BYO Vegemite

Ashamed to say by Andy Mayer

Last week we had some of our all time favourite people come to stay. They asked what we wanted bought over which was AWESOME!!!. Not wishing to be too greedy and fill her already heavy bags we asked for packets of treats. She delivered lots. I hid them and said thank you.

One morning I opened the rubbish bin lid to see a familiar shiny wrapper  sitting on top of the trash. It was a Cherry Ripe wrapper! I went through the scenarios of which  child happily munched away and then discarded the evidence. I took a breath, I  closed the lid. Moments later my husband found the same evidence  and yelled out rather loudly “Cherry Ripe, Who ate a Cherry ripe?”

                  I don’t need to say a thing

Our guest admitted she had  “found” one in her hand bag and had a little snack the previous evening. It’s her bag, her Cherry Ripe and her choice but that empty disappointment was hard to swallow. Why didn’t she hide the evidence? Why didn’t she keep it for later in her trip far far away from us? How on earth did she manage to not eat that for over a week before coming to our place? Was she lying? Did she have lots more? We will never know, it was not be discussed again.

I hope this doesn’t come across as rude because having visitors from your home country is such a wonderful thing. For years we lived in places people didn’t want to visit or couldn’t afford to visit or visa’s were just too difficult to obtain. Now we have guests staying every month. Our guests from Australia in April this year came with 4 kilos of treats for us. I hid them from our children  and my husband and I ate them at night ! Our guest in February bought Aussie lollies and Aussie Milo.

Most countries we lived in had a reasonable selection of imported goods but mostly were ridiculously expensive and they hardly ever stocked Aussie favourites (except Dubai). If you chanced upon them you stock up, but Vegemite is a rare bird in Porto! Expat facebook  sites all over the world have pictures of people’s booty from a trip home. Food travels in people’s suitcases all over the world and I have carried my fair share.

                      What is in the suitcase?

Allen’s lollies are by far the best lollies in the world! Vegemite is the best all purpose spread in the world! Smith’s Chips beat Lays hands down! Cancer Council sunscreen is better than any brand under the sun! Lucas PawPaw cream, say no more ! Maggie Beer’s quince paste is delicious and travels well. Aussie weetbix shit all over British ones.  blah blah…

Shall I go on?

Or are you just going to give me the same  advice trolls on expat pages give?

“Support local”, “Why did you bother leaving”,”If you love Aussie products so much why don’t you just go back? ”

Well we don’t need these things all the time but if people are passing by or we are able to get our hands on them we stock up. It is such a great thing on a wintery afternoon to pull out the stash of lollies and watch a movie , it is always a good thing to have Vegemite in your cupboard when the craving hits you morning noon or night and you have some delicious fresh bread.   Discovering your stash is being eaten…….that is just a big kick in the guts .

This is where the problems occur.  Australians still like to eat Vegemite on toast when travelling and have no issues emptying a jar when they stay. My natural response is to hide it. Can’t they go without for the time they are on. holiday and eat as much as they like at home?  I can’t say that it just sounds petty. But………..

                     Hands Off!

Scraping an almost empty jar of Vegemite in a desperate bid for a final taste is a tragic scene when sourcing another one is almost impossible.

Travel responsibly BYO Vegemite.






SpectrumExpats  Andy Mayer

where would an expat be without WhatsApp?

Yesterday I had a WhatsApp conversation with some friends I made in our last posting. The three of us are in  different countries. In our little WhatsApp group we support each other in our quest to find a healthy “balance” of exercise, eating, drinking and parenting so we can ultimately feel our best.

We encourage each other to get our fat arses to the gym and we encourage a glass of vino* and a little cheese platter on the couch . However, mostly we just enjoy the connection and I feel lucky they included me. Inclusion is a much needed “thing” when you don’t have extended family or friends around but also to help navigate the waters of a new city.

Sometimes we  become friends with “groups” of people in our expat location purely to be included. This seems more so in hardship posts particularly for trailing spouses.  It can be very lonely if you are cast out, excluded or worse. Not being “on the list” can deflate the heartiest of souls.

Often it seems like a revolving door of saying yes. Can’t not go to the coffee morning, must chip in for so and so’s birthday luncheon, promise to swing by after my chores to buy something at the charity bizarre at blah blah’s posh house,  will post a FB comment on the picture of the girl’s night out promising to be there next time. All  so you get asked again.

