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Tag Archives: a stranger in a strange land

  1. Lost in Translation

    woop woop (whup whup)
    n. the middle of nowhere
    “They’re going out to Woop Woop for a camping weekend.”

    I think this is my first Lost in Translation for the year, and it’s probably because the Australian slang is becoming so familiar to me. (One might say TOO familiar.) I used “woop woop” in conversation today, and my colleague didn’t blink an eye even though I felt quite proud of myself.

    He then asked what the American equivalent would be, and I can’t even think of one! Is there one? All I can think of is a rather rude acronym involving Egypt, but I feel like there IS a common one out there that I’d use in front of my mother. Help me, people!

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  2. Herbie!

    On a happier note, I am loving this French herb dryer. Le sigh. If I had that, I would definitely use Straight from the Farm’s advice on preserving fresh herbs.

    By the by, Australians say the “h” in “herbs”, and I think I say it now too. But anytime I consciously say the word, I have a hard time remembering which way to say it.

    ** Check out the Chia Gourmet Herb Garden at Amazon.

    Posted in Inspired.

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  3. A Conversation

    Him: Oh look, Flying High is on.
    Me: Uh, no. It’s Airplane!
    Him: What was your sequel called?
    Me: Airplane 2?
    Him: Yeah, ours is called Flying High 2.

    So I look it up. Sure enough, it has two names. Then I proceeding to rock myself and think of my happy place. It’s times like this when the subtle differences between our countries make me think I’m losing my mind.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  4. Other Yummy Goodness

    While I’m talking food, I came across this recipe for this crockpot recipe for Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup by another American blogger in Australia Elsja. It sounds SO GOOD. Too bad it’s too hot to try it now!

    Other Expats
    And while I’m talking about American expats, Aussie Erin is a New Yorker in Sydney.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  5. Linky Links

    More expats to peruse:
    * Suzer’s Expat Adventures
    * A Girl Named Supermindy
    * Florida Girl in Sydney

    I’m pretty sure that I got this link from one of the above. A Year of Crockpotting – someone who is using their crockpot to cook every day this year. (Allison & Steve, I think we all need to try some of these recipes and share the good ones!)

    ** Check out the slow cooker options at Amazon.

    Posted in Cooking, Inspired.

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  6. The Tax Man Cometh

    Probably the worst part about being in Australia, besides the obvious lack of Dr. Pepper, is their financial year ending June 30. And because I’m never good about doing these things in a timely manner, it seems like I am under the constant weight of having to hurry and get my taxes done for one country or the other.

    So this year, I’m making a vow that I am going to stay on top of this so that when it comes time for somebody to know what I’ve earned, I can just fill out the form and be done with it instead of having to dig through files and folders and making phonecalls. It will all be right there.

    I spent the afternoon modifying the PearBudget Spreadsheet to suit my needs of tracking deductibles and things like that. While I would really love for us to be a by-the-letter budget-keeping family, we’re not quite to THAT point. But baby steps, right?

    ** For financial peace, check out the Dave Ramsey store at Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  7. Lost in Translation: Sparky

    sparky (spark-ee)
    n. an electrician
    “I’m going to get the sparkies in to run the power to the new edit suite.”

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  8. Lost in Translation: Bob

    This afternoon I ran upstairs to the office above us to drop off something for Bob. How difficult can that be to understand, right? But the guy who met me at reception had this look of “there’s no one by that name here”. The guy owns the place; I know he works there. So I said again that it was for Bob… Bob [last name]. That’s when he realized who I meant. He said that my American drawl had him confused.

    Hans happened to be with me. When we got outside, I asked how I could have possibly been misheard. He said that the guy thought I was saying “Barb” and then proceeded to demonstrate the proper Australian way of saying “Bob” which I cannot replicate in written form. We had a really good laugh.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  9. Non-Universal Marketing

    Setting the stage: We stopped at a shop on the way in to work to get some juice. There was a display of Limited Edition Big Red gum by the cash register. (Australians don’t really do “cinnamon” so much.)

    Me: So kiss a little longer
    Hold tight a little longer
    Stay close a little longer
    Longer with Big Red

    Sing with me now!

    That Big Red freshness lasts right through it
    Your fresh breath goes on and on
    While you chew it

    Come on!

