Saturday, June 21, 2008

One Year Expativersary, An American Living in Sydney

One year ago today we boarded the nasty American Airlines plane, that connected to the amazing Qantas plane, that brought us to our new home in Sydney.

So here's a rundown of our year in a foreign country, a place where the grocery store, sadly, is Woolworths.

The Good:
  • The weather rocks.
  • My kids have little pseudo-Australian accents, or as my four year old says- Australian "accidents".
  • I heart cliffs, me likey pretty scenery.
  • My kids wanna be surfers.
  • The Australian dollar keeps rising against the U.S. dollar (a good thing for us-- but not most of you).
  • I'm learning a new language-- Australian.
  • I've learned how to drive on the other side of the road.
  • Every month we see fireworks from our backyard.
  • I almost always have canvas bags with me, and barely ever need the plastic ones from stores anymore.
  • We recycle a lot more now, otherwise they won't take our rubbish (that's Australian for garbage) away.
  • I still love the word "brekkie".
  • We're all about taking the ferry for transportation.
Things that suck:
  • I am convinced all Australian ovens suck.
  • People constantly think all Americans are George Bush loving terror fighters.
  • Not knowing how to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, kilometers to miles, centimeters to inches, milliliters to ounces and sometimes cups... ugh, this is never ending.
  • Sausage rolls.
  • 40% taxes
  • No Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, TJMaxx or Costco stores
  • I'm still trying to figure out why they ask me if I have "flybys" at the grocery store-- no freaking clue what they are talking about.
  • No Boars Head deli meats.
  • Being so far from everyone I know.
I cannot believe I have more positives than negatives here... if I pondered this some more I'm guessing they'd equal out in the end.

Alrighty then, one year down and 2-3 years to go.

The year in photos:

Random excited tourist on a Sydney ferry.

Sometimes fun, somewhat creepy Luna Park.

There's a lot of Australian Post drop boxes.

The inside of the Sydney Opera House main concert room. They almost confiscated my camera.
And I think that's the largest organ in the world going up the entire back wall. That's sounds dirty, see the Opera House is a fun place.

At the Australia Day celebration in Sydney's Hyde Park.

A little slice of Florida in the Gold Coast of Australia. This was taken from the car at about 40mph, I mean about 80kh.

Hmmm, maybe this is Florida? (This really was taken on the way to the airport in the Gold Coast- Australia).

It wouldn't be a year of photos in Sydney without this, right? The view from Royal Botanic Gardens.

Cheers mateys.



Anater said...

Great post and photos! Gives me a lot to look forward to, except for the "Bush loving terror fighting" generalizations....and that whole metric thing of course.

Cecily R said...

Since I am so late to your blog party it was nice for me to read your year in review! I'm glad you have more positives than negatives. I'm sure it makes things so much easier to be so far from family and friends.

The pictures are AWESOME!! In fact, I think you should sign into PSF on my blog! This totally counts as a Photo Story Friday!!

Ty Gunner said...

The grass is not always greener on the other side. The grass is greener where it has been watered.

Yessie said...

I'm so with you on the ovens. I've been here nearly 6 months and I can't figure out the ovens. I was all about oven cooking back home. We rarely used the stove top and used the oven for nearly everything so I knew my way around ovens. Well, since I've been here it seems I either undercook something that I used to cook regularly or overcook it. So yes ovens suck in Australia.

Natasha said...

Lol, hilarious! Good breakdown. Though I think the weather's been crap in Sydney lately (today expected). Flybuys are Cole's frequent buyer program- pretty handy if you ask me given how much groceries cost here! You can use them at Kmart too, and maybe some other places, I forget! :)

SuperMindy said...

congrats on making it a year.. My year is coming up soon..

Oh and I have a fly buys card

The Taskers said...

Congrats on a "making" it a year! Aussie ovens do suck! Two weeks before we moved out our apartment (we'd been there 6 years) my Mother-in-law was heating some up and turned on the fan. I was like "what's that" -and she explained we had a fan-forced oven. Hmm, no wonder I had to cook everything at 225C and just keep checking it - i wasn't using the fan! Flybuys is a point-based reward system. So after you've spent about $10,000 you'll receive 10,000 points and can turn them in for a months' worth of the Women's Weekly magazine (or something equally crappy).

