Saturday, October 10, 2015

Joanie meets Jamie after 5 Years!

Five years ago I met Jamie in London as one of the most peculiar experience in my life. The article about my experience whom I wrote for his website and my blogsite is still a tangible testimony of a very beautiful encounter with my idol. Who would have imagined and not many will be given the chance to meet there idol twice in an up close encounter.
At the  2015 Sydney Royal Easter Show - my partner brought me there to see his cooking demo. We were lucky enough to get some good seats for us to comfortably see Jamie as he did his demo. And we were also fortunate enough to have a taste of the food that he cooked for everyone who are sitting there as his audience. The rest of the crowd who were standing weren't lucky enough but happy to see him anyway.

 I love Woolworths as a brand and I enjoy doing my grocery in their Double Bay branch where I live a few steps away. I really like this activation that they did that really resonated to me as their target market and as s big fan of Jamie Oliver.

Though it was a good experience, I still feel disconnected to Jamie on that said event. As a fan I yearn to get up close, and since Woolies did not provide that privilege -- I opted to go grab Jamie and took my one helluva chance of having a selfie with him. If I will do a TV commercial about this experience, the storyboard above will be my story.

Hence, what I did may not be good in the point-of-view of his bodyguards but Mr. Oliver was very kind enough to stop and did two selfies with me. My recommendation is for Woolies to make some exclusive photo op next time with backdrop and all -- plus the branding of course! Jamie is a big person and he doesn't come to Australia so often so Woolies as a big brand I reckon they can afford to make something like that. Or at least their now Ad agency Saatchi will make good ideas than Leo Burnett.

Oh well... this is it for now, can't wait to write my story about Tim Cahill and the event I attended at GLUE store, an Australian brand that Timmy has his own personal line.

big hug
joanie xxx

Friday, June 05, 2015

Australia my home sweet home!

Good morning matey!

Finally I am saying these words HOME sweet HOME in a place that I always want to be -- Australia! I moved here since December of 2014 and since then a lot of things happened. Some kinda roller coaster ride if I say so. To begin with, I had my Internship at Jamie's Italian in Canberra, witnessed the Sydney Easter show with Woolworths cooking demo and met Jamie Oliver for the second time!

There are good news but also had bad news - My Mum passed away last April. What a sad birthday month it was and I couldn't find words to write anything here in my blog about my good news. In spite of that I know Mum is in a happy place and she will be more proud of me now.

So now back to all the back log I need to do and one of them is to write this post to say I am happy to make tons of meat pies this winter and probably looking forward cooking more Pavlova, Lamingtons Meat Pies and other Aussie delights. On top of that, Greek cuisine will be a new learning as I want to be a good loving partner to my Greek man as I never get tired cooking for him everyday of our life together :)

This is it for now and I am looking forward to write another Jamie Oliver story and more adventures here down under!

big hug,
joanie  xox

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Felice San Valentino

About ten months ago I submitted an essay for World Nomads Travel, I thought of sharing this interesting piece I wrote in time for Valentine's day. The essay should contain how travel has become a meaningful portion of your life. 

I have been to many places here on earth and I could have probably write the story about how I met this guy while hiking in Montserrat and our tapas adventures in Barcelona with his friends. I was really fascinated because of what he does in life about being involve in earth sustainable energy. He used to be my constant skype date friend, Kyrke. He is by far the most intelligent, kind-hearted and gentleman I have ever met in my whole life. I do miss him heaps.

I could also probably write about my long distance best friend who is a good saxaphone player and an aspiring painter from Miami whom I met in Saigon for one of the OPEN MICS I had in my cafe. I couldn't imagine how a young boy named Ian and I crossed paths and built a friendship that encapsulates care and love no matter the distance. He's been my constant adviser to all my hurtings. The wisdom of this young boy is by far the most valuable and mature-level than any older men I've met. I do miss him heaps along with his music.

But it's LOVE that made me decide to write one peculiar and movie-like story of my life that happened for real. It was one beautiful day in Firenze that has changed my life from four years ago, here's my essay...


“I’m a L’Aquila survivor. This is my second life.” The man about six feet and four inches tall whispered his pick-up line while we were basking under the Tuscan sun on the benches of the crowded piazza of Santa Maria Novella.

Just a few inches away each other, I slowly turned my head and gave the man a curious glance. He immediately had me with his aviator-style Carrera! Slowly he pulled down his Carrera and revealed his grayish green eyes that looked straight into my eyes. My vision panned down through his beak-like nose with a diamond bling. Shortly after it led me to stare at his glaring gold chain necklace. I was stricken and quickly remembered Naples’ infamous pickpocketing documentary.

I was surprised when all of a sudden he uttered “It’s true that everyone from Naples is a natural pickpocket and every tourist is a target” My heart was beating fast than it ever had in my entire life! I hugged my bag tightly and I was thinking of an escape before Mt. Vesuvius erupts! He continued talking. “Many rich tourists in Firenze are splurging money for shopping. If they will lose a few hundred euros, it will not affect their savings!” The way he delivered his lines sounded like a typical southern accent with matching hand gestures. 

I was petrified when he moved closer to fill in the gap we had. He wrapped his arm on my waist and tried to put his hand inside the pocket of my coat while saying these things: “People asked me how many smart pickpockets are there in Naples? My answer was, how many dumb tourists are there in Naples?  Same with the tourists in Ponte Vecchio, they could hardly feel the hand that goes inside their bags or pockets.” Then slowly he moved away. I breathed with the sigh of relief.

He smiled at me and gave his hand and his name. He said that he is from Pompeii and was studying at L’Aquila when the earthquake happened in 2009. He is one of the survivors from the school that collapsed in Abruzzo. He later moved to Firenze to finish studying. He once again said, “It’s also true that it’s my second life. I almost died saving a friend. My second life is meaningless if I let my friend die.” 

I was speechless. No words came out my mouth and I just reached his hand and tightly shook it and gave him nothing but a genuine smile. He invited me for a glass of Spremutta after. It’s been four years since then. I will never forget the day that I thought I had an encounter with a pickpocket but later I found out that it was my heart that was stolen.  

Sometimes love does not stand the test of time. Sometimes we are separated by the distance and by our different dreams so we have to part ways. Sometimes those things  happen for a reason but it doesn't make me love the person less but forever I will remember that I smashed into something good that I was able to hold on to for four years.

Since December I arrived in Australia, I am more fierce than I was seven years ago. I am more detemined and eager to chase my dreams and be in the place I always want to settle and where I can cuddle an angel's arms and be on his wings to take a flight to a journey called life and love.

Until my next post about the Australian Dream...
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

big hug,
joanie  xxx