I cooked a feast of “normal” home cooking style food. This is comfort food for me – the flavours of local Beijing. There was something so special about sharing the taste of home with the people who are my new home. I felt homesick and at home all at once. It’s been a good day.
My month in the US ended with an evening flight on Christmas Day. My family were all catching up after Christmas anyway, so I got to celebrate Christmas TWICE – on two different continents.
The views were spectacular! The rocky cliffs, with their windswept sandstone. The deep blue of open ocean. The view across the heads and Sydney Harbour toward the city centre itself. Standing there soaking up the views, sun on my face and wind in my hair – it was hard not to love this city I’m in!
Floriade is an annual festival in Canberra where over a million flowers are brought together in big, bright displays. Tulips, daffodils, bluebells, hyacinth, pansies, poppies and more are carefully arranged into designs based around a theme.
When I started attending my church I didn’t realised I’d stumbled upon the oldest building in Ashfield. The foundation stone of St John’s was laid in 1840, and last week the church had a 175th anniversary celebration.
My family moved from Sydney to Canberra in early 1991, when I was eight years old. I never quite got over my Sydney snobbery, and made jokes at Canberra’s expense. That said, I have learned to appreciate Canberra – especially its beautiful parks and weather.
I have really noticed the presence, and variety, of birds living in Sydney. About half the birds in Australia are found nowhere else on Earth. Lyrebirds are fascinating creatures; the males put on a song and dance, mimicking different bird calls and even some non-natural sounds.
I think what has amazed me most about being in Australia is the way my senses seem to have come alive. Sydney is a rainbow of bright colours, plus sight, sound, scent, and texture. There is a blessing in having lived apart from this sense-awakening atmosphere for so long – I think I notice and appreciate it in a way others don’t, or perhaps can’t.
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. Yes, Canberra. Not Sydney or Melbourne (the largest cities, with 4.5 million people each) but Canberra, with a population of less than 400,000. This is the story of creating a capital city in the middle of nowhere…
Vaucluse House is an early colonial property on the south head of Sydney Harbour. It was the first historical museum in Australia, open to the public for 100 years. The house is filled with original and authentic furnishing; the gardens are beautiful – with huge trees, rolling lawns, and a 150 year old fountain.
I’ve written before about a number of Chinese festivals – learning about and participating in Chinese festivals was a great way to learn about the culture in which I was living. Now that I’m living in Sydney, it’s time for me to learn a little about the local culture here, so in the past week or so I’ve been to two local festivals!
I’ve been here 4+ months now; it’s been 9 months since I left China. Life has felt different, easier, over the past month – which made more clear how difficult the first few months were. Each month is easier and more enjoyable than the one before – I can’t ask for much more than that.