Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Jeez, it's cold here! It was cold here yesterday, too, but it seems important enough to actually write about now because the sun has gone down by this point. Since it's winter here, the sun goes down by 5:30pm, and then there are only so many layers that you can put on. Less to protect yourself from the cold -- more to protect yourself from the dark cold -- hate dark cold.

So we had a moment of weakness and shame today. We went to Starbucks (yes, in case there were any doubts, there are several here as well). I felt terrible, but, honestly, the coffees you get here are about a third of the size as a Starbucks short. And you have to ask for the short specifically! It may seem cheap, but I really wanted my American-sized serving.

Consequently, if you ask for black coffee here, Mike discovered they will look at you like you've got a wallaby growing out your nose. "White flat," I believe is the closest you come to it, and it's a latte without the foam. Poor Mike -- not only can he not practice his guitar, but he is losing all of his valuable black coffee training.

There are all sorts of other small differences over here (besides the obvious weather, money and accents. The doorknobs are at about shoulder height here (making it very difficult to feel about in utter darkness. The light switches are all a different shape. They have a mail slot for regular mail, and a separate slot for junk mail. They all ride kangaroos to work. The toilets are always in a totally different room than the rest of the bathroom.

Never the less, in spite of all of these differences, I find it's kind of difficult to truly appreciate the fact that I am in a different and very remote country. I'm just kind of here, enjoying myself, but it's not like "holy crap I am SOOOO in Australia!"

I have decided that, at some point, I would like to do one of two things to fix this problem:

A) Go to a country where I have to totally change my day to day life. Bathe in a small wooden hut or something. Each cockroaches. This would suck, but I think that I would ultimately gain a larger respect for the fact that I was no longer in the USA.

B) Kick it old school -- get there by boat. That way I REALLY have the feeling of how very VERY far away this place is. It's not a puny day long plain ride. No, no. It's months on a boat. Maybe even a small, unpleasant boat at that. The Mayflower or something.

Things are just so easy no a days that it's hard to really fully appreciate how amazing everything is. That said, maybe all of this will change when I get my first glimpse of some crazy Australian wildlife or an Aborigine or something :)

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