November 16th, 2008

my eye

Australia ...

... it's so very ... Australian, don't you know ?

After being away a few years, lots of stuff is normal, but some things leap out as so distinctively Australian and different. The accents, obviously - still getting used to that. The landscape - brown and bare in places, muted greens elsewhere, very Australian. Melbourne - my god, it's full of suburbs ! And the wide variety of housing styles, also very different from what we saw in the UK. While everything in Glasgow felt very familiar after a few years, things here just feel right.

Meanwhile, we're in Foster for a couple of days, staying with Lisa's parents (and stealing their Internet). We left some boxes here before leaving for the UK - I had thought there were only a few, but there are about a dozen, plus a bookcase/desk, chip fryer, rice cooker, ladder, and all sorts of stuff that we'd completely forgotten about. It may take a couple of trips (possibly with a trailer) to get it all up to Melbourne.

Yesterday we went to check out our storage unit - about 16 cubic meters of Our Stuff™ - but it seems something shifted inside it and is blocking the roller door from rolling up more than a foot or so. The storage place has a maintenance person who can take the door off, though, so sometime next week we'll find out what surprises we've left for ourselves, and work out how we're getting it to our new place. It'll be like Christmas ! Only with more cobwebs ...
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my eye

Changes ...

... of course, lots of things have changed while we were away, too. Who is this "Andre Rieu", and why is everyone so excited about him ? Who is this Centro mob who seem to own the shopping malls not run by Westfield ? Who is this "Savings and Loans" bank, and why do they have "Rediteller" ATMs, because I'm sure some other bank used that name for their ATMs some years back ? And someone needs to tell Bert Newton to lay off the botox, because he looks ... awfully plastic-y now. Australian TV seems to have gone all digital and HD and stuff, but the actual content ... not so different. Adelaide seems to have cut speed limits just about everywhere by 10 to 20 km/h, too, and of course Melbourne has grown a new tollway while we were gone (certainly made it easy to get from Ringwood to Dandenong earlier today). Lots of new shops and changes in the city centre, but it's good to see the old favourites still there (Reader's Feast, Minotaur, even Dymocks and A&R, although it looks like the Technical Bookstore on Swanston St is gone).
... ahhh, it's good to be back :)
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    happy happy