Saturday, June 19, 2010

America! F*ck Yeah!

So yesterday my husband and I made our final answer to go to Australia. It's funny because we were driving, and I burst into bitch baby tears. He says, "are those happy tears or sad tears?" and I said "both". Happy because we are entering a new leg into our marriage, and sad because well, this is my home. Up until five years ago, it's the only place I have ever known and cared about. I always daydreamed about moving to Australia, but I don't think the reality ever took over until now. Of course now I'm driving around going "I'll miss that. And this road! I'll miss this road. Look at the view! I'll miss that" etc. I decided to compile a list of what is awesome here, the stuff I will truly miss. Since I am a pessimist at heart, I'll post what makes me want to leave ASAP as well.

The good:
*My family-We are a solid bunch, and no one in my family lives more than 30 minutes away from the other. My brother and sister moved to our hometown as soon as they got married and settled down. The house my grandpa lives is the house he and my grandma bought when they got married in 1950. The biggest thing in my mind is my grandpa. I can talk to everyone through video chat on the computer, but he doesn't own one. And...he's almost 84. I want to think he's invincible, but ever since my grandma died I always have the thought in the back of my mind that he will die sooner rather than later. All I ever wanted was to be successful and know that he is proud of me. He has dug me out of so many holes. I know in my heart that when I say goodbye to him physically, it may be the last time, and that kills me. My son, my nieces and nephews-I will see them grow up through pictures. (P.S. Yes, I am leaving my son here. He belongs here, and he has a wonderful life and family without me that he has had since he was 3. One day I'll have the courage to write a blog about him, but not today.)

*My friends-I always write that I am a terrible friend due to my depression, but they keep on chugging along with me. Everyone around me at the moment is popping out babies, and like my family, I will only see them grow up through pictures. I will make myself have the strength to say goodbye to everyone before we leave. I don't care if I'm fat, scared, self-conscious-I will find a way.

*My cats-Oh, this one breaks my heart. They don't have a computer. They can't call me. I won't know if they are taken care of, or separated, or dead. Yesterday I got an amazing break in the clouds because a family member said they will take them if we can't find a family for them. It lowered my stress by about 92%. But still, I will never have two cats as amazing as Sam and Portal. They really are our kids.

*The American system of weights and measures, and the language-I am five feet eight inches tall. My husband is one hundred and seventy eight centimeters. WTF? I can't even remember how many centimeters are in an inch. Who even uses centimeters? I say "it's half an inch" or something similar. And even though Australians speak English, it's very different. Lets use this American sentence as our example:
"I am headed to the neighborhood gas station for three gallons of gas and to check the air in my tires" becomes:
"I am headed to the neighbourhood petrol station for twelve litres of petrol and to check the air in my tyres".
Tomato? Toe-maw-toe. Produce? Praw-juice. Theater? Theatre. Vomit? Vegemite.

*The food-New York Cheesecake, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I am aware that they actually have food in Australia, but no matter what my husband says, it does not hold a candle to the melting pot awesomeness of American cuisine. There's a reason bigger than stress and depression on why I am so fat. I'm not going to lie, there has been more than one time I have walked into the chinese food shop, gotten shrimp fried rice and cream cheese wontons, walked out, walked next door to the mexican chicken shop and picked up a rotisserie chicken, then walked next door to that for some Coldstone ice cream. Yeah. I can imagine sending a picture to my mom in six months and having her exclaim, "oh my gosh you've lost so much weight!" and me replying "I want to eat! The food here is AWFUL!". On that note:

*America has everything-For a minute I have to put on my better-than-you hat. Everything that other countries have we have x 1,000. Our landscape is vast and different in every nook and cranny. There is a reason why other countries' tired and poor, their huddled masses yearning to break free came to this place: it is the land of opportunity. It's also why we have the problem of illegal immigration, but still, after watching the "America" mini-series on the History Channel, I was ready to put on a "God bless the U.S.A." bumper sticker on my car. We.Kick.Ass.

*California-I am honored that I am a Cali girl, born and raised. I live in a place where the mountains and skiing are an hour away, the beach and surfing are an hour away, amusement parks are an hour away, wine country is an hour away, and foreign travel is two hours away.

*Las Vegas-Two words: fuck yeah. A four hour drive to decadence on the highest level.

*Big cities-Where my husband and I are moving to there are 7,000 people. My hometown that no one can find on a map and is tiny to me has 60,000. California alone has 1.5 times the number of people than the entire country of Australia. I like freeways! I like having everything I need no more than twenty minutes in any direction!

