I’m still about 2 months away from leaving the US to return to Australia. And while I’m starting to get excited about going home, I’m already starting to think about some of the little things I’ll miss in the US, that most Americans wouldn’t think were a big deal I’m sure. You always take for granted the stuff you’re used to getting!
1. Pumpkin pie. Sure, I could probably find it in Australia if I looked hard enough (some would suggest I actually make it, but that’s just crazy talk), but it is definitely not something I could buy at any old grocery store/cafe/bakery. It’s just one of several foods that aren’t really a thing in Australia.
2. Spring. I’ve already mentioned the difference in fall between the US and Australia, but I think I will actually miss spring here more. I’m not used to living somewhere with so many flowers in bloom during the spring. Even at the side of the road I’d see the odd daffodil or iris, unattended, going strong. If there is a flower like that growing in Australia, chances are someone really loves that plant and is nurturing the shit out of it, because in most spots we don’t exactly have the perfect climate for bulbs.
3. Paying for petrol at the pump. A chance to avoid human contact by paying at the pump rather than going to the register? Yes please! If this is available anywhere in Australia I’ve yet to see anyone utilize it.
4. Coin operated duck feed dispensers (I don’t know what their official name is). Ok that sounds like a pretty random thing to miss in the US, but I’ve never seen one in Australia and it’s great to feed ducks at particular spots where they gather and not feel guilty that you’re giving them bread, which is actually quite nasty for them.
5. Enthusiastic celebration of holidays. There is quite a contrast between celebrating Halloween in the US and in Australia, and I think it applies to all holidays, even the ones both countries are enthusiastic about celebrating. Americans go big.
6. Trader Joe’s. There is a chocolate there called Magic Beans and they are like crack for me. LOTS of things sold there are like crack for me. There’s so much awesome food.
7. Amazon. Yes, apparently you can order from Amazon if you are in Australia, if you are willing to part with some serious cash for shipping, since they don’t have any distribution centres there (I’m told this may be changing). Since I ordered 12 bars of Ritter Sport Chocolate in the yogurt flavor that I couldn’t find in stores on Amazon, and took…..significant less than 12 days to demolish them, this is probably not actually a good thing.
8. Split bills. I do not like being forced to do maths, thanks very much, and it is a regular occurrence whenever I’ve eaten out with a group in Australia. I love that bills have always been split here and it’s definitely something I’ll miss in the US. Think of the arguments that have been prevented!
9. Squirrels. If you see a someone gushing over a squirrel, chances are they are Australian, since we are the only continent that doesn’t have any. And I couldn’t for the life of me understand why Americans seem to dislike them so much – first the only reason I was given was “they eat the seed we put out for the birds”. Really? That’s why you don’t like them? Fuck the birds. They should have eaten faster! You, snooze, you lose! Later, however, I was told that they can get into roofs and cause issues there, and recently my neighbor had issues with power to their house which was diagnosed as being caused by a squirrel chewing aluminum on a powerline. So yeah, I think they’re seriously cute, but that might be because they have never wronged me.
10. Phone reception. A colleague of my husband’s was telling a story about a trip where they were in the middle of no where, so much so that they “Didn’t even have phone reception!” Drive 10 minutes out of Sydney and watch it disappear…..
These are just a few of the little things I’ll miss in the US. I considered also writing a post about the little things that have bugged me about living in the US……but that might be best posted the day I leave the country in case you all chase me with pitchforks.
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I am an Aussie currently enjoying my time as a non-resident legal alien in the US. You can find me on Facebook and I have also just started lurking around Twitter and Instagram. Come lurk with me!
The fact that quite a few are related to food in some way says that you have your priorities straight. I’m one of those crazy people who would suggest that you just make the pumpkin pie. I can’t believe that you actually have to speak to a human to get gas in Australia! I would just die. Or walk everywhere. Or make someone else get my gas.
And I have to drag my spawn in with me to pay! It’s a pain in the arse!
I love squirrels – except for the attic thing which I’ve had to deal with before. Back home in Texas there is a lake where the squirrels will come up and take peanuts right from your hand.
I’m so with you on pay at the pump! If I pull up to a gas station and the card readers aren’t working, I will just leave, even if I’m riding on fumes. There are still some states (New Jersey and Oregon I think) that require full service gas stations. I hate these even more as I don’t want to interact with some stranger that wants to stick his nozzle in my gas hole.
I sure hope you intend to keep blogging when you get back to Australia.
“stick his nozzle in my gas hole” – is that what the kids are calling it these days? 😀
I do plan to keep blogging, but I’ll need a bit of a blog name change, seeing as I won’t be in the bible belt anymore. I’ll ask for suggestions at some point 😉
Start shipping your favorite non-perishable foods from TJ’s to your home address NOW. When you arrive, it’s Christmas all over again!
They carry canned organic pumpkin, so you can make a pumpkin pie for yourself when you get settled back in.
I love TJ’s & I have no issues with squirrels. ♡♡♡
Yeah, but I’d still have to make something! Cooking is not my bag, baby.
I won’t have TJ’s but I found that Aldi in Australia had nicer stuff than they do here, so that will have to do 😉
I get excited when I see squirrels, but I get super excited when I see chipmunks. We have a lot of birds, squirrels, & chipmunks in our backyard during spring and summer. I LOVE it! I don’t mind the squirrels or chipmunks eating the bird food. I think the more the merrier. I will just by more. The bad thing about chipmunks is that they can dig holes in your yard, bu tI really don’t mind since my dog does anyway..
The first time I saw a chipmunk, it was dead on the road 🙁 (that has been my experience with most US fauna). I was pretty excited when I saw a live one! I haven’t seen any around our place and don’t see them anywhere nearly so much as I see squirrels.
I have not been to Australia, but here in Canada, I have a lot to miss about the USA as well, especially we have the same issue about the Amazon and the spring, It amazes me that people from USA, Canada and Australia speaks the same language and have same ethnicity (Caucasian) but yet the cultures among these three countries are so different.
I know! I didn’t expect the amount of culture shock that I got. I figured the main differences would be accent, and that they would be pretty much the same after that. I’ve also been surprised how much the culture can vary state by state!
Absolutely! You don’t expect it but there are major differences.
Please keep your blog up when you get back home!
I will. I intend to find nasty bull-ants on my parent’s property to indulge readers who think Australia is full of nasties. Because it bloody well is! 😀
While I will be sorry to see you go I am looking forward to your list of things about the US that bug you. Chances are we Yanks will read it and say, “Yeah, those things bug us too.”
I also think you should smuggle a load of Magic Beans in your luggage on your return flight. Get enough of your fellow Aussies hooked on them and Trader Joe’s will be forced to open stores in Sydney, Brisbane, and Canberra.
Or somewhere close to wherever you are because you’ll be ground zero for the addiction.
That would be Newcastle, a bit north of Sydney (which is super expensive now), nicknamed by locals as “Newy”. As for the smuggling….so many foods I want, so little luggage space!