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Love to smile, born in a small village, enjoyed the farm life with my family before leaving home for schools and college, have been working in cities so far, being interested in history, music and sports, dreaming to fly all over the world, hoping to share my feelings with you. I believe great friendships or even really happy relationships are based on good communication. What are you chasing after in the world, my dear friends? Anyway, I hope you are not lonely during your search.
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A Chinese Woman’s Life in Australia: A Key to a Healthy and Happy Home 一个中国女人在澳洲的生活经历:一把钥匙——通往健康幸福的家    

By Meg
2173 Views | 12 Comments | 1/4/2016 9:11:44 PM

Morning exercise in the racing club 在赛马俱乐部晨练


Two and a half years has past, even though I have been spending quite a lot of time on studying and working, exactly, it only took me 0.1% thoughts and energy to study and work, the 99.9% thoughts and energy  are all on how to maintain a healthy relationship and how to establish a healthy and comfortable home in a new world.


Five months ago, it’s about nine clock in the evening, sitting in the kitchen, I was thinking again and again, then I decided to quit my job, I picked up my mobile and called my boss. My boss said I was a bit abrupt when it came to my resignation. I explained simply that I had to stay at home to help my son with his study, that’s only one of the important reasons, another important reason was to help to sell the house and buy another one, I really didn’t want to let our Healthy Home Plan “Abortion”.


On the first day I landed on Australia, stepped into the house, my intuition told me that it didn’t seem like my home. My husband comforted me and said to me “Honey, this is your home”. But….  Anyway, with his help, we made plans together — restore the house, sell it, and buy another one. Every part of the plan could claim to be a huge project, each huge project contains a complex content to test our IQ and EQ, at the same time, each content is a test of our emotionally and intellectually.


After budge and balance, we finished most work by ourselves, and asked the workers for help with some high skill work. During the experience, I went to different towns with my husband to buy materials, tools, we went to Masters, Bunning, and Different Hardware shops. We chose different things, such as different colour paint, different sizes of brushes, nails…. I knew nothing about these before, I learned step by step, I learned how to use different tools, how to paint the walls, how to tile, how to paint the timber, etc. What is more, I learned how to clean the house, inside and outside, front yard and back yard,  how to operate the mower, while I was working, I learned how to avoid poison spiders and snakes. Though I escaped the poisonous snakes, my eyes were hurt by the spider’s net and dust and got serious infection last month. It lasted more than three weeks that I couldn’t work on laptop, couldn’t see clearly when I drove, it's quite dangerous, and my another work training plan had to be putted off one month.


Selling a house is a serious big thing, especially for a family with complexed members. If it’s not handled well, it will be very difficult to predict the consequence. But at the same time, it also reflects the genuineness of each individual. Here, now I want to share my experience of selling and buying a house, it’s completely out of my expectation, it’s just like I bought clothes in Chinese Markets, you can show your bargaining ability as well as you can. Every day, I checked my emails, or answered the phones, once we got the notice there was someone coming to have an inspection, we would clean and tidy the house, decorated with some beautiful flowers, waited for the people. Because our house has a good location, the racing club is just in front of the house, it’s quite big, with some stables for horses too; people were quite interested in it. When the fifth family came up and gave offer, we decided to make it. It took about nine months from the beginning to exchange the contracts. People think, the real estate markets are going quite slowly in the areas, we were lucky to sell with a reasonable price. Maybe we were lucky, I thought.


About buying a house, many friends told me that they needed to look for more than dozens houses before they decided to buy. But add up all, we only had four houses’ inspections. The first one has a very good location, far away from coal mine, about 30 minutes driving to the sea, quite new, the internal structure of the layout is reasonable, it’s good to feed sheep, horses, with some bush around and the kangaroos often greet people on the way; especially, there is a deep dam, you can have a boating, or feed ducks and geese there. I wrote email to the Real Estate and told them we needed to sell our house first, then we could process the buying. Unfortunately, the real estate didn’t answer me. Another month later, I found the house was sold online. What a Pity!