“say yes to the ………”

My friend brought up the topic that some friends only contact you when they want (to discuss/get an opinion on) something.   It got me thinking  about the types of friends we keep and why.

I told her we need people on the friendship spectrum to have balance just like our diet and exercise.  Both ladies agreed.

This is what I wrote to her.

“Balance is on the friendship spectrum too. Must be an even spread of nerdburgers, drama queens, bitches, gossipers, model citizens, beauty queens, hippies, boozehounds, faghags, Jesus lovers, cake bakers, drug takers, teetotallers, cry babies, ladies who lunch, chicks that drink gin at 5, bossy britches and athiests! The users , the takers and the energy vampires get your ear but rarely! You get to choose every time 💋”

The Spectrum of Friendships

I suppose on deeper inspection we need different friends for different reasons to meet the parts of us that make us whole. I can add probably 30 more to the spectrum just of my friends.

In expat circles we often assume that our experiences make us an homogenous group but with  cultural beliefs, religious beliefs, language, upbringing and experiential perception thrown in from living in different countries there are massive differences between expats but the journey to friendship  is so much fun.

It is easy to have lots of “friends” on FB but not so easy to maintain  friendships (especially as an expat). I am in my 6th country and I usually wear  that as a badge of honour but lately it has been tucked in my back pocket as I lean heavily on the friendships from my past and tentatively dip my toe in the new friendship waters.

Next week I will lunch with some school mums. One is Spanish and the other Danish, both have lived as expats with their families  in different countries. I suspect our similarities lie in our differences; passport, family, travel, experiences, and the wonderful ability to create fast friends.

My husband thinks expats are a bit like pre schoolers. “Do you like blue? I like blue! Want to be friends ?Let’s go and play.”

I think it sounds more ……… “Do you like Gin?”

*hardly ever is 1 glass of anything

*disclaimer: The friends  back in my home country are spectrum friends too. I love and adore them . The ones who I get to see because they can travel get big brownie points. However, this post is about the expats.


LimboExpat  by Andy Mayer

Moving sucks!

shipping container

It does not matter if you are moving out of home for the first time where you can shove all your measly possessions in the back of a hatchback, moving states where your possessions are shoved into a  borrowed van or if you are moving to a new country and all your possessions are shoved into a 40ft container.

It just sucks. FAAAAAAARK IT SUCKS!!!

All the buddhist meditation, yoga classes and retreats amount to Sweet FA when you  live out of a suitcase as stomping, bitching, moaning and drinking too much cheap wine seems to be on an exponential curve.


My eyes open every morning (well not this week as my eyelids stuck together with conjunctivitis) but normally they open and as my vision comes into focus and I see the mattress on the floor next to the double bed, the really ugly gold and white polyester curtains, the dusty laminate floor and the blank cream colored walls and  I wish it was 10pm and I could be heading to bed again.

Conjuctivitis- The antithesis to Morning Glory
Conjuctivitis- The antithesis to Morning Glory

I am in a shitty place mentally. I have just moved to one of the best countries in the world and I am floundering. We are all floundering. Even the dog is floundering.


Living in temporary accommodation for more than 3 months anywhere in the world is like groundhog day. Living without your possessions and realising Summer has long gone and Winter is approaching  at a rate of knots is daunting. You only have a suitcase with your summer clothes , enough OB Tampons for 3 periods and your face cream is down to wiping the inside lid with your finger.


Our life the past 3 months.

You never consider  when you pack up your old life  it might be  3-9 months before you will be reunited with your “stuff”. In some cases you are never reunited with your stuff.

I know some of you are nodding in agreement because you too are living in cramped quarters, kids are bickering wondering when they will see their stuff, sleep in their bed, pat the dog/ cat/turtle  again and when Mum and Dad will stop huffing and puffing saying “Excuse Me “ just that little bit to gruffly passing through the  kitchen reheating the 3rd premade supermarket dinner that week.

You may be trying to familiarize yourself with a new language, settling kids into a new school or  being the new kid in the office at the same time  trying to navigate the immigration systems and get the much desired residency card. Either way it is tiring and soul sapping.

