Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Country Roads Take Me Home

In the not too distant future, I will be going home for seven weeks, yes, seven whole weeks!!!

Home is Florida, not Sydney. Home is the place where I have friends and family. Home is where I don't have to feel like everyone is staring at the awkward American who obviously is a terror-fighting George Bush lover.

Things I miss in the U.S. and cannot wait to see, taste, and smell (feel free to guess which of those, I want to do to each of these):
  • Real bagels. Even Lenders Bagels would be better than what I can buy at the "real bagel store" here.
  • Political correctness. The fact that a preschool director used the word re-tah-ded (that's Australian for "retarded") no less than ten times in our interview about says it all. And yes, I do believe the U.S. is sometimes too p.c.; but I think it's better than the alternative.
  • Old Navy, Target, Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, Gap, Target (did I already say that?).
  • Mexican food that doesn't suck.
  • Publix- Where Shopping is a Pleasure (um, that's vs. Woolworths, where shopping is not a pleasure).
  • Understanding what the hell people are saying all the time.
  • My mom and sister.
  • My Fiery Red Head.
  • Being able to call people after 12 noon (that's 10pm East Coast U.S.).
  • Paying at the pump, for godsakes Australia-- this is a no brainer.
  • Grocery carts that are not 4 wheel drive. Wtf?
  • Chain restaurants of all sorts, but especially The Cheesecake Factory.
  • Free shipping from
  • Stride Rite.
  • 24 hour pharmacies, come to think of it-- 24 hour anything.
  • Hamburgers without beetroot on them.

And shockingly enough I even have a list of things I'll miss in Australia while I'm gone:
  • The weather.
  • The ferry rides.
  • Easy Way Tea.
  • Riding my kangaroo to the grocery store and putting my reusable eco-bags in his pouch.
  • The beaches, cliffs, and hills.
Maybe next year I'll have even more things that I'll miss in Australia-- as time goes on, we adjust.

Update: On the other hand, maybe next year I'll just have a longer list of stuff I miss in the U.S., like this expat who's been here since 2003.



LiteralDan said...

I love learning about cultural differences-- you never really think about or appreciate little things in life until you're forced to consider yours without them.

Why would they make everyone come inside unless every pump in the country just happened to be broken??

I've driven a few four-wheel drive carts, and they definitely take some getting used to. But it's probably easier to adjust the other way.

Well now I know I have a few kangaroo rides to look forward to someday!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Hey literaldan-

Exactly! You just have no idea what you'll miss until it's gone.
On the flip side, Australians have no desire to get pay at the pump because you can't miss what you never had.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Hmmm, was that my response o' cliches?

traceyleigh said...

Hey BP outlets have pay at the pump!!!

And it is so cringeworthy sometimes of how un-pc many Australians are. Except they're fondly known as bogans.. cashed up bogans are the worst kind (loud mouthed, have NO idea and too much money to burn).

Think of me when you eat your yummy real real mexican {insert heavy sigh}

Seriously though, have a great time!!


Florida Girl In Sydney said...

tracyleigh- the BP near me doesn't, amd it looks like a shiny new one too! Someone told me that Sydney specificially doesn't but some other parts of Australia too.

Erin said...

Hi there! Another former Florida girl here - a Seminole to be exact! Spent all of the 80s in the Tampa Bay area. I too miss the US and I never realised how much I loved it til I was gone. The grass isn't always greener.
I can totally relate to your list of things you are looking forward to doing, eating, seeing, etc. I often journal about those things, maybe I should blog them (my new journal).
I'm heading back stateside in Dec... but only for 4 weeks. Wish I could be there 7 like you. I'll be making the most of my time there. I'll be at Walmart at 2am, just because I can! We'll be heading to Florida as well. Taking hubby on an airboat ride. No doubt if we see a gator he'll just say they aren't as big as the crocs we have here! Aussies are like that! :-)
Look forward to reading more of your blog and hearing about your trip!

Suz said...