Next, we went on looking for another house. The first impression, we found the quality of the house is spotless, although it has been some years. The house is on the hill, there is a Golf Club at the foot of the hill, Hunter River is around it, it takes less 10 minutes to drive to shopping centers. With disturbed feelings (I was afraid it’s another failure), We started a price war with the seller, We lowered about 40,000 Australian dollars on our first offer, the seller didn’t agree. Meanwhile, We told the real estate we needed to sell our house first, or we couldn't process the buying. The real estate showed me unexpected patience, they sent me email or called me every week, and asked how our selling was going. After about three months, We found the house price was about 10,000 dollars less than the original price online. I began to worry again. After another month, till our selling would be done, I asked in email if the house was still available, they said, “Yes.”  On the basic of the original offer, We added three thousand dollars. The seller appeared to relent, they even agreed to give us all swimming pool equipments, but they still asked higher price…. For various reasons, We insisted on only adding the three thousand dollars, no more. After another week’s waiting, the seller accepted our offer. Then, the last month, in our conveyancers, broker, two real estates and our mutual cooperation, our purchase procedures were finally completed on December 11th.


After this round of the sale of melee, I understand that our prior consultation was not in place, we could get some things done by ourselves, we didn’t need those so-called experts, it's just wasting money. Except the solicitor came to our home and we signed the contracts, most other things were finished at home or online. Once we got an email or phone, we would contact each other, I printed the paper at home, we filled the forms, singed, scanned and sent by emails.


It is particularly worth mentioning is that Australians, especially local Aussie always like to wear thongs (flip flops) when they go out, look free from restraint and "lazy". How about their concept of time? I think it’s better to wait for others to comment. Here I want to talk about a truck driver, he said he would come to help us at 9:30 next morning, for two or three times, he was about 2-3 hours late, but, we were lucky enough to see he was coming on that day. In additon, that's a litter. I observe three places: schools, common families, and public places(not include cities' streets, or malls, because cleaners where nearly 24 hours in service), I worked in school, as a volunteer in different schools and common families, I often go to the parks and rivers, I find, some Auatralians are not better than some Chinese litterbugs who throw rubbish anywhere or spit. They even said openly, that's their habbit, we should respect them. Furthmore, I often go to Sydney by train (taking a train is more convenient than driving, don't have to worry there is no place to park), on the very slowly train, I sat there, some local young people were always noisy on the way, like in a party, with impunity. On the train, once, a young guy even sat on the steps stopped the way and playing his phone, though many seats were available, when I walked past him, I had to say "Excuse me,..." Imagine, how do they behave when they are at home?


Though my husband seldom has a chance to wear thongs to go out, he also has the habit of procrastinating, sometimes I really feel unbearable, but there are also moments of joy, for example:


When the buyer’s solicitor asked us for a latest Sewage Treatment System Certificate, the expert came to check in the morning, according the requirements, we two worked together, cleaned some parts, went to different shops and bought some new parts and changed the new one, took some photos, drew sketches, I sent the pictures and instruction at about 2:30pm, we called at about 3:30pm and got answer from the staff in council, they made sure to send us certificate the next morning, and they were quite surprised at our speed. Yes, we are a perfect team sometimes.


The Christmas is coming a little bit faster for us this year, we haven’t had time to move into our new home, however, nearly all the things have been moved other there, just be patient and wait a few days more.


I believe: in the world, every normal man, every normal woman all hopes to have a healthy and happy home. I think, every happy home should contain nearly the same elements ——  it’s not limited to a safe and comfortable house, more important is the fine family education method, the life style and the economic condition; the harmonious family members’ relations, mutual understanding, mutual respect, not selfish.


I am trying. I have been trying my best with my heart, I won’t feel regret, no matter what the result is.


What is the Key to A Healthy and Happy Home? Where is it? My dear CLM friends, we all know “Each Lock Has Its Own Key”, Once you find the right lock, just try your best to forge a key to your own.


How do you think?

