Again, I’m leaving. It’s always mixed-feelings moment.
I had good times with friends on the beach at l’Ermitage even if it was very hot and sunny. François, my boyfriend, had been sunburnt. We enjoyed snorkelling a bit and then we had a pique-nique. A lot of families enjoyed as well this saturday on the beach.
I felt a bit strange this afternoon, going to see my uncle’s grave in Le Port. I was born this high-temperatures town. I lived my childhood near the thermal power station. ‘The beginning is the end, the end is the beginning.’
Finally, I succeeded in closing my bag. I’ll stay at least 2 years in Australia. I cleared all I could. I will miss my friends. A new life is waiting for me and it will start with finding an accommodation!
Adelaide is a really nice city. I really enjoyed Melbourne but at first sight, Adelaide is more my kind of city : not too big, 30 minutes to walk all around the city and quick nature access.
Of course, my family and friends are more in Melbourne but at the end, it’s only one-hour flight from Adelaide.
The trip was long coming from Reunion island : 24 hours travelling with a 5 hours stop in Perth! But it worths it!
The first day was an intense one. We managed many things (administrative process, phone, discovering, bank reactivations…) with a 41 degrees outside temperature. I felt like living in an oven…
The main worry for the moment is the accommodation. With only few nights left on a youth hostel and the courses starting soon, I can feel some pressure. But Australia is a country built with optimism and I’ll follow this new path.
I cannot say Adelaide is a promised land (wink to its large number of churches) but it sounds a bit like that to me.
It was such a pleasure to be welcomed by Sana, an afghan student living in Australia for more than 10 years through MYSA (Multi-cultural Youth South Australia). They are really doing a good job. I’ve met few days after Sumati and we had a nice chat about life in Adelaide. She was ready to help us in everything. What is good in here is also not to be judget about our choice of studying again at our age like the French society could do.
We were a bit stressed about accommodation, inspecting properties in the CBD and Prospect. And finally, today, we had the good news : we will sign for a lease in North Adelaide!
Then, the next step will be the job. But I’m not so worried as it’s easier to find something in hospitality and I’ve a previous experience in Melbourne.
It was good to reconnect with Australia. I’ve switched my French credit card, driving licence , etc. for my Australian ones. There’s a bit of schizophrenia on it but I’m alright with this double life.
I’ve seen my campus and a map of butchery, patisserie and winery worshops and I can’t wait to start!
Today was the first orientation day. I’ve experienced a good service from TAFE SA and I suppose it’s the Australian way of doing things. They have a very clever way of saying things : friendly, comprehensive but at the same time, you don’t have to cross the line because they won’t miss you.
I was first worried about studying again, being a ‘mature student’ (I’ve seen this expression on an ad for an accommodation and realised I was now in this category) but seeing other international students relieved me on this quite French feeling (I don’t know enought about other countries to compare).
Things are heading quite good. After finding a very nice appartment in North Adelaide, I’m now preparing for a trial on a restaurant on saturday as waitress. I really hope to get the job as I love to advice customers about food, wine and their histories.
I’ve also met the Alliance française director and it looks very interesting. They will hold the French Film Festival in March and propose many events. I purchased some books there for a very cheap price.
This Queen song is floating in my mind from my arrival at Adelaide and from the moment I’ve realised how popular was the bicycle here. I need to say that I just came for the Santos Down Under Tour which is a major biking event like the Tour de France (in France).
So I experienced Adelaide by bike and it’s not so flat as they said! Or I’m really off from sport which could honestly be true.
I’m a bit sad because a really good bike is waiting for me in Paris in a cave but bringing it back to Australia is too expensive. So I brought a new one, deciding the fate of the good one later.
Local bikers aren’t jokes. One evening, we were having drinks outside and a pro just exploded his bike. It sounded like a crushed plastic bottle.
An interesting cultural difference : what we call a U-lock in France is called in here a D-lock. And it makes more sense as you think about it locked.
I’ve started my cookery courses and even had my first tests. Practical was alright and theory not far from perfect with 99% of success !
I’ve cut myself on three fingers during the first week but now, I’m alright, no more blue bandages on my fingers !
I thought I had some basic skills in cookery and as a French, I knew a bit about it and the courses confirmed it to me.
I really appreciate this apprenticeship because it is more than teaching and knowledge : it is about sharing and love on the plate. I also really appreciate French culture to its proper value. I already felt this feeling in 2011 in Melbourne while I was humblely teaching French.
I was lucky to be invited to the Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ premiere last night. I cried a lot for different reasons.
This movie reminded me a lot of things I’ve lived. I reminded me Paris, my experience of home care for aged people there, distress of some of them and my uncle’s disease and death.