Limbo is like a long boring game of  connect 4 where there is  no  chance of winning .It drags on. You toss and turn in a bed that is uncomfortable, too hot or too bloody small. You are living in a new country but really it just feels like you are existing. You have no identity, no friends and  are not plugged in.


At the end of a boring day you click on the remote and hope in vain there will be a show in your mother tongue. The shows on Portuguese TV are pretty slim pickings. Our nightly viewing is  limited to Big Bang Theory, American Pickers and Storage Wars none of which float my boat. We have become a huge fan of Inspector Morse  ( we call Old Morse) and now understand why old people like the show so much. It’s boring and not much happens so you can actually have a bit of a nana nap and still be up to date with the story line. New Morse is our favorite but like it’s predecessor it too drags on a bit and you  find yourself wishing Eddie Redmayne played young Morse. Infact I find myself wishing Old Morse was played by George Clooney.  Ahh Limbo makes you shallow and boring even if you are in the best expat country in the world?

I just discovered as I chastised our boys about not helping out around the apartment. “We no longer have a housekeeper you guys need to take the rubbish out, put the recycling in the bin and empty the bloody dishwasher! ” I then yelled ” Electronics off and 30 mins reading right now off to bed” .

My eldest pointed out unfairly, “but mum it’s only 6.30pm”.

whoops. thought it was 7.30
whoops. thought it was 7.30

Some of you may be rolling your eyes  thinking

“well what about the refugees?”

“You have a roof over your head!”

“You are practically on holidays “.

Don’t think that has not crossed my mind but this nagging, dragging rather lonely feeling  is not a holiday, it’s not my roof and we are economic refugees . It  has me longing for our old life and I know having friends make a big difference.

I believe I have been here before it’s called Transition and it has an end with friends.




TransgenderExpat  by Andy Mayer

Golden Okie,  a model, make up artist and hair stylist.
Golden Okie, a model, make up artist and hair stylist.

Subcultures have been on my mind a bit lately. I am a fringe dweller, always floating around on the periphery and I have been yearning to meet and understand life as one of the many  “persona non gratis” in Nigeria.  Having met gay and trans Mongolians living under the cover of darkness and hiding their identity from family and friends, I am keen to know more about what happens here in Nigeria.

I recently took my eldest son on a mental health day ( AKA wagging school) we went to the Lekki Conservation Park to walk the Longest Canopy Walk in Africa. Our small guided tour was joined by two Nigerian men who both worked in call centres and had the day off. One of them was celebrating his birthday and his friend had surprised him with a  canopy walk and was then taking him to a late lunch  followed by a night of clubbing.

Kind of Says it all really
Kind of Says it all really

Both men were extremely camp, uber friendly and very entertaining. I desperately wanted to ask where they were clubbing just because I have wondered where the subculture dwell in a country where being LBGT and / or Q is illegal. However, the day was about my son and not my fag hag tendencies so  I didn’t enquire and just enjoyed their banter.

Canopy Walk
Canopy Walk

Last week I was alerted to a post on an  Expats in Nigeria page to see an expat was lynched when on his way to meet a male prostitute. He was badly beaten and some of the comments in the post were about how he deserved it as gays are disgusting. There is a jail penalty involved for homosexuality.

Today I was perusing  FB again ( it’s not good) and  watched an Australian  video on  called Transgender101. It was really interesting. I found out I am Cisgender which is the opposite of Transgender.

Anyway what astounded me most was on Friday I visited a local market on Lagos Island called Idomoto. It was manic. It was stinking hot. It was congested and I was forced to walk half on the road, half wedged  between KeKe’s and Buses and partly on a narrow and very dodgy sidewalk. As I was squeezing my way past another stall selling crappy jewellery I had to stop to let a hawker pass me. At first I didn’t register her as any different to the other girls with a silver bowl  perfectly balanced on her head. The ubiquitous hawkers selling ground nuts all seem to have a similar dress code; a tight fitted spandex dress or denim skirt and tight t shirt clinging to their ultra slim and tiny bodies.

Idomoto Market, Lagos Island. The scene of the cross dressing hawker.
Idomoto Market, Lagos Island. The scene of the cross dressing hawker.

