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


I’m on a train! (Sung to the tune of “I’m on a boat!”) As we speak, I don’t have internet access, but I am still writing my second blog because, like I have said, I have the memory of a fish, and will forget everything I told my husband to remind me not to forget. First off, we’ll call this “Stuff That’s Weird to an American!”

*The toilets have two flushes: one for pees and one for poops. And yes, the toilet water drains clockwise. (Go flush the toilet at home. You’ll be amazed to see it drains COUNTER-CLOCKWISE!!! I think this is proof there is a God and he can be silly.)

*They don’t use toilet seat covers. Ew.

*They use these pull-down cloths to wash your hands on instead of disposable paper towels. I don’t know if I’m down with that yet, reusable public towels. Air dry here I come!



*Restroom=toilet (it sounds so vulgar to me, I don’t know why)

Anyway, customs was cake. We stored our luggage until it was time to take our train up the coast (you know how I’m afraid of planes? I convinced my husband to skip the 1hr 45min transfer plane in favour of a 22 hour train trip. Yeah.) and head to the food court. I get Donut King, and order a iced mocha (yum! Not Starbucks yum though!) and this chocolate ├ęclair-ish donut of death, like the best thing that has ever touched my mouth. Seriously. J gets Red Rooster, a cross between Chick-fil-A and KFC, and I give in and get some of their chips (Chips=fries). We are both in the food court on the floor salivating in ecstasy because it’s SO GOOD! Plus, they have Coke Zero and coffee all over the place. Winner! We hop on the train and, well, that’s that for now. I’m going to be excited to upload my pictures because I think when we picture Australia, we picture two things: beach or Outback. Most of what I have seen of it is vast green lands, covered in Gum (Eucalyptus) trees and grass as tall as Sierra trees. It’s so dense you can’t see past the first few feet of it. I’m kind of hoping to spot a kangaroo hopping around (and I’ll do my damndest to take it’s picture!). Our train goes up the coast, and there is literally only a handful of towns dotted into the landscape. Haven’t actually seen the coast on our train trip yet, though we are only a few miles (doh! Kilometres) inland.

It’s 4:15pm in my new country, even though my American brain is telling me it’s 11:15pm at night. J ordered us two sausage rolls for lunch (pretty good-they are a rich croissant-like pastry stuffed with sausage) and I got a Magnum ice cream bar. O…M…G. It is vanilla ice cream with a chocolate coating, with a caramel coating over that, AND another chocolate coating over that! It was a never ending ice cream bar, the best kind of ice cream bar in my opinion. Oh, and Red Rock Deli Sweet Chili and Sour Cream potato chips. I think for Christmas I am going to send all my friends a bag of these potato chips, because they are the only reason I agreed to move to Australia in the first place.

My husband is reading this and said, “all you’ve written about is food!” What the hell else am I supposed to say? I’m fat and stuck on a train! Okay, okay, when my jet lag subsides and my brain becomes creative again, I can tell you all about the…well, I don’t know yet. I just got here myself!

(Footnote-I counted 7 kangaroos!)


  1. This is so fun for me to read! I lived in Australia for six months when I was in college. I did an exchange from Cal State Long Beach to University of Wollongong. All of this stuff brings back such memories. I was dirt poor though so mostly I ate ramen and flirted with Aussie boys so they would buy me drinks. One of my most amazing life experiences ever was being in the bush with wild kangaroo, wombats and emu. It was such a one with nature kind of feeling. To this day wombats are my favourite (see - i'm dong it with you) animals. Okay second fav to kitties. I'll have to dig up some old pics and scan them.

    You'll have to ask Jimmy if he ever ate this concoction (sp?) of a hotdog bun type thing filled with french fries and bbq sauce. I can't remember what they called it but it was popular at uni.

  2. Wen- I didn't know you've been here before (duh-how would I?)! Where is Wollongong? I'm partial to wombats and wallabies myself, they are too cute. Oh and Tim Tams are HEAVEN. Australian choc is so good. I'll have to ask J about the hot dog, but I'm guessing anything that involves french fries and a hot dog, he would be into it lol!

  3. You totally should've hung around Brisbane city instead of the Airport. We don't have starbucks at the Airport (you have to go somewhere fancy like Sydney to get Airport stores like that) but there are a few in the city.

    Oh and we don't use those cheap towel things in the big cities, disposable paper towels are definitely the way to go. They just don't have cleaners to refill them every day in the small towns ;)

    I'm highly amused at your posts, seeing stuff that is normal for me through the eyes of someone who's never heard of such a crazy thing. I think the food bits interest me the most though! Who cares if all you write about is food! haha