My blog is about the scenic, stressful, spectacular life (and everything screwy in between) of a
California girl turned expat transplanted to the land down under: North Queensland, Australia.

August 28, 2010


(C’mon! This post had to be called “Automobiles”!)

So today is our first full day in Australia without movement. We’ve been travelling two days and, as much as I don’t regret taking a day-long train ride, I am TIRED. Jet lag combined with confined space and going from 100+ degree heat to low 60’s, and my head is about to explode.

Not much news from the train, but when we got closer to our new home, the landscape suddenly changed on me! The whole trip there were tall trees, grasslands, swamps and fields, and once we got more northern it changed to this bright jungle land. Where we are moving is “Tropical North Queensland”, and…well…it’s spectacular to be honest. I asked J how to describe it, and he actually said “a conglomeration of trees and magic”. Well, there you go. Google it! I still flip out when I see parrots flying around. It’s a parrot! And it’s just an ordinary bird here! WTF?

When we got to Townsville (that’s the regional city, not some fake pseudonym for the city-it really is called Townsville!) and met up with the husband’s parents, we hopped in the car and headed to The Strand, a gorgeous strip of super blue beach and awesome food. We got fish and chips (yay!), and the prawns (shrimp) were $27.00 a kilogram (kilogram=2.2 pounds). Guess I won’t be eating shrimp cocktails anytime soon *sadface*. By the time we ate and walked around a little bit, I was ready to head home. We took the 90 minute (more travelling!!!) drive to Charters Towers, and we were home.

I get all warm and fuzzy thinking about my husband seeing his house, his parents, his pets, his room, etc. after two years. He’s positively glowing! And anytime he’s happy, I can’t help but be happy. J’s mum outdid herself with our “lounge”. They literally closed off half of the house so we can have a cute little suite to ourselves. It’s fantastic! My husband’s old room is our entertainment room, stocked with a flat screen TV, stereo, two computers (hi), a little card table and two rocking chairs. Down the hall is my sister-in-law’s old room with a queen size bed, walk in closet and our own bathroom. I am in awe of how much room we have. Honestly after the year we have had, I would have been happy with a cot and a wash bucket.

I crashed yesterday at 7pm (2am California time), and was up and awake at 7am today. I cleaned out four of our six ports (luggage), and J’s mum took us to the grocery store for some quick shopping. Ahh, a foreign grocery store. Fun! As most stores in Australia close in the afternoon on Saturdays (and at 5pm during the week and closed on Sundays-WTF?!?), we did a quick trip and just grabbed some snacks for the weekend. #1 on my list? SODA! Apparently, beer>soda in Australia (duh), so soda is pricey. My husband tells me, “you should probably stop drinking soda since we are living here now”. You’re kidding, right?!?!? Soda (and food) is my only vice! I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, and you want me to give up my favourite food/drink item? REALLY? No. No, I am sorry, I need my diet coke. I got a 30-pack for $17.99.

I can see why Australia is known for its “laid-back” attitude. I’ve kind of been sitting and wandering around all day today, partly because of my head cold and partly because there’s not much hustle and bustle. I walk a little slower, panic a little less, and generally take my time with everything. I told J when I woke up the first thing I wanted to do was take a walk around the block. He told me, “nah…let’s just wait a few days”. Well, alright. No worries, mate.


  1. Crazy, my phone beeped at 1;20 A.M. WA time and I HAD to get up to read your latest entry. Worth it for sure. Saw Russell Crowe on Craig Ferguson's show tonight nattering on about parrots and cockatiels and wallabies. Yep, you are in a different world and I must say I think I'm jealous! Worth getting out of bed for Hed.
    hugs, Auntie R

  2. Yeah yeah's 4:30 am here and I can't sleep so i'm commenting on everything. You should seriously turn this in to a book. I love your writing!

    1. I'm so glad you guys have your own space. That's awesome of his mom!

    2. $17.99 for a 30 pack of soda?! Jeezus!!! Maybe take up smoking or heroin or something less expensive.

    3. Hope you got some tim tams too.

  3. Rox-Sorry I woke you up! My mid-day is your late night, so hopefully I won't disrupt your sleep :)

    Wen-I tried to rationalize the soda...I mean BEER is like water here, so why can't I have my addiction too? I talked to his mum and she said "no worries" hee hee!