This one had a denim skirt and a purple t shirt. How on earth did I remember that? I apologised for blocking her way and sidestepped passed her. My brain registered some kind of  difference or perhaps indifference or insult. I turned to see her stopped a little down the road staring at me . Truth be told she kind of sneered, turned back and minced off. I realised she was a he.

There are many words used for a cross dresser, “shemale” , “hebitch” and “ladyboy” come up on , you guessed it .. google and in my experience of bars in Thailand and Malaysia!

Now in my Transgender 101 lesson this morning I am supposed to use the word “they” . So the Hawker  was a they.  In my 45 year old preconditioned brain I just saw a bloke dressed as a chick. She was very slim, with a woman’s body, it was just something in her face that made me turn.

I quickly ran to my market companion and asked if it was common to see hawkers who were man dressed as women. He said yes in some tribes in Nigeria it is common . I asked if they were gay. He said no not at all. He said there are two tribes from  Delta State, the Esans and the Ijaws who commonly dress in women’s attire and are married.

Ubiquitous Hawkers in Lagos
Ubiquitous Hawkers in Lagos

I have been googling like crazy about transgender, binary, non binary, bloody cross dressers in Nigeria and I get two drag queens a handful of models and some hairdressers. Jaws and Esans  only speak of tribal culture and nothing about cross dressing.

This hawker was no drag queen.

Bobrisky- famous skin lightening seller
Bobrisky- famous skin lightening seller

Dying to know more I shall investigate this subculture more next week.


Andy xoxoxox


FishyExpat by Andy Mayer



So in the developing world they say the food is not as nutritious as it should be and we need supplements.

I hear the same thing of produce in supermarkets all over the world and am not sold it is just an expat problem But in saying that I don’t recall piles of rotten onions, tomatoes and flies buzzing around the meat section in Australia.

So, because I don’t always by organic fruits or farmer’s market produce, I heeded the advice of many and started taking  multivitamin and Omega 3 supplements.

I have an issue with the Omega 3 knowing that it essentially the juice squeezed out of a fish. If offered any of you a teaspoon of fish juice you would vomit a little in your mouth or say  NO WAY.


When I was young my grandmother/grandfather/mother/ older brother/ nasty relative used to offer me cod liver oil in exchange for a Caramel Koala. I know I was not alone in my agonising decision to take the spoon( a table spoon) or go without the chocolate. Hence my aversion to fish oils now. I always took the spoon. AGHH Eww pocket spew!

So these days the “cod liver oil” is disguised in these large oval clear gel capsules that are the size of a baby’s little finger, and the multi vitamins are  basically Horse Tablets….

massive tablets
massive tablets

If I have slept well I will put 1 multi and 2  fish juices in my mouth and swallow but mostly I tend to put the horse size tablets in my pockets and forget about them.

Today the unthinkable happened. I was in my “active wear” getting a bit hot and sweaty at the local boxing gym when all of a sudden  all I could smell was fish. Now girls are a bit sensitive to fishy smells emanating from their body and I am no different .


However, I knew I

a) had showered twice that day

b) used soap on my nether regions

c) and not engaged in any sexual activity with a hobo

d) hadn’t dropped a sardine down my pants at lunchtime.


I was erratically sniffing my top, my bra, my arms, my hair trying to figure out what the fuck smelled like fish.I even said to the trainer “can you smell that?” he looked away.Possibly in disgust.

My thoughts were taken back to the book Perfume when he  said was born on a pile of fish by his whore of a mother, then dismissed any negative self doubts and went home thinking it just had to be  the trainer .

Yet I arrived home stinking of fish. Oh FUCK.



Ok don’t get all hoity toity on me when I tell you the next part. I was confused, disgusted and afraid, so went straight to  the bathroom yanked my active wear down and  and took a big whiff! After establishing and  being   pretty sure it was not my nether regions ( but close)  I then ran to our housekeeper and  basically, in a polite way, accused her of putting my gym gear in a bucket of fish scales.


“WTF?” you say…. No NO really  it was a reasonable assumption. Last week the boys borrowed a bucket from her and took it fishing then scaled and gutted those fish in the bucket. I came to the reasonable conclusion that she threw my gym gear in it! Maybe on purpose  maybe by mistake….