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

整整两年半过去了,虽然我花了相当多的时间在外面学习和工作,实际上,学习和工作仅仅花了我0.1%的心思和精力,我把99.9%的心思和精力花在了如何经营和维护一个健康的夫妻关系和如何在一个陌生的世界创建一个健康的家。


五个月前,已经是晚上九点多钟了,坐在厨房里,经过三番几次,几次三番的思考,我决然地拿起手机给老板打了电话,我决定辞职。老板说我这辞职来得有点突然,我只是简单地说我得留在家帮孩子辅导功课,其实,帮助孩子是一个非常重要的原因,还有一个重要的原因是为了协助卖房子和买房子,我真的不想让我们的健康的家计划“流产”。


登陆澳洲的第一天,踏进这座房子的那一刻,丈夫说,“亲爱的,这是你的家。”可是,我的心里却犹疑这不像是我的家。丈夫安抚我。在他的鼓励下,我们一起制定了计划 — 翻修房子,卖房子,买房子。计划当中的每一个部分都是一个巨大的工程,每一个巨大的工程当中都包含有繁杂的内容,每一个繁杂的内容都检测着我们的智商和情商,同时,每一个内容都考验我们的情感和理智。


经过预算,权衡,我们自己动手完成大部分的活,只有技术要求比较高的才请工人。在这过程中,我跟丈夫无数次跑遍了临近几个镇的五金店,Master, Bunning, Hardware;我们选购了各种材料, 一桶桶各色的油漆和各种型号的刷子,不同型号的钉子…… 我从原来一无所知,到逐步学会了如何使用各种不同的工具,如何粉刷墙壁,如何铺地板,如何贴瓷砖,如何涂油漆,等等。更难得的是,我学会了如何清理房子的里里外外,前院和后院,开除草机,同时,在清理工作的过程中,学习如何避免毒蜘蛛,毒蛇。 虽然,我躲过了毒蛇,但是,我的眼睛还是被蜘蛛尘埃伤害感染,上个月持续大约三个星期不能用电脑工作学习,出门开车也蒙查查的,非常危险,导致我的一个学习培训计划推迟一个月才完成。


卖房,是一件大事,特别对于有复杂家庭成员的家庭,处理不好,会产生难以预计的后果。不过同时,在这个过程中,也体现了每一个人的真品性。在这里,我只简单叙述澳洲卖房买房的过程,完完全全出乎我的预料,就跟我在中国市场买衣服一样,尽可能展现你的讨价还价的能耐。每天查询邮件或者接电话,一旦接到看房通知,马上着手搞好卫生清洁,适当布置鲜花,等待看房的人到来。由于我们房子的地理位置好,门口就是赛马俱乐部,房子大,特别有配套的马房,人们比较感兴趣,当第五个看房的人出现,第二天出价,我们决定拍板成交,从开始上市到确认交换合同,一共花了9个月的时间。在人们认为周边房地产市场如此低迷的情况下,还能以比较合理的价格卖出,连地产商都说我们幸运。也许吧。


关于买房,很多朋友都跟我说起码要看几十套房,才能决定买。加起来,我们一共才看了四套。第一套地理位置好,远离矿区,距离海边大约30分钟车程,房子新,布局合理,可以养羊,可以养马,周围有树林,袋鼠经常问候;特别是,有一个比较大而且深的池塘,可以划小船,可以养鸭养鹅。我写邮件告诉房地产商我们必须先卖掉房子,才能进行新的购房手续,房地产商竟然没有回我邮件,我感觉好失落。再过一个月,我在网上发现那套房已经卖了。可惜!


接着,我们去看第二套,第一印象,房子的质量是无懈可击的,虽然已经有一定的年头。房子在山坡上,山脚是一个高尔夫俱乐部,猎人谷河环绕着,距离购物中心不到10分钟车程。怀着忐忑的心情(担心再一次落空),我们跟卖家展开价格拉锯战,第一次出价,我们把价格压低4万澳元(一般市场行为,压低2万左右),对方不肯。同时,我如实告诉地产商我们必须先把卖房手续搞定,才能买。这家地产商发挥了少有的耐心,几乎每周都给我邮件或电话,询问我们的卖房进展如何,隔了三个月,有一天,我在网上看到卖家把价格降低了一万,我又开始担心。又过一个月,伴着我们的卖房进程,我询问:房子还在吗?对方回答:在!我们在原来出价的基础上仅仅加了3千澳元。看似卖家松口一点,甚至答应把游泳池的所有设备都送给我们,但是,价格还得上调;鉴于种种理由,我们坚持只加3千;经过又一个星期的等待,卖家答应成交。紧接着,最后一个月,在律师,代理商,两家房地产商和我们的相互紧密合作下,我们的购房手续终于在12月11日完成。


