Friday, January 11, 2008

Nobody need panic. I am alive and relatively well. Turns out that Sunday night I forgot to take my meds (how stupid can a chronically ill person be?) and then wondered why I felt like crap the next day. The entire week has been hot hot hot and today was supposedly 35C. A day for wearing my wonderful microfibre pants & top which I always get compliments on and is so cool especially when you are wrestling with a shopping trolley up a hill. My checkout person was a young African man and since you see so few black people here generally, I wasn't expecting one to be scanning barcodes at Woolies. We are getting many more African immigrants which I think is good and I'd like to be welcoming without sounding patronizing, so I don't say anything. For all I know he's lived here for years. To you American readers, I keep forgetting how different the racial mix is here. There are Ngunnawal Aboriginal people here but you don't see them at the supermarket, at least not my supermarket. There are Islander people, from Tonga (like my next door neighbour) or Samoa, or PNG (Papua New Guinea). There are Asians of every nationality. As I mentioned, a growing number of Africans. There are lots of Middle Eastern people, mostly Lebanese. There are lots of southern Europeans (Italians and Greeks, and people from the former Yugoslavia). There seem to be a growing number of Yanks (which is the generic for Americans, even if you are from South Carolina, I'm afraid). So it's really different from the US and things I expect (every restaurant of any ethnicity can serve you cappuccino, the Chinese restaurants are not run by people from China but probably Malaysia or Singapore, Indonesian food is common, like KFC and Macca's may sell satay something), I miss when I'm in the states. How do you live without crumpets, mango and passionfruit flavoured everything, vanilla slices, lamingtons, 25 flavours of sausages, kangaroo steak in your supermarket? All right, the last one I'll give up. I've found Woolies sells marinated kangaroo steak and it is simply superb, so tender you hardly need a knife and I buy $6AU worth and get at least 2 meals out of it. Despite what PETA might tell you, kangaroos are not endangered, but they can become so numerous and pressed for food that they come into the city and end up dead by the side of the road. I much prefer a cleanly killed (roo shooters do it with a single bullet to the head) game animal, and unlike many Aussies I don't have Skippy nostalgia (an old TV show where Skippy the Kangaroo always saved the day like Lassie only more so). So I love trawling American supermarkets when I'm in the States, but I couldn't live without at least the crumpets and Singapore noodles.

All I can say is I'm tired of the heat. Tomorrow is furniture moving day and it promises to be either hot or thunderstorms. Of course, the garden is happy and I have yellow & green, red & green, and black & red striped tomatoes. More beans than I can get rid of, will need to make zucchini pickle relish soon, and my blackberries are starting to ripen. Evenings are spent knitting/spinning/cleaning alpaca and watching Gilmore Girls. I think I like the show because I like the idea of their closeness, but only the idea. I'd go crazy being that close to any relative but then I had a weird childhood.

Book report: The Sparrow by
Mary Doria Russell. Excellent, horrifying, amazing, engrossing, frightening. I cannot say much without giving away the plot but the story is mesmerizing and I wanted to read it every second. The characters are believable and personable and you feel like you know them, but there is a sense of foreboding because you know from the beginning that something went wrong. Just so you know, not all extraterrestrials are like ET and never take things at face value when you are on a new planet.

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