Family and Friends

Becoming a Melbournian, one step at a time.

Cow Up a Tree - Docklands, Melbourne It certainly has been ages since I last wrote a personal post. To be frank, I always find writing about myself to be the most difficult. Not because I do not have anything to write, as I often do, but because my most recent life events have been somewhat too personal in nature to share with the world. Now I know that those are the kind of stories that make blog’s thrive. However, I had to take a step back in order to protect those closest to me by abstaining from aggravating any and all gossipmongers. More out of respect than courtesy, mind you. One day I may reveal all that has happened, but only time will tell. For now though, I wish to focus on the future and what has been happening over the last week.

As I have mentioned before, I have been neglecting the personal posts with which my blog was originally built on. Believe me, I actually feel bad about it. I love sharing my experiences, whether good or bad, and listening to people’s opinions. Or lack thereof. Consequently I will attempt to revive the personal aspect of Hans’ Milieu.

Okay, a quick recap of the last week:

Hans Haupt - Melbourne Nov 2009 I am actually in Melbourne, Australia, at the moment. I arrived last week Monday. The flight was pleasant with a total travel time of around 16 hours (including transit and flight times from Sydney to Melbourne). Actually, I wonder why there are no direct flight to Melbourne? Considering that the flight has to fly over Melbourne anyway. Very odd. However I have heard that Virgin will be flying direct to Melbourne from next year. Thank heavens for that as it will make travelling just that much better.

For those who are unfamiliar with my families ‘Australian’ history, all you you really need to know is that we have been planning on immigrating for the last 8 years. Well not really ‘planning’ per se, more like procrastinating. This year, however, I finally had enough of all of the indecision and took matters into my own hands. Thus I kindly told my parents, in the nicest way possible, that, if we could afford it, I would like to continue my Masters and Doctoral studies at Monash University in Australia. A logical move, considering that I am a Monash University Alumnus and already paying exorbitant international student rates, since that was the only way for me to be able to do my Masters at Monash University in South Africa. As a result I am currently enrolled as a Master’s student at Monash University’s Clayton campus in Melbourne, via external candidature (which allows me to stay in South Africa). Unfortunately, it is as complicated as it sounds.

Hans and Terrence - Melbourne Nov 2009 Considering my current academic situation and our continued, but never fruitful, desire to begin a new life in Australia, it makes perfect sense for me to spearhead our Australian move. However, it is proving to be quite a lot harder than we originally anticipated. More so in terms of finding a place to live than actually obtaining entrance to the country (for me anyway). Subsequently, the last week has been focussed on finding me a place to stay while I am in Australia pursuing my studies. Needless to say, ‘house hunting’ is incredibly tedious and rather tiring especially since options are rather limited, courtesy of the strengthening Australian dollar and constantly weak South African Rand. Regardless, I do have hope that we will find a moderate place in a respectable location.

In other news I spent some time with my cousin Terrence, who is currently in Australia via Monash University’s undergraduate study abroad program, I managed to watch New Moon (review coming soon), got tickets to Britney Spears’ Circus Tour for this coming Friday *school girl scream* and have generally been having a wonderful time in Melbourne; further experiences that I will continue to write about when I have the time.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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United as One – Reginald & Cora Sarakis

On Saturday the 26th of September 2009 we bore witness to the joining of Reginald George Sarakis and Cornellia Petronella Kuhn in holy matrimony.

Mr & Mrs Reginald SarakisTruth be told, it was actually a double wedding! Not only did my extended cousin get married, but so did his new brother-in-law. The adage, ‘two birds, one stone’ has never been more appropriate, nor have the humorous connotations with that maxim been more prevalent.

The wedding took place in the rustic city of Rustenburg at the NG Church West.

The ceremony was somewhat unorthodox, with two sessions of the wedding march being played for each respective bride. Thankfully there was only one main service for both couples. Unfortunately it was all in Afrikaans, so although I did not understand most of it I did, obviously, get the just of the proceedings.

After the ceremony we went to this quaint little hall near the Rustenburg ‘fair grounds’ for the wedding ‘after party’. It was there that we were greeted by a multitude of edible treats and sublimely succulent lamb on the spit. The most ludicrous part of the evening was when I was finally introduced to cousins of mine, whom I had been speaking to for most of the evening, without even realising that we were all related. Best part? They are all fluent in English! Ha ha!