JD at I Do Things said...

Wait, sausage rolls are great!

I loved your list and the photos. I lived in Ireland for 2 years (the ovens sucked there, too), and came across a lot of "Americans are all fat, loud, lazy, money-grubbing, etc, etc" attitude. Good thing Bush wasn't president back then.

Gotta go eat some brekkie!

JD at I Do Things

Pam said...

There should be awards for expats who reach milestones in their stays. You know, like those dumb Lucite things employers hand out acknowledging "x" years in service. Only they'd be better than those stupid plaques. They'd be made out of, oh, peanut butter and diversity and visits from your best friends back home. Messy, but way more fun than a stupid engraved plaque.

Congratulations from this failed expat. I couldn't go more than 5 months in Austria without falling apart.

Dina said...

I'm proud of you for surviving a year.

Hopefully it will keep getting better.

I think this blog will help you. I think it helps you to see things in a more positive way. And when bad things happen....well, at least it gives you something interesting to write about!

Jill said...

I love all the comments. Are all these people on an ex-pat blog? that's so cool. you guys should all have a potluck that involves only oven cooked things! hahahahahaha. no seriously that would be kind of fun. maybe wait til i get there though so i can meet everyone. <3

Hot Garlic said...

Congrats! Loved the post and pics! This lists of likes and dislikes was very appropriate. And sorry about the nasty bats!

And what is this about a new cooking site? I just read the post so I will have to find it after.

C&H Romenesko said...

So funny to read your blog. It's nice to know that someone else out there is experiencing some of the same things I am.

I loved the positives and negatives. Ha. And, I can totally relate to $14 for a box of cereal. Denmark prices are outrageous! My husband and I have been here for 2.5 months of our 3 year commitment. Enjoy your time in Australia!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your blog whilst bludging at work. I love it! You have a great writing style and your kids are absolutely gorgeous.

Sorry to hear you have come across so much anti-yank sentiment here. I think the reason that a lot of Aussies assume most Americans are pro-Bush is that they assume that most Americans voted for him (i.e. that you have compulsary voting like we do). Anyway, hopefully the tide will turn with the election of a new president.

Good luck to you and I hope you continue to enjoy Sydney despite the crappy winter weather coming up...

Karrine said...

Dont worry most people in Australia dont even understand what 'flybuys' is, as someone who once worked in a store where i had to ask if other people had them i become used to recieving blank stares and comments such as 'i dont fly'.
If you havent yet found out what flybuys is let me explain...
Flybuys is a rewards system that operates in stores such as Coles and Target which allows you to gather points depending on how much you spend... basically you need to spend a forutne to get a reward but as a fly buys card holder i can happily say having only had my card for 1 year and having spent no more then i normally would i have recieved 2 $20 gift cards and thats better then nothing........
anyway enough of my rambling, god i really got into it didnt i? lol

Tors said...

Happy Expativersary! (can I steal that line sometime? *g*)

Always a good sign when there are more positives than negatives. As for FlyBuys, I've got a card - and in the past 3-4 years, I've gotten exactly $70 worth of rewards from it. Woopdedoo! But seriously, google FlyBuys and sign yourself up - it's free and it makes you a real Aussie! hahaha

Your oven isn't a Smegma, is it? *g*

floridagirlinsydney said...

Thanks for all of the encouragement everyone... I cannot believe how quickly the time goes by!

Pam- do you still blog?

Hi Karrine and Tors- I am going to sign up for flybys right now!!! And Tors- is there really an oven called a Smegma?? That's insane.

Corrina said...

I LOVE THOSE! Photos are fabulous. I don't know how lucky you feel to be living there, but I think it's pretty amazing. :-)

The Gnu said...

i can't believe you don't like sossy rolls. and when you think about it, you're actually driving faster over here 40mph compared to 80km/h, wow. (don't worry, i do understand conversions lol)

Andrew picker said...

In September, i move from Italy to London and i'm so exited!
Good luck for your new andventure!

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