They were evoking the memory and the fact that emotion could be the only thing which lasts. I was asking to myself if bad memories could turned sweet with time. But I don’t think so.
I’ve finished my courses and now, I’ve started my work placement. I need to complete 600 hours. It is a lot. And it is a bit a shame when there are so much differences between International and National students.
National students need to complete 160 hours after their Certificate III. But at the end, if they want to go up to the Advanced Diploma, they will need to complete as well 600 hours. But what about employers who will hire an ‘less qualified’ International student ? Because it is compulsory for International students to complete these hours before enrolling for Certificate IV and then for the Advanced Diploma.
Anyway, I’m very happy that I had such a good lecturer. Ivan Livera is a professional and passionate teacher. His will of sharing, of pushing people to improve is very precious. After all basics and techniques, he taught us about the truth about cooking : feelings. I knew it but from a professional point of view, it confirmed it.
I’m doing my work placement at the amazing SAH Modern Mediterranean Restaurant (www.sahmediterranean.com.au) with great chefs Alex Fry and Andy Lean. I’m very lucky to work with them as they want to share their knowledge and they are very creative. I think it’s good to know to properly cook but being creative is another job and not everybody is able to do it.
For example, they will launch the second edition of their Beergustation this 28th July. I mean they will cook with beers from microbreweries : awesome !! From my Frenchie point of view, only Belgians were doing their ‘Lapin à la Bière’ but Alex and Andy had done a whole menu with beer-based courses ! I can’t wait to be the guinea pig!
I’m back from a week of video footage for a documentary in Brisbane. It was an amazing experience.
This French 52 minutes documentary follows Australian rescuers. For months, I’ve experienced the Australian administrative system, not so far from the French one.
I was Location Manager. So I went through procedures to get agreements, contacted all interviewees, organised meetings and fulfilled all Location Manager tasks.
I also translated interviews. It was a good moment as it extended the experience.
I had the chance to meet amazing people over there.
I cannot wait to work more with this French company!
And surprise, I just received an enquiry for writing a guide about Australia!
A bad news is darkening my sky.
My partner, François, is currently studying Environmental Monitoring at the TAFE Urrbrae, South of Adelaide.
Back to Reunion island in 2012, when we were applying for these studies, he first had been told the Environmental Monitoring course was not opened to International students. Fine, he finally applied for a Management course, even if it was really what he wanted to do but at least, he would learn something different and useful.
When the Environmental Monitoring course opened to International students, he applied and started it in July 2013. He was really happy to finally follow his first preferred path. The course was really interesting and he couldn’t wait to learn more.
Rumors had been confirmed with a letter from the TAFE. They will stop the course. He should be able to finish it up to the Diploma level. That is what the letter said. Lecturers told him that only one lecturer will teach all courses next year for finishing the course. How a single lecturer will manage to teach and mark all assigments ? What will be the quality of the education for this course ? I’m not talking about skills but only time.
Will Francois get a low-quality education and moreover, how employers would consider it ?
The worst-case scenario is Francois not to be able to stay in Australia. How will he and I manage it, manage to pay the rent of our new 1 year lease and the use of our car and more than anything, to be far from him ? Should I stop as well all I’m doing, studies and fantastic work opportunities ?
Because this sword of Damocles is always pointing my head for the moment. It is tickling my hair scalp, today more than ever. Will I be able to get a visa for a permanent residency after my studies ? Hospitality jobs had been removed from the skilled occupational list (SOL). I’m trying to get information about starting my own business but it is a long quest. I’m feeling like a Knight of the Round Table with my quest of the Holy Graal. Except that for the moment, I have no table, not even square, and not even a fridge. I enjoy a monastic minimalism.
It would be heart-breaking to leave Australia. My fate is not really on my hands for the moment. I must stick to my usual epicurean way of life, abandonned from a too long-time now.
I’m starting to write again and it is such a pleasure! I could not properly do it for few months because of an overbooked planning. But it is a great joy to go back to this first love.
Actually, more than a first love, it is part of me. I owe a lot to a primary school teacher who asked us to write a journal. I have no idea of her name but her face and her gentleness are still alive in my memory. But I will never forget this humble little notebook with a blue plastic cover.
Amongst my thousand of projects, I’m writing about Tasmania. I deeply love this island. It is a bit similar to Reunion island, my native island, for its wilderness. But Reunion island have way more inhabitants than Tasmania. I enjoyed so much this priviledged contact with nature. The first night spent near a pristine beach with the sound of the wind in the canopy and this feeling of greatness of Nature was very romantic to me. I hate cold but having fresh showers in campings over there was not a big deal.
In a nutshell, I felt great and in osmosis with nature. Even if I’m not living in the bush today, I enjoy my new place. Few birds nestled in a tree near the window of my kitchen and their song is a beautiful music!