She was mortified, then accused me of going fishing in my gym gear but realised that was absurd so looked down at my pubic region sneering.

That's  what she was thinking.
That’s what she was thinking.

She  then   quickly ran around the house reclaiming  all the dark items she had washed the day before. . … son’s black tracky pants, his navy blue footy top, my black dress( with pockets) and my active wear were all washed together and stank of FISH.


I was horrified as I inhaled the stench of each freshly laundered item. Enough I said it is too gross and too disturbing. I asked her to rewash everything with double soap.

I took a shower re sniffed my now clean body ( no fish smell)  and headed downstairs. The housekeeper presented to me what appeared to be a large pice of rodent pooh……. one weird arse pellet looking thing. She claimed to have found it   in the pocket of my dress.

On close inspection and a  quick review of my weekend antics.( it was my birthday) I surmised the rodent pooh   used to be my horse tablet of a  multivitamin. Hmm why was it in my dress. Oh yeah  remembered I had not taken my supplements that morning as I was about to go out,  so thought I should pop them in my pocket go to the pub and  down them with a giant pint of Murphy’s.

I wonder what  could have possibly happened to the 2 giant fish oil capsules?

OH MY GOD my running pants smelled of FISH in public!




FIFOExpat by Andy Mayer

Fly in Fly Out. 4 little words that I had never heard of until 3 years ago. I remember going to school with girls whose fathers worked in Papua New Guinea and  Mt Isa  back in the 80’s , their dads were home some of the time but disappeared for weeks on end to work away from home.

That expression FIFO must have been industry speak only. Those in the know used it. It meant nothing to me.

I met FIFO wives properly for the first time when living in Mongolia. It amazed me that most of their married lives these women had spent time separated from their husbands for 2-8 weeks at a stretch (at regular intervals). I watched as they lived in one of the toughest cities,  pretty much solo, doing everything on their own. I also thought about the fact they could eat toast for dinner, sleep sideways in bed, fart in bed, pick their nose (possibly in bed) or wear ugly pyjamas. I also imagined a house with no TV on.


I have met men and women who work in the same company as my husband who are FIFO. They are paramedics or doctors and clinic managers who fly into remote countries and work for up to 12 weeks in really harsh locations, often on call 24/7, they then fly “home” to relax and hang out with friends or family or the travel. They do not work when they fly home , most are paid off rotation. Something I completely respect and understand.

My husband is not in mining or oil and gas, he works in a medical services company that “services” those industries. He will spend 12 days in Basra, 12 days in Dubai and then 12 days in Erbil on a relatively inconsistant rotation. The difference with his job is that when he is in all 3 locations he works. There is no going home to not work. His  time off is Fridays in Iraq &  Fri /Sat in Dubai or when he takes annual leave, pretty much like most  full time employees. The point of my story is this is all new to us as a family and has had deep impacts.


I have found myself feeling resentful at times  both of the work and of the people he works with. You see when he is away he lives in  share house with the staff. They eat all their meals together, they work together and they hang out on the day off together. They are work colleague flat -mates. In Basra they rarely leave the villa they share and work in as it is an unsafe environment outside.When we talk on the phone I often hear one of them asking a question, talking to each other or watching TV in the background. In Erbil they can go outside freely but due to the workload most don’t. It is intense for them and it is a deeply bonding experience. I will most likely never meet most  of his coworkers even though I feel I have a good understanding of who they are.


You see when a spouse returns they talk about the experience, they talk about the conversations and they tell stories about what their colleagues have done in their life. I listen and occasionally  my mind drifts to the missed football games, the  birthday parties,dinner conversations, interactions with friends and  the life we live when he is away and mostly how much of a gap he  leaves in our life.  We miss him very much.

I had a conversation with a girlfriend  who also has a husband working  half in Dubai and half out. Hers happens to work in Sudan  (an equally shitty destination) and Uganda ( not so bad). We were complaining about how when our husbands come back the routines go flying out the window. The children stay up later, dinner gets pushed back, rules are broken and we are pushed aside like an annoying hair in your face!

“Oh nice one Andy, you sit by the pool, have coffee, lunch and facials with friends, you visit beach clubs and pretty much do what you want,  your life is charmed.” I hear you thinking.

