Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Englishman Abroad?

Iconic Brighton Beach Huts. People already swimming at 8 am as the temperature hits 30 C. Later it will be too hot to be outside!
The question on my mind today is to what extent do expats assimilate to their new countries. Or how much do they keep of their old country with them? This is on my mind as Melbourne hits temperatures that I'd never encountered before leaving the UK. I have been in 40 C temperatures before here in Australia. I moved to Australia in 2005 during the drought years in Victoria, and have lived through the 2009 season which is the worst on record. February 7th 2009 has been dubbed "Black Saturday" in Victoria when a combination of intense heat (47 C) and strong winds which brought down power lines and fanned flames, caused widespread devastation throughout Victoria and resulted in over 170 deaths.

The view from Elwood at 8 am this morning. A hazy 30 C temperature
This week has seen 40+ C temperatures in Melbourne, and it is something that I don't think I'll ever get used to. Today has seen a high of 42 C (108 F), yesterday was 41 C and tomorrow promises to be 44 C (112 F). Friday will also reach 40 C, but there is a cool change promised later in the day. Perhaps even more of a problem for me is the heat accumulation and the fact that is stays unbelievably warm at night. Tonight for instance, the low temp will be 26 C. To me that is a beautiful daytime temperature!

Personally I feel very Australian, I love where I live and fully embrace Australian culture in its multicultural dimensions. There are some things that I think I'll never get used to, but that doesn't deter from the fact that I feel totally at home here. As much as I love travelling to different countries, I always enjoy coming home to Melbourne, a feeling that I didn't really experience in the UK.

So while I might sound English, and have come from England, and still exhibit some English traits (it's difficult to throw off 40 years of social upbringing just like that), I don't consider myself an Englishman abroad. I am living where I want to be, which makes me more Australian than English!

My windswept Aussie look!

How Australian am I? Well, I scored 14/18 for a Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oy, oy, oy. How'd ya do, mate? Performance on this quiz: see if you are more Australian than me? :D

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