Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ten Things that I've Started Doing in Australia that People Should Do All the Time (#1-5)

#1 Drink Hot Tea
I have never been a big hot tea drinker (where I come from we are all about the ice-cold sweet tea), but it is a daily habit that I've picked up. It probably has something to do with being provided an electric kettle until our furniture and things get here. It is super easy to turn the kettle on and have boiling water in less than a minute. Plus, it's an easy excuse to stick a Tim Tam on the side of the saucer and pretend that you're having afternoon tea...
I don't know why I'm saying "pretending".
Having a cup of tea with a sweet in the afternoon is exactly what afternoon tea is.
Still I feel like an American phoney drinking my tea with my little finger sticking out.
Who cares? Tim Tams are worth the fake-ery. 

#2 Avoid Starbucks
Man, I miss Starbucks. I miss it mostly because of its convenient drive-thru. I don't think Starbucks coffee is bad, but I've avoided it here because people would automatically judge me.
Australians don't like Starbucks.
To them, it isn't "real" coffee since coffee here is strictly espresso-based.
Anyway, I immediately ignored Starbucks upon moving here, and I have had some damn good coffee while here. In America I would order a "nonfat white chocolate mocha - hold the whip", and I would emerge from the drive-thru with a sugary, too sweet cup of something that could be coffee but was more like a dessert. Here I've started to really appreciate a good latte. I order a "latte"... no sugar...nothing more..., and you know, it is fantastic. 
I don't think I'll ever be able to enjoy Starbucks as much as I once did because now I know how good a point-on cup of coffee can taste. 
Hint- It tastes like sunshine on a clear blue morning with unicorns and leprechauns and such.

#3 Take Public Transportation
My experience with public transportation is different from most mainly because I don't use the trams or trains here in Melbourne during rush hour. The kids and I take our sweet time getting to wherever we are going because I know we aren't going to get fired if we are late.
I love sitting on the trains and watching the world go by. I love hopping on a tram and hopping off a tram whenever, especially since we are figuring it out and look like professionals instead of confused tourists like we did last week.
I'm not mentioning that the kids and I stood in the train station today waiting for a train that we never did find. 
We eventually made it to their bounce class. No biggie.
I think I enjoy it all mostly because it is all out of my hands. I just have to get on and off. I don't have to fill it up with gas. (If Blake didn't work with a company that sells oil I wouldn't have to worry about gas prices, but I do.) I don't have to take anything in for an oil change. I don't have to worry that my suspension is going to go out on me or that it is going to get swiped by a new driver who hasn't figured out their right-hand turns.
See what I did there with "right-hand turns"? 
Cause we're in Australia where they drive on the other side of the road?
And right-hand turns are harder than left-hand turns?
If you haven't gotten it yet  -  Nevermind. 
No pressure. It's nice. (And cheap!)

#4 See What Your City has to Offer
Blake and I were just discussing whether or not Houston offers the same amount of fun festivals and events to celebrate sporting events, holidays, or just Houston. We have no idea! Why? Because we never looked. We just hung out in suburbia and did our own thing.
Aside from the rodeo - You'd have to live under a rock to not know about the rodeo.
We have loved combing through websites and newspapers, looking for cool things to be a part of. There's been White Night, the Food and Wine Festival, the Moomba Festival, the Grand Prix and so much more during the short time we've been here. We enjoyed each of these events, and it was something to look forward to and do together as a family.
We are totally going to check out the Houston scene when we get back!

#5 Explore!
It's hard to explain how easy it is to explore here in Melbourne without experiencing it yourself. The city is known for its alleyways where you turn a corner and find an amazing surprise waiting for you on the other side... It could be a quaint coffee shop, an adorable children's bookstore, a beer garden with lamb neck nachos, or the most beautiful graffiti display you have ever witnessed.  
I could totally explain it, but my ploy is to get you to come visit me.
You know you want to... Don't think about the cost of the plane tickets.
...Think about kangaroos and train stations and blue, blue water.
(And the coffee, obviously.)
We have also started making some plans for trips to places just outside of the city. We are hurried, almost desperate, in assuring that by the time we leave Australia, we have completely experienced everything that we possibly could while we were here. 

Why didn't we act the same way when we were in Texas?
We know that we aren't going to be here for forever, but did we think we'd be in Texas for forever?
I've been giving myself the 'ole "You aren't guaranteed tomorrow" speech since I've realized this.

*I didn't want this to be an impossibly long post, so I've broken it up into two parts... Check back soon for the next five things that I've just started to do but I should have been doing all along, regardless of where I am in the world.
** Edit ** You can find the 2nd part to my list by clicking here!

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