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The expat returns

I’ve just returned ‘home’ to Dordrecht after a month ‘home’ in Melbourne. The temperature has dropped by forty degrees (although it’s actually half-pleasant for winter), I’m all messed up by jetlag (is it something you only get in your later years?) and I even got a ‘welkom thuis’ (welcome home) from the passport officer at [...]

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Sweating it out courtside at the Australian Open

When I last visited Melbourne, I made a crucial error with my trip planning. I flew back to Amsterdam the day before the Australian Open was to begin. This time, I wasn’t going to make such a mistake. Paul wouldn’t let me. He’d never seen a Grand Slam before, so we pencilled ourselves in to [...]

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Horsey for a day in Gunnamatta

There was a new girl at our school back in Year 8. She’d come down from New South Wales, speaking a funny language including terms such as ‘cossies’ instead of ‘bathers’ and ‘bubblers’ instead of ‘drinking taps’. I don’t think we were particularly nice to this girl, come to think of it. We found her [...]

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Cricket, that strange sport

I like most sports I see for the first time. I thought handball was brilliant. Gaelic footy was easy to love. Even rugby had something. But cricket was another story. It took quite a while. In fact, it took about a decade. My dad lived and breathed the sport the entire time, teaching me the [...]

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The things I miss about Melbourne

On Thursday I’ll be jumping on a plane (well, three in fact) and heading back home. Home to Melbourne, for the first time in two years. I’ll be there for Christmas, New Year and a bit of January; hopefully enough time to catch up with as many friends and family as I can, feel a [...]

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Why I’ve never gotten my driver’s license

Yep, believe the title. I’m twenty eight years old, and I’ve never held my driver’s license. It gets worse. I got my learner’s permit in 2003. In February this year, IT EXPIRED. People have looked at me in genuine disbelief. ‘What?’ they’d say, as if they’d misheard me. Then they’d go on, asking if I’d [...]

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The O’Dowd pizza rating system

My Dad and I like to rate things. Growing up in Altona, we would drive past Kooringal Golf Course on the way to my high school each day. For years, we would rate the golf course as to how good it looked on that particular day. Of course, I’ve never played golf before. I’m even [...]

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Why I won’t be watching the Grand Final at an Aussie pub

Yesterday, in another moment of procrastination, I found myself searching for a pub showing the AFL Grand Final on Saturday morning. Just as I was journey planning on the NS website as to how early I was going to have to leave to get to The Hague by 6.30am, I stopped. What was I doing? [...]

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Since the last Olympics

Last night I came across Jerry Seinfeld’s new show, ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’. In the first episode, Jerry and Larry David talk about how they use the rough term ‘five years ago’ to describe some non-specific time in the past when something significant happened. I however, use Olympiads. This time one Olympiad ago, at [...]

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The quest for the perfect dumpling

You can take the girl out of Melbourne, but you can’t take Melbourne out of this girl – that’s probably the main reason why I was reading this article in the Age the other day about the best dumplings in Melbourne. Frankly, I think this list is pretty lazy. Although I used to be a [...]

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