Parties, Fiestas & Dancing

There’s nothing better than getting dressed up and heading out to a party.  I just love that I get to experience two totally different versions of what each of us consider a “Party”, especially when it involves each others families.

Most parties on my mums side of the family are usually held at my Aunty’s house, they’re pretty stock standard and you usually you know hour by hour how the night will unfold.

  • Arrive at 7.00pm (on the dot)
  • Walk through side gate to back yard, duck under tarps that are blocking out the cold
  • Scan back yard for closest chair to patio heater, if you’re real lucky get a chair with cushions, sit for the next 4 hours chatting to cousins and aunties and drinking wines.   Men, stand around with beers in hand talking about AFL footy, horse races, and AFL footy. (Claud is in his element when it comes to these topics)
  • Get asked by both Aunties and nan “when are you having kids?”
  • 7.30pm  Tea time – Meats cooked in the webber, served on a long table with the “good” table cloths, meats divided up in individual styrofoam  boxes, each box with laminated color pictures stuck on the front of what animal you are about to eat (along with the name of the animal in case the picture wasn’t a dead give away).  Sides of scallop potato, caesar salad, home made fried rice, jug of gravox gravy (traditional meat AND chicken flavour – fancy) and a mountain load of bread rolls from the local hot bread shop in one of those big heavy duty cardboard bags (to exy to go to Bakers Delight for this many people).
  • 10.00pm  It’s time for the smartest person to try and operate the music from the computer in the lounge room and somehow make it play all the way out to the speakers in the garage (bluetooth…what’s that?)
  • 10.15pm  Time to hit the dance floor. (that’s the small patch of concrete between the pool table, pot belly fire and couch from 1986 in the garage) There we are , myself and my aunty attempting to recruit others to the dance floor to join us in the nut bush.
  • Desert time, without fail it consists of Pavlova, chocolate ripple cake, truffles, cream cheese lattices, donut sticks (my sisters specialty – cuts Safeway donuts up into pieces and places them on skewers), cherry ripe slice, caramel slice and a fancy home made cake from my other Aunty.
  • Mum and aunties discuss the amount of food and that “we’re so lucky, we really are… time we won’t make so much, this is silly, just silly”
  • 11.30pm Partys Over
  • Forced to take a plate home (even though i’m about to physically explode) mix every meat and side dish together and then top it off with a piece of pav and chocolate ripple cake on top of the roast lamb.
  • Home time…Balance plate with one hand, raise other hand up, wave and yell goodbye at the same time, and that goodbye covers everyone at the party.

Now recently we had a party at Claudios dads house, his place is the choice of venue for their side of the family.

