Whenever I have inspiration for my next blog, I have to start writing straight away! I’m currently on a plane flying up to Cairns for the weekend to meet my partner and his parents who are over on holiday from Scotland, and I’m having a moment of gratitude for being able to live in such an amazing country.
I think it’s fantastic that Australia has been built on immigration, and I thought my next blog could give some insight into living and working in a multi-cultural environment - from a girl who had never heard of Lebanon and who thought the Vatican was the vampire royal family in twilight!
When I first arrived in Australia, I did what any other backpacker does and started to look for regional work (we have to do 3 months of this to get a second working holiday visa). I learnt very early on that in some parts of Australia, it is incredibly behind the times, and I witnessed unfair treatment towards my new Swedish and Italian friends which I thought was outrageous. These guys could speak English better than me and still, they were spoken to terribly and given the ‘crap’ jobs over the more desirable jobs. I made a pact to myself right then that I would always go out of my way to make people feel accepted and equal.
Then when I moved to Sydney, I was paying an extortionate amount in weekly hostel costs, so I started to look for an apartment. When I learned that I could only afford one bed in a room of 4 beds, I was a little apprehensive. The only time I’d ever heard of 8 people staying in a two-bedroom flat was on the TV program UK Border Force!!!
Staying in a shared apartment room for 3 months was an eye-opener and I learnt a lot:
Never leave Jaffa cakes in the fridge (they will get eaten),
Always get your washing in the washing machine before everyone else gets home and most importantly,
The best earplugs are the squishy ones!!
Starting work in Sydney meant new colleagues from all over the world!! At Kennedy Reid now we represent 15 countries and collectively speak 12 languages. I’m always amazed by people who speak more than one language - respect to you all!! Working with these legends has exposed me to copious amounts of new foods which I’ll be eternally grateful for. And thanks to the Kennedy Reid Accountant (my work BFF Grace Dong), I now no longer have to rely on someone else to order for me in a Chinese restaurant!! Winning at life!!
Probably the most I’ve learnt about culture is about my own. I’ve learnt I drink A LOT of tea, that I can’t live without my trashy UK TV shows and my western accent is so bad at trying to pronounce people’s names, my colleague ‘Lynee’ just shakes her head at me now.
If anyone from back home is reading this, I hope I don’t offend anyone when I say, people can be quite ignorant where I am from, and I truly believe once you are exposed to different cultures and make friends with people you would have never had met, it changes your whole outlook on life. I would urge anyone to pack up and try living and working in a different city, even just for a short while.
Until next time I get an inspiration urge... Ciao, zaijian, tschüss, see-ya!