Moving to the US I have learned many things, living life is rather similar to that of Australia, one gets up, gets ready for the day, does their daily activity, comes home, has dinner, winds down and then sleep, so the cycle can begin again the next day. But there are some pretty big differences, for example watching television; everything is uniquely American, American soaps, movies, cop shows, and the list goes on, even the news is mostly American. Television in Australia is diverse, the news is world based, shows are imported from many countries, so I knew what was going on in the world just from the television, here I rely on the internet to know the worlds goings on, which is sad, the world is a big place, and not much can be learned from medication and insurance informercials, except what can cure you can kill you or make you blow up like a giant pus filled balloon!
I have learned that people here in Maine are geniunely warm and kind, just today at the grocery store I asked my Husband what grits were, a lady nearby recognised my Aussie accent and after telling me what and how yummy grits were, asked me about Vegemite, (now people, before anyone offers you a spoonful of Vegemite, that’s NOT the way to eat it!!! There is a wonderful way to eat Vegemite, on toast with lots of butter, its delicious!) She was a sweetheart and I am going to carry a tube of Vegemite with me in case I ever have the pleasure of meeting her again. She may or may not thank me though, Vegemite is an aquired taste and not many people I know like it, my Husband (who is American) thinks its disgusting.
I lived for 6 years in a small town in Australia and never felt welcome, I was always referred to as a “blow in” and it made life difficult. It was one of those towns where everyone knew what they thought was everybodys business, even listening to rumour as fact, it was a very depressing place, and just so you dont accidentaly find yourself there, I wont mention the name. Youre welcome. The small town I live in now is home, and feels like home, I have only been here 18 months and I already feel like part of the fabric, which is very important I believe. Im sure there are the usual gossips and what not, but I have not heard anything bad or incriminating, which is a relief… moving is not something I enjoy or wish to entertain for at least another 100 years.
I do however have problems with the American version of the english language, sometimes… but some people apparently enjoy my accent so I get asked to repeat myself quite a bit. I have also learnt that some words used in Australia are not so popular here… “Twat”, sometimes used as a lesser insult (to the now common “C” word), well, always used as an insult in Aus, here I found it to be horribly frowned upon, and a fanny for example is ones rear end here, in Aus its, um, the front area that is referred to as a va jay jay, cooter or “giggle” bug… crikey! Oh, and I am always being asked to recite “The dingo took my baby”…. Its amazing how two English speaking countries could have such vast differences, but I’m catching on, its still funny when I refer to the gas station as the servo! Oh, and our real estate guy, Dan, a fabulous guy I must add got a real kick out of my need for a petrol powered whipper snipper, feel free to look that one up on the internets :D
One really big thing here is the conversion of everything, its like a whole new language, inches, farenheit, yards, pounds et al. I found that it really doesnt matter, the roads have speed limit signs to match the gauges on the dashboard, stoves have the temps written to match the recipes, but if someone asks me a question about distance… errrr, wha? I become a babbling dunderhead… Even my son has grasped the concepts here, but me, um, well, its going to take me a wee while longer.
When people found out I was coming here I was met with gasps, looks of terror and the usual OMG why? I got the whole “but people shoot each other and rob each other, and OMG, its scary… Let me tell you something, I have never felt safer in my life here, what you see on TV and the movies is just that, stuff. Yes there is crime, but here people look out for one another. The sense of belonging and patriotism is thoroughly woven into the very blood of the people and its pretty obvious that there is pride in their state and nation. Dont get me wrong, there are some very patriotic people in Australia, and under adverse situations people come together to help one another, but from my experience the day to day stuff is very each to their own mentality. Australia is very much a mans country, women are not as revered as they are here in the States… But this is a whole different topic for next time.
Love to all