经过这一轮的买卖混战,我明白了我们事先的咨询还不到位,有些事情完全可以自己搞定,不必要请那些所谓的专家,花冤枉钱。除了律师拿着文件到家里来需要我们当面签字,其它所有的文件几乎都是在家在网上完成,一旦接到电话或邮件,我马上联系丈夫,或者他联系我,我在家打印,我们一起填表,签字,扫描,然后发出回复。


特别值得一提的是,澳洲,特别是本地人,出门几乎都穿着人字拖,一副悠哉游哉,懒洋洋的样子。至于他们做其它事情的时间观念如何?等着其他人去评说吧。我只想说一说一位拖车师傅,他说,明天早上9点半过来帮我们拉东西,有两三次,每次迟到2-3个小时是正常的,如果当天他能来就够幸运了。另外,就是乱丢垃圾。我通过三个地方来观察:学校,普通家庭和公共场所(不包含城市大街、商场之类,因为那里的清洁工几乎是24小时在服务),我在学校上班过,在不同的学校做志愿者,到普通家庭做志愿者,我经常到处走走,比如公园,河边;我发现,一些澳洲人乱掉垃圾的习惯不亚于中国那些垃圾虫,而且,跟他们理论,他们堂而皇之地说,那是他们的习惯,必须得尊重他们。再者,我经常坐火车去悉尼,(坐火车比自己开车更方便,不用担心没有地方停车),在慢悠悠的火车上,在我坐过的车厢里,有一些本地年轻人一路总是吵吵闹闹的,跟在Party一样,毫无顾忌。有一次在火车上,一个年轻人甚至坐在过道的楼梯上拦路,低头玩手机,虽然有很多空位,他不坐,当我走过时,我不得不说,“对不起,...... ”  可以想象,这些年轻人在他们的家里是什么样子?


虽然我的丈夫很少有机会穿着人字拖出门,他也有拖拉的习惯,有时让我真是忍无可忍。不过,也有让人欣慰的时刻,比如:


当我们的买家律师需要一份最新的污水处理系统证书,早上专家到家来检测,根据要求,中午我们合力完成,清理部分地方,逛了几个店,购买更换一些组件,并且拍照, 画图,下午两点半发出图片和说明,三点多电话联系,政府人员肯定第二天给我们发出证书,他们对我们的速度之快表示特别的惊讶。不得不承认,有些时候我们是一对完美的组合!


对我们来说,这个圣诞来得有些匆忙,我们还没来得及搬进新家,然而,我们的东西已经搬过去,就耐心多等待几天吧。


我相信:普天下,每一个正常的男人,每一个正常的女人都希望有一个健康的幸福的家。我想,美好的家所包含的元素应该是一样的 —— 不仅仅限于一座舒适的舒心的房子;更重要的是优良的家庭教育方法,生活方式和经济条件;融洽的家庭成员的关系,相互理解,相互尊重,不自私。


我正在努力,我用心努力了,不管结果如何,我不后悔。


至于通向一个幸福的家的钥匙是什么?在哪里?我想,亲爱的CLM 朋友们,我们都知道一把钥匙开一把锁,如果你认为你找对了锁,就努力去锻造属于我们自己的钥匙吧!


你觉得呢?

 

祝大家圣诞快乐,新年如意!

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Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 12) 1 2 More...
#2016-01-04 21:13:32 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Meg, I apologize but I have no internet and phoned an employee to post this. I will comment when I am in a better location.

#2016-01-05 22:37:40 by sharonshi @sharonshi

Taste of Life!
生活的真味!

点赞!!!(f)

All iz well!

