Now that I’ve left my beloved Australia after two and a half months, I feel like a little reflection is in order. This is also just a way for me to throw up extra pictures I couldn’t put anywhere else.
At first glance, I couldn’t help but be awed by the flowers, y’all. I’ve never seen roses grow like this ever. Geraniums either, for that matter, but the roses stole the show. See, when I was a kid I had a crazy green thumb and I had a rose bush, along with geraniums, marigolds, pansies, and various coleus. Thing is, when snow covers the ground six months out of the year in your hometown, it makes things grow slower. Understandably so, right? In Australia, Melbourne at least, it seems the climate is perfect for roses to grow huge and full and beautiful.
I got to experience my very own Aussie Christmas barbecue! Since it’s summer in December, it’s hot. It must have been 100 degrees fahrenheit in Sydney with the sun beating down like you wouldn’t believe! Luckily Australian homes are typically built with a covered patio. They know the value of shade in their country.
I’ve never had santa tell me he was getting excited when I sat in his lap, nor have I ever seen anyone break a beer bottle over his own head, but that’s what I got. My friend CF’s lovely family welcomed me, fed me, kissed my cheeks, even gifted me with chocolate. I love them.
My girl LZ took me on an amazing tour of Melbourne, and I didn’t even have to ask her. I got to see all the touristy spots like Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, Eureka Skydeck, and Hosier Lane.
She also taught me the joys of Cotton On, Typo, and Messina; clothes, gifts and decor, and ice cream respectively. Bless her.
More cuteness: my very first day in Melbourne I went to a coffee shop where VG was working. I told him about how beautiful I found Aussie money to be (US dollars are boring, man!) “Have you seen the new five dollar bill?” He asked. I hadn’t. He later brought one out to show me, and told me to keep it. Obviously, we became friends. Obviously.
Ja and Big Mike’s neighbor, widowed retiree BC took me under her wing; she drove me all the way up to the mall to pick up a gift (for Ja and Big Mike) and treated me to coffee and a snack. Later I sat in her garden and we talked for hours.
Aren’t they awesome? I know I’ll have for them all for life, that I can’t wait to host whenever they’re able to visit me and I stop being effectively homeless. Do yourself a favor and get you some Aussie friends.
In summation, I got to be spoiled by a western, English-speaking culture that is the most similar to the US out of all the places I’ve been so far in language, dress, food options, even layout of the streets. I got to spend time amongst some of my favorite people on the planet; Aussies are laid-back, brash and crude-humored (so y’all know I fit right in), and also incredibly respectful, affectionate, and sweet people. When you meet an a*#hole, they’re really a ripe old a*#hole, but in general, incredible people.
My heart still gets heavy when I think about a city, and country, that captured my heart. My only consolation is that I know I’ll be back someday. *sings* Don’t cry for me, Australiaaaaaaa!