To Not Be A Typical Asian

So today’s post is slightly different as its about me and sort of a personal essay about growing up here in Melbourne. I did spend a lot of time as a child living overseas but I couldn’t really say I thought about much of this then only really in my teens and now.

I’m a 3rd generation Australian, my grandparents were the migrants that came to start a new life here. I don’t have any connection to the homeland or the places that inform my background other than what my family does now in terms of traditions. These traditions are tied to a sense of family and almost always surrounded by the food from my Chinese and Sri Lankan background.

Yes, you read that right, Chinese and Sri Lankan. I’m mixed and whilst being of a mixed race or ethnic background is very common in our globalised world I’ve been made aware by friends and strangers alike that this is not very common a mix. Mainly strangers express disbelief and ask me; are you sure? Of course, do you think I wouldn’t know my own ethnic background! My favourite of course are those that truly believe that I must be half white and some form of half Asian as explained by my semi-American, specifically Texan accent mixed with in with the Aussie one. I find this bizarre and funny…

In saying all this I’m very proud to have this background as it is what makes me ME. I am also extremely lucky to have never personally experienced anything racist or been judged on my background. I cannot say the same for my parents or my grandparents though. I very much consider myself to be Australian and growing up particularly as a teenager and as an adult now I did and do wonder if I was the “non-typical Asian” for both my Chinese and Sri Lankan sides. I didn’t attend Chinese school on the weekends or speak any language other than English at home.

I have grappled with this concept of being a “non-typical Asian” most of my adult life and to be honest I think I have pushed away from my “Asianness” not because I’m ashamed or don’t like my cultural background but because in someways I cannot connect to it. I’ve grown up in the US and Australia and remained in Australia through university and majority of my working career. As a teenager at school this was all I knew and often couldn’t understand why some of my friends who were also Asian were saying they couldn’t do certain things such as sleepovers or take public transport to Camberwell on a Friday after school. I obviously could if I asked my parents politely and they knew where I was going and who I was with. To ask your parents to go out was unthinkable for some of my Asian friends and sometimes involved elaborate lies of where they were and what they were doing.

To them I was the most Australian Asian they have ever met and I had the best life. My husband to this day thinks this and I guess thats what happens for 3rd generation and beyond. What I have come to realise is that my family assimilated over time and those cultural customs and attitudes slowly faded away. That is not to say everything has as there are some things that still stick and what I see now is that it must be hard to keep them alive over extended periods of times and I guess thats what my friends parents were trying to do….

I was raised with my family’s cultural upbringings but also with the sense to explore things like the arts and sport. I had the chance to be in bands and get the thrill of hearing an audience give a round of applause to me and my fellow bandmates; perform in plays at school; and play different sports each season that even included weekends where my parents ferried me to different matches all year. In saying all this they knew the importance of education and making sure I did well in school. I knew I personally wouldn’t be a lawyer or a doctor but there were other things that I was passionate about like reading, writing, politics, fashion and art for example. I was allowed to discover what I wanted to do on my own. This is considered not very Asian at all as I was not pushed into a career field, I was allowed to explore as long as I had a plan and was not aimlessly siting on my butt for days.

I now know I didn’t have a typically Asian upbringing which ended up informing the way I feel as a “non-typical Asian”. I didn’t know better and I just grew up the way I was meant to. I am proud of my background and the cultures that I come from and I think I will always feel not very Asian despite my appearance but that is ok. I have been carving out my own traditions now with my husband who is also from another background and we just keep moving forward with our heritage with us.

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My Bali…

Hi everyone welcome back..

Today I wanted to share with you some of my key spots in Bali. I have been here enough times to be able to say I have found some gems even if they are well known about amongst locals and expats here.

I wanted to share these places with you but also have a little twist by partnering with      X Nihilo on showcasing there wonderful bags in paradise here on the island. The bags featured here are the X Nihilo Milford (Tan) and X Nihilo Eight bag (Gold).

This weekend I was lucky enough to stay at Katamama; a modern boutique hotel that sits next to Potato Head Beach Club. I definitely took advantage of that plus there is a MoVida there too (yes the one from Melbourne).

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Since I was staying at Katamama I was able to reserve the day bed for Potato Head. Normally you have to lineup to get the best spot at this popular beach club but no, not us! We reserved our spot and arrived at 11am the next day (best to book 24 hrs in advance). This was a completely chilled day.  I just took it all in by admiring my beach front view and sunbaking. The best bit is when it gets a little too hot I jumped into the pool and a had a few sneaky cocktails to match. I also did manage a nap as well…hahaha

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Another one of my fave places to check out is MoVida as you can experience a fine dining experience at a discounted price. A few good things about being in Bali is that food is generally cheaper even if you do go all out and splurge at a MoVida like restaurant. There is also a great bar attached to Katamama’s lobby – Akademi. Please check this out as you are allowed to make the cocktails you order. What a great experience!!