#2016-01-06 11:27:36 by Barry1 @Barry1

Thank you for sharing this very interesting tale of your life and experiences, Meg. I am extremely glad to see that life in Australia is working out for you. Your success no doubt is due in large part to your own "can do"attitude, your own inner strength and ability. As you very perceptively said,

"Every part of the plan could claim to be a huge project, each huge project contains a complex content to test our IQ and EQ, at the same time, each content is a test of us emotionally and intellectually."

Your new house looks lovely indeed. Nearly all of us living in China in our small apartments and polluted air would be a little envious of you. You have room to move around freely there; you can happily breathe in the fresh air and take joy in admiring the blue sky around you. Living in the busy little town in Sichuan Province where I am now, I've almost forgotten what blue sky looks like!

Integrating into a new society as you've done takes huge amounts of determination, grit, adaptability and flexibility over a diverse range of varying issues, both small as well as large. Many people could not accomplish what you've have done, Meg; many would fail at the first significant hurdle. You should feel proud of yourself, for your achievements as well as your plans.

Your husband must also be very proud of you, just as I feel everyone reading this tale in the CLM family must also feel so proud and happy for you.

In describing your admirable efforts, you said,

"I am trying. I have been trying my best with my heart....."

This is all anyone can ask of you, Meg. This in fact is the ultimate goal of us all. To forge forward into an unknown future; to work diligently and be the best that we can be. No one can ask for anything more than this. No one can expect any more than this. Everyone in fact would respect this.

Your story is an inspirational tale of how a Chinese lady can resolve to meet the many challenges of a new life in a new culture and survive. But not just survive, to prosper and grow. To grow as a loving wife; to grow as a member of the community and the society that you're in; and thereby most importantly, to grow as a person.

Please keep us informed of how life in your wonderful new house goes and how life in Australia evolves. I look forward to read more of your interesting experiences in Australia, that many regard as the "Lucky Country" and it certainly is indeed, one of the nicest places on Earth to live.

Good on you, Meg! (clap)(clap)(sun)(sun)

#2016-01-06 13:13:06 by melcyan @melcyan

"What is the Key to A Healthy and Happy Home? Where is it? My dear CLM friends, we all know “Each Lock Has Its Own Key”, Once you find the right lock, just try your best to forge a key to your own"

Meg, I don't know if these are your original words but they are amazingly appropriate. Finding the right partner (or lock) is very difficult. Then, to forge your own key is even harder ( making a relationship that you believe in your heart is right, actually work and grow).

Many Western men are focussed on finding the "right" partner but often fail when they cannot live up to the task of forging the right key. I am impressed with the way you go about forging your "key". Your attitude to obstacles is to find an alternative path if an obstacle cannot be removed. Great attitude!

I am sorry that I do not have more time to comment on your great article but I just wanted to let you know that I feel that you are definitely on the right path. I am very much looking forward to more blogs like this from you.

#2016-01-06 15:37:59 by meg @meg

@sharonshi

Yes, it's taste of life. My life is like a cup of water, with all flavours. 是的,是生活的真味! 我的生活就像一杯水 - 五味俱全。

Thank you :)


@Barry1

Thanks, mate:)

I asked my husband ,"how or when I should use "Good On You! ?" :)

Just like many other questions I asked, He always explained to me patiently with rich details and lively examples, he is my best teacher.

Thank you again for your encourage, Barry!


@melcyan

" Each Lock Has Its Own Key", I borrowed this words from Chinese and tried to translate it into English, except this, all the other words are from my original thoughts, exactly, it's from my life.

You are right, "Finding the right partner (or lock) is very difficult. Then, to forge your own key is even harder ( making a relationship that you believe in your heart is right, actually work and grow). "

My husband's workmates and friends asked him how I was going in last months.... He told them happily that I am a full time supervisor at home. :)

But it's not easy. I really appreciate what he has been doing for me and for all family.

#2016-01-07 06:11:13 by melcyan @melcyan

一把钥匙开一把锁
one key opens one lock

I suspect 一把钥匙开一把锁 is used much more in Chinese than "Each lock has its own key" is used in English. Is this correct?

