Saturday, November 5, 2011

What's that line from The Matrix about the spoon bending? Yeah, that.

You know you live in the southern hemisphere when the start of November means...

... hydrangeas! Aren't they purty? Today I was doing some stuff around the house and thought to myself, "It's November 5th! My hydrangeas are probably blooming!" And they are. And then I realized how much I've really assimilated to living down under; that I automatically think of November as a spring month now. And mention January or February, and I immediately think of how sweltering it will be. (Y'all know how I get.)

We've been here over 6 years now, and it probably took me 4 years to not have to be reminding myself, "No, it won't be winter then," or "You can roast a turkey for Thanksgiving, but do you wanna have your oven on all day in such warm weather?"

I still remember our first Christmas here; being at the Opera House on Christmas Eve day and it was 94 degrees F (34C) outside. It just didn't feel right to me. I'm embarassed to admit this, but I actually remember thinking, "These people know it's not supposed to be summer, right?"

Oh, Amy. You and your northern hemispheric prejudices. Free your mind! Like, have you ever seen this?

Who said "north" had to be on the top? Hmmm? I remember a vigorous discussion my parents had about this when they first came to visit me. I'd never thought about it either. But it's all quite subjective, isn't it.

So, maybe I'm not down under. Maybe you are. (If you live in the northern hemisphere. You know what I mean. Dang it, I've totally ruined my dramatic ending.)


  1. North "at top" is an arbitrary convention. It wasn't always that way. The term "to orient" oneself is still in the english language from the time when the mapping convention was to put the east (the direction of Jerusalem from Europe) at the top of maps.

    That's your Nerd Moment for today.

  2. A. That map fact above is fantastic! I've always been a map nerd but had never heard that. I actually had that "upside-down" Aussie map on the wall of my childhood bedroom for years.
    B. I'm temporarily moving to Sydney at the end of this month, after living in the Northeast US my whole life. Although I'm excited about skipping winter, I'm anticipating the season-confusion you describe above. I have to keep reminding myself not to pack my winter coat or buy a new pair of those cute fall boots that are advertised everywhere. I bought a pair of flip flops a few weeks ago, and the saleslady looked at me life I was crazy. However, they were on uber-clearance so ha! I won! Take that, perfectly-nice-saleslady-whose-facial-expression-I-probably-misread-due-to-my-own-insecurities!

  3. The upside down, sideways seasons totally confuse me. But those hydrangeas are pretty. The Sydney area is lovely. The people are friendly. And when you are there, you're not even aware that you're at the bottom of the world. It is fall here, and a gorgeous one it is. I hope you have a long spring and a short summer. I remember the heat in December!

  4. Oh I love that picture of the hydrangeas in that gorgeous vase, they were made for each other I think:) and it goes without saying I love the other picture too:)

  5. Oh, that was totally, like, a Matrix moment, freeing my mind and all. Sort of. I mean, I tried to overlook the fact that it was an upside-down map. Which worked. Kind of. the hydrangeas.=)

  6. Dad, I can always count on your for my daily dose of nerd.

    Betty--hi, and how exciting!! Are you moving here for work or school? It's so funny...we love shopping online when the US stores do their end-of-season clearance sales, cause it's perfect timing for us. If I can do anything to help or offer advice with your big move, let me know! Of course, I'm a stranger on the Internets but I am almost entirely normal and sane.

    Liz, your mind is like WAY freed. :)

  7. Hi Amy! We're moving there for neither - it's for fun! :) My husband is Australian, and we wanted to give living in Oz a try before we start having kids and whatnot. Hence the temporary-ness!

    We're going to Hawaii next week, and then to Brisbane to see his parents before arriving in Sydney around the start of December.
    I'm big on taking advice from strangers on the Interweb - hasn't done me wrong so far, just ask the strung out-looking guy squatting in our apartment, sitting on the bedbug-infested couch we bought - so I might just come back around asking! :) But any general, moving down under advice in advance would always be appreciated. Thanks!