  • 6.45pm I’m deciding what to wear.  Come out to lounge room, show Claud a South American type outfit (slightly sexier than my normal get up, thinking I can pull this shit off, I’m linda bella rica),  walk out with stupid smile on my face thinking I look all sexy, do a twirl (well more of a shuffle, the dress is so fridgen tight) nearly split dress, head back to the bedroom, feeling like a try-hard, don’t even bother to get his opinion,  chuck slut dress on floor.
  • 7.05pm Outfit number 7, Feeling good with my choice, it’s cute, it’s me, it’s not trying to be all sexy, this dress is the one.   Claud comes over and say “it looks good..butt, if you just” he then proceeds to roll the hem up about 25 centimetres and pull the dress so closely to my thighs that it’s as if this dress is painted on. Roll eyes, storm off, mumble to myself (dickhead Claud). Chuck on floor.
  • 7.10pm Skinny jeans (that i’ll have to undo the top button after dinner) and a cute top with little boots, comfy and cute, done. (who needs his opinion)
  • 7.15 – Claud takes shower (anxiety level getting pushed to new levels).  Me -“what time does it start?”, Claud “8ish” (apparently theres no such thing as a start time for Chilean parties you just get there when you get there
  • 7.55pm arrive at party. (BYO truffles in hand, knowing there’ll be no deserts and I have to finish on something sweet.
  • Scan the room for any other english speaking guests, possibly one or two but could be wrong.
  • 8.30pm sit at table next to Claud, pray he doesn’t go outside to talk to someone and leave me. He does. Shit!!! Javeria:  “Ola, yo soy Javiera”  (hello, I am Javiera), Me: “Ola, Yo Kristy” (hello, I Kristy), Javier: “como estas” (how are you), Me:”bien y tu” (good and you)”  Javiera “ahhhh no bien, porque mi cabs no buenos” (shit, i’ve tricked her, she thinks i’m one of them, what’s she saying? I don’t know anything past my name and how I’m feeling, shit, just smile and nod, smile big and giggle a little like you understand what she’s saying, Me: “oh si si mmm” smiling away.  (I’ve nailed it!!)  Claud ever so kindly translates Javieras last sentence and It’ll be the last time she talks to the girl who giggles and smiles at a poor woman with a sore head. (dam it, I was doing so well)
  • 8.50 excuse myself to go to the bathroom, (That’s a cool straightener, triple stripe – oh i love that toothpaste, yum that hand soap smells delicious) the more time spent in there, the less time trying to pretend I fit in.
  • 9,20pm about to pass out from starvation, wonder how all the kids haven’t starved to death (if this was at my sisters the kids would have been sleeping for he last 1 hour and 50 minutes, not the Chileans, “its party, let kids party”…righto, keep going kids)
  • 9.40pm dinner is ready.  Trays upon trays of meat.  Try to figure out what is what, meat pieces so big one piece almost covers entire dinner plate.  I must have a “what the hell are those meats look on my face” because the man next to me states “carne, it’s carne”..and I’m thinking the signs, where are laminated lamb signs when you need them? Instead I dig in and pray that carne doesn’t mean horse in Spanish.
  • Get to table, google translate carne, “meat, carne is meat” (well thank-you very bloody much google translate, what type of meat?) Oh well, Dig in!!
  • 10.00pm have about 2 more servings of horse and rice, don’t even bother trying to pretend I can speak Spanish and use the opportunity to sit quietly and really make use of this quality thinking time ( now what episode am I’m upto on Girls?, is it episode 3 or 4).
  • 10.30pm in rolls Miguel (at least 63 years old) decks and disco strobe lights in hand.  It’s disco time!!
  • No recruiters required, music starts playing and bang, hips are shaking feet are gracefully moving back and fourth, men are dancing with women, it’s just so civilised (not a single handbag on the ground with girls dancing around it in sight).
  • I sit there talking to myself, go on get up, no don’t be stupid, go onnnnn, and before I know it Claud has got me up and dancing.
  • Look around the room, trying ridiculously hard to look like I know how to Salas (6 lessons, I should be sweet).  Get so into it that I start thinking I could possibly be asked to join JLo’s crew as a back up dancer.
  • Scan the room, can’t believe how good that 7 year old can dance, they must have salsa classes in the curriculum at primary school?  (Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for the opportunity to break out “heel and toe heel and toe, 1,2 ,3)
  • Jeans are officially cutting in and will have to do undo button if there’s any chance of fitting in a truffle.
  • 12.10am Look at the clock, shit, it’s after midnight, try to do the maths to calculate how many episodes i’ll fit in when I get home.  Give Claud the nod, time for a quick get away
  • 12.40am 37 cháos and kisses later
  • 12.45am fall asleep in car on the drive home.


This will be me, get to cocky and whamo!!


And for those who weren’t fortunate enough and didn’t get to learn heel and toe at school, here it is..


What’s For Tea?

My love for food has always been my true passion, it pretty much runs my life.  I’ll be sitting at my desk at work eating my lunch, (well I say lunch, to be fair, it’s usually some tiny piece of chicken I managed not to polish off from the night before, chucked in a tupperware aka sistema container with about 13 spinach leaves, and voila chicken salad!!) wondering and getting excited about what amazing dinner Claud will be cooking for us. (Secretly hoping that it will be pork belly)

Poor mum used to have a hard time trying to please me, I’d often call her from work at my first job when I was 18 and ask her how she was, followed by “what’s for tea?” and unless she said chicken kiev and chips ($2 of chips from the local fish n chip shop) then I’d pretty much crack the shits, end the phone call abruptly and say goodbye.  Mum still gets nervous telling me what’s for tea when we go over each Monday for the family dinner.

Thankfully my tastes buds have had quite the development in the last 15 years.

Now that I am a grown up and get to cook my own teas, I can choose whatever I want EVERY night.  I know this sound silly, but sometimes I still can’t believe that I am old enough and grown up enough to wander through the supermarket and if I feel like buying a chook from the Deli and just eating the wings and skin for tea that I can, or have kievs three nights running, or the biggest possible piece of scotch fillet with blue cheese sauce and a mountain of mashed potato (and no vegies, yes mum, no vegies) or if I’m feeling really loco (listen to that Spanish naturally rolling of my tongue) then I’ll just smash a bag of cheese and bacon balls, followed by a wagon wheel for desert and that’s tea done.