#2016-01-07 11:11:17 by Andypanda @Andypanda

Great insight into your life in Australia Meg. Congratulations to you and your husband. When I started reading I couldn't help feel your story is so close to my wife and I own story. She has been here in Australia just over two years now like you. Yes there are many things we both have to accept that the other sees as correct and the "normal" way to do something. But are totally foreign to our own "normal" way of things. I could see these things as being a downfall for many couples who let these differences (that are usually small things) become a sticking point. I find a good way to deal with these sticking point is to use humor and just laugh at how different two cultures can be. Of coarse I tend to be the one who has to bend on most occasions. As one thing I have learned about Chinese women is this. They may be small in physical stature but they have the strength of a tiger when they need to call on it.If it is not something to cause possible harm or dangerous, I tend to just let my tiger have her way. Besides the amount of pure pleasure, enjoyment, fun and happiness she gives me I feel it is a small return for what I receive. She has also done many things she would not normally do in her life in Sichuan. Mow the lawn, cook a outdoor bbq, swim in the surf, Go see dolphins in the ocean from a boat. Her most pleasurable thing though is her vegetable garden. She is so happy she can grow her own fresh food and eat it . She has had great success with beans, tomatoes, corn, melon's but alas our potatoes were the size of grapes. We had a laugh and still ate them. She has taught me simple things can give so much pleasure, like the vegi garden and I now look up at the clouds and stars like I never have since I was a child. Yes everyday has a new learning experience and some times a new challenge but so far everything is going great, Having said that, I can hear her saying "touch wood" as this Western saying has stuck with her from the first time I used it, and of coarse she touches my head when she does so. Ask your husband to explain that one.
Anyway all the best to you and your husband and lets hope your story and mine can inspire some one who was contemplating giving up hope.

#2016-01-07 14:08:00 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Hi Meg, I finally have internet again so am able to comment.

I found this blog to be quite remarkable. It moved me to read what you have gone through in your efforts to make your marriage work, and it reminded me that marriages don't work unless both husband and wife are prepared to do whatever it takes to build a home in which each of them can find love, security and contentment.

Your husband is incredibly fortunate to have found such a strong, loving and giving woman. In turn, you also seem to have found a very loving and caring man, one with a good heart and one who is prepared to follow your lead in recognition of the positive values you are bringing to his life.

We are all here pulling for your success Meg, hoping to a person that you build a relationship that lasts for all time and that you find great happiness together forever. I personally believe you cannot and will not fail.

Like @melcyan, @Barry1 and @sharonshi I too look forward to many more blogs like this one.

@Andypanda - you just wrote a great Success Story here in a comment, but as a great longstanding member of CLM, shouldn't it be posted amongst our favourite Success Stories? I understood that you met your beautiful wife here on CLM, so please ask her to write a few thoughts on your meeting in Chinese, and please provide some photos of yourselves together, and of your marriage, and let us post you where you belong - up with our very best Success Stories.

Meg, the same goes for you!!!

Cheers, John

#2016-01-07 15:22:19 by meg @meg

@melcyan

Mandarin is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, it's my interest, too. Especially ancient poems, are outstanding culture. It's pity my husband hasn't had chance to learn Mandarin, he hopes to begin to learn soon and we will go back China to my first hometown for Spring Festival next month.


@Andypanda

I am smiling when I read your words. I understand what "Touch Wood" means. :)

But even "Square Wood Head" still has a "spheronization" chance.

Besides vegetable gardens, I also plan my flower gardens and dams for ducks, geese, tortoises and fish, my son and my husband will help me build chicken houses.

Yes, my home is not far from yours, I guess. if possible, please tell your wife that I would like to meet her, is it okay? At least we can exchange growing vegetable experience.


@JohnAbbot

Never mind when you can write a comment.

The only words I can say here now is - Thank you again very much for giving me such a good platform to share my life.

Best Wishes To You And Your Family In The New Year!

#2016-01-08 09:07:31 by Andypanda @Andypanda

Thanks Meg, I will tell her about what you said.

Thanks John. I will ask her but as you know "some" Chinese women dont like to show "their business" to everyone....finger crossed as I would love to show our success to all so I will work on her.

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