Getting ready for Australia

by - April 09, 2018

Uncle 10 on mum's side moved to Melbourne, Australia from Germany before we did, and told Mum and Dad Pham that in Australia they have plenty of Vietnamese foods in comparison to Germany, which had next to none at the time. Our cousin benefited from this gap in the marketing, she opened up a highly successful Asian grocer in a small town in Germany. It's the only place you can get Asian food items in the area.

Mum and Dad were sold when they heard that Australia was warm enough to grow many of the herbs, fruits and vegetables from back home. They decided to migrate to Australia...because food. There was one catch. Mum's weight meant she didn't pass the medical requirements and Australia wouldn't accept their application because health concerns - they didn't want her to be a burden on the system. Boy oh, they didn't realise Dad Pham was a bigger concern there. More on that at a later date.

Mum Pham blames me for getting fat. When she was pregnant with me all she wanted to eat was pho. All that delicious soupy noodle made her bloated, and then getting pregnant again less than two months later with Little Sissy Pham didn't help. In order to apply to migrate to Australia, Mum needed to drop over 15kg. On a scale of stroll in the markets to fleeing a war torn country, losing weight was on the easier side.

She began by eating nothing but salads, and I vaguely remember making her laugh by laying down to do leg-ups with her. My fat baby gut must have looked hilarious trying to do core exercises. Mum Pham worked her ass off within weeks and went back to get her medical approved. In case you're wondering how this story ends, I'm sitting on a couch in Brisbane, Australia as I write feeling guilty that I can't lose and keep 5kg off to stay in a healthy weight range, while Mum Pham tortured herself with lettuce meals morning, noon and night to get fit enough to move her Phamly to the other side of the world.

I am always so grateful to her for all the things she did for us. I honour this by stuffing my face stupid on all the glorious Vietnamese foods in Inala where I take Dad Pham shopping every weekend. We cook mostly Vietnamese food for Phamly dinner too. Mum would be proud.


If you want to start from the beginning of Phamly history, read:
Part 1 - O Captain! My Captain! Dad Pham's navy days during the Vietnam War.
Part 2 - P.O.W. Viet Cong Re-education Camp Dad Pham's time as a prisoner of war.
Part 3 - Living with Viet Cong Mum Pham's experience with communism.
Part 4 - Boat People Dad Pham seeks refuge after the war.
Part 5 - Finding Faith Dad finds peace.
Part 6 - When Herr met Frau - Dad Pham meets Mum Pham.
Part 7 - Life in Germany: the early years - Dad Pham sets up life in Germany.
Part 8 - Life in Germany: the later years - Dad gets sick, Mum steps up.
Part 9 - Getting ready for Australia - Mum Pham is on a mission.
Part 10 - Coming to Australia - My first memories of Australia.
Part 11 - Live in Brisbane the first time - The story of why we left Brisbane.
Part 12 - Moving to Melbourne - First impressions.
Part 13 - Life in Melbourne - Dad Pham - The good old days.
Part 14 - The Other Phams - Our neighbours in Melbourne were Phams too.
Part 15 - Life in Melbourne - Mum Pham - Our Sunday Phamly traditions began in Melbourne.
Part 16 - Cats On A Train - Moving to Brisbane
Part 17 - Sleepwalking Scare - Moving to Brisbane continued
Part 18 - A House in Brisbane - Moving to Brisbane continued some more

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