19 Mar 2014

Tales Of An Auswanderer #2: the friendly visit

Not seeing the people you're used to seeing every week is one of the things that's most painful about moving to a distant place, even if it's relatively close (aka the same continent). You can't just jump on a plane to go out for lunch or a cocktail with your best friends, well some people probably can but I can't because believe me I would if I had that much money. 

Having some of my closest friends come to visit me is something I'd been looking forward to for ages, I was really eager to show them every part of my new life and my city. Obviously I was amazingly happy when two of my lovely girls booked a flight to come over during their uni holidays in february (which by the way, we don't get here in the UK, why?!)

As the day came closer and closer I got more and more excited but also more and more nervous. What if they didn't like it here? What if they found it too wet and too cold? What if we'll start to argue because we're not used to being together 24/7? I never even realised there was so much I could be worried about, but I did my best to just forget about those things and prepare as much as I could, I cleaned my room, got an airbed, got some fresh flowers, sprayed the room so it smelled nice, you know, all those things.

I don't want to go into too much detail about the whole week they were here because that would just be a very long post, but I'll just mention some things that might be important to someone who is in the same situation. Or someone who is visiting a friend abroad even. 

Firstly, there is no need to try and plan everything, when you're with your friends at home and you meet up in town, most of the time you don't even decide where to go for coffee before you actually meet each other, so why plan everything when they're there to visit you? Yes you should make a list of things you want to show them and ask them to make a list of things they want to see, after all it's not all your job, you're not a tourist guide, you're their friend, they'll realise that eventually. (maybe).

Now, I love my friends because, well, they're obviously my friends so I must feel some sort of positive feeling towards them right? But everyone is different, and some people are more alike than others, some people are extremely easy to deal with and some aren't especially in out of the ordinary situations. When one of your friends is being really annoying while visiting you, maybe because they don't like that you're happy in your new country, maybe because they're jealous, whatever. Just try and ignore it, I'm bad at this but I keep telling myself all over again: I have achieved something by moving here and living my dream (basically) so those of my friends who are happy for me are the ones I listen to and then ones I trasure because it is hard to be so far away from each other and still be friends, but some people do it really well whereas others just suck at it. But that's just life and I try and ignore it as much as I can.

So this was a bit of a random post I guess, I just felt like I wanted to share some of my thoughts, I also want to encourage more of my friends to come here because it's great here (really!) and I'm really thankful for their support. 


16 Mar 2014

Graze Box #1 (a little intro)

I've been meaining to try Graze box for a while, probably since I first saw one of their vouchers lying around in Smiths. However it's taken me a while (well, and the fact that when I first found out about them I didn't actually live in the UK) but thanks to Tilly and her code I finally got around to ordering my first box. That was a few weeks ago now so I thought it was about time I did a little blog post about it and if you guys enjoy it I might do some more in the future about my boxes and what I think about the snacks.

I am probably a little weird when it comes to snacks. I'm not much of a snack person when it comes to buying things. I don't like crisps (I know, shock, horror!) and I only very rarely buy sweets unless I really really want some (which, luckily, only happens rarely). I do however still really like to have things to snack, I'm just never really sure what would be the right thing for me. So Graze is pretty much the perfect thing for me.

For those of you who haven't heard of them I'll just explain it to you briefly. Basically you subscribe to their snack boxes and you can choose whether you want them twice a week, every week or every other week (which is what I do, you know, the money).

You can then go on their website and look through all the snacks they have in their repertoire and rate them as either 'BIN' which means they won't send it to you, 'TRY', 'LIKE' and 'LOVE' which basically define how regularly they are going to send it to you. You also get the option of ticking 'Send Soon' if you are particularly eager to try something (I do this all the time).

Each box is £ 3.89 and you can get voucher codes which means you get your first, fifth and tenth box for free, you can use my code by clicking HERE. You get four snacks per box which may not sound like too much but I think they're reasonably sized and for me they're perfect to take to uni and are definitely all I need for those two weeks they have to last me for.

So now on to my first box.

8 Mar 2014

StudentFood: Red Lentil Curry

I've been talking about publishing tasty and budget friendly recipes for a while now so I thought it was about time. I've had a bag of red lentils in my cupboard for a while, I bought it from the supermarket on curry mile just after I moved in. I've never been brave enough to take the plunge and actually do something with it until today when I suddenly fancied red lentils so I went to the kitchen and literally got together what was left in the cupboard and fruit/veg basket and created this quick and easy meal. I am definitely going to make this more often, maybe add some more things to it and I also want to experiment a bit more with lentils in general.

1:2 red lentils and vegetable stock
1 carrot
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
100 ml coconut milk
2 tsp madras curry powder
1 tsp turmeric

  • chop up the onions, garlic and carrot into little cubes. 
  • heat some oil in a pan and stir fry the veg for about 5 minutes, then add the spices. 
  • add the vegetable stock and then stir in the lentils. 
  • leave to simmer until the lentils are soft (about 15 minutes). 
  • add the coconut milk and salt to taste.