Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Local Flavour

Husband went back to work yesterday and left me with a small list of errands, like getting new keys cut and dropping off his dry cleaning. So I set off to investigate the local shops.

I popped into the pharmacy for a few provisions, like anti-bac hand cleaner for the bathrooms, cotton buds, loo roll - typical stuff one needs for the home. I popped into the charity shop and picked up some port glasses and cups for putting tooth brushes in. Met the local butcher who was a very friendly man; and why wouldn't he be when it was reported yesterday that butchers have the best sex lives of all jobsmen. He took pity on me because I had no idea what I wanted to make for dinner, and still feel a bit weird about the cost of things because I have no idea if anything is a good price or not and I still don't know the value of all the coins, so I look silly dithering about with my playmoney and checking the values of my small change. Why is the $2 coin smaller than the $1 coin?? Why are there no pennies and yet things still cost .99 cents?? Eventually Sean the Butcher suggested I try some of his home-made beef sausages and I bought six. Then popped next door to the fresh fruit-n-veg market and got some potatoes, salad leaves, garlic with cloves the size of shallots and a very lovely mild, sweet taste, two huge apples for the girls to munch on the walk home, and a bag of coconut covered apricot balls. All for less than $5 which I think *was* a brilliant deal as the veg is far superior to what I've had in Scotland which is small and scarily overpriced.

Unfortunately my newly cut keys didn't work, so I walked back down and asked the guy to try again, he talked to me for a while about his motorbiking adventures in Ireland and we laughed about how the Brits always end up burning themselves in the summer because they think they don't need sunscreen. See, I grew up in hot summers; I know. Not to be outdone, I'm constantly warned with a mischievous smile, "Just you wait."

I keep noticing small things that amuse me, like tea bags are called Tea Cup Bags, not teacup bags nor simply teabags but tea cup bags. Also I was watching a sport report about how someone was "Sickened" and thought, poor guy puked on the field, and it took me a moment before I figured out she meant Second. Husband says if I laugh too much about the accent I'll get beaten up, but I know from experience, I'll get back what I give out. Heck I'll get it even if I don't give back so why not enjoy my own digs? Also, they use, on the news anyways, the word "Nailed" a lot, especially in sport when someone was tackled, they were nailed instead. Someone caught in an untruth is also nailed. I haven't heard it used yet in a sexual phrasing which is how I'm used to hearing it. All this nailing makes me reconsider the conservative label I've been led to believe about Australians. The Costco sized sex toy store out near the airport was an eye opener too.

I took the kids for a walk through the local park which was full of eucalyptus and pretty pink lawn flowers and all kinds of trees I've never seen. A lot have no leaves and there's one in particular that looks like some kind of chestnut which is covered in dangling spiked balls. There's this other tree that have seeds/nuts that are about the size of a huge acorn with a deep triangle shaped dent in the bottom which we've discovered makes an amazing whistle - way better than an acorn cap. I only hope they don't turn out to be something painfully toxic, but I don't think so as I noticed birds picking at the ones that had fallen and split. The hard green ones - awesome, loud whistles. (You know to use your thumbs to make a tiny triangle shape and blow on an acorn cap to make a high pitched whistle, right?). We saw lots of magpies, myna birds and those red and green parrots I think are Eastern Rosellas. I had one bird come and sit next to me while the kids were in the park, and I don't know what it was. Once he realized I didn't have any food for him, he went back into the tree and began to strip the bark off the trunk. Just a tad passive-aggressive don't you think?

Today I'm out to try a different key cutter and see if we can get me a key to this house. I have no other plans outside of that, so I'll meander the streets, find interesting things to look at and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine we've got this morning. Oh, and try not to get swine flu. Seems to be media hyped that the flu is now out to nail all of healthy younger adults (I still count as a young adult, don't I?) and it's even taking down (Like we're a herd of elephants and the flu has us at gunpoint) people with no pre-existing health concerns. Better lock myself in! Hide from anyone and everyone. Sanitize the mail!

