Dead batteries

August 14, 2009

I was going to post a picture of the back of the sweater, but the camera batteries were dead. Both of them. And since I feel like a pictureless post is, well, pictureless, I wasn’t even going to post. However, I’ve taken bazillions of photos (hence dead batteries). So, I grabbed a few of my favorites from the photo file and I’ll save the sweater till later. A half-finished sweater, or should I say a quarter-finished sweater, just isn’t that exciting to look at anyway.

First, whoever said money doesn’t grow on trees needs to go to the Tahune AirWalk.

moneygrows

Clearly, money grows on this tree. I had an amazing day with slippermaker (Ravelry name) and her family. They took me on an outing to the AirWalk and it was so much fun to talk with her lovely children and clever husband. Very nice day.

One of the more delightful things about Tasmania are the rainbows. Lots of rainbows. I spent a delightful half hour one day watching a gorgeous complete rainbow moving closer to me over the ocean. I saw a stunning double rainbow that touched down in Hobart on one side and out in the Derwent River on the other. I wish I could have taken a picture of that one; but, I was driving and couldn’t figure out where to stop. On the bridge? I don’t think so!!! Driving across that bridge still white-knuckles me. And I’ve seen dozens and dozens of partial rainbows and snips of rainbows here and there.

I was able to conveniently snap this shot of a lovely complete rainbow from the safety of the deck on the house where I’m staying. Too bad it doesn’t show up better in this web-sized image.

rainbow

But it hasn’t been all rain. I have had some lovely days in the past month. And just to prove it, I took this shot from the overlook near Eaglehawk Neck.

eaglehawk

It’s been a really great experience, staying in this lovely state for as long as I have. At first, everything was new and scary and I felt stupid dozens and dozens of times every day. Simple things, like getting gas in the car, were hard and felt unfamiliar in spite of the fact that I’ve put gas in a car at home too many times to even contemplate counting. But here, it’s just a little different. Which side is the tank on in this car? How does this pump work? What is that type of fuel for? (Fortunately, I didn’t have any problems identifying unleaded.) Which coin is the 50 cent one? What about the cents? Why can’t I just pull in and out of the filling station any which way I want?

Shopping in the grocery store was no better. Vanilla extract in the States is called vanilla essence here. Mayonnaise here is sandwich spread in Colorado. Eggs are not refrigerated. You won’t find them near the butter. The butter is so delicious it has the power to make a girl want to be fat. As does the King Island yogurt, brie and camembert cheese.

There are all those niggling little questions: What happened to “Z?” What bird is that? Why are the spiders so huge? Why don’t people insulate their houses more often? Is that really a dial tone? Am I using too much water — will the tank be empty when the house owners come home? How do you convert degrees C to degrees F? Why are there so many sheep and so few yarn stores? How do you cook lamb?

Then there is driving on the left side of the road and all that entails: which way to look first when you are crossing a street in Hobart, or perhaps more deadly, which way to look first when you are making a right hand turn in the car. I absolutely know that I induced road rage in at least a few people with my overly conservative approach to making right turns the first few weeks I was here.

To make it just a little more complicated, there has been an element of difficulty in understanding some people’s accents and having some people understand my American twang and the weird words I use. Place names have been really hard. Add in a little stress (say something like the key breaks off in the lock to the trunk of the car on a Sunday afternoon) and the difficulty in communicating expands way out of proportion.

The list just went on and on and on. But after a few weeks, I only felt stupid a few times a day and lately, it’s only a few times a week. That’s pretty much normal for me.

I had a friend who was an exchange teacher in Spain. She said she knew she finally felt at home the night she had a dream in Spanish. Well, last night, I had a dream in which Kevin Rudd made an appearance and everyone spoke in Australian English. Even me.

Homesick? Yes. I want to snuggle up to the RNK and hold the pups and pet the cat. I want to check on the horse and scratch his darling little head. But, I’m starting to feel at home here too. And that’s pretty nice.

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