Ultimately, a fantastic time was had by all and we are immensely happy for Reginald and his new bride.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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‘Au Revoir’… Matey

This morning I went to the airport to bid farewell to my cousin and his family who have immigrated to Sydney, Australia.

This is not the first time that they have immigrated. As a matter of fact it is the second time. The first time they went to Dubai, where they lived for about three to four years before returning to South Africa. However, they always knew that Dubai would only be a temporary change. Going to Australia on the other hand, is an entirely different scenario. For this time they have immigrated in an attempt to begin a completely new life.

As a result, a farewell was held for my cousin and his family on Sunday 13th September 2009 at Gilooly’s Farm. You may have a look some of the pictures in the album below.

Saying goodbye is never easy. This time around though, I knew that I would be seeing them soon, thus delaying any emotional responses to their subsequent departure. Nevertheless, it still was not easy to have said ‘goodbye’. So this is for you, my cousins.

Rihanna – Final Goodbye

I know that my time is coming. For those who do not know, my family and myself have been thinking about immigrating for many years now. Unfortunately, we have not taken any ‘permanent’ measures to ensure a way of immigration. However, my plan has always been to complete one year of my Masters studies in South Africa and the final year in Australia. As a result, and should everything go as planned, I will leave for Australia by March of 2010 (next year). I will most likely post about this, in more detail, at a later stage. So… do not be a stranger!

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Music Monday: ‘The Truth Shall Set Me Free’

Hey Milieunairs,

Story of the Year - The Black SwanIt is Music Monday and thus time for another Vivaciously Varietal Vibe!

Rationale: In truth, I do not listen to heavy rock. Any song where the lead singer sounds like he has swallowed a flea ridden cat and is attempting to cough the poor sodden creature back up, is simply not a part of my vibe. Although not impossible but highly unlikely, I dare say that I would rather listen to the constant ‘bitches and ho’ motif’s of droning Rap and R&B driven artists than the cat call enthused rhythms of hard rock.

Even with that said, I can actually see the appeal to hard rock. Primarily in that I assume hard rock to be the audio equivalent of an extreme emotion; perhaps such as a raging anger or deep wounded sadness. That does not mean that people who listen to hard rock are inherently angry or prone to masochism, for those are merely unequivocal stereotypes. Instead I believe that the music serves as an aid, a medium of sorts, where an individual is able to channel his/her feelings through an emotional relation to an artists sentiment infused lyrics and tone. It is this emotional relation which drove me to dedicate this Music Monday post to The Story of the Year’s ‘The Truth Shall Set Me Free’.

“And you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free” ~ John 8:32

Recently it has come to my grave attention that various family members, of the paternal disposition, have taken it upon themselves to directly target myself and my immediate family in a rather negative and callous light. All seemingly because it appears that they are, unfortunately, inbred with the vehement disposition to automatically assume the worst in people, rather than attempting to find out the truth and the subsequent solace it will undoubtedly bring. This is incontrovertibly brought on by their infallible inability to face problems directly, instead resorting to hurtfully shameless acts of passive aggression. Consequently, myself and my family have been thrown into a rather emotionally taxing conundrum, which does not appear to have a clear end in sight, despite our reconciliatory advances. Ultimately, it truly is a sad state of affairs, one which has resignedly forced us, myself in particular, to re-evaluate the distressing indispensability of particular familial ties. I cannot relay the kind of soul ripping anguish I have felt over this purposefully vague description of a very real and unnecessary predicament. A predicament doubtlessly bore of uninformed, refutable and capricious suppositions. All in the aid of nothing, resulting in an unfounded quandary. If only they had chosen to seek the truth, instead of purposeful damnation, for the truth would have set them free!

"…Life is too short to be unhappy! You have to take the good with the bad; smile when you’re sad; love what you’ve got; and always remember what you had. Always forgive but, never forget. Learn from your mistakes, but never regret. People change and things go wrong, but always remember… that life goes on"! ~ George Carlin

George Carlin has, unknowingly, crafted an ethos with which to live by. One which has regrettably imbued me with the necessary counsel needed to allow me to inauspiciously and fundamentally, along with a sense of deep sadness, move on and away. The last few days have, without question, been incredulously taxing. However, as the infamous adage denotes: ‘what does not kill you, only makes you stronger’. Thus, I know that my family and myself will persevere, against all.

