Thursday, April 16, 2009

Expat Dreams...

Image from

For years and years I have dreamt of being an expat, in some far off place drinking Pimms and feeling all colonial and fabulous. It started with my dream of becoming a diplomat. I was all set to give it a whirl until I found out in second year uni that it is the career diplomats who get the crappy postings and the political appointees who get the swanky roles. Not one for politics I soon ditched that plan. became a criminal defence lawyer and never looked back...

Well I did, once or twice but then I reminded myself if I joined DFAT I'd be posted out to somewhere like The Sudan and it wouldn't really be all Pimmsy there now would it?!

Lucky for me my husband also has a love of travel and he has also wanted to nab an overseas posting. Just when we were ready to transfer offshore with his job, we went on our honeymoon and as fate would have it we fell pregnant with our little Tinker. A wonderful blessing! Suddenly our plans went from wanting a funky OS expat life to wanting a house in the suburbs.

Now we have the big old suburban home (with all its dramas- don't mention the slate roof leaking) we are starting to itch again for a move offshore. Somewhere different, somewhere foreign not a culture like ours... Asia maybe? Thailand? Hong Kong? The idea of a live in domestic helper is very appealing when you have young children.

Often I like to excuse my housewifery failings with thoughts of 'well if I was in Singapore with my live in helper I'd totally have time to make a 4 course meal' and so on. Anyway I was faced with some rather overdue chores today and instead of actually doing the pile of handwash-only items I sat down and read the news and stumbled upon this article here about the maid who laced her employer's meals with her own menstrual blood.

Apparently she believed it had some medicinal powers to improve the relationship with her employers. Ok so I've totally gone off my expat idea for the time being. Convenient really because there are no jobs offshore so we are stuck here anyway!

Article in full here:,27574,25342581-13762,00.html


  1. Hi :)

    I love your blog.

    I'm 21 years old, restless, cynical, and could never see myself "domesticated". At age 17 I moved from Switzerland to the Philippines because of my Wanderlust. People call me 'cynical bitch', 'antithesis of happiness', or even 'Lesbian' (and it's not even true, it's just that people think that since I refuse to love someone, I must be gay. haha). Anyway, if you read my blog, it will be painfully clear to you, that I pretty much devote my Life to the task of Rambling, Ranting, and more Rambling.

    But what I'm trying to tell you, is, that after reading your blog, I thought to myself: "hey, maybe you can be 'domesticated', a happy wife/mother, a hopeless cynic, and an annoying brat all at the same time."

    And that's just that. Nice to know there is someone awesome out there.

  2. Thanks for your "random ramblings"... they made me feel very much at home!

    I also enjoy dreaming, scheming and planning, even if I do have to make contingencies for all the changes that come my way!

    I just came back from Singapore and think there are a few more stories out there like that...

    but if your housewifery skills are anything like your writing skills, I'm sure you are a brilliant success, even without the crazy housemaid!

    Good luck with everything, looking forward to more stories :)

  3. Congrats on being a blog of note.
    I like your post on wanting to be an expat. That has always been a dream of mine, and fortunately or unfortunately my dream came true. I guess it depends on how you look at it.
    Any how being an expat living in an English speaking country would have been great but instead we picked the straw that would send us to Japan! My family and I closed our eyes and boarded the plane.
    I invite you to visit my blog if you have some extra time and ask questions if you like.
    Your stories are interesting. Congrats again. :)

  4. Wows congratulations for getting featured on blogger home page.

    UFO Blogger

  5. I also line up my spice rack as you describe so eloquently. Once when I was drunk I got confused and put cardomon where the cinnamon should have been. Can you say FIASCO.

  6. Carolyn, you are famous around these parts!Your witty writing touches many - your readers "get" your dry sense of humour. You have a unique way of looking at life. I often chuckle out loud reading your posts...

    I digress...

    8 years ago I lived the Expat dream in Hong Kong and had all of its trappings - maid, money, time to kill. The one thing missing was love. Fast forward 8 years - no maid, no money, no time to kill but an abundance of love. I know what I prefer!

  7. woww.. nice blog, nice articles and I think you feel happy when you said that...... And.... fresh drink, of course!!!

  8. Haha, I actually am an expat girlfriend living in Hong Kong. We don't drink a lot of Pimm's, and don't have a maid (I know, the horror), but it's pretty fun otherwise.

  9. I've often considered it myself but it would be hard to leave my homeland for good...

  10. I have to say I have a lot of catching up to do in life including blogging as this is all new to me. I am enjoying the thought of reading all you have written here. Your words and ideas are inspiring! ThanQ for sharing them with us all!

  11. Congrats on getting featured!
    I really enjoyed reading your blog and your latest entry. I too dream of being an expat. My brother moved to Indonesia 7 years ago from NYC. He certainly hasn't looked back and has a hard time adjusting when he comes to visit.

    I always say things have a way of working out. Maybe when your child is older you can have it all.

  12. Doesn't being an expat sound dreamy and magical? I plan to become one once again, just as soon as I pick a career, or a lifestyle or a hairstyle for that matter... I'm enjoying your blog!

  13. Congrats on being a blog of note! I too am a former career woman trying to play the part of a good housewife. What a change to get used to!

    Glad there is someone out there for me to relate to. I look forward to reading more of your adventures and stories!

  14. I enjoyed reading your blog and will have to come back and read more. Please visit mine sometime.


  15. Many congratulations on being a Blog of Note! Although that story about the maid "lacing" her employers' food is pretty grim I have to say :-D

    Personally I was - briefly - an expat in Shanghai, China before returning back to the UK, and I loved every minute of it. No problems with our maid, I have to say :-) If you do decide to move, am sure you'll love it.

  16. I love your itch to wander as I've found myself longing to be in Korean or anywhere in Asia for that matter...I had the goal of being a court interpreter (spanish) but find myself longing for kids and being a housewife...keep in mind I'm only 22...kinds are saved for at the earliest 28 for some way I connected to your post as I desire to just get up and go..where? I do not know but the Earth is calling me from some faraway land

  17. Glad to be here...have really enjoyed what I've read so far!!

  18. You don't have time to make a four course meal? Shame on you girl, and get you back to Good Housewife School, we all did really well there....

  19. so many mom blogs out there and it's hard to dig through them all! but, i am so glad i found yours. funny, honest, and...lovely...i'm going to follow! and...drum roll please...i have a blog too! and, guess what it's about...being a mom! would love to have you check out and follow if you wish.

  20. I am a senior in college and I cant wait to make my expat dreams come true! Although I plan to make it a habit and probably move to a new country every 3 years or so- life's too short to enjoy only one culture. And your little 'tinker' would be forever grateful fr being exposed to different cultures for a young age, Not to mention kids learn languages so fast! You'll have your own little Singaporean-American! good luck!:)

  21. WOW! It's SO colourful! I LOVE IT! How do you make it? My e-mail is
    IF you want to reply, reply in my e-mail please! Also, if you have MSN, please add me! My MSN is the same as my e-mail! Also, if you have MSN, please tell me what your MSN is in my e-mail! Thank-you!
    P.S: Keep on blogging!

    Christy Wong

  22. Talking of maids, our's in South Africa had her baby and the next day was back at work, baby wrapped in a large scarf around her waist, baby breast feeding away, her hands free to work. The next thing, shes mowing the lawn, baby still feeding. I was motified, it took me so long to get use to a maid in the first place, but she wouldn't have it any other way. I laugh now, but at the time.
    Oh, and sundowners out in the Savannah at night, the most beautiful drinks you will ever have. Why am I back in Oz????

  23. im new to this but i like reading your blog it's almost like reading a modern epistolary novel - which it probably is

  24. Hello! I was literally just considering applying for a job to teach English overseas - I'm getting a wee bit desperate is all. Isn't it funny you say this?

    I struggle with friends who have moved to America from another culture - I cannot imagine having to make the same adaptations myself.

  25. Hey there,

    Just letting you know you are listed in Blogger's 'Blog of Note' list :)

    Viv xx

  26. Don't give up the dream.(Notice the conspicuous lack of an exclamation mark.)
    The life's pretty good, can be very suburban and such, potential menstrual blood in the food aside, or the maid making it possible for you to bathe in your own feces (full, and creepy, details in my blog).
    And this is coming from a tried and tested (more often than not) expat-missus via Greece, England, France, Denmark, Mexico and currently South Africa.

  27. meanwhile, i dream of "expatting" to Australia!!

  28. I must be doing something wrong, I have been living the expat life for over a year and have not yet had one single Pimms!