The Sunshine Award – Expat Style

I was tagged recently by Marielle Green for the Sunshine Award.  As a first time recipiant of this I really wanted to participate so have taken a week off from my Self Portrait challenge (to resume next Saturday).  Here is the general procedure:

  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you. 
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List bloggers.
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate and let them know they have been nominated.

11 Random Facts (of my life as an expat)

  1. I have not driven a car in a two and a half years, since moving abroad.
  2. I am technically a dual citizen living in the country where I am an expat. 
  3. I have more books about travel, languages, or that take places in other countries than I do anything else on our book shelves. 
  4. I get my food delivered to the house from local organic farms. Which means I’ve swapped waiting in long queues and maneuvering around busy grocery stores for cleaning the dirt off of my vegetables and enjoying raw milk. 
  5. I do not like Starbucks.  I have never liked their coffee because I grew up drinking ‘real’ espresso in Italy as a teenager, and find the taste to come off like burnt coffee beans.  I find their drinks that contain syrups way too sweet.  With that said I used to go there all the time as our ‘meet up’ place with my military wife friends.  I used to love getting their ice tea in Hawaii but now that I live in England I would rather go somewhere for tea where I feel like I am treating myself to a nice day out with service that includes sitting down with a menu.  I will say I appreciate people who go there so much they bring their own reusable cup to help the environment.  I have my own Starbucks reusable tumbler from Hawaii that I still use at home. 
  6. I dread package slips. Before expat life a package slip was exciting and it was followed by excitement over who it is for, who it is from, and what could be inside.  If I am excited now it is because solely it made it to us and did not get lost in the mail. However a package slip now means that it was delivered while we were out of the house and either too big to fit through the mail slot in our door or that it has to be signed for and so it went back to the post office.  While we have a post office on our high street in town, a mere five minutes away it is not where our packages go when they need to be picked up.  They go into town and that involves either a forty minute walk into town or I need to shell out the £ for bus.  A taxi is about £10 one way so to just pick up one parcel is not worth that option. So that is why I dread package slips.
  7. I miss my american sized dryer and being able to dry my clothes quickly. It is the one thing of my specific expat life that I would change if I could.  The last three places we have lived at here in England have had a washing machine (small like an american dorm sized fridge) but no dryer. Which means if it is sunny and warm enough we dry our clothes outside and if now we dry them inside. This involves clothes on our radiators at all times and on clothing racks that take up a lot of space in our house. The laundry is never completely finished and I find myself fantasizing about throwing in a large load of laundry in a dryer to have it dry within the hour. 
  8. I never liked ‘domestic’ beer in the US but would drink imported beer from Germany or Belgium.  Here in England I still like a good beer or ale but I tend to drink cider more often.  It is my favourite weekend treat!
  9. I love planning new trip and journeys. At any time I have several trips in the planning stages. Some nearby in England and others in the world. I am looking forward to Christmas 2014 where my family has talked about going to Austria or Munich, Germany. 
  10. I can always find new things to document and take photos of where I live in England. It makes being an expat always exciting especially living in a place that has seasons.
  11. I am fluent in English but have known Italian and German at different times in my life. I am now trying to work on German with my boys with the hope that one day I can say I am fluent in two languages. 
The Interview
  1. What do you plan to do today? I am going house/flat hunting with my family as we are moving out of the place where we live this Christmas.  
  2. What fictional character do you most identify with? Vianne Roche from Chocolat.
  3. If you wrote a novel, what would it be about? A group of people from different backgrounds who challenge the ways their societies have formed their worldview by the relationships they form with each other. 
  4. What’s something your readers might not know about you? I wear glasses. I tend to not wear them when I photograph myself. One day I will go back to contacts again. 
  5. What album could you play on repeat all day? It really changes every day as my music selection can be quite eclectic. However, Lana Del Rey and High Flying Birds has been playing quite a bit recently. 
  6. What color(s) do you wear most and why? I am trying to wear more ‘Angelina Jolie’ inspired shades of monochromatic and neutrals with colour saved for special occasions or nights outs. 
  7. Do you like watching crappy movies? Modern ones probably a no…but I love watching films from the 80’s and early 90’s that I watched as a kid.  
  8. What’s your favorite for a good laugh? Captain Ron with Martin Short and Kurt Russell. 
  9. Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Both.
  10. Opera or musicals? Both. 
  11. Classic films or classic lit? I like to read the book first. 

The Eleven Questions

  • Something you are looking forward to in the next fortnight (two weeks)?
  • What is one thing your readers may not know about you?
  • What is a short time goal you are currently working on?
  • What is a lifetime dream you would love to achieve?
  • If you were to have a dinner party what celebrity would you invite?
  • Favourite comfort food?
  • If you were to have a quite night in what film could you watch over and over?
  • Is there a book you have been wanting to read but have not yet?
  • Your next dream vacation will be to where?
  • If you wrote a book (fiction or non fiction) what would it be about?
  • Favourite item you own?

A list of bloggers I have tagged for the Sunshine Award. No worries if you are busy or have already been nominated.

  • Bonnie Rose

    We’re thinking that when we move overseas, we probably wouldn’t have a car either…and I’m slightly concerned I might forget how to drive if I don’t do it for years at a time! My family finally bought a small dryer after 6 years living overseas without one–and it’s very nice not to have a house covered in clothes any more!

  • Bonnie Rose

    We do not have a car and I was so scared when I went back to California this summer for vacation since it has been two years since I had driven!

  • Bonnie Rose

    Thanks so much for nominating me, Bonnie! I’ll make sure to take a little time this week to write this post up, since I don’t have time to do it today. I can’t wait to do this, looks like fun! :)
    xx Sarah

  • Bonnie Rose

    Thanks for participating! I enjoyed reading your answers. I knew dryers were rare in Korea and China, but I didn’t know it was the same in England! That was definitely something I missed while I was abroad.

  • Bonnie Rose

    I hate getting package slips too! Not as much now in that I’m lucky La Poste is only a short walk away, but when I lived in Dublin, it basically meant I had to take time off of work to pick something up. Total pain in my petunia!

  • Bonnie Rose

    I love this expat-twist you gave this :) And it was lovely reading your responses :)