*Freedom-No, not the "Home of the free" type, the "I am an adult and do what I want" kind. When we move we will be shacking up with my husband's parents for at least a while. Borrowing their car. Eating their food. Don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws! But I'm a night owl. I 'm bipolar. I have furniture and crap that I have to sell that I have had for years. Everything is going to be back at square one. It's kind of exciting because then my husband and I can buy things together as opposed to him just moving over here and what's mine is his.

*Television-Yes, Australia has T.V. But I don't know if they have my shows! Is The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on in the middle of the night? My husband never seen Three's Company until he moved here. Television is a small routine, but it's something that I've gotten used to. House. Mad Men. Grey's Anatomy. Intervention. Desperate Housewives. Meh, I'll just buy the DVD's lol.

*Concerts-any band, no matter how small, plays a show in Los Angeles. World-famous bands may come to Australia every few years, and even then it's in cities like Brisbane, which is 14 hours from where we will be living.

*Starbucks-Also 14 hours away from where we will be living. To all my friends, any time you get a caramel macchiato, you need to pour a little on the curb and say, "this is for my homie Hed".

The bad:
*The government-I know the same thing happens in all countries, and we're not as bad as some who have complete dictatorship, but our government is so selfish and corrupt. What benefits them and their pocketbooks matter the most. They have no intentions of trying to pull our more-polarized-by-the-minute country together. There is so much mudslinging covering America that we are sinking in it.

*Health care-I have to pay over $200 for nine migraine pills. My best friend broke his leg from a hit-and-run and it bankrupted him. Our people (mostly) work to bring in taxes and keep commerce flowing. If our government turns a blind eye to a fallen American, what's going to happen when our strongest workers all become unworkable?

*Religion-God? He's a cool guy. I think he lets you be who you are and as long as you choose a good path he's supportive. So it pisses me off royally that the bible-belt, religious-right is just sucking the life out of everything in this country! Our forefathers came to this country to be freed of religious persecution. Our constitution and our money talks about "God", not a Christian God or a Muslim God or a Buddha God, but GOD. Stop cramming your beliefs down my throat, and stop blaming every freaking thing that goes wrong in this country on the lack of God. On that subject:

*Ignorance-we are so bubbled in here. It's so bad. Our school systems are some of the lowest in the world, yet we are one of the foremost first-world countries. So many Americans have their mentality set on "if it doesn't affect me, then I don't care". People don't vote, whereas other countries make you (I don't know if that's good either, because face it, lots of people everywhere are ignorant!). My nephews couldn't find Australia on a map. I don't expect all Americans to have a "Jeopardy"-like memory about everything, but opening their eyes would be a good start.

*Guns-Yes, I am scared of guns. Just recently there was a news segment about shootings on one of my local freeways. People sit up in the hills with a rifle and randomly shoot at cars. WTF? School shootings are on the rise. "Guns don't kill people; people kill people"-sure, but it's a hell of a lot easier with a gun in your hand!

So yeah, its six one way, half a dozen in the other. My husband simplified it for me and said, "wherever you are is my home". Aww. I just hope that our new home is the right decision.


Down the Rabbit Hole, Living With TBI said...

We all believe in you and we can't wait for you to write about your new adventure. It IS an adventure, its like you get to star in your own movie and write it too. You get to tell us all in your own amazing Hed way about the transition. I still say there's a book in this and I can't wait to get an autographed copy! You don't have to stay there forever if its absolutely awful for you, but I think you'll figure out how to fit in fine--and I'm coming to visit! And the kitties will be fine, Robin is going to be a crazy cat lady when she gets old so Sam and Portal will fit right in. We'll send you pictures and stories and video. And yes, they can talk to you and see you too, haven't you heard of skype? Rock it girl!

Anonymous said...

Awesome news :D

I didn't realise you were moving somewhere remote, all you said was Townsville. Yeah, living in a small town of 7000 is going to be a pretty huge culture shock for you - I grew up mostly in Atherton which has a population under 6000 ;)

Looking at that list TV is probably going to be your single biggest issue. We have decent free-to-air channels, but they pick and choose which shows they buy from America and they're always delayed (at one point Australia had the highest TV torrenting per-capita in the world lol, we probably still do). The rise of torrenting has forced our TV stations to fix their game up, episodes are no longer delayed for a month or more but it's still up to a week or two for some shows (eg dr. who). There are plenty of awesome Australian shows on offer though which does even the balance a bit.

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