On Friday last week, I got to try out a pump class at the local Y. I was surprised by how laid back it was. I am used to getting my butt whooped and when I look around I feel like the chubbiest chick in class in good old Boulder county—not the case here. I was also surprised that they sell loads of candy behind the reception desk at the entrance and that the teacher offered us all a piece of candy before starting class!
I have more observations on food now—I think the Aussies in general have a major sweet tooth. They offer kids cookies after church at 10 in the morning, and after the church kids’ music group, also in the morning. They will offer sweets to children anytime they feel like it, without asking the parent’s permission, which was really starting to bother me. I do have to remember that I come from a huge fitness-focused, health-food area, and that Boulder is not really representative of the rest of the U.S., as I have felt a bit of frustration even when visiting other states, other areas of Colorado for that matter!
However, I have yet to pick up a loaf of bread or a box of cereal with either sugar or high fructose corn syrup as one of the top three ingredients. Try that with well-recognized brands in the U.S. I used to spend hours in the grocery store trying to find one of either, on sale, that fit that bill.
Both countries are working on an obesity problem, big time. But, oh, how I discovered I miss American pizza! There is no grease to pat off pizza here, because you barely notice the cheese. I think that’s the first thing I’ll get next June!
Also on Friday, we went to a gorgeous beach called Wellington Point, to stroll, and to play in the sand, water and park and enjoy a picnic. It was such a perfect day! The weather was incredible. The boys had a ball. We were trying to soak it in before Steve starts his job tomorrow. I will be alone with the boys while he does 24 hour shifts, and I am the first to admit that I’m pretty nervous about it. Luckily, my in-laws have offered their car on occasion, so we can get out nearby for a couple hours anyway on those days. I had Steve’s family for dinner that night which went really well. My current crusade is to never cook red meat when hosting people here for dinner. 😉 (Nice soap box I’m on as I moan about how I miss greasy pizza and chow down on the yummy chocolates here!)
Our Saturday tea was also a success. It is so funny when you’re back to being new again. We were worried about what time to arrive, what to wear, and then, because of the “language barrier”, I couldn’t understand what I was offered to drink (and a few other things throughout the evening). I finally told Corinne that I’d have whatever she was having, which was “bubbly”, which turned out to be sparkling wine. Yay! So it turned out to be afternoon tea with no tea! We really enjoyed chatting with the couple, and probably the neatest thing was the boys having so much fun with playmates. Their twin boys are almost three. Back in CO, the boys met up with friends and played with other kids their ages, probably at least 3-4 times a week, and we could tell they really enjoyed being able to do this again. Then we were hilarious in the car on the way home—Did we stay too long? Did we leave too early? Were they enjoying themselves? Then when she texted me a couple times in the morning about how much fun they had, we were celebrating—good sign! Steve told me I made a good pick. It’s like dating again in a way…..
On Sunday we explored a nearby koala conservation centre, which was great. For the boys and me, it was our first time seeing them up close.
Today I hit a bit of a wall again. Drew’s ear is just not getting better, so I made an actual appointment at the local doctor. The whole health care system, being so different, just feels very weird and scary to me, and I wish I didn’t have to get so deep into it so early. No nurses, no vital checks, just checking the body part that the complaint is about; the doctor comes out and calls the patient himself; he is from India or somewhere which makes conversation harder, and the exam room is also his office. He decides to put Drew on a stronger antibiotic and takes a swab of his ear, which I am supposed to walk down the street to the nearby lab. It’s a big deal to them that we are not in the Medicare system yet, although, it’s really not that expensive. He then just tells me that he can already tell Drew’s hearing is compromised simply because he’s had so many ear infections and tells me he will have bad hearing throughout life. He says he will refer us to an ENT specialist as soon as we are on Medicare, and that we should really get private health insurance soon because of all the health issues Drew will have. Enter waterworks for me! I am so shocked I am wondering if MY hearing is ok; I’m feeling awful for every time I’ve disciplined Drew asking him if he can hear me, because he either can’t hear or likes to ignore me, wondering if this guy’s a quack, on and on…..I’m looking at the time, realizing I can’t call my Mom because it’s too late at night in Colorado, and I just got very sad. We walked down the street to the pharmacy (chemist here) and I’m trying very hard not to cry for Drew’s sake, who is still not listening to a word I say, and I blessedly get to deal with this angel at the pharmacy. She helped me pick out ear plugs which the doctor told me Drew should wear every time he swims (although no swimming until this heals), and through it I explained a bit of our situation. She started saying so kindly how hard this must be, such a hard move and then for him to be sick; we aren’t on Medicare yet, etc. My eyes just welled up; I thanked her profusely and got home, and waited until I was cuddling with Zach after his nap to cry.
I definitely would not be coping even as well as I am if I was not running into such kind, lovely people at every step. Obviously, the doctor could work on his bedside manner. But 90% of the people I deal with give me such loving attention that it is amazing to me. You cannot help but love this country for that reason. Even at the grocery store this morning—I had to ask where to find passionfruit sauce (I have been asked to make that flavour of cheesecake for my mother-in-law’s big birthday dinner that we are hosting this month) and I pronounce the word “sauce” differently, so the lady could not figure out what I was asking for—thought I was asking for “sars”, which is what they call root beer here. When we got it translated, she just laughed and led me right over to it with a smile and stayed a few minutes with me to make sure I had everything I needed.