I bet you are ready for a nice change...I hope it all lives up to your memory. I don't ever find shopping a pleasure at Publix. Oh, maybe that is when my kids are with me. ??
Can't you bring your kangaroo with you?
Surly you will bring your reusable shopping bags. I love mine from publix.
Please get a picture of the 4 wheel drive carts...I have no idea what you are talking about.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Suz- Good idea on bringing the bags-- I'm sure the woolworths bag will be a great conversation piece.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Erin- How have our blogs not found each other before now?? Your list blows mine away, I'm going to have to link to that stuff and just say ditto to it all!

Anonymous said...

u continue to crack me up! Have a great trip home!!!!!

Steve in SF Bay Area

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Thanks Steve!

Marvin the Martian said...

Are you bringing your roo with, or are you kennelling him?

And silly Aussies, it's not "retarded," it's "stoopid." ;-)

Enjoy your trip home...don't bring any hurricanes OR typhoons with you.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Marvin- I have good weather karma-- it follows me worldwide.

Pamela Rose said...

All I can say is I am now in countdown mode - cuz yore momma can't wait to see you!!!! I know I have to share you with your bff, other friends (too), and family. Ah, 48 days to go....YEA!!!!

Jill Stevens, Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist said...

you made me tear up a bit on this one. also i want a kangaroo to ride to the store.

Pamela Rose said...

What is all this talk of riding your kangaroo to the store??? I am sooo confused.....

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

And mom- while I ride the kangaroo tot he store I ruffle through my wad of Jack Wagner $10 bills.

Jill- Is your mom serious?

A Free Man said...

For me home is where I am right now and that means Adelaide.

Your list:
Bagels - definitely. I haven't had a decent bagel since 2005.

PC - really? Don't miss that at all.

Mexican food - see bagels.

Have a great trip back.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Free Man- I'm still on the fence about the whole PC thing-- maybe growing up with it I get easily surprised here. For sure I think the U.S. is overboard on the whole thing.

blue house mom said...

Geez -- do we all have identical wish/miss lists of what we are sooo not getting here in Aus? I think my 1st trip back had that set of lists exactly -- when you add in Aussie Erin's list.
But, you forgot driving on the RIGHT side of the road! And shopping carts that fit all the stuff you are planning to buy... The dollar spot at Target...oh the humanity we are missing here.
Enjoy your 7 weeks. They will go by sooo fast your head will spin. Its worth paying the extra $$$ for the extra luggage on your return trip -- stock up while you can!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Blue House Mom- I think switching back to driving on the right side of the road will be the thing I'll actually be most nervous about, I've heard it's hard to go back and forth--any advice on that?

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Blue House Mom- Forgot to mention, when we moved here we bought about 5 HUGE (no, I mean huge!) cheap duffle bags. We're bringing them there empty, so we can load up of course!

Bluestreak said...

Seven Weeks!!!!!!!!! I´m jealous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yup, I pretty much miss everything you mention, but especially Bagels, Mexican Food, and Cheesecake Factory. I´m hungry, can you tell?

blue house mom said...

Nah, driving on the right side of the road is like riding a bike. It seems so natural when you get back. Only embarrassing if you get into the wrong side of the car to drive :)

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Bluestreak- I'll eat something extra at Cheesecake Factory in your honor :)
Obviously I was hungry when I wrote this.

Blue House- It took me a year to stop going to the wrong side of the car in Australia--

Is today Blue day?

Ty Gunner said...

If mexican food is on your mind then visit the menu at and plan ahead. Everything is yummy. I posted a pic of their salsa on my page if you care to start the drooling process.

Tors said...

7 weeks? You lucky lucky gal. :)

We used to have pay at the pump at the local Mobil station. I used to go there specifically so I wouldn't have to drag kids into the store. Then United took over and closed it down...grrr...

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Tors- Why in the world would they have shut down the paying at the pump??? Some people!

Danielle said...

I hate the carts, I mean TROLLEYS...what is up? I feel like a drunk gets me more mad each time I use them. Love your blog!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

I know I always feel they're pulling me the way I don't want to go-- it's like trying to drive a car that needs an alignment REALLY BAD! Ha ha.