Monday, December 8, 2008

3 days to cross the Pacific and back

I haven’t blogged in awhile so I’m going to add entries based on my weekends over the last month and a half or so.

So as part of my package to come to Australia, I get to fly home every two months. In October, I decided to take advantage of the perk. I was having some issues with the yard guy and wanted to check in on the house and, well, I was a bit homesick. However, work wasn’t able, willing, whatever, to have me be gone for too terribly long. So I went home for three days. Yes you read that correctly – three days. I think I was traveling for 60 hours to be home for 72. But I got to fly business so it wasn’t all that bad.

My suitcase when I left weighted 7 kilos and it was my massive, biggest possible suitcase. I think I had a pair of jeans, three shirts, and some underwear. When I came home, I was over the weight limit! Yes, that’s how much I bought or brought back from home! You don’t appreciate the shopping alternatives you have at home until you decide to live overseas. Canberra shopping is limited, at best, and the quality of the clothing leaves a lot to be desired. So I think I did nothing but shop while I was home. You can’t say that I’m not trying to contribute to the stimulating the economy!

I also caught up with some friends while I was there. The old project I worked for was having a party on Thursday night and invited me to join them. It was fun getting to catch up with some old work people and getting to meet the newest team members. Then on Friday, about 15 of us went out for dinner and drinks.

I love living in Australia, but let me just tell you this – there is a serious difference between American men and Australian men. It’s called “The Tall Poppy” syndrome. Essentially, Australians are taught not to stand out too much in a crowd, to not be too different or better…don’t be the tall poppy. So what this means – men at bars, restaurants, the grocery store, will never approach you. They’ll look at you and smile, but never approach you. If you really want to talk to him, you have to go to him. But in the US, as my US friends know, American men have no shame! They’ll talk to everyone – it’s all about being the best in the room. I haven’t decided which approach I like best yet. You can clearly see this difference once you come back to the US. Was a bit of a culture shock.

I got back to Oz on a Tuesday and headed straight to work. I think because the trip was so short, I never really got on US time so acclimating back wasn’t that tough. It was a good trip, and I’m glad I went. I was pretty homesick prior to the trip, but afterwards, I came to appreciate what I have going on in Australia. That being said though – I’m very excited to go home for Christmas! More Shopping!!

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