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I’m still on the cusp of finishing my thesis, so many apologies for the lack of posts. So much to do…so little time! I shouldn’t even be on here NOW, truth be told. Yet…here I am anyway!

I’m having a bit of an existential crisis. It’s my thesis’ fault. “Why am I doing this?! Do I even like fisheries anymore? I think I’ve found something else to do. So do I need to put myself through this? Really? Maybe I’ll move to Mongolia, that sounds nice.” Yes, Nat. You do need to finish. Good God, one more week. And Mongolia? Not yet, not now.

I need a reminder. I need to sit and think about what keeps me here in Australia, Benny Mac aside (Who I love to pieces!). When I first moved here, everything was amazing. Driving on the other side of the road, the funny electrical plugs, all those idiosyncrasies that are just fascinating to a newbie. But now that I’ve been here awhile, I’m used to it. I just looked around to see what is different here than in the USA for that little list of things.

And then my friend Danny came in. And everything was new for him. The Australian sense of “fashion”, the beaches, all of it. Everyday I came home he’d seen something that he needed to comment on, all stuff I had noticed as well but had long forgotten it was “different”.

But some stuff…I can’t get used to it. I still consciously notice somethings and am still amazed. And that’s it. That’s why I’m here. So here is my self-reminder of positive things that will never give me that “used-to-it” feeling.

  1. The Wildlife — Flocks of cockatoos on the road. Kookaburra laughing at some inside joke at 5 am, and I don’t care that it is my day to sleep in. Walking home and seeing an echidna/koala walk part of the way with you. That is pure Australia.

    Black Cockatoo — Mischief Makers of Australia

  2. The Seasons — Dry Season: Cool weather, sweaters, and dry. Perfect for gardening/hiking/camping….Monsoon Season: Main roads flooding and food coming by boat. Waterfalls, creeks and freshwater fun. Mold (Ok, that’s not positive really, but seriously. It never ceases to amaze me where it can grow!)

    Monsoon season bonus- Waterfalls!

  3. Rugby — I’m starting to like this sport more than baseball. The sheer SIZE of Thaiday. Watching Thurston kick an impossible conversion. Hearing Lockyear’s throaty voice. Watching the Mighty Maroons kill the Blues! And the fans! I’ve never heard such amazingly foul insults! I’m learning so many terrible things to say to opposing teams, the Yankees are going to tremble when they hear my voice!

    Mighty Maroons and Sam Thaiday

  4. The Booze — James Squire and Blue Tounge beers … anything from the Barossa Valley. ‘Nuff said.

    Can’t complain about the lack of locations in which to drink Blue Tounge either!

  5. The Hippies — Australia does dirty hippie like no other country so far. Stinky, barefoot hippies who preach hydroponics and carry guitars around for a hapless strum. And of all ages as well – Firedog, part of the Lettuce Dance Band, clearly over 60, loves randomly spitting out poetry and dancing a jig.

    Me as a hippie….with one of my favorite hippies

  6. Appalling Australian Television — They follow the British sense of humor on the best of days.  The acting makes Lifetime look Oscar-worthy. And the commercials!! How can you not love the commercials!!! Check out the Spray and Walk Away guy, seriously. Benny Mac will never understand why I love Neighbours, and neither will I. Because it’s terrible. But amazing.

    That’s when good neighbours become good friends

And that’s my beginners list, because I gave myself a 30 minute break to do this in. There are other things I’m sure I cannot think of, but for now, I think I feel a little light and a little more appreciative of what is around me. Happy beginning of monsoon season, everyone!