I sometimes smile to myself as if I’m Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone and think “how good is this? every night a beautiful tea!”  I no longer have the fear like I used to when I was walking home from school praying for a good tea (kiev) only to discover that mum has made cold meats and salad for tea (cold meat meaning a couple piece of stras, chicken loaf, ham and silverside )  or if mum’s really spoiling us a ham steak.  Accompanying these gourmet meats is a “salad” which consisted of half a boiled to the shithouse almost grey egg, some grated carrot, a piece of Kraft singles cheese, 3 cucumber slice and maybe a slice of beetroot.

So after dropping in to the local to pick up just a few ingredients for the nights tea ($87 later),  I can now create (attempt and normally fail) a delicious tea.  It’s funny because I start off with all these delicious ingredients spread across the bench just waiting to be turned in to something that half resembles a dish from master chef, but for some reason what I imagine in my head at the beginning doesn’t match the end result.

Me: Get 2 fry pans out (couldn’t possibly cook a Bassa filet and piece of Salmon in the same pan), get saucepan and boiler out for steaming vegies, realise after pouring water in the first saucepan that it was too big for the boiler, get saucepan number 2 out.  Use three chopping boards, one for each fish, one for the veggies, get two peelers out because you hate one of them, but can’t remember which one and never throw out the shit one, then get a second teaspoon out because you couldn’t possibly put the same spoon back into the minced garlic you just used, you need a fresh one. Get every condiment out, pretend I’m Nigella, literally trying to be all sexy as I dip my 7th teaspoon into the minced garlic and start commentating (talking to all my viewers) on what ingredients I’m adding to flavour the fish, all whilst bunging on an English accent. (salmon and boiled broccoli & cauliflower, how sexy!!!).

The end result a sinkful of unwashed dishes, cumin, minced garlic and olive oil spread from one side of the bench to the other, burnt on the outside but slightly raw on the middle fish and poor little veggies that have been boiled to death, so as soon as your fork touches them they crumble to pieces.

and then there’s Claud’s version

In comes Mr Technique ( he says this EVERY time he cooks “watch the technique”,  ..technique shmecknique,  just pull every ingredient and every pan out and start chopping), Mr Clean as he Goes (who has time for that? I’m trying to create a play list – “Krit’s Cooking mix”, set a timer for the fish,  boil water for the vegies, as if I have time to clean). Mr Magic, pronounced ma-shick (it drives me mad when he says says “watch the ma-shick” – it’s not magic, there’s no white dove flying round the kitchen after you’ve finished.

But maybe I’m wrong because after he’s finished and I look at the table and see the set up for The Last Supper, it’s true, HE IS A MAGICIAN!!!

Perfectly cooked pork belly, fluffy hot rice (not having to worry about the possibility of hitting the bottom of the pan and scraping up a spoonful of black crusty rice), pebre (salsa type thing made from scratch), tomato salad (although I call bullshit on this salad, slicing tomato and onions and placing them nicely on a plate doesn’t equate to salad) and perfectly sliced bread (Bakers Delight sourdough, mind you he does bake his own bread sometimes…. seriously, who has time for that?) placed on a cute little wooden chopping board.

And as I peer my head around to the kitchen bench to see if he has managed to “Clean as he goes” there is not not a single pan or utensil left unwashed, a perfectly wiped down bench and not a single splash of food up the wall.   I’m unsure as to whether I’m mad that he can create such deliciousness without no mess whatsoever or secretly happy as I’m in charge of cleaning up


Here is a 15 second video I sent across to Claudio when he was recently in Chile, you will notice that I still haven’t mastered the old “clean as you go”. (Please let my voice sound better at Karaoke than it does in this clip)


Images above from Left to Right:

Left:  Nigella is that you?

Left middle: Just a simple Thursday night dinner for two (made by Claud)

Right middle: The magician (not only in the kitchen but also at our nephews Art Show at Kinder…where is the dove?)

Right:  Turns out you don’t need to slowly cook smoked ham hocks in the oven for 3 hours. (probably no need to explain who cooked this tea)





Chilean Affection vs Australian Affection

I’m not one to generalise so maybe I’ll scale back the whole of “vs Australia” to just my family. One might say my family is a bit cold, unaffectionate, unromantic (that’s a word right?) anyway my sister and brother get a kiss once a year at their birthday (it’s awkward but I still do it). They miss out at Christmas because shit is happening, food is a priority and there’s no time for kisses and cuddles.

