Monday, October 22, 2012

Why Anh Do made my lifestyle feel like a complete joke.

I'll cut straight to the point this morning.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw the trailer for Anh Do's new show 'Anh Do Does Vietnam' on the telly.
Looked great.
Just the type of thing I love but just haven't seen around for a while.
Exactly what the title said. Anh Do. Travelling around Vietnam. Doing his thang. Eating local food. Yum!
Just for starters, Anh Do is an Australian comedian who came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam long ago.

And of course, we had to miss the TV airing of both his episodes.
So, we snuggled up in bed and watched it online.

Oh Vietnam.
I haven't been there.
But I think big parts of it will seem like what Singapore was like twenty to thirty years ago.
I like where Anh Do went.
A lot of the times, foreign travellers are 'sheltered' or brought to the touristy places of any country and that is just a joke really if you've said you've been to Vietnam but you didn't go to their local roadside stall or village. It's like how I've been to Melbourne but I stayed in the city and did the Great Ocean Road day trip.

I have a car.
When I've done the grocery run, our car saves me.
When I'm late, our car saves me.
My kids start complaining and whinging when we walk for more than 10-15 minutes to the local shops or their friend's place.
Those village kids in picturesque Sapa?
They walk 6 km daily to school in 0 degree weather with no freakin shoes.
The incentive for the village kids to go to school is so that they get one proper meal a day at school.
I have kids who keep telling me they are hungry no matter how much I feed them.
I have a nice house.
By the term 'nice', I have three decent bedrooms, a nice powerful showerhead which gives me hot water, a sofa to sit on and a 4 burner stove and oven to make cooking easier.
I have a great, materialistic life.
Even if I think that my life is probably less materialistic than lots, it is still materialistic.
You have the same materialistic life as I do.
I went to the finders keeper market on the weekend in Melbourne.
Bought myself the Frankie Spaces magazine, a pink neon table runner, some christmas tags.
We have a dining table and I have the choice to change our current old dining chairs (which mind you, haven't broken) for new Eames replica ones.... like what everyone else seems to have.
Do your kids have lots of toys?
Mine do.

My life is a complete joke really.
The things I worry about in my life are ridiculous as the families in the poorer parts of Vietnam showed me.
A normal house in Sapa.
All wooden. They were all crouching...squatting.
To be honest, I couldn't even see the inside of the house clearly on the telly.
It was all dark. And there really wasn't anything in the house.
Not much furniture.
And the clincher?
The mum lit fire to some hay she was holding and shoved it under a small stove with a pot on it.
I'm thinking that if I ever had to set fire to hay in this life, it sure won't be in my wooden house.

Anh Do was hilarious.
He warmed my heart when he said his Grandma thought the garden hose was the best invention ever when she first came to Australia.
And it's true. I stand around in one spot of my garden aiming my garden hose everywhere.
I don't know if you saw it but he showed that old Viet lady carrying two huge water buckets supported by a wooden beam over her shoulders and that was how she watered her rows of veggies.

Now, I didn't write this post so that you can immediately run over to World Vision and support a child.
You don't have to say 'Awww, they're so pitiful!'
This is what Asia is like for a lot of Asian countries.
I think everyone has a very different level of comfort and lifestyle standards for themselves.
Their lifestyles and habits are different from ours but in some ways, they are amazing and fantastic.
Cycling around delivering noodles? Amazing.
Kids catching fishes with their bare hands in the river? That's quite a feat.
No plastic toys with blinking lights in sight? That is my dream come true.

I wrote this post for myself.
Because when you're in a first world country like I am, first world problems arise.
How much those first world problems affect your life will depend on how important you think they are.
Wondering which school my kid would go to next year.
Wondering if you should pull down and rebuild your house because house-land packages are really attractive nowadays.
Wondering if you should choose Antique white for your next wall colour.
Wondering why on earth Instagram is not working when you need it most.

The majority of Viets that I know... I came to know in Australia.
The people I know are mostly second generation Aussies.
The Viets I know are wonderful, they have an unbelievably crazy sense of humour and they are smart.
I think many of them are street-smart too, which is a valuable asset that lots of kids don't have.
From what I can see, the small Viet communities in Australia are very tight-knit.
Their parents are equally wonderful.
I still remember the time one of my Viet friend's mum invited a bunch of us over to their home and cooked up the most delicious homecooked Viet meal.
Our dentist is my husband's high school Viet friend and his Dad and his sister are his receptionists.

So thank you, Anh Do... for putting some decent tv on this time.
It is so easy to be in Australia, away from it all and get surrounded by the very good life.
I think it is ever easier as a mum because you want the 'best' for your kids and a lot of the time, it is very easy to compare 'what is best' with other mums.
I have no clue what I'm doing as a mum or how my kids will turn out in the future but I do thank God that they have clean, comfortable beds...clean water, shoes to wear and a school to go to.