    Say goodbye a little longer
    Make it last a little longer
    Give your breath long lasting freshness with BIG RED!

    Don’t you know the Big Red song?

    Him: I thought the answer was pretty obvious when I didn’t join in.

    Me: Weird. I thought everyone knew the Big Red song.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  10. Christmas Tags

    I got tagged by Tommy. He tags me now and then, and while I always have the best of intentions, I seem to be pretty slack about following through on the actually posting. Be sure to read his answers — but wait until after you’ve read mine, because he’s funnier than I am.

    1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
    2) Share Christmas facts about yourself.
    3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
    4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

    1. Wrapping or gift bags? Wrapping. I love making pretty packages. (I just remembered one year the college group from church was having a Christmas party, and everyone was meant to bring a white elephant gift that was less than $5 or something like that. I took great care in wrapping mine — a mixture of a couple of different natural papers, raffia and hemp ribbons, the works. It looked good and was the first one picked and was fought over. The final present stealer opened it only to find a can of spam. Loved it!)

    2. Real or artificial tree? I don’t even think that real trees are an option here. I have never seen them advertised. I think some people might have an evergreen in a pot (but really, aren’t all trees here “ever green”?) that they might bring inside. I have my baby bunya that I haven’t killed yet, but it’s not strong enough to hold decorations, so I put a few baubles around the base.

    But yeah, we also have the artificial tree, as seen here as I can’t be bothered to repost.

    3. When do you put up the tree? Tradition dictates the day after Thanksgiving, but neither of those days were holidays here. I didn’t really have myself organized or in the mood to do it that weekend. Might have been a smidge depressed about being half a world away from my family. I think we finally got the tree up on the 1st.

    4. When do you take the tree down? Whenever we can get up the energy to do so, but definitely before the end of January.

    5. Do you like eggnog? I can’t remember the last time I had eggnog. I feel like I remember my dad making it when I was a child, but I have no real recollection of the taste nor consistency.

    6. Favorite gift received as a child? My doll Amy

    7. Do you have a nativity scene? We don’t have any spare surface area at the moment. My mom still puts out the one that my sister made in Bible school ages ago. I think that’s cute.

    8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? It must have been the Christmas that I turned four. My grandparents gave me a set of firetrucks. Firetrucks! Granted my grandfather and dad are both firemen, but the reasoning was because they thought we needed some boyish toys in the house. A month and a bit later my brother came along. I blame him.

    9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Ugh. I think I’m going to do a New-Year’s letter instead. And it will most likely be emailed unless I pare my list down quite a bit with postage being $1.30/per for a card that people are going to throw away in a week anyway.

    Though I must say, we have gotten probably six or seven Christmas letters/pictures from friends and family this year — all from America. It’s just not something they do here.

    10. Favorite Christmas movie? Probably A Christmas Story. I’m going to miss TBS’s marathon. Oh, and I’ve never seen It’s a Wonderful Life nor Miracle on 34th Street, so maybe I just don’t know what the cinematic world has to offer in terms of Christmas movies.

    11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I did really well this year. We got my parents’ presents in Sydney last month. Everything was in the mail to America by the 5th, I think. I was finished with Hubby by the 8th.

    12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My mom’s peanut brittle.

    13. Clear lights or colored? Clear. (Except I got a string of snowflake-shaped lights that turned out to have blue lights in them… what the?)

    14. Favorite Christmas song? “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

    15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Stay here… *sniff*

    16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Were there nine? If so, yes.

    17. Angel or star on the top of your tree? I had a leftover silver bow that ended up getting chucked up there. I think my homemade fascinator from Melbourne Cup Day has also made it to the tree.

    18. Open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Christmas Eve. Christmas morning we’re opening my birthday presents.

    19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? That there is no

    20. What do you leave for Santa? Nothing. My parents never tried to perpetuate that myth.

    21. Least favorite holiday song? “Santa Baby”… eww, eww, eww.

    22. Do you decorate your tree with any specific theme or color? At the moment it’s purple, lime green, & silver.

    23. Favorite ornament? All of them. Hubby bought the tree and the baubles as part of my getting-engaged scavenger hunt. I had just returned from New Zealand and found the tree upstairs waiting for me… and later I found him in the park waiting for me with a ring.

    As for tagging others… nobody ever does it… so if you want to do it, please leave me a comment so I can go read your answers!