On the other hand my fiancé, Claudio (which of course we shorten to Claud, said like cloud in the sky.  We half pronounce his name in a Spanishy sounding way. The first part is meant to sound like Cloud, but we stuff up the end part, the ‘io’. The ‘O’ on the end should sound similar to how we hear the letter ‘O’ in more, like an ‘or’ sound,  but instead, for some odd reason we say the ‘O’ like how Santa say ‘Ho Ho Ho’, and this way has just stuck. I mean imagine me introducing him to friends, “Hi Megs, Mike, how you goin? This is Clou – di orr”!!!” They’d be thinking righto, she’s been with him how long and the accents already rubbing off? …… similar to Australians who visit the US for three months and start saying bananas and tomatoes all weird

Anyway….. Claud is a kisser, to anyone and everyone he meets, and to me this is just plain old weird. He also loves holding hands  (even in the supermarket) and his favourite form of affection, is cuddling (yes the things you give to small children, puppy dogs and teddy bears). He’s just not happy unless he’s reached his quota of cuddles for the day, which is around 17.

Now today was 32 or so degrees in Melbourne, it was hot and stuffy and as I arrived home from work and headed up the stairs to the top living area of my home it continued to get hotter.   I was then met by Claud and there he was, big smile and arms opened wide and announces “It’s CuddleS Time” (for starters Claud, it’s cuddle, it’s not plural – ESL stories to come, and secondly it’s 4000 degrees, why on earth would I want a cuddle???)  So I smile ever so politely and without a hint of sarcasm tell him how it was the exact thing I wanted right now. My cuddles are like these weird ones where you try to cuddle with arms and shoulders only, you know when your bum sticks out weird because whatever happens you don’t want your chest or any other part of your body to get too close, hold it for around 1.5-2 seconds and then to acknowledge that the cuddle has finished give a little tap on the back and step away. Of course this is never enough and he gives me another four of those mini cuddles in a row.   So really I should just start giving him a good 6 second cuddle instead.

After I’ve had enough and try to come up with an excuse as to why I don’t need anymore cuddles, it’s usually met with one of the following responses:

“It’s never to hot for cuddles” (I beg to differ, if I have sweat running down my back then it’s too bloody hot for cuddles)

“Your so unromantic” that’s unrrromantic with three R’s and the tongue rolled … (Ah yes true, my idea of being romantic is cooking you crumbed cutlets for dinner followed by my secret recipe allens red frogs – diced fine and Cadbury chocolate chunk muffins)

“With love, cuddle me with love” ( what are you talking about?  it’s a bloody cuddle, stop complicating it by throwing in the word love)

There are times when I’m willing to give out cuddles, when I’m in bed, it’s 4 degrees outside and my feet are like cold bricks, THEN I am more then happy for “CuddleS Time”.  Apparently this doesn’t count, “ahh noooooooor (no pronounced like door with a N)  you just using me”.  I quickly win this battle with “you’re, it’s you’re, not ‘you’ Claud, far out!!”

CuddleS Time over!!!


Left image: the Love muffin

Top right: Being romantic just comes so naturally

Bottom right:  master chef in action…no pre-bought cutlets here thank-you very much



I remember the small introduction which would be an ongoing fascination into the Latina way of life.

I was walking through the streets of Koh Samui, Thailand, (si si señora, I said Thailand) and I could hear this incredible sounding music coming from one of the 20 thousandths market stall holders.  I can still remember hearing the strum of the guitar and the sounds of this singers voice for the very first time, it was beautiful, almost romantic (this sickens me to say) but it felt as though I had already heard this song before (perhaps inside my mums tummy when José was serenading my mum whilst doing the Tango?  Kidding, dad – Greg, is as Aussie as they come).

Of course I hadn’t a clue what he was singing about, I assumed Italian, because anything that didn’t sound like English was just this (I mean when you live as close to Italy as we did in the Western suburbs of Melbourne,what else would you learn as your second language in High School? Italian of course!!  …hats off to to Dario, Faye, Giorgio and Kevin) It didn’t matter what the words were, they filled my body with joy and made me want to dance.

I still sing that song over and over (I may have the words slightly wrong), “Working on a pargo, working on a tengo, Sea no tengo americo, two or more e come pan ya and me core a song”

For those who are interested in the real song, click below to watch the lovely Juanes (please note old photo, no longer sporting luscious long locks)

If you prefer to sing the real words to my favourite part here they are (I still think mine sound pretty good):

“Porque nada valgo                                                                                                 porque nada tengo si no tengo lo mejor
Tu amor y compañía en mi corazón”

Translation of the words –
Because I’m worth nothing
Because I have nothing, if I don’t have the best
Your love and company in my heart

Thank-you Juanes for introducing me to the South American side of the world (and to my Thailand friend who sold me his music, most probably burnt, although very legit looking CD)

Discovering The Latina Life