Yes it is . My husband works really hard; we have money in the bank, a safe car to drive, well adjusted children, a good house to live in and most importantly I get the bed to myself  oh I do love that. Ohhh I also have no TV on when he is gone.

I sometimes get the bed to myself but not the room. The boys drag their mattresses in and we all sleep together. It works for us


Ultimately sharing life is what we are about and to live in a city that has everything on tap and provides us a chance of many diverse experiences.  Not sharing it with the person you love makes it not so great a city after all. It all just looks like distraction.


Andy xoxooxxoxo



BilingualExpat | by Andy Mayer


As a bilingual speaker ( English and Australian) I find it challenging to take the plunge and become trilingual.

Don’t get me wrong. I can count to 999,999 in Mongolian, I can say “hello” , “goodbye”, “good morning” , “thank you”, “excuse me”  and “my name is” in  Mongolian, Kurdish, Japanese, Spanish, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, German, Turkish ( ok I can only say  hi & thanks)  and Korean ( just thanks) I can also say some really unsavoury swear words in Russian but that is about it. 

It’s being fluent that is the hard part.

I can read Russian ( Cyrillic)  but it is useless, I can’t understand what I am reading unless it says Pectopah or Hotapaht.

Pectopah reads as  Restaurant
Pectopah reads as Restaurant


Oh and I can say “water” in Georgian! extremely useful…… in Georgia except when they speak English!

Recently I have been pondering my lack of linguistic skills due to knocking around with Francophiles, Germanians and Spanishtas.  It shits me to tears  when they can switch from English to German to French to Spanish in the blink of an eye with any waiter, tourist or really cute small child. ( Spanish kids are so cute).


I have a Mexican friend who speaks fluent German, French, Spanish, English and Dutch!! Jesus that is showing off now.  I put it down to a mixed culture language marriage. She is married to a multilingual Belgian.  My husband speaks English and really good Strine.Even the Sth Africans are starting to make me envious with their frightfully proper English and their Afrikaans.

The taxi drivers here speak about 4 languages each. Even they are smarter than me and if you knew most Dubai taxi drivers you will know that is pretty outstanding.

My Iranian friend who speaks Italian can understand my Portuguese mate! FUCK.  In group conversations when they use Italian words I  nod my head up and down and frown  as if I get what they are saying.

A recent outing in London with a friend saw me shrink into my own dumbness when she said “Do you speak Spanish?”

“No” as I shook my head. “Well a little ….Poco, poquito, poco loco”

“Oh I only studied Spanish and French at University I suppose I am ok but my kids laugh at my French. I am not that good” she said with the utmost humility

“fuck” I muttered under my breath “should I mention the pig latin I speak”

I didn’t want to tell her my kids think I speak fluent French they are impressed by my knowledge of French words! I can’t string a sentence together but can rattle of loads of nouns. And there in lies my problem I am lazy. I hate verbs especially verbs requiring knowledge of their ending. I am not very good with pronouns either. I suck at languages.

In Mongolia it was really strange because sometimes I would watch 2 Mongolians interacting: one would ask a question and the other would not understand  so the same thing that happened to me would happen to a native speaker.

I think Mongolians have a lot of trouble understanding each other hell I didn’t stand a chance.

Hold on .. "What did he say?"
Hold on .. “What did he say?”

You know what it is like you think you have the pronunciation downbeat and the person just does not understand, so you try again  using a different facial expression, NOTHING, you try again tilting your head to the side, NOTHING, again  in a French accent NOTHING!!

Then you give up thinking the other person is an idiot! Unfortunately it is me who looks like the idiot or the clown as it usually ends up with the person pointing and laughing at me.

I also must cease using my international accent to introduce myself when  I can’t speak the new person’s language. I point at my chest  and say “Un-Dee” then point at them and get blank stares. Maybe the pointing is what puts them off?

Once I did that UNDEE and point thing and I got offered a bottle of water. Another time I did it and was handed a mobile phone. WTF?Presumably it was so I could call someone who could translate my pointing thing for them.


Maybe I need to speak less  Australyan and more Spanglish.




andy xoxo





FartingExpat by Andy Mayer

We all have embarrassing incidents from a yoga class. Maybe not as embarrassing as the Parents Association meetings but close.