Have I mentioned that the Aussie media is fucking insane? No really, these morning lite news shows are swinging between nitpicking the stories and warping them into something out of control - case in point being the all day reporting of a UK midwife saying women should endure natural childbirth and not expect an epidural. Which later became "UK Dr tells women to toughen up!" and "Toughen up Girls, it's just labor!" and onward spinning in order to create a furor when the man actually was advising women not to expect an epidural to be a saviour and that it should be used in case of dangerous or troubled deliveries. When I later asked my friend in the UK what the Brits' take on this story was, she'd not heard a thing about it. Then we get segued to another story about health and fitness that turns out to be an infomercial about some Pilates machine. What is with the on-set infomercials? Truly annoying. I liked it better when the infomercials were all clumped together in their own channels at the far end of the satellite channel selections. It just makes me click over to something else, which I must wonder if I'm alone in that. Having these obvious adverts during showtime must really bite into their ratings, right?


Overboard said...

WTF are you using port glasses as toothbrush holders for!!!
p.s I am so happy for you, girl!
This new life for you and your family.
In a beautiful country.

Lyvvie said...

No silly, I bought different glasses for the toothbrushes. I bought some port for the port glasses. Can't wait to try it out.

Although, really think I should get plastic ones for the toothbrushes.

jomamma said...

Ditto on Maria, this is going to be so fun reading about all your adventures.

Hey show your Western Culture like Jolea did at her first cricket game over there and yell "hey Batter, Batter.... saawingggg!" She said she got some really hateful looks at first but before long everyone in her section was doing it.

Marg said...

I didn't realise that you were here already!

The ratings don't drop all that much because they are all pretty much the same, most particularly the ones after 9am - infomercial central!

There are a few good questions in your post - especially about the price of everything ending in 99c. At one stage a while ago they were talking about getting rid of 5c pieces as well, which would mean even more rounding but I am not sure what will come of it!

Try not to get nailed by swine flu okay?

Rox said...

You sound like you're in your glory! Are you a touch homesick at all? You don't seem to be. I can't wait to hear more stories!

Lyvvie said...

Homesick? Nah, not really - as hurtful as some may find that. I of course miss my friends and having someone other my husband to text a funny note to; although I'm sure he loves the attention "We just saw a red wattlebird!" works fine for him, others may not be impressed. I've wanted to come to Australia for so long and at the moment I'm being endlessly selfish in my enjoyment of it all. Wouldn't you if your dream just came true?

Marg - I'll try and not let the bug target me - you too! It's War out there, viral warfare! Us vs the Flu!

The rounding up thing is weird. I bought a bottle of port and they made a penny profit off of me - who gets all those pennies??? It shouldn't benefit Safeways or any retailer in my opinion. I'd like to think a suitable charity would be getting the benefit of those pennies, because you have to imagine how many pennies a big store like Woolies is collecting in just a week. I may just give them a call and ask what they do with the unaccounted bonuses.

Judith - I don't think I'll attend any cricket matches any time soon. I find it a tad dull. But am looking forward to seeing a footy match sometime soon. They look like two hours of nonstop mayhem.

Marg said...

I am thinking about going to the footy on Sunday afternoon. If you want to come with us you are more than welcome! Just depends on what time my son's football game is which I will find out tomorrow.

The theory about the pennies is that sometimes you give them a cent or two, and other times they have to give you a cent or two. I am not all that sure that it necessarily works out that way!

Lyvvie said...

That's great of you Marg, but I think Husband has a plan on that front. I would love, however, to have a guide to the best of the book fairs. I know you know the best ones. What do you say?

tornwordo said...

I love this part of your Big Move. Sickened made me laugh out loud.

Nej said...

Sunday mornings here, every channel has infomercials. still see the ones with Billy Mays, which is weird to watch, when you know he's now dead.

Although, we watch movies with dead actors and I'm not sure why watching Billy Mays bugs me so much. :-)

Never made an acorn cap whistle. I'm missing out!!!!!

Sylvana said...

You are really giving me a taste of your adventures! I've always wanted to go to Australia too. It seems like such an exciting place, and I've like the Australians that I have met. I find them MUCH easier to understand than Scots!!