Its amazing the things you don’t notice around you until someone who isn’t used to them points them out. I’ve brought two Australians home with me for Christmas – HA and Boris. They’ve pointed things out to me that I would never have thought twice about but when I consider it, those things are uniquely American.
• HA loves the yellow school buses. It hadn’t dawned on me that they don’t have school buses in Oz – instead they use public transportation.
• I’ve gotten so much grief from both of them about the four way stops. They want to know why we don’t just use roundabouts and what happens when people pull up to all four stop signs at the same time. They won’t take my word for it that it never happens! They insist that there’s an intersection somewhere in the US where there are four cars sitting there waiting for someone to figure out who has the right of way.
• And everything is big here. You know, when you live here full-time, you just get used to the size of everything but when you come back to the US after being gone for so long, it can be amazing. The grocery stores in Oz are half the size, at most, to the grocery stores here. When I took HA shopping in Phoenix, I was even a little overwhelmed at all the choices. And the movie theaters – they’re huge too. Not to mention the drinks and popcorn. The boys loved it that you could buy this massive sized popcorn and then get a free refill.
• Oh and the refills! You don’t get free refills in Oz! That is definitely one thing I miss.
• One thing I do love those, are the highways. They are so well built and it makes traveling in this country so easy. The roads are straight and narrow and well maintained. Driving 700 miles, when the weather is good, seems like nothing.
I really enjoyed bringing some Aussie’s home with me for Christmas. Its refreshing to see your country through the eyes of someone who’s experiencing it for the first time. While, of course, there were things they didn’t like or didn’t understand, but for the most part, they seemed to enjoyed themselves. And for me, it just inspired me to love my country even more.