I invited a friend to come along to our yoga class as it was really good. I just warned her it was a bit unusual, more Indian ashram than Fitness First Gym and had  it would have chanting as well. She responded with;

“I don’t mind as long as it doesn’t have that lion thing in it.” 

“Oh that never happens, we never do that stupid Lion thing” I said.

Which was true we never did the Lion roaring thing. Secretly I like it but worry about my coffee coated or red wine stained tongue giving my non yogic life away.

Anyway ,she rocks up all perky and excited and a bit nervous  to the yoga class and  15 mins in the teacher instructs us to get on all fours and roar like a fucking lion. We get down on all fours with me avoiding all eye contact with my friend and looking at my sagging  boobs and tummy. The teacher starts his eye rolling, head bobbing tongue sticking out Lion roar .


My friend  snort laughed  then  shook uncontrollably with hilarity,  glared at me and fled out of the class. I was left dribbling, sobbing with laughter, sucking in air whilst sticking out my tongue  but was unable to move because I thought I was going to wet my pants. I think I lost Brownie points with my teacher that day.

Anyway keeping my post short today  It goes a little like this .

A friend of mine called me to tell me about an incident in the yoga class. I am so peeved I was not there in person. I suspect I would have been kicked out though because I have an immature sense of humour. So here is a verbatim (in my mind) recollection of her call.

 C:”OMG I have to tell you what happened in Yoga today.”

Me:” “Please do.”

C: “Well Dr Panda was taking an amazing class, it sucks you missed it ‘

Me:”O damn it… wish I went”

C: “So he does like 20 salutes to the sun and some chanting and then we do this asana where we sit, you know with our knuckles pressing on our pubic bone,  we are deep breathing with our eyes closed. “

Me: “Oh I know that one, yeah yeah tell me what happened”

C: “It was great and in my head I think wow this is a great position to remove gas and then the next thing my body lets out this huge fart.



Me: “snigger snigger….. snort, Oh NO”

C: “Omg it was really loud ( *** insert loud fart noise”)  and even though everyone had their eyes closed and was  doing that breathing thing   it was so loud everyone would have heard it but because I and just been thinking how great it would be to fart and then farted unintentionally  I found it hilarious so started laughing and then everyone knew it was me!


Me: ROFL crying tears of joy

C: “Oh it was soooooo embarrassing……….. I wish you had been there.”


Well My darling friend this is for you

Unknown-2  Andy xoxox

PassiveExpat| Andy Mayer


Passive Expat

by Andy Mayer




My income is so passive it is almost in a coma.
I have never been called a Trailing Spouse but I sure feel like one when it comes to income and earning potential. I know I am not alone.

I am considered a trailing spouse  who according to  the newest “Encyclopaedia Brittanica”- Wikipedia;The term trailing spouse is used to describe a person who follows his or her life partner to another city because of a work assignment. The term is often associated with people involved in an expatriate assignment but is also used by academia on domestic assignments.”

I don’t fall into academia and last time I looked I was not a domestic goddess.  So basically I just  followed him.It’s like he blew in my ear and off I went.

Best of both worlds eh? Academic Domestic Godess
Best of both worlds eh? Academic Domestic Godess

Did I leave a trail of breadcrumbs? NO.

Do I get a trailing commission? NO.

Do I blaze a trail? No there are thousands of women just like me.  (although I am pretty fiery and leave a path of destruction)

Have I squirrelled away some $$ incase he dumps me for a younger and prettier version of himself? NO.

Pity my floor is tiled
Pity my floor is tiled

Did I keep my hand in the industry to maintain skills incase he gets run over by the number 64 tram  and I need to go back to work? NO.

So WTF am I doing?  Well ………….. that kind of  leads me back to where I am right now gazing out at the pool.

Ok, this is NOT actually my pool but you get my drift.
Ok, this is NOT actually my pool but you get my drift.

You see I met with a financial planner  and life insurance agent for dinner. My eyes rolled to the back of my head and I heard BLAH BLAH blah. All I want to do is go to the pool and read my book during the day not read about my financial future.

What a bad attitude.  She said “Sister what are you doing to make sure you  have financial backbone should anything happen to your husband?”

I just kept touching the wooden table to ward off bad luck and  wondering if I could fit the whole felafel wrap in my mouth or if I should use a knife and fork.

