I promise to finish the Indonesia trip, but I want to write about being an expat too! And this Christmas, it was all too clear that I wasn’t in the USA anymore.
It’s hot. Really, really hot. I sang about dreaming of a white Christmas, while being fully aware that I may as well dream about getting a unicorn full wrapped under the tree in gold spun by Rumpelstiltskin. (Benny Mac? Are you reading this? Stocking stuffer for next year perhaps?) I’ve spent the past 10 Christmas’ in the tropics but always in the northern hemisphere where I can put on a sweater and socks and not pass out from heat exhaustion. (I DID get a sweater for our trip to the states this year, though. I tried it on for less than five minutes before I was worried about sweat stains ruining the white knit.)
I should point out Australian homes, in general, do not have central air con. If they have air con, it is in the bedrooms and they use it at night only.
And heat seemed to be the theme for everything we did this year. No hot roast or mashed potatoes – would you want to sit in the house baking all day in 90% humidity? It was delish cold cuts and potato salads. And prawns! Yummy prawns! (Shrimp, America.) Served on ice, whole, so you have to peel them yourself. Being covered in legs and antennae is now a part of Christmas to me.
There was an inflatable pool. Not just for the kids, oh no. My friend Bel and I were thrown in by the kids. And then we sat there for longer than the kids expected because it was AMAZINGLY cooler.
I did bake, however. How could you not have sweets on Christmas? So…we made North Queensland Snowmen!
Candles? No. Mosquito coils? Absolutely.
Red wine? Nope. Ice cold beers? Done.
Santa in a big suit? Maybe in the air con. On the sleigh? Short footie shorts and a wife beater if the Aussie Christmas Cards are accurate.
New Years was no different. Ski trip to the mountains? No way. Playing cricket and camping on your own little bay saturated with coral reef? Don’t mind if I do.
I will not lie – Its hard getting in the spirit when it’s warm like this. But if you spend it with the right people, you develop a new holiday spirit. Its doesn’t feel cozy and you don’t smell chestnuts roasting on an open fire (…or wait…nope, bush fire), but it does feel sticky with prawn juice and slightly drunk from your last bourbon and coke on the rocks. I think I can handle this for a bit longer.