I will take, this chance, To break from your traditions
And I will burn, your worth, I’ll burn all that you said
And I’ll finally face, this day, With my eyes open wide
And I will erase, your lies, Tear off this [your] disguise
And now I can say, The truth shall set me free

When the sun is gone, And the rain starts to fall
I will be the one, I will rise…
Rise up through it all!

An excerpt from the lyrics of ‘The Truth Shall Set Me Free’ by Story of the Year.

The Truth Shall Set Me Free by Story of the Year -> Halo Video Remix

As always, whenever I post about Vivaciously Varietal Vibes on Music Monday’s, simply click on the name of the song to be taken to a web page that displays the songs lyrics.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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An Unforgettable Spirally Fractured Easter

Happy Easter Milieu-nairs!

Have you ever wondered where Easter Eggs come from? As you can see, a picture is worth a 1000 words – “Easter Bunny at work”! Love it!

I trust you have all had a fantastic Easter filled with tons of delicious chocolate surprises and much needed family time! As most of you already know my entire family makes a huge deal out of Easter. Every year we all go away together, to some remote location, where we bond, fight and have a jolly good time! This years familial Easter retreat was no different! Check out the photographs!

This year I ended up having one hell of a ‘cracking’ time, often ‘spiralling’ out of control and then ending with an unexpected ‘break’. Literally!

What you are reading now, I have had to type with one hand and on my mobile phone – no easy feat and one that is definitely tiring. I am using my none dominant left hand to be exact. Say what?!

Yes… I managed to break my right arm, on Saturday 11th April 2009 at approximately 14:45. My first broken bone too… So much for self-preservation! You know what I have just realised… This falls into my The Year of The New resolution of New Experiences that I blogged about *OMG moment*. Damn… I need to be more careful and definitive in future when I make resolutions because this year has been crazy thus far!

Well, as fate would have it, I am now sporting a Spiral Fracture of the right Humerus. How? Simple really… Through ‘Arm Wrestling’!

No, I’m not joking. I broke my arm via arm wrestling, of all things. Okay, you can stop with the incredulous look and vehement sniggering now. As it turns out, this kind of injury is actually quite common with regards to arm wrestling – just Google it and/or check out these links: Body Building Forums and Scientific Journal. I mean… Who knew?! Furthermore, I was, as a matter of fact, winning before my arm snapped! Subsequently, and before you have to ask, no there is nothing wrong with my bones nor are they weak or brittle. I did read somewhere, the source evades me at this moment in time, that the bicep muscle is often, like in my case because I was winning, a major cause of the fracture, strange but true. Just goes to show how strong our bodies can actually be.

A lot of people have asked me what it was like the moment my arm broke and how painful it was. Look, to be completely honest, I cannot recall any pain at the moment my arm snapped. I just remember hearing an awful crack, my arm wobbling like jelly, an intense numbness (courtesy of a pinched nerve) and an inability to move my fingers and hand (which, thankfully, only lasted for a few seconds). I immediately knew that my arm was broken. I just knew. I grasped my arm close to my chest, instinctively holding it in an ‘L’ shape and moved away from the arm wrestling table all the while attempting to move my fingers. I would describe the pain as a deep, untouchable and continuous throb when held still. Obviously any movement of my arm resulted in piercing sweat inducing stabs of pain. The entire family witnessed my arm break. It is now a historical moment that will be remembered by all and for years to come *sigh*. I can hear it already, for instance: "No arm wrestling kids, remember when Hansie broke his arm" or “Be careful Hans, we don’t want you to ‘break’ anything else”. I have already been labelled as the ‘One Armed Bandit’ *rolls eyes*.

 

Thankfully I do not require surgery even though the break is quite bad. According to the Surgeon the only benefit between surgery and healing ‘conventionally’, in my case anyway, is the recovery time. Turns out I may also end up with a slight kink in my arm, but I reckon that will just make me truly unique. Living with only one working arm has been tough. Tougher than I thought it would be particularly because I have to keep my arm as still as possible. My folks even have to bathe me and I cannot drive, not yet anyway. The loss of my autonomy has been rather hard to deal with. As a result I truly have even more sympathy for the less capable, since I now have a ‘first hand’ (mind the pun) experience of what having a handicap could be like.

 

Arm Wrestling – A compilation of "breaks"

Curious to see what happens when your arm breaks, specifically during ‘arm wrestling’? Then check out the video above. I cannot help but cringe every time I watch an arm break since I now know the pain, trials and tribulations associated with a broken arm.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!