Friday, August 01, 2008

1 year in aussie land

My Mom and I on the plane just as it landed

1 year ago today I stepped off that plane and onto Australian soil. Ah that sounded cheesy
Okay 1 year ago today I moved to Australia. I'm not saying at all that it was an easy adjustment, It was hard at first and now I'm finally just getting use to living here.

The first 7 months I was here I was living with my in-laws and it felt as if I was just a guest in this strange country, that I wasn't home and I was only here visiting. I was homesick most of the time missing my family and friends "back home" That's what I kept calling the united states "Back home" Finally after Nathan and I moved out on our own I finally then started to feel like I was actually home and then started to refer to "back home" as back in the states. Australia is my home now.

I'm very happy now, I'm making friends and starting a life here.

Some of the main adjustments i've had to deal with are

Grocery shopping-

Grocery shopping in Australia is completely different than shopping in the states, First of all you have to go to a mall to get to the grocery store. on the outside of the grocery store you can generally find the butcher, fruit shop, and bakery. Now these places are much better and generally cheaper and better quality to buy from than actually inside the grocery store.

Once you get into the grocery store you then have to get yourself a Trolley (Australian for shopping cart) Some stores make you pay 2 dollars(Which you do get back once you finsh shopping) for a trolley. Once you get yourself one now this is where it gets a bit complicated. The trolleys have 4 wheels that work alone. It's rather difficult to get them to go around a corner and to go straight. The easiest way I found is to keep the trolley on a slight angle.

Then once you figure out how to get your trolley moving, you go to the deli and have to figure out how much ham you want.. If you mention you want a pound of ham they look at you weird so you have to do a conversion in your head, 1 pound = roughly about 550 grams.

Oh then you have to figure out what things mean, Devon = Balogna, Rock melon = Cantaloupe, Beef mince = ground beef, jelly = jello, jam = jelly, capsicum = pepper, cookie = biskit, biskit = scone, cracker = biskit, ketchup = tomato sauce (the difference between Ketchup and Tomato sauce is Ketchup has vinegar and tomato sauce doesn't), Cordial = Kool-aid

The cereal isle is a big joke. There is hardly any choices. more conversion to deal with also Rice bubbles = Rice Krispies, Frosties = Frosted Flakes,

There is no beer, wine, liquor sold inside the grocery store you will generally find that outside the store in the bottle shop next to the butcher and the fruit and veggie market.


Of course you're driving on the right side of the car and the left side of the road, Naturally that alone can be quite confusing. However there are even more confusing things to deal with once your behind the wheel of a car in Australia.

First of all the wipers and blinker are on the opposite sides I don't know how many times I clicked on the wipers when trying to make a turn.

When you come to the end of a road in a residential neighbourhood or a less busy area it will generally have no stop sign or anything That means you don't have to fully stop you just yield to the coming traffic.

When driving down a 2 or more lane road you need to be careful. People usually just park on the left side of the road so you're constantly having to switch lanes to dodge parked cars.

Most intersections are round a bouts, after the first 5 or 6 times going through one you get use to them, and then they throw a 2 lane round a bout at you and you get completely confused again. What lane do I need to be in if I want to go straight?


If you want to go to the store to just pick up something small that you need you have to again go to the mall where they have the main stores like Big W, Target, and Kmart. However they are nothing like Walmart, Target, and Kmart in the states these stores are much smaller and you can hardly ever find what your looking for so then you have to go to 15 other stores just to find this 1 thing.

Then when you actually do find what you're looking for and you then realise that the price of this item is 5 times more expensive then it would have been if you bought it Walmart in the states.

If you're looking for a shop like Bed Bath and Beyond, You have to take the Freedom store, Adairs, the Shaver shop, Whisk and Spoon, Howard storage world and Bed Bath and Table and combine them all together into 1 big shop then you would have a Bed Bath and Beyond.

If you're looking for something like a Best Buy then you have a couple of choices, Your choices are for games, TVs, movies, and computer stuff you can go to JB HI-FI or Dick Smiths if you want refrigerators, washer dryers, small appliances, stoves, and that sort of stuff then your choices are The Good Guys, Bing Lee, and Harvey Norman

Then there are the things like spelling, TV, Internet, Mobile phones (Australian for cell phone) and land line phones that you have to deal with. But I won't go into that for now.

I'm sure that sounds like I was complaining most of the time but I'm really not, I've gotten use to the little quirks about Australia and I've grown to love them all. Well maybe not so much the cereal isle at the grocery store but everything else I've grown to love.

3 <3 me:

Tors said...

Happy 1-year anniversary!

Having your own place makes all the difference, doesn't it? :)

BTW, a pound is closer to 450g... 500g is like 1.1-lb. I've messed up a couple of recipes on that one.

Don't worry, as the years go by, the differences will be less noticeable... to the point that it all becomes "the way it is", and then you feel out of place when you go back to the States!

floridagirlinsydney said...

I cannot even tell you how much I love this post. As soon as you mentioned grocery stores, my mind went straight to the 4-wheel drive carts and how bizarre they are.

I just want to take your entire post, put it on my blog, and claim it as my own--- ha ha ha ha ha--- :)

Congrats on your 1 year anniversary. And almost congrats on your real anniversary!!!

Natasha said...

Happy one-year oz-a-versary! Or something like that. This is a huge accomplishment- you've survived a whole year in a foreign land! I was quite proud of myself on my one-year, and you should be too. And, this is a very well-written post, nicely done! :)