Survival Tools

by Alissa

I unknowingly smuggled a whole stack of these sticky notes into the country, thanks to Emily. I haven’t had the heart to start using the rest of them yet, but I’m pacing myself accordingly.

Now that we’ve moved to Australia, I’m on to the long slow work of settling in. One thing a day feels manageable, especially on those days where I get two things done accidentally, or something lovely and surprising happens along to replace a piece of drudgery from the void.

A few Things from this past week:

  • Joined. The library! Our closest branch, the main library, is a cozy little space with a collection of very limited knowable scale. The entirety of the Australian Literature section fits on about six feet of shelf space. I guess people here go play in the ocean instead of reading. After years of not bothering, we signed up for loyalty programs at a department store and fancy kitchen store, where I realized that I don’t actually know my phone number, but that they do sell black beans.
  • Inspected almost every aisle at the nearest large grocery store. Toddler meltdown intervened before we could get through the freezer aisle.
  • Received a plate of snickerdoodles on the doorstep. It turns out our upstairs neighbour is also from Montana!
  • Shopped at the farmer’s market for amazingly fresh goat milk, extensive and exciting fruits and veg.
  • Visited Ace at work. It’s very similar to other math scenes, only this time with more Oz/Brit/NZ accents.
  • Established how to stay warm at home. Uninsulated house+no central heat=compulsive baking and space-heater huddling.
  • Searched for a lost neighbourhood bunny every time we left the house on foot. The good news on the updated missing posters is that Mitty is found.
  • Made sense of the municipal garbage system.
  • Hit the mall to outfit Ace for a work trip to Canberra–Who here knows what a “lounge suit” is?
  • Hot tip at first playgroup led to second playgroup at the YWCA–with a trampoline and a third possibility to try next week. Asking the woman with three kids under age four how she gets through the week was my stroke of genius for Thursday.
  • Met up with friend of a friend from Budapest who has high friend potential for us.
  • Had an extremely pleasant evening with the family of one of Ace’s colleagues.

Goals for the coming week future:

  • Learn our phone number.
  • Switch the olives to their next stage of herb+salt+vinegar soak.
  • Find a doctor, dentist, potential pre-schools (wait lists are two years long), next best friend.
  • Figure out why limes cost $1.50 each and other citrus is $2 a kilo.
  • Learn to drive.
  • Decode the metric thermostat on our oven.
  • See if Australia has a Thanksgiving holiday equivalent.
  • Research gardening and decide what/how to plant while it is still spring.