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  11. Question of the Day

    How in the world am I supposed to bake a pecan pie after work tomorrow when there are no frozen pie crusts in this country? The best I could find is a five-inch flan pastry thing.

    Ugh. I don’t even like pie.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  12. Happy Horse Races

    It’s Melbourne Cup day. (Once again for the Americans, that’s basically the equivalent to the Kentucky Derby except that everybody seems to care.)

    So far today we’ve walked up the street for coffees since our machine here is broken. One of the girls and I stopped at the wedding stationary shop to pick up some sparkley thing to make our own $5 fascinators.

    We’re doing a bit of work at the moment. Well sorta.

    And then we’re going out for lunch and watching the race this afternoon. Good times.

    ** Look for your race-day fascinators at Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  13. Lost in Translation: Lollypop Lady

    lollypop lady (loll ee pop lay de)
    n. a crossing guard
    “Wait for the lollypop lady to stop traffic and blow her whistle before you cross the road.”

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  14. Attack of the Birds

    I have been warned of the dangers of walking under a magpie’s nest during nesting season. Apparently every Australian kid has a story about getting swooped by an overprotective mother. I am appropriately wary and steer clear of them, and I thought I was good.

    That was until we discovered that there is a butcherbird along the path we walk to the train that has taken to swooping as well. At first I thought he was just confused or maybe attracted to Hans’s yellow t-shirt.

    But no…. today we were a little ways behind a guy, and I watched the bird come down and hover around the guy before taking off. And then to my absolute horror (HORROR!), it came back down again and actually pecked the guy in the back of the head.

    I hate birds. I really, really do.

    And Another Thing
    I hate Australian mosquitos. Mossies. Ugh. I’m dying here. I truly am scratching my flesh until I bleed. Hans says he had the same thing when he was in the States. They just have a different… what is that anyway? Venom? Saliva? Well whatever gets into the bites gives me huge welts.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  15. Hail to the Chief
    Last night they interrupted regular programming to cut to live footage of President Bush landing in Sydney. Believe it or not, Hans and I almost got into a heated discussion about it.

    My issues: The press here take every opportunity to take potshots at him, and yet this warrants going to live coverage? And the reporter kept rattling off little tidbits that sounded, to me, like he was pointing out the excessiveness and possible needlessness of the advance preparations that were made. Going so far as to point out that Bush travels with a chef. (So what? Love him or hate him, I like to think that having an entourage is sort of one of the vocational perks of being the freaking president.)

    Hans’s claims: Australians, in general, love to hate people, and yet they are easily impressed with the celebrity of a person at the same time. And he’s still the leader of the most powerful country (his words, not mine), so it is kind of a big deal.

    I think my point is that world leaders travel to and from the U.S. with hardly a bat of an eye. His point is that this is the reason why people think Americans are arrogant. And it went on like this until we called truce.

    (Though when the news came on later and they showed footage of the Chinese president landing in Canberra, I couldn’t suppress a “why didn’t he get live coverage?”.)

    The Heat is on in Saigon
    I didn’t mention that my wonderful husband bought tickets for Miss Saigon in Brisbane. I have never seen it and am really looking forward to seeing it next week. They won’t have Australian accents, will they?

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  16. Expatriatism
    Another American expat in Brisbane. Whee! (via The Briddles)

    And speaking of Americans in Brisbane… there are about 5500 of them here right now. My brother-in-law does something or other down at the port, and I’m trying to get him to get me close enough to see the Kitty Hawk this weekend. Otherwise the photo gallery will have to suffice.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  17. I [Have] An Everlasting Love
    Am I a bad wife if a little tiny part of me wants to skip the show on Thursday because HOWARD JONES is going to be in town? Oh my gosh. Legendary.

    And speaking of favourites from the past, PM freaking DAWN is playing in Sydney on the 1st. There’s no way I could ever get there, but I’m still excited.

    Pays to Be American
    The audio engineer we work with asked me today if I might be available this week to record a voiceover. His client has an American accent she normally uses, but that person lives a bit far away for such a little job. So I might get paid to read six lines in my native accent. Now I’m concerned I won’t sound authentic, since my new year’s resolution was to embrace the Australian accent and vernacular this year.

    Linky Links – 92% of guys said they washed. 34% were lying.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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