Sometimes people ask me what things I miss from home. We've been here nearly four years now (wow) and although we have truly gotten used to living in Sydney and are quite happy here, there are a few bits and pieces that I sometimes long for. But first, can I offer a disclaimer to my Aussie friends? Guys, you know I love it here, so this is not a complaining post, 'k? And I promise, snookums, my next post will be on products I love using in Australia that can't be found in the States. So, without further ado, some ideas for future care packages:
1. Crest Vivid White Toothpaste.Americans, get in your car, drive to Target and get this toothpaste. Aussies, rend your garments and gnash your not-as-white-as-they-could-be teeth, cause we can't get it here. It's like that '80s song says, "You never know what you've got till it's gone." Oh Crest Vivid White, if I ever catch up with you, I'm gonna love you for the rest of my life. This stuff is really good. Jason and I love it and we make our moms send it to us. Isn't that snobby? But it really does whiten--you know you've been wanting to ask me how my teeth are so lovely. What? You haven't? Well pay better attention to my teeth, then! Geez.
2. Really Good BBQ Sauce.
I know, I know--Australians are famous for their barbecues, and we love 'em! The barbecue culture suits us really well. But there is a difference in the sauce here, compared to what we were used to in Texas. Our good friends Holly and Jeremy recently brought us a bottle of KC Masterpiece from the States that we are doling out like liquid gold. You know if we offer you some when you come for dinner that we must really like you.
3. Super Target.
Where do I begin? From the inexpensive,stylish homewares to the adorable kids' clothes to the limited edition designer lines... I don't have the emotional capacity to even finish that sentence. Target. Is. Awesome. Yes, there is Target here in Oz, but I tell you now, it is not the same. Going to Target for the first time here was like walking into your parents' house only to find they'd moved out and some strangers had moved in, pretending to be your parents. Sham parents. Fake, let's use the same logo, but be totally different parents. Perhaps I hyperbolize. But still. Super Target is my happy place.Nothing can hurt me there. I remember going there with Becky right after Ava was born. She'd sleep and we'd spend hours wandering around, eating popcorn and cokes from the cafe. Good times.
Just last year, we found a restaurant about 20 minutes away that serves above average Mexican food. We were so happy! However, Mexicans in Australia are few and far between, and some of the best Tex Mex we have had here is what we make ourselves. (And our friend Holly's homemade salsa.) For those of you that know us and our culinary abilities, that's sayin' something.
5. Free Refills.
This was a biggie in the culture shock department for Jason. We have found two restaurants that allow free refills here: Subway and Hungry Jacks (Burger King in the States). Otherwise, forget about it! You will pay your $3.50 for one glass and you will like it. That is all. I will spare you Jason's diatribe against establishments that don't offer free refills. Just know that in his heavenly mansion, there will be flowing soda fountains in every room.
(This isn't Jason, but I love this free refill guy.)
6. Corn Meal.
Okay, that's random. But this is one of those things that you don't even know you can't get till you really need it. Living in another country, even Australia, this has happened to me many times. Like when you're hosting 20 people for Thanksgiving dinner the next day and you wanna make corn bread. "Hmmm, I don't know what corn meal is, but we have corn flour. Will that do?" No, Mr. Supermarket shelf stocker, it will not do. I need meal. Do you hear me? MEAL. Turns out though, that you can get polenta. Which will produce an approximation of cornbread, but it ain't like your mama makes.
7. Cool Whip.
I know, who really needs more Cool Whip in their life? You can get whipped cream in a can, but this tub of sweet,creamy goodness cannot be found on our shores. I remember when I was a kid, I used to sneak spoonfuls of it out of the fridge. Who am I kidding, I would still do that if I could!
So those are a few slices of life that we miss from the States! I don't have time to mention good bagels, cheap makeup,or Dr Pepper. But as you'll see in a day or so, there were some pleasant surprises awaiting us when we moved to Sydney. And really, most of the aforementioned would just make us chubby anyway! Except Super Target. I really think I would be a better, more virtuous and loving person if we had one here. Lord, are you reading this? Think it over, ok?