Bench – it’s in your kitchen and your bathroom – it’s the counter! Why do they call the kitchen counter a bench? It comes from both “benchtop”or “workbench”.
G’day – The very Aussie way to say hello is way more common here in Melbourne as compared to Sydney. If I heard it twice in Sydney that would be a lot. Here in Victoria, I hear it used every single day. Amazing what a different city and region makes.
Costco had listened to all of the American ex-pat prayers and has gifted us with a graham cracker s’mores kit. Every ex-pat group I’m in consistently laments the disappointment of not having graham crackers in their respective country. I won’t go crazy and pay some astronomical price to import. I feel that proper immersion requires one to let go of what was and to embrace what is. Having said that, I had no trouble shelling out $19 each for these kits – that $1 per s’more. Haha! I believe the simple graham cracker is held in such high regard because of the memories around making s’mores and also making them properly. We have made them many, many times in several countries. It’s easy to find a wonderful chocolate stand-in that’s easily superior to Hershey’s. Marshmallows are also easy to purchase abroad and nowadays there are artisan marshmallows everywhere you look. Graham crackers though are hard to sub – we’ve used tea biscuits and digestives but they are too thick and definitely not the same. Like a broken record I would say to my kids, “it’s not quite the same without a graham cracker”, “if only we had graham crackers.” I am pleased to say, we’ve now got the goods to do it right, finally, yahoo!
Phone numbers in Australia are 10 digits just like in the US (including the area code.) Here however, it is said aloud differently. For example, in the US I would say 860 345 9827, that same number here would be said: 86 0345 9827. It literally does my head in. It is so engrained in me to repeat it in the same sing-song way I have my whole life. Lately, after watching many, many people stumble over trying to type my phone number whilst I read it aloud incorrectly, has embarrassed me beyond words. I haven’t taken the time to correct myself and say it properly. Assimilation into a new culture is so important as an ex-pat. It makes me feel less like an outsider and more accepted by my adopted community. So I’ve been working on changing my tune. It would have been smart to just practice this at home, but alas, I have too much on my plate and I would forget as soon as I left the shop or doctor’s office. So like a goofball, I started slowing my recitation of numbers to a snail’s pace, pretending to sound like I knew what I was saying. Haha! Within a week of this ridiculous number recall, I can now confidently say – I’ve got it!
Second Pfizer jab done. I am relieved to be finished for now. Let’s hope we see the shift in infection rates and that it actually works. 🤞🏻 Within 12 hours, I was feeling pretty shit. Flu-like symptoms of fever and chills, body aches, headache, etc. It only lasted another day but unpleasant nonetheless.
Our latest lockdown is easing here in Melbs as the numbers are very low (like 1 new case per day) and everyone who is a primary and secondary contact has isolated. It’s good news but sadly, interstate borders are still closed. It doesn’t bode well for our holiday in South Australia over the winter school holidays. We should know next week as to whether or not we will have to cancel. Sigh. First world problems I know.
Since I began writing this, we decided to cancel our holiday. We felt terribly guilty to leave our airbnb host’s struggling to rebook their homes. Within 24 hours of cancelling everything, the announcement came that the borders would reopen, sigh. What terrible luck! Trying to let go of the regret and reminding myself that the universe has always got our back. Often, we look back on experience and trials and feel at peace, knowing that things had worked out just as they should. Still, it’s heartbreaking to think we could have been away on a proper holiday after waiting for so long to go somewhere, anywhere. Ugh!