous and I adore the mountains… but I’m happy to seek rest there and then return to “normalcy” in the city where life bursts from the seams and sidewalks are filled with diversity and rhythm.

I’ve always known I would be a city girl.

As an adult I understand the pull a bit more:

I love the nations and they way they melt into urban centers and yet still bring with them so much culture and interest. (There’s a togetherness in the separateness–and a separateness in the togetherness–which I love.)

I love the beauty they offer – the art, the music, the theater, the style.

I love that they are a microcosm and a snapshot of the nation at large.

I love that they are the seat of power and government and commerce and education.

I love them so much that I find it hard to understand why anyone would want to live anywhere else.

And yet after seven years of living in the city I’m once again living in a small town (and have for the last four years).

We’ve never really been a great fit – the small town and I.

And yet I know I’m where I should be – my small town by the sea.

If I’m lucky, someday I’ll live in my city by the sea.

Sydney would do just fine.

STOP.

 

 

Q for you: Are you a city person or a small town person?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink FIve | Five minutes a day, unedited


Confession: I’m a sucker for reality TV

We love reality tv shows around here. LOVE.

Not what you’re thinking (Jersey Shores, The Bachelor). We love the talent competition ones.

First it was American Idol. Then, Australian Idol.

Then it was So You Think You Can Dance, the American version. (Yes, Ryan liked it just as much as me!!)

When that wore off, we got right into Master Chef for one or two seasons, the Aussie one.

That one got annoying because it was on six nights a week. SIX. (And it’s highly addictive!! Who wants to be “chained” to a show nearly every night a week?!!!)

Last year we got into The Block and Top Design. I was kinda obsessed with these shows. Seriously. I lovelovelove design and decorating. Ryan was almost equally into it. (It would be hard to equal my passion on this one.)

This year? Well, the Block is on again. (Yayyayayay!) But we’re also now ADDICTED to The Voice – the Aussie version.

The judges – Seal, Delta, Keith, Joel. Hello, they are the perfect line up!!

I think Ryan has a celebrity man-crush on Keith Urban. And I so get it – he’s so adorable!

And Delta just might be the most beautiful woman on the planet. Pretty sure I gush about her every ad break.

Joel is hilarious in a wear-it-on-your-sleeve kind of way. (He annoyed us as first and has now won both of us over.)

And then there’s Seal. (Need I say more?)

And the competitors? So. Awesome. So. Talented.

We were so excited to watch it tonight that we actually let Levi watch the first 1/2 hour with us since it started at 6:30.

As strange as this sounds… I felt like such a “real” little family sitting there, all watching The Voice together. Flash back 20 years and we would have been gathered around the little tely watching Young Talent Time.

Levi was captivated! Of course he’s obsessed with music so it was right up his ally… but I think there was also the I’m-up-at-night-watching-tv-like-a-big-boy-with-mom-and-dad factor that was pretty fun for him too.

Even Judah woke up so that he could be a part of the action. (cheeky baby.)

I so enjoyed having my boys piled on the couch with us as we enjoyed good music and watching people step out in faith to pursue their dreams.

We couldn’t help but wonder as we were watching… what would we do if one of our littles were on that stage one day?

STOP.

 

Q for you: Reality TV – yay or nay??

 

Love,
A

p.s. Another confession: I went over time today. Like a minute.

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Does going to the movies alone make me an introvert?

Are you an introvert? Or an extravert?

This question has always confused me.

I’m not shy.

If there’s a party or something fun happening I’d like to be there. (Please invite me!)

I don’t normally have a hard time making friends.

Usually I’m pretty confortable in social settings.

But also…

Ask me my favorite way to spend a day at my discrepancy?

Alone. Probably a cafe or beach or shopping will be involved. There will be books, perhaps music, a nap, my computer (no internet necessary).

And maybe, maaaaybe a friend.

But probably not. Probably I’ll be on my own.

Does this mean I’m in introvert?

I used to go to the movies alone sometimes, on purpose.

Introvert?

I love hosting parties.

Extrovert?

Anyway, who cares really. It is what it is. I think I’ve written on this before actually, but lately I just keep seeing things online about being introverted so I suppose it’s on my mind a little.

And to be honest? Tonight I just didn’t feel like writing and so decided I would write the first thing that popped into my mind.

So there it is.

Introverted or extraverted, that is the question.

But it doesnt’ really matter, right? At the end of hte day, we all need people… adn we all need to be alone.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Does it really matter?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Passing over (chaos) and holy communion

I imagined that tonight I would write something about Passover after returning from a beautiful feast put on by our YWAM community.

Something deep and spiritual and lovely.

And yet truthfully? My family adn I showed up ten minutes late after frantically tying sheets on like togas and forgetting the baby food and tripping over all sorts of unfinished business around hte house.

The beautiful meal was all laid out for us, adn many had taken great care in preparing the food and atmosphere and explanations of all of hte symbolism to help us understand adn breathe deeply, receive and have revelation.