Another one of my favourite things to do is wander up an down Seminyak’s main strip and enjoy a coffee at the best coffee shop in Bali Revolver Espresso. These guys make the best iced latte in the whole of Bali and to top it off they are unbelievably nice. They also make a killer chilli margarita (Angel Eyes)…💥 bet you never had one of those before!!!

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Also, another great coffee stop is Coffee Cartel which has a wide variety of weird and wonderful lattes like the Beetroot latte and Charcoal latte. The colours are enough to excite the young and the old. I must say they do taste pretty good!

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I would also take the opportunity to wonder around the street and enjoy everything Bali has to offer. There is so much to do here and everyplace has its great things to do. There are many shops/boutiques in Seminyak worth checking out like Magali Pascal & Bamboo Blonde. Both worthy stores with Magali Pascal being the more higher end boutique. Also, check out the wide range of homeware stores as they will sure inspire you to redecorate your home. My go to place is near Sea Circus and is called Satunama. There is an eclectic array of homewares from woven bags to decorative statues and everything in between.

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On a side note, I just want to say how great and versatile both my X Nihilo bags are. The Milford in the tan is probably more practical and everyday…just as a bucket bag that can carry all your daily essentials. But the Eight…OMG. This has grabbed so much attention and did so in Bali. A few tourists did ask me where my bag was from and I’m eyeing off the silver mini version 😂

Be sure to check them out on Instagram and on their website…well worth it. Also, checkout my unboxing video on YT if you want to see my first impressions of the bag.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as its been a pleasure to shoot this and explore My Bali…

See you next time xxxo – the expat

 

What I’ve been up to

Hi Guys,

I am now back in Melbourne as we are waiting out this volcano situation. As much as I would love to be in Bali my husband was travelling in Oz for work and he was uncomfortable about me being in Bali on my own.

In any case I’m enjoying Melbourne now as its officially SPRING!!!. I’m going to head to the NGV for the Dior exhibition and I cannot wait. Look out for a blog post for that.

Aside from that I managed to get a new video up for a carefree makeup look in Bali. As I said in the video, the lighting is not that great. I hope you enjoy this video and look out for a reveal video shortly.

See you next time. The expat xxx

Tegenungan Waterfall

Hi All

I am back at it today with a more travel related post. I know I have bombarded you with fashion related posts 🙂 I do like to mix things up a bit so that you guys can see beautiful Bali. Also, a Bali beyond Kuta and a typical night out.

On Sunday R and I managed to finally get out and about in Bali. There is lots to see and we booked a driver for the whole day. Tegenungan is about an hour away from Sanur but depending on traffic it could be longer. The rule here, make time for traffic as it can sneak up on you.

We had a beautiful time. Once we got there we had to pay a fee to get in and there was a little walk to get to see the waterfall. The walk itself was a little bit rocky at times and there is a little climbing so I suggest wearing closed shoes, the best is a trainer of some sort. I saw girls and guys in flip flops and sandals and I wondered how they were comfortable trekking down then up.

It was nice to get out and about in nature and I did take a dip under the waterfall. You are not allowed to get too close but you can experience that feeling of the mist covering you. Also, worth noting is that when you do go into the water the ground is very rocky so if you have some proper water shoes thats great too. I didn’t and went barefoot so I experienced some pain walking around an not in a good foot massage way. We enjoyed the beauty and we got to walk to the top which was nice to see the waterfall from the top down. There is some beautiful artwork done there through rocks. It is a stunning waterfall but I hear there are some even better ones around Bali so those are on my list too. I’m hoping to get to them.

We also managed to make a quick stop to the Kopi Luwak plantation. We got to see the Luwak animal and see how it goes from 💩 to how it gets roasted and then gets to your coffee. Very interesting indeed. I believe Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee so worth visiting if you like your coffee. We got to do some tasting of some teas and other coffees made at the plantation. There was a beautiful Mangosteen tea and a lovely coconut coffee. These are free to try when you visit and you only have to pay to try the Kopi Luwak or if you want to purchase any of the ones you tasted. Of course we did try the Kopi Luwak and I must say it is smooth but I am not sure I would drink that on a day-to-day basis. I ended up only purchasing a herbal tea. No Kopi Luwak for me.

What an amazing day we had. We also managed to get a quick trip to Hakata ikkousha ramen which is lovely. Ramen is not readily available in Sanur so this was a treat.

I managed to capture some beautiful shots that I thought I would share with you all. A video is to come as well…

See you next time. The expat in Bali