Things I Miss About Australia
20/10/2004 by Saskia
Growing up in Melbourne and now finding herself settled in to a life in America, Saskia still finds herself homesick for the quintessential reasons that many people call Australia home. This is her story…
There are countless things that I would love to revisit in Australia, and though I know my home is now in the United States of America, I can think of several things that are different and remind me of Australia.
Comparing Old and New Environments
The Eucalyptus in America (as it’s called) does look like Aussie Gum trees but it seems to lack ‘aroma!’ Remember how sometimes you’d be walking in your neighbourhood and you’d have a ‘whiff’ of Eucalyptus? Along with that I miss the Wattle; even if it gave me terrible hay fever at least I knew what caused it. In America I suffer from hay fever but I have no idea what is the cause.
I’ve grown to love the American blue bird and take delight when I spot one, as it is one of two real coloured birds I have seen in the US, the red robin being the other. I miss my Aussie native birds, what I would do to sit in my old Kirribilli apartment and see the rosellas pass by! To hear a kookaburra or witness a pink galah and a field full of darn cockatoo’s!
Though I know our local milk bar has changed over the years and 7 / 11’s have taken over that friendly mum and dad shop, I sure would like to go back about 40 years and visit the one run by ‘Grandma’ and ‘Grandpa’ – well the old folks next to the Toorak State School.
They had the best lollies selection any five year old could dream of and all for a cent or penny (depending how far back you can remember)! Not only that, you knew at the milk bar you could get daily fresh bread, the best vanilla slice and raspberry spiders a child could want! Yummo Joffa Boy!
I’ve heard in Texas there are drive through bottle shops. I wish the concept would creep into California because I sure know I could do with one. I certainly miss the drive through bottle shop where if you didn’t want to get out of your car the attendant would recommend a good bottle of plonk for your Barbie!
I can hear my best friends boyfriend saying
“No worries mate we’ve run out of beer. I’ll just dash down to the local and get a dozen stubbies!”
Adjusting to Social Norms
Do you think my Californian friends would understand me? They often look at me quizzically because they can’t understand my ‘accent’. Crikey I speak the Queens English, as my mum likes to remind me!
But what I miss most are the friends. The friends you could call and say ‘hey not busy tonight you want to grab a bite to eat?’
One never calls on friends here unannounced in the US and worse still is if one would ask a favour of a friend. Friends are always too busy or too inconvenienced to be able to do anything for you.
There certainly seems to be more ‘mateship’ in Australia than there is here in the US. I’ve heard West Coasters call East Coasters ‘fickle’ and East Coasters call West Coasters ‘snobby’. Well I don’t think I’d ever hear an Aussie say something like that about an Aussie from another part of the country.
We might categorize them in terms of what State they are from and make the following assumptions according to a guidebook I once read:
Sydneysiders will ask:
What you do for a living?
Melbournites will ask:
What school did you go to?
What religion are you?
Who are you related to?
What you running from?
What’s your PS (public service) ranking?
Queenslanders and Sandgropers
What will ya have to drink?
Don’t get me wrong I miss home but I still love my new country – where else can a Movie Star run your State?
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