Yet most of my evening was spent cleaning up spilled “wine” (cordial), toddler taming, and fretting about my baby’s growing over-tiredness. So much so that I was barely able to follow along with much of hte flow of hte evening.

Despite my lack of “passover-ing” I had a beautiful moment of catching up with an old friend who I haven’t seen in four years. In hushed tones while the program went on we swapped stories of life – triumph and victories as well as struggles and hardships – adn then spent a few quiet moments praying for each other.

“Were we supposed to be having communion?” my friend asked me.

The truth is, we were having communion – sharing the reality of Jesus through our lives and circumstances and care for one another.

It’s Holy Week, a time for remembering Jesus – who he is and what he’s done for us. And also for remembering who he lives within… us.

STOP.

Q for you: Are you observing Passover or other elements of Holy Week?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five | Minutes a day, unedited. 
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


Wel-a-come [with head shaking “yes” side-to-side] to the best, most wonderful, exotic, truly beautiful, luxurious and historic, most awe-inspiring hotel in all of India…

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

That’s what my friend told me as we pulled up to the theater.

I haven’t been to a movie in ages and had no idea what was out (except for the Hunger Games – who could not know that’s out?) so I was happy to let her chose the movie and surprise me. After all, she was treating me.

She told me a few times what we were seeing but the name was too long for me to remember.

We sat in the dark as the trailers ran and I asked, “Is is a drama? A comedy? A thriller?”

I had absolutely no idea.

“If I didn’t know you so well,” I said chuckling to her, “I’d be afraid you’re taking me to a porno.”

She looked at me curiously…

“The best exotic hotel?” I questioned (not being able to remember the rest of the name).

She assured me it was not a porno. (Far from it!)

Imagine my surprise and delight when some of the opening scenes revealed that the film is set in India.

Oh my heart. Love.

And then of course the title also made so much sense.

To be honest, it probably could have been a below average movie and I still would have loved it just based on the fact that it was India, blessed India.

She really was one of the main “characters”.

It was a sweet line up of Brittish stars (ie Judy Dench, Maggie Smith,e tc.) and a nice little story line about a bunch of seniors “finding themselves” during a sort of “gap year” for the elderly. (Minus the “year” part.)

(Oh, it also had the adorable star of Slumdog Millionaire… whose name I can’t recall.)

Sweet little story line, quirky characters, and ohhhh beautiful India.

I left with a big smile on my face and a skip in my step.

India. If nothing else, India……. *sigh*

I had no idea that going to the movies on a Wednesday night would leave me so incredibly stir crazy to get out of here.

STOP.

 

Q for you: This was probably the worst (non) movie review ever written considering I mostly just waffled on and on about India. Have you seen the film? What did you think?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting on The Mommyhood Memos


A woman’s right to choose

I saw a documentary last night called the Face of Birth. It highlights issues of maternal care in Australia, particularly homebirth and women’s right to choose what kind of a birth they’d like.

I completely understand why some women want to give birth in hospitals.

And I completely understand why some women do not.

There are compelling and legitimate reasons on either side of the fence.

Here in Australia, the “medicine” is socialized, meaning the goverment pays for it. (To an extent. Well, we pay our taxes and then they pay for our health care.)

I think it’s genius, socialized medicine. I mean seriously… public health care makes so much sense. (But that’s another post entirely.)

For me this means that i’ve had two babies – one by c-section, one by VBAC (vaginal birth after c/s) – and I’ve not paid a dime for any pre- or postnatal care, birth, or hospital stays. (This includes numerous “special” tests with Judah, both while in the womb and after he was born.) And with both babies I’ve received very good care that I will always be thankful for.

As an American I find this amazing and almost miraculous compared to our current system.

But as the wonder of socialized medicine is becoming more and more normal to me, I’m also realizing that Australia, too, has flaws in the “system.”

And stipulatons on how and where to give birth is an area that really does desperately need updating and improving.

Australia, like many developed nations, has a good health care system. But it is not great. There needs to be reforms so that women can give birth in the most natural, empowering environments possible with skilled attendents to assist and provide the “medical” care that is needed. (This is even more highlighted in indigenous areas where women are subject to some horrible requirements that would make any informed person shudder. But again, that’s also another post.)

We need to empower women to understand birth – the importance of it for both child AND mother – and then enable them to pursue the kind of childbirth that best serves their family and future.

Regardless of whether you think homebirth is for you or not, I pose the question:

Does a woman have the right to choose how to embark on this most precious and life-altering rite of passage? And isn’t what’s best for the baby intertwined with what’s best for the mother?

Or perhaps an even bigger question: Isn’t God big enough to design a process that serves mother and child simultaneously???

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you ever considered homebirth? What about a woman’s right to choose what type of birth she will have?

 

Love,
A

p.s. I will certainly explore some of these subjects further, probably both here and with more time and consideration on my other blog. For now, this was all I could pound out in my five minutes.

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos