A long time ago now I began to collect jewellery as souvenirs. When I wear something I bought in a particular place or with a particular person, I think back to that time and place. And that makes me happy. My jewellery boxes are treasure chests of memories. They are a tangible connection to people and places that matter to me – my souvenirs.
I have thought a lot about what it was like to leave Australia for China. It is the only other transition of this magnitude that I’ve made in my life. I knew when I left for Beijing that it was a Real Move, a permanent change, that I would not be going back to where I was, or who I was, before. I feel the same way now – that this is a bigger change than I can articulate.
I leave Cambodia for Australia tomorrow morning, 11 years since I first moved to China. I have crammed a lot into those 11 years! My whole adult life, the whole span of time lived outside my parents’ house. My entire career. All the things I did on my own, as an independent adult, I did in those 11 years.
You might assume that as a language of pictograms, Chinese would have no acronyms. I always did. Turns out I was wrong. Chinese has a cleverly simple way to create standard abbreviations even with no phonetic alphabet.
I enjoy having an outlet for my thoughts and I am constantly surprised that many other people are interested in those thoughts. As this year comes to a close I’ve been looking back over this year’s overlap between what I find interesting and what you find interesting – the posts that received the most traffic in 2014.
This is the fourth country I’ve spent Christmas in, the tenth time I’ve spent the day outside Australia. Christmas is celebrated differently everywhere, so here are some decorations and some of my favourite Christmas videos – just for fun!
Christina and I went to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, for four days and it was lovely. This is the third country in which I’ve walked (and eaten) alongside the Mekong. I loved wandering around town.
I’ve heard people here refer to Phnom Penh as a “concrete jungle” but I find it refreshing. Buildings and gates painted in different colours, coloured corrugated iron rooves, trees dangling over walls and potted plants everywhere. I know these are small things, but they’re small things I enjoy.