Hope you have a lovely start to the week :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy Snaps

When I was about five, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I wanted to be a baker.
I also wanted to be a vet.

That didn't really change but somehow, when it came to push and shove, I chose to a physio instead of a vet. (?!?!) Don't ask me why.
I love being a physio.
But sometimes I wonder where my life might have led me to if I had gone down the other path.

This weekend saw my first baby turn Five.
We still can't believe it.
I think I'll still be in denial when she hits Twenty.
I shudder to think how old I'd be then!!!!
If she still went to the Collingwood Children's Farm with me when she turned twenty, I'd be pretty stoked.

The Children's Farm is amazing. Even hubby was impressed!
It's changed a little since the last time I visited but still really beautiful.
Clari's been gently bugging me for a year to take her on a pony ride.
So as a little surprise, we went to the farm on Family Day (read: free pony rides!)


I love animals.
I could totally see myself working with animals.
There were lots of volunteers at the farm and I think they deserve a shoutout just for sacrificing their time and energy to help keep the farm going.
They loved being there.

Now, looking back at the photos on my camera, there's a few priceless ones of the littles.

Like this one....
Hahahaha.... HORSE!!!!
Clearly, my children do not share the same love for all animals great and small like I do. Yet. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Love it. 
Not really so much for the filters but for the fact that I can take a photo anywhere and anytime of what I'm doing and since I've been on it, there have been SO many moments in my life that wouldn't have been snapped if not for this gorgeous app. 

Today, I went over to statigram for the first time and had a look!
Statigram lets you see which photos of yours receives the most likes as well and it was so interesting!  
Seems like a lot of you on Instagram do share the same love in stationery and pretty colours as I do, which is great! 
It's a great way to see some behind-the-scenes photo of what goes on at the Chibi Run headquarters daily.
But the most liked photo really did warm the cockles of my heart... as some people say. 

Love seeing my two girls sleep next to each other.

Also, Miss 4 will be Miss 5 in two days' time.
We'll be having her party at the park (and the lovely weather forecast promises LOTS of rain and 14 degree warmth all round. Bah!) with her best friend whose birthday happens to be a few days before hers.
She simply can't wait.
She keeps telling us that she can't wait to go to primary school.

Whenever did my baby get so big so quick!?

Alright... signing off now for today as a big morning bake, a great rabbit hutch wash and an Ikea afternoon trip has officially zapped all the energy out of me and I am B-uggered.

I'm still trying hard to keep my end of the promise I have with Julia to be a good blogger and blog regularly for October. ;) 

For those who are on instagram as well, my username is chibirun and I would love to find you there too! xx

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bonus Days.

This week, I've felt a little bit like death has been around me.
I know. Sorry for being morbid.
It's happened in ways I can't really explain.

Death isn't a complete stranger to me.
I've seen it happen before and to me, death is something that everyone just has to deal with, when God wants you, He'll take you. Simple as that.
My faith helps me see another world past this one and I think that helps.

I can't deny that it gives me the shudders too that what happened to Jill Meagher literally happened in the next suburb. We're probably a ten minute drive or so from where she was taken.
We've driven down Sydney Road countless of times.
It's a busy road. It's major. It has trams. Shops. People.
We were probably sleeping in our beds unaware when Jill was there on that road.
But the fact that there are people out there who might not be in their right minds.
Who might need help.
Or who might just need to be kept away from the general public. Living so close to us.
Heck. Even our 'burb isn't known to be a totally safe one. We've got our own crazies.
Wrong place. Wrong time.

And then. I got that phone call.
To say that a beloved uncle suffered a massive heart attack in the car after the gym.
My aunt was in the car driving right next to him.
He was great. I was shocked beyond words.
I love him and his family.
He had those ruddy cheeks and eyes that smiled and twinkled and when you saw him, you knew he was a good man.
He used to be a pilot and told the best, funniest stories to everyone.
We closed our eyes and did the ten hour drive to and from country NSW to be with the family.
I'd never thought the next trip I made up would be for this reason.

So this week, I've felt like every day I've woken up (and stayed) alive has been a bonus day.
I haven't done anything different.
I don't think I've lived today like it was my last!
But I'm thankful that amongst all the flurry and rush rush rush, I've had a bonus day to enjoy in this world. Just living.
Doing everything.
Being with everyone.

Thanks so much for being here with me too :)

p.s.: This awesome chick here has inspired me to get my blogging into shape this October. I'll be blogging (or trying to) everyday in October.

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