Australia

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Cane Toad – Invasive Species .. Our friend here will eat the native  frog species. People blow them up with fire crackers. 

The point of making this website is to have all of my memories in one place. I feel like this is most important now, because the older I get, the more I forget to remember.

I’ve just moved to Australia after taking a transfer from work, and convincing my partner that this was the place for us. No more long Canadian wet (west) coast winter. A booming economy, a great place for late twenty – somethings to get a foothold on finances and the practical implications of becoming a grown up. Something different for the traveller that can’t stay more than two years in one place (I was over-due by 4 months).

While the rest of our friends buy houses, have kids and get married, we have moved across the planet to start again from scratch.

Setting up another apartment, learning to drive on the other side of the road AND learning to drive manual, picking up new hobbies ( I didn’t know I was a light weight bush – walker!) being sociable, making friends … I’ve been good.

Today I hit a wall.

I just wanted to go to a pub with my co – recreational soccer team and have a winter ale. I didn’t need to see my closest friends or family, I just needed to hang out with the group of mostly Irish team mates that didn’t always pass me the ball.

After reading that sentence, maybe the reason why I am so keen on that particular experience is because I know how they feel, and why they hung out together.

Despite all being from western English – speaking nations, there are always difference, both subtle and gaping. For the first time today, I though about finding other Canadians to spend time with on a weekly to monthly basis. I’m not sure exactly what we would do, most likely have a few drinks and talk about the old country… I think I just want someone to look at me and see someone they identify with, someone that is the same – no matter how loose the definition.

When I go to meet these hypothetical Canadians, no one will ask me about my accent. They will also likely not assume that I can’t swim. They won’t think I am strange as a give in, because I am from Canadia. I won’t be that small Canadian girl. Instead – I get to be Kathryn from Vancouver, living in Australia. Based on population size, I bet these new acquaintances are from Ontario or an Eastern province. They probably watch hockey and hate the Canucks. Either themselves, or one of their friends or family has been to Vancouver. They will tell me that Vancouver was nice  and that they also visited and liked Whistler / Victoria or Tofino.

The radio stations in Australia – or what I have sampled from the Gold Coast, play everything.

Everything.

Those popular songs from 1999 you ve only recently heard because you dug up a mixed cd from high school? Throw out your cd’s  – it’s got airtime here.

They played Nelly – Ride with me (I think that’s the name) today on my way home from work. It made my day. I was in grade 9 again.

I got to my front door and the lady that lives above me had left a note, apologising for not introducing herself because of how busy her family has been with summer holidays (which now take place in January). She had left 2 eggs from the backyard chooks (chickens) and a mango. She also welcomed me to help myself to the mangos from the tree in the back yard, now ripening behind my window.

Prior to this I went to the liquor store across the street from work for a bottle of wine. My favourite wine – Yellow Tail, is only 10 dollars here. I have tracked the price of Yellow Tail as I’ve travelled. The most expensive bottle to date was 100.00 ytl (about 90 USD) In Ankara, Turkey. It is an Australian wine so I am near the source. A new friend lives nearish to the vineyard – we can go visit the grapes.

Like anything in life, you have to take the pluses with the minuses.

Today I had had enough. I felt homesick and was second guessing my life choices and choosing to be away again. Fortunately, today there were also pluses.

Hence the goal – remembering to remember.

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