Is this 1958 housewife of the year awards?…………… Let me slip into something comfortable to impress my hard working husband  with a scotch on the rocks greeting him with a kiss on the cheek and a little leg lift or is this 2015 where I am independent and secure now and for my future?


I have great plans and have made some serious steps towards Financial independence, it  is just my steps are a bit small and sometimes I take leaps and then I fall down.

The other problem is at night when I am about to nod off to sleep the ideas, the ambition and  the intelligence comes. My creative juices flow and I become the most amazing entrepreneur in the world. I can be a huge success fiscally, philanthropically and personally. But by the light of day (and there is a hell of a lot of that) I seem to return to a lobotomised trailing spouse.

Now where are my bathers,  red high heeled shoes and apron?

I am off to the pool to write about “look see’s”.  New  posting anyone?

andy xo

ps images-5




by Andy Mayer

It’s been between 42 and 50 degrees here the past few days. It is face melt kinda stuff. It is also Ramadan and there is no drinking,  eating, spitting or smoking in public. Sex and  displays of affection  is definitely not acceptable. ick who would want to do that anyway it’s too hot!


I can cope with not eating I am a female we can simply not eat  for years , in my skinny days I relished in  telling people I hadn’t eaten since 1989! Anyway…


It’s the  not drinking water that kills me. I find myself wanting it more when I am not allowed to do it and desperate when I really do need it.I become manic almost to the point  I have sneakily layed down in the car and skulled a coconut water after a boxing session, thrown a scarf over my head  at an empty set of traffic lights and taken a swig after walking around outside for way too long . I have even hidden in the corner of the little store on our compound and knocked back a desperate mouthful when I had ridden my bike there.  I figured if you can’t be seen it’s not in public. Anyway  I digress. I didn’t really do that I just had visions of how I could do it!

It's a pretty clear rule.
It’s a pretty clear rule.


I did however see a man at the checkout last year in Waitress who paid for his groceries and right next to the big sign that said DO nOT consume food or beverages in Public ripped open a packet of chips and shoved them into his mouth right there in front of everyone. It was like he had turned into the cookie monster, chips went flying everywhere. I nearly ran for the  crumbs myself but exercised restraint. I do admit to lying on the floor of a taxi skilling drinking yoghurt. The taxi driver could not have seen me but casually asked if I “found it difficult not eating or drinking during Ramadan” I nearly spat it out all over the back seat!


To add to my inner high temperature, yesterday I drove to a mall to meet a friend for a coffee in the cordoned off non muslim area where the coffee is served in a cocoon. It is either that or eat and drink in the toilet.

some office workers do this.
some office workers do this.

I drove in to the car park collecting my ticket and proceeded to drive to my usual good parking spot. Exactly 42 seconds later I found myself at the exit in a queue!. WTF somehow I took a wrong turn and took an exit fucking ramp. Worst thing is I had to beg the man to open the gate as my ticket was not validated. I then drove out of the car park to find one road and it lead to  a friggin freeway!

I had to exit the 120 km an hour whacky races strip, cross over the freeway, do 500 u turns and get back on the freeway , floor it and then cross back over the freeway to renter the mall and park.

Ok so this is not the "highway" but  it is funny
Ok so this is not the “highway” but it is funny

I had a lovely time with my friend  feeling chuffed that I arrived only 30 mins late! We said our goodbyes, I dashed to the Nespresso store feeling really lucky to live in a city that stocks Nespresso and Vegemite and I felt confident my brain had reset in the air con of the mall.  I definitely did not need to consult the photo  I had taken of where I had parked the car.

Too clever to look at the photo! Trusted my memory...good one
Too clever to look at the photo! Trusted my memory…good one

20 mins later I am wondering around sweating my tits off and cursing that some bastard had stolen my car!

I was indeed  on the floor below. DARN iT.

The heat is melting my intelligence I am sure it was sliding down my back and dripped into my undies

PS. I am in no way disrespectful of Ramadan and the joy fasting brings to my Muslim sisters.

PPS. Oh my friend sent me a text. It appears I am not the only one with brain melt. She lost her car park ticket yesterday and had to pay 150 AED ( $40) to get out!

peace. andy xox