Friday, August 28, 2009


I guess it hasn't really been a year since I've been doing this, so I guess you'll have to wait for re-invention in February...

change, change, change?

So...I've been thinking about changing the blog. Not so much in look, but in mission. I don't really care about giving you my impressions of Aussie vs Seppo culture. I think as my one year re-invention of this project, I should venture into something else...




I'm trying to type this and listen to hubby tell me about his dream.
And try to order cocktails...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday, Monday...

This has been one of those "slow as Christmas" Mondays. Not surprised after having a little too much fun yesterday. No, I'm not hung over, but I am little tired. It's raining out, so I would much rather be curled up in front of the TV.

Many in the office are out today, so it has been really quite around here. In fact, right now it is just me!

These next 30 mins. are going to go by very slowly...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Some Gays.

At the Bank

Sitting at the Bank Hotel enjoying a glass of Stella Bella. It's about
24 degrees and the weather is amazing. Some nice eye candy out and

Just saw this women grab her boyfriend's crotch as they walked by. It
wasn't all that.

Final Destination

View from the Window

At Town Hall Station

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Year One

I’ve been thinking about writing this for the past couple of months. Today marks year one of being in Australia. In many ways, it still seems like a dream. It’s not the location, or the culture, it’s the lack of familiar faces that make it so unreal. In the eight years I spent in San Francisco I got to know hundreds of people. It was rare to go anywhere in that city and not run into someone I knew. That reality took time to nurture, but it was a condition I had grown very accustomed to. Given another year or two, I'm sure the same will hold true for Sydney.

I recall the day we arrived. After surviving our landing and settling into our accommodations in Newtown, we walked to King Street to grab a bite to eat. The sky was grey and rainy. I remember standing at the intersection, jetlagged and confused by the peculiarity of it all. The traffic was moving in the wrong direction. People whisked by us, obviously annoyed by our obstruction of their stride. I don’t recall what we got to eat, but I do remember the instant I opened my mouth to order the look of surprise on the cashier’s face. It was the accent. Someone told me before I moved that they will be as enthralled with your accent as you will be by theirs. It was true. Never had English sounded so odd.

In the coming months, there was a lot of negotiation when it came to communication. Australians generally speak very softly (unless they've had a few schooners) despite their guttural pronunciations of most words. The hardest thing I found in understanding people was I couldn’t hear them. Part of this has to do with my general lack of hearing, caused by too many nights of dancing to house music in front of large speakers, but it is also due to the fact that Americans are loud people. It is very funny; I can now spot Americans a mile away if for no other reason than the volume of their voices.

My ears have since adjusted and I get along fine most of the time. There are some dialects here I will never understand, especially those with the heavy peppering of slang. In some ways it reminds me of the South in the US with its combination of words and half words and idioms that only the natives understand. For the longest time I read an Australian slang dictionary to amuse myself, which made me realise how sanitised American English was in comparison.

Australians will say pretty much whatever is on their minds in any social context, including work. It can have a unsettling effect on Americans, even those of the non-PC variety. Americans keep their thoughts to themselves until they are put on TV, and then they bust forth, usually with stupidity.

Speaking of TV, I miss the big dramatic news stories that the US media delivers. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but it is true. The news here is boring. The only rise you see in TV anchors is when they are talking about footy, cricket, or the NRL. I struggle to stay on top of news events, mainly US politics. It’s an addiction.

The thing I don’t miss is religious people. Australia is very secular compared to the US, and it is very refreshing for someone like me to be in this environment. I’m not saying it doesn’t have its share of crazies, but they are fewer and farther between and have a lot less influence on the culture. It’s funny; I realize now how neurotic American culture is because of its obsession with religion. It’s incredibly self-absorbed having god on your side.

On the flip side, there are things about Australian culture that send me into a tailspin from time to time. Firstly, there’s a clear line of demarcation between genders. I know, living in San Francisco warped my sense of these things, but it did take some getting used to. Secondly, Australians can be pedantic—there’s always a lesson to be learned in everything. Thirdly, there’s a lack of self-reflection in the culture, which can make discussions about their culture very delicate, which is a contradiction to everything else about them. Fourthly (and most importantly), my home broadband internet connection is slower than my dial-up from 1995, which creates some very very frustrating moments in my life!

Welcome to Australia.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Death Panels and Drama Queens

I hesitate to give any weight to this topic, but here I am doing it nonetheless. The two things that keep me connected to the "goings on" in the US are Andrew Sullivan's blog at the Atlantic and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. When the pitbull with lipstick made her infamous statement about Obama's health care plan containing death panels, I wasn't shocked. Nothing this woman says surprises me. She is creepy, shameless, and a liar who panders to the worst elements in American culture. It is completely fascinating to me that she has become the goddess of conservatism in the US. Ignorance is strength, I suppose.

The past couple of weeks I've seen an endless parade of wacky people on YouTube screaming at the top of their lungs at town hall meetings. Obama is now Hitler and the whole country is going to hell in a handbasket. If it isn't the Christians, its the LaRouche clan, and the whole bloody mess looks pretty goddamn silly from the outside. It's hard to explain the connection and the disconnection I experience simultaneously while watching and listening to these bizarre exchanges. It's comical and it's disturbing, no other way to describe it.
This morning I got the pleasure of watching Barney Frank say what has been on my mind for quite sometime. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

Ideologues are a sorry lot...nothing more than silly willy nilly drama queens.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


So, I was at the Italian Government Tourist Office today for a work meeting, which I won't bore you with the details. The conversation briefly moved to pizza, whereby someone commented that Australians don't get in, you can't get good pizza in Australia. I wanted to stand up and scream, amen! But, I kept calm and merely nodded my head. Another person agreed and said that they put too much stuff on their pizza here. I wondered what the hell she was talking about...if anything it needs more, not less...but afterall, I'm American. I haven't had a single slice of pizza in Sydney that I've enjoyed, including ones I've made at home. Firstly, the crust...yuck. Secondly, the cheese...boring. Thirdly, the pepperoni...chewy.

...but I'm not bitching.