I’ve decided to stick with my list making abilities and rename “hed’s Sunday shout-out” to “hed’s Sunday shortlist”. I think it gives me more breathing room to basically list whatever the hell I want, don’t you think? Today’s shortlist is:
10 Things I Take With Me From Australia.
10. Music! Australians LOVE their pop and electronica. There are so many songs on the radio here from bands I had never even heard of that are great! I think the reason may be that Australia tends to have more of a UK band base as opposed to a US one. Plus, they actually have music video channels here! That play music videos! On the weekends there are no less than five on at any given time: V, V Hits, Max, Rage, and MTV (I am going to be really happy to go home to my beloved VH-1 and see what “I love the…” show they are doing and what herpes-laden vehicle Bret Michaels is on trying to score with whores though). Right now at #12 on the ARIA (the Aussie equivalent to Billboard) charts is “Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce…it’s not even on the Billboard music charts! What’s up with that? BEST SONG EVER!
9. Screw you, nature! I’m all for fishing on a boat for 9 hours straight. I like to go camping in a recreational vehicle. I like the zoo, and even animal sanctuaries. But Australian wild animals are just too, too much for my poor, wimpy American system. First I was startled with geckos. Then hissed at in the dark by possums. Then eaten alive by mosquitoes and was sure I would contract malaria. I would see kangaroos on the side of the road, looking like giant, stupid rabbits (that’s what they look like to me at least), and we would run over cane toads (which is apparently a GOOD thing). Now that summer is near, we’re seeing more bugs trying to infiltrate the house, getting out of the wet humidity. And the frogs, cicadas and birds are so incredibly LOUD at all hours of the day and night I have to shut the windows because I can’t sleep with them making noise all night! Give me the hum of the freeway any day. I am an urbanite, damn it!
8. The scenery is like no other. In August we were able to take a train up a huge chunk of Queensland’s countryside, and the views are spectacular. At any given day you can stand on a high hill and see forever. There are no buildings or haze obstructing your view. The water is blue (unfortunately also filled with box jellyfish, see #9) and clear, and the skies come in colors other than grey or brown from smog. Even the evil animals are full of color!
Taken last Saturday. Isn’t it so pretty?
7. I know what coffee, chocolate and pastries are SUPPOSED to taste like. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to stick an IV of Starbucks into my veins when I get home, though. Australian coffee is pure. It’s nice and black or black with just a bit of milk and sugar. It’s easy. It’s everywhere! Australian chocolate is exquisite. The minute you touch it, even if from the fridge, it instantly starts to melt. And fresh whipped cream from the bakery is to die for. I mean, I miss glazed donuts with sprinkles, but that crap doesn’t even compare to apple turnovers, eclairs and scones. And while we’re on the subject of food, I’m going to pull a Kanye and say RED ROOSTER CHIPS ARE THE BEST FRENCH FRIES OF ALL TIME!!!
6. Shitty food is a luxury. On Sundays, J and I have a “cheat” day where we eat at Red Rooster or Maccas (McDonalds) instead of at home. I admit I talk him into cheating a little more than once a week, but back home, fast food was all day every day. It’s cheap and easy and down the street. When I think of the food in the States, I swear to Jeebus I’m a contestant on Survivor saying “I would cut my foot off right now for a big Italian beef sandwich!” But I know now it is something that needs to be enjoyed occasionally…wait-what’s the word between “occasionally” and “all the freaking time”? That’s the word I need (what? I’m fat and it’s almost Christmas!). I land on a Friday morning and am basically going to hold my friends picking me up at the airport at gunpoint to take me to Hof’s Hut for breakfast/lunch. I would cut off my foot for a beef dip and a salad with ranch.
5. The grass isn’t always greener, or, sometimes you like brown ass grass. Within a week J and I got jobs in Australia. We searched for a long time for decent jobs in the States because, well, you all know America is sadly going to hell. I happen to like hell apparently. I had the opportunity to be an expat and be international, but it’s just not me. If I don’t get on another plane for the rest of my life I’ll be just fine (although we will definitely be traveling back for the Aussie family!) When I come home my goal is to appreciate what is in front of me. On that note:
4. It’s the simple things. I used to take over an hour getting ready. Even if that meant going to the post office. I rarely put make-up on nowadays, and my poor hair straightener has gotten maybe three uses since I’ve been here. It’s not necessary to spackle yourself up!When J and I had the apartment in California, we were always bummed we couldn’t afford to go to a concert, or an amusement park, or have more material objects. Since I’ve been in Australia I’ve bought a couple of nightshirts, a bathing suit, and some lounge pants, and I’m okay with that. I don’t need a new IPod. Or a new Volkswagen. I would like a new camera, but only because mine is broken. Anyway, living here in a much, MUCH smaller place has made me realize that as long as I have my husband, air conditioning, a bed and a laptop, I’m fine. Oh, and meds. Lots of meds.
3. I need to be a better friend. I read all these Facebook and e-mails from my friends who are concerned about me, my mental health, and my well-being, and to be honest, I 100% feel I don’t deserve it. Some of my best friends have babies and husbands and lives that I have been too down or anxious to contribute to, and I owe it to the ones that truly care and love me to give to them as much as they give to me. There’s also one I need to call out for not being there when I need her the most, but that may be a lost cause considering when I wrote her I’d be coming home she replied “Oh, I’ll read about it tomorrow” instead of, oh, I don’t know, giving a shit? I’m talking about YOU, Kato…
2. Family first. I’ve always been around my family, but not really around them. I wouldn’t go to birthday parties or holiday events, or I would stop by and leave right away. Now that’s I’m not around them, I miss them like crazy. I don’t think I can be far away from them again, and that’s the truth-but living in another country, on another continent, in another hemisphere has given me some insight to realize how far away “far away” is. You only live once (I think), and if I don’t use the time to be involved now, I may be losing precious moments.
1. Happiness is a mood, not a destination. I read that this week, and it made so much sense. I’m so good at running away and starting over because it’s new and I can be at the top of my game again and I haven’t failed at this venture just yet. I have to do what’s best for myself, and that it doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing (I swear SS is reading this yelling out loud “that’s what I’ve been telling you ALL ALONG!!!”). I also have the most wonderful, selfless husband on the planet that would let me move across the planet for my family and to sort my shit out and continue to support me and be devoted to making it work out in the end. I owe it to him to be happy. To my family. My friends. To me.