The other day while I was jogging, I came up to cross a street and I actually looked both ways, in the CORRECT directions, AUTOMATICALLY! I am SUCH a local now! Never mind that the other 10 streets I crossed I did my typical six or so head swivels to make sure I covered all angles and then still did it wrong because I often narrowly miss getting hit. ONE time, I did it correctly automatically! That is huge! It is amazing how our brains get programmed so well to what is the norm for us. I never used to have to think about crossing the street—not so anymore. I even have to think about it when I try to teach my kids which direction to look first, then second—now it’s Right, Then Left!
The other good news is that we had a good healthy nine day or so stretch, which means will have all been sleeping, and that I have been exercising daily and eating better. All that makes me nicer and happier! It has sincerely been a great week. The boys and I have had so much fun together; I have rarely lost patience; their behavior has been great——aaaahhhh! Today we found out Drew has an ear infection which he is now on antibiotic drops for, and he also has to get some weird mystery growth/virus/tick bite/who knows lanced off his foot next week. He has been so cheerful and active—I guess I should have taken him to the doctor sooner, but he just hasn’t seemed sick.
We started him in a soccer program last Saturday that will last for the next couple months. He loved it! And it seems so good for him. He amazes me how he truly loves being part of a group and learning and trying something new—he is not even hesitant or shy about it—unlike Zach and me. We could learn from him.
We also started a behavior/chore chart for him with rewards he can earn and so far, he is very excited about it and it has been a huge help. I am sure his excitement will wane, but for now, it is great. He just can’t make his bed fast enough in the mornings now to check that item off his list!
Last Saturday, Steve and I got a date night and met another couple to try out a Mexican restaurant. We had a lot of fun—great company, but we need to save Mexican food for trips to the U.S. as well as what I can modify and do at home. It all tasted fine, but it was pretty funny. My margarita was not on the rocks—more like a martini. Steve ordered a frozen one and it looked like a sorbet; he needed a spoon to ‘drink’ it. It was the first time I have seen corn on the cob and baked potatoes served in a Mexican restaurant, and so many choices of entrees featuring ribs (by the way, entrees are appetizers here, but I am still referring to them as the main dish). Corn tortillas are very expensive in the stores here, and most of these meals used flour tortillas. Typical chili dishes were missing and there were very few vegetarian or bean options. However, it was very cool to see how fun it was for the Australians and such a great atmosphere. It really is so far from Mexico here and the idea of a Mexican restaurant so much more foreign and novel. It was a fun night and experience. We used a combination of train, walking and river ferry that night to get around, which was great. It is so nice to have all these options here.
I have a lot more oddities and comparisons to make today. I know I mentioned that it was a bit sad for me hearing my boys adopt Australian terms and pronunciations. Well, recently they made me feel good again and bonded to them; they reminded me that they can still be clueless and foreign like me. We were eating raisins the other day and Zach said “At my school, say ‘tanas’”. Drew said “At my school they say sultanas too! In fact, everyone who brings them calls them sultanas!” We agreed that was very funny—especially that they ALL said that, except us. 😉 Then Drew came up to me and said “Mommy, at school Nick was asking me about the Effa. I didn’t know what he was talking about.” That was referring to the “Ekka”, which I learned about a couple weeks ago.
Random fact: The post office here is not part of the government. I find that very surprising and odd.
My spelling is now atrocious and I get confused often about how to spell now. We know that words with ‘z’s all now have an ‘s’ instead. Also words that we spell ‘er’ are now ‘re’ most, but not all of the time. Centre and fibre are, and meter is sometimes? But then words that the ‘er’ is added onto to change the meaning are the same, like ‘laughter’. Words previously spelled with a ‘se’ are now with a ‘ce’ like defence and offence. And, to confuse my grammar, teams and organizations are spoken of in a plural sense, not the singular. For instance, you would say the ‘U.S. Olympic basketball team ‘are’ the best, not ‘is’ the best. I would also say in reference to my new company that ‘Priority are the best at office construction’ instead of ‘Priority is the best.’ SO confusing! And throw in what I’ve mentioned before: living ‘in’ the street, ‘at’ the town, going to hospital, to gym…and it’s a wonder anyone understands me and vice versa!
I’ve been learning more about foods, too and finding more of my basics. Cilantro is now coriander (ground coriander is still coriander, as well). Arugula is rocket and Romaine is cos. Parsley is spelled Parslay. Ground beef is mince (beef is just understood—only specify when it is not beef). Chocolate is often called ‘Choc’ and not just in slang at home. As with most slang here, it is actually used for real. On the packaging, they are called ‘Choc chips.’
Aside from food, more of that funny slang: I saw a newspaper article about ‘coppers’. Yes, police officers. I also read an article that used the words ‘littlies’ for little kids and ‘oldies’ for yes, elders or even anyone’s parents.
When people move to a new house (or move house, down here), it is often called ‘shifting.’ Well that doesn’t sound like much work at all! Except for the fact that movers are called ‘removalists’ and use ‘removal vans.’ Yikes! When they remove your stuff, do they also ‘move’ it to the new place?!
I will end today with some slang that is not remotely politically correct and is quite dirty, so beware. I learned a new meaning here for the word ‘date.’ A completely shocking new meaning! The word date, among its other known meanings, can, in Australia, mean anus as well. Huh?! Seriously?!
Here’s another one: Root is no longer just for the underground part of a plant or how you cheer on your favorite team (Steve is going to the ‘footy’ tonight, meaning the Broncos game, although it is never called that. You go to the footy; you play footy—that’s all we really need to say or know, so I hope Steve won’t be doing this there). Root is also a term for sex. Have a good root tonight! I know—yuck.
Finally, although fag is not a nice slang word to say here or in the U.S., here it also is a word for a cigarette, so it can be acceptable to say in conversation. Therefore, my jaw dropped a little at work the other day. My older coworker was telling me how her son’s girlfriend is pregnant and then started telling me how he has been a longtime smoker and has successfully quit. She said “Yeah he’s been off the fags now for about 18 months.” Whoa! Why are you telling me this?! Oh, wait a minute…..ok, ok, I get it!