Auzzie Wozzie Haz a Care

I don't even know what that title is about. It's my last day of the flu (not sure if the flu knows that, but I'm attempting a manual override), and sing-song things have melodious rings while internal rhyme remains sublime and, okay. Stopping.

So, we got the amazing apartment in Australia (did I mention that?), and Mike has been trying to include me as much as possible via video on Skype as he roams for new housewares and such, having ignored my suggestion to just staple a bunch of holey socks together for a towel until our boxes arrive in 8-10 weeks. 

And just in this - the search for the place to live and the necessaries to get by - the culture shock has been fish-slapping me. 

Over the past 16 years of togetherness/wedlock/bestiedom, I've been known to occasionally remark, "Oh my! How unexpected to suddenly find a disagreed-upon word usage due to our cultural differences!" Super-nerdy stuff. And rare. Not a lot of surprises any more. Mostly language stuff.

Of course I expect all kinds of unanticipated adjustments when I actually get to the Lan' Down Undah. But now? Already? I haven't even eaten my last Las Vegas buffet! (It's going to be at Bacchanal at Caesars. I have no idea who is coming with me since my planned lunch date was hit by a semi truck last week. That probably seems like the better topic to write about, eh? Alas, I'm not at liberty nor am I even fully informed about what happened - not sure if anyone is at this point - so suffice to say that she is going to be okay, eventually, and good wishes sent her way are much appreciated.)

When Mike first came to the United States, I kept bugging him to blog. "Do the whole Aussie-comes-to-America fish-out-of-water' thing!" But no, Mike doesn't like to feel pressured to write. (Unlike the rest of us.) This is everyone's loss because Mike had a lot to say during those early years, and he's always a funny yet fair guy. If nothing else, it could've been good therapy as he acclimated, or he might've met some like-minded expats and not briefly done time in a forum run by a small herd of more-native-than-the-natives Oz immigrants who, it turned out, took any homesick statements from Aussies as slams against the USA to be defended with teeth and, ideally, bandoliers of ammo.

(Okay, those people? They kept telling Mike to become a citizen. "But I don't want to renounce all other citizenships, per the US citizenship oath," Mike would say. "I'm here because Shari is here, not because I don't want to be an Australian." "Oh, that's just a technicality," they'd reply. "You say you're renouncing all the others, but just keep your Aussie passport and live like a dual citizen." But Mike didn't want to lie, so he stayed solely an Aussie. I mean, whether you agree with the oath or not, it is an oath. So, these ultra-patriotic transplants cheesed me off, thinking they could selectively ignore bits of their citizenship vows yet present themselves as the Best Americans Ever.)

(And of course they and other people thought Mike was a bad person because he wouldn't become a citizen. Really? He should surrender his Australian citizenship because he fell in love with a girl from the wrong side of the pond? Especially when our long-term plan was to return to Australia? "Oh, he's just taking advantage of the system!" What system? The one he paid taxes to regularly while barely checking out a library book while living here? "Taxes taken from his paycheck as a substitute teacher during those years when there was a severe shortage of subs? Now shut up, Amalgamated Voice of the Irritating, and release me from thy distracting parentheticals...)

RIGHT. So, of course I was thinking about how I'm going to have all of these "What's up with that?!" posts to write as life in Terra Australis commences. (Or semi-commences, since I'll be back and forth for a couple of years before I sort out a proper visa.) Other people would make a dedicated blog with timely, edited posts and perhaps try to monetize it, but I'll just keep on being me, talking about writing posts and, when the moon is right, maybe writing them. (With boorish multi-paragraph asides. The day footnotes are seamlessly implemented into content management software is going to be just skippy.)

But if I were going to have a "Hey, check me out, an opinionated Yank trying to make sense of the kind of crazy you find in Western Australia" blog, the following is a list of completely logical possibilities for the title, based on the past three weeks of my life:

  • Garbage Disposals Are, Apparently, For Mansions. 
  • No Reclining Sofa Shall Be Sold By Itself!
  • What's This About Manchester?
  • I Shit You Not, That Towel Costs $80
  • One Television, Two Cords.
  • Yeah, Apartment Complexes Don't Really Exist Here.
  • Unfurnished? But in a Nice Area? Hrm...
  • Air Conditioning? That's Gonna Cost Ya.
  • Welcome to the One Room with Air Conditioning!
  • Hating Counter Space: A Primer.
  • Why Don't You Guys Just Buy The First Decent House ASAP, and Never Mind That Even Mike Has Never Lived in This City Before and Who Knows If He'll Like the Job?
  • ADSL.

For the last one, the blog's intro screen would be a Flash collage of every major Baby Jesus in art history, ever, each of them weeping realistic tears.

Terrible titles, so it's just as well that I'm lazy.

I'm not really complaining, of course. I just didn't realize I was going to have to adjust my expectations when it came to, say, trying to buy a reclining sofa without also buying a reclining love seat or two recliners. (We won that one in the end. Outlet store!)

New Sofa

Because I'm vulgar, I'll mention that the already-discounted sofa was on sale and, with delivery, cost $570, with multi-year warranties, including those applicable to breakage from our combined fluff. Takes the sting out of not being able to get a microwave (that will hold a proper plate) for under $100. A bit.

Maybe I wouldn't have gone with such a light grey, but another possible blog title was "Brown, Black, White, or Neon: Australia's Aversion to Sage Green Sofas."

Yes, our home here in Vegas has sixteen outlets in the kitchen. The bathtub fits two, even us two. Built-in bookshelves surround the bay window in the bedroom. All rooms with toilets in them also have sinks. (You'd think this would be a given. You'd think.) Closets hold more than clothes. Garbage Disposals Are A Thing.

But there are other things.

Beach - A 10-minute Walk

08 January 2013 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)