Friday, October 17, 2008

Tag...and I'm it!

I was sent a meme earlier this week by my friend Lee Anne who blogs at Sam I Am. I'll admit now, I had no idea what a meme was and had to Google it! Turns out it's a chain letter sort of thing. My assignment is to write 6 interesting things about myself and then tag 6 other people to do the same. As I'm relatively new to the blog scene, I couldn't really come up with 6 other people to tag. So I'm going to break the rules here and be a bit naughty...I'm going to write about 6 things I do differently now that I live in Australia. Then I want you, my faithful readers (all three of you) to think of six questions about Australia or Expat life here that you'd like answered and write them in the comments section. Then I'll do my best going forward to answer as many as possible. Got it? Great!

So here's my list of the 6 things I do differently now that I live in Australia:

1. I speak with an Aussie accent. Really. It's true. Ask all my American friends, they'll tell you. I speak Australian now. When I go back to the USA, people spend a lot of time making fun of my new accent. What people might not realise is, it's not really a conscious thing that I do. I've always had an ear for the spoken language and have tended to pick up accents in the different places I've lived quite quickly. The worst part about it is that the Australians can still hear the American accent when I speak. So either way, I'm an outsider. In the USA, they take the piss out of me because I speak Australian. In Australia, they comment because I speak American. I sometimes think the best place for me would be an island in the Pacific--somewhere half way between Australia and the USA. It's a feeling that I'm sure is shared by many an Expat...not knowing where you really belong any more.

2. I dry my laundry on a clothes line in my back garden. It's a Hills Hoist clothes line to be exact. The Hills Hoist is an Aussie Icon. Most back yards you visit here have the unattractive but extremely useful Hills Hoist clothesline as a centerpiece of the landscape. When I first moved into this house, I was determined to remove it as quickly as possible. Then I started using it. I LOVE it!! There aren't a lot of domestic chores that I enjoy, but hanging clothes on the line is something that I really don't mind. It's very relaxing and peaceful and I find I get a lot of time to think while I'm putting clothes up or taking them down. Not only that, it keeps me from using my extremely energy inefficient clothes dryer (which I try to only use during really rainy periods). It reminds me of what life must have been like in the 1950s in America. In fact, my Mum sent me the actual clothes pins my Grandmother used to use on her clothesline way back when. I love those clothes pins--you can't find anything like them now.

3. I drive on the left side of the road. This did take a bit of getting used to, but I like to think I'm pretty good at it now. You can read all about my initial adventures with driving on the left here.

4. I recycle. To be fair, we always recycled aluminium cans when I was kid in Texas, but we didn't have the opportunity to recycle much else. The community in which we live here in Australia allows us to recycle plastic codes 1 thru 7, as well as glass bottles and newspapers. I love recycling. It literally cuts our rubbish in half.

5. I swear in Arabic. Yes, that's a little trick the Handsome Australian and all of his young cousins taught me. They are all of Lebanese heritage and were very quick to teach me all the naughty words. Only they didn't tell me they were naughty words. They led me to believe they were perfectly nice things to say and then sent me off to converse with their Grandmother while they stood back and watched her priceless expressions. If you've seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding you'll know what I'm talking about. The brother of the main character was always trying to trick her non-Greek boyfriend into saying lots of inappropriate things in Greek. I've so been there and done that...only in Arabic.

6. I eat vegemite and I love it. Only kidding...if you've read any of the posts on this blog, you'll be aware by now that I can't stand vegemite. I just wanted to make sure you all were still paying attention. Not to worry, loving vegemite is something that I'll never change...I'll never love it. I'm still my same old peanut butter loving self!

So there you have it, my list! Now let's hear from you guys. Hit me with your questions about Australia or being an Expat in Australia. I'm here for you.


ibbabs97 said...

1. Do you miss your sister the most of all?
2. Do you dream in Australian like you did in Spanish?
3. How do you get us to not having so much stuff?
That is all for now. Got to go clean out a closet full of stuff.

Dana said...

1.Do you miss certain foods from home?
2.Do they have Halloween there?
3. Do you use public transportation?
4.Are the houses similar there?
5.Do you use your Spanish much?
6.Are there signs in other languages everywhere like there are in Texas?

kristin said...

I can't think of any good questions right now, but I'll add another item to your list (since the vegemite information wasn't true and doesn't count you can get back up to six):

You also spell in Australian now. It's not just using new vocab, but changing the vocab you already use!

Oh - here's my question - do your toilets really flush the water down in an opposite spiral motion that here above the equator?

Scintilla said...

1.Is the moon upside down ?- when my sister came to visit me in Positano, she swore that the patterns she could see were inverted. (It's meant to be a snail shape over there)

2.Does it take you longer to drive around than it did in Texas ?

3. Which is your favourite beach?

4. Are you water wise more than in the states? (I know, they are boring questions)

5. Do you mind if I put you on my blogroll?

suzinoz said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks for all the great questions so far. I'm going to answer each group of questions in a post. So keep an eye out this week for your answers!

Just quickly--Scintilla I'm quite happy for you to add me to your blogroll. Thanks for asking! =)

Annelise said...

I was out of town so I am too late to ask questions! Darn it! Althouh I must agree your spelling has completely changed.
My questions although I know it is too late:
1. Is there no "z" in the Australian alphabet and that is why your spelling changed to the over use of s( realise vs realize)?
2. Has the Aussie hubby ever made up for a night out of drinking in the States (the one pre marriage)?
3. Are Aussie women tall?

Sandra MacLean said...

I've lurked all over your blog for a while now, but it's time to come out of the closet so to speak! I'm an Australian living in the US and your blog has had me in stitches!! I have been away for so long now that I'd forgotten some of the quirky things we Aussies do or say until you brought them to my attention again! I love your insight into living in Australia. Here are my questions for you;
1. Are you sick of being asked if you miss home?
2. Do people confront you about American politics?
3. What American holidays if any, do you still celebrate?
4. Do you seek out other American's in Australia or are you past that stage now?
5. Do you find the lack of political correctness refreshing or vulgar?

Keep blogging - you're great with my morning coffee! :D

suzinoz said...

You are never too late love. I'll get to your questions too.

Sandra--Thanks for joining in the fun. Glad to have you on board. You've got some great questions. I'll get to them this week as well. So stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Marmite? I liked the flavor better than Vegemite. When my husband and I backpacked through Australia, we carried a little container of it for emergency lunches.

You are so lucky to live in Australia. I look forward to reading more of your experiences. :-)

suzinoz said...

stilllifeinbuenosaires--Thanks for your comment. I haven't had marmite and I'm not sure I'd seek it out. If some happens to cross my path at some point I'll certainly try it. Hopefully with a more positive result than vegemite. We are very lucky to live in Australia and we do enjoy it.