The other day I was thinking about different things that I've experienced since I've been here. I've decided that there are some things that I enjoyed before I got here that made me ready for Australia.
When getting ready to go on a trip a few years ago I grabbed a few travel sized soaps and shampoos. I fell in LOVE with Sunsilk. It worked better in my hair than anything else did. The only problem? It was travel sized... So I went on a mission to find it. NO ONE carried Sunsilk except Walmart. Which I believe is where I got the travel sized one in the first place. So I grabbed the good stuff and enjoyed it. When it was gone, I went to get more and Walmart didn't have it. No one did. I searched frantically.
First thing I found when I got to Australia? A commercial for Sunsilk. We went to Big W (kinda like Walmart) and there it was!! A few days later as I basked in the silkiness of my hair, I decided to figure out where it was made. Yep! Australia. I even went on their site today and the US isn't even listed on their site. So I will happily use it while I'm here and find a way to get more sent to the US when its time go home...
The second thing I've noticed is that a lot of the words I liked to use are used more here than in the US. Lovely (although this one is usually a sign to Steve that something is wrong when he asks how I am doing....), wonderful, fantastic, etc. Great words but you don't catch them often.
My store is what helped prepare me for the last one I've thought of. Actually Steve mentioned the fact that we love British comedies (Fawlty Towers is at the top of our list) which helped with humor here. Anyway, back to the store. The store helped because no matter how my day was, I loved to greet people and talk to them as they came into my store. I always tried to have a smile. Everyone is so friendly here. You can get friendly words from almost everyone and they look out for you.
With all the difficulty we've had finding a house thanks to our 6 wonderful children, I wouldn't give them up for the world. I love each of them and their silliness and their love for me and Steve. To have to apologize for having so many is an insult to us and to our children. There are people that will just never like children and will look down on us for the amount that we have. Fine. I wonder how they figure life will continue on if there WERE no kids...
Anyway, I have been very thankful for those that have defended us or complimented us in the last few days.
I went to go get flip flops the other day. It took a bit and our kids just sat there. Which is quite miraculous actually... Anyway, I told them our difficulties in finding a house since we had no address to put on the application thing. They looked at the kids with this amazed look on their faces and the three employees immediately told us how well mannered our kids are. I told them to give it five minutes. Steve pointed out we'd already been there for 10... They told me that they have many kids that come in, rip things off the walls and run everywhere.
On to the next store. They still continued to behave (although they did get more restless). We had to run to catch the bus (and take Gavin potty as is custom). The kids sat there and then we hopped onto the bus. Immediately I was told that our kids are well-mannered. Steve was told by another guy (who didn't speak much English) that kids are a blessing and how cool it was that we had six children.
That was last week. Two nights ago we went to see a house. I was meeting Steve at another bus station before we headed on to the house. We were in a bus full of students because the city buses become school buses at certain times. Anyway, three teenagers were using rather colorful language and their friend kept saying "language guys!" because he knew our kids were there. He may have been joking but he then told his friends that he was trying to make them happy instead of upset with a girl they'd been talking about. I thought it was cool.
After the house showing, where the lady spent the entire time glaring at our kids (SUPER nice house but we didn't put in an application because it was a little pricey and the agent obviously didn't want us there), we headed back to the station. When we finally got to the bus (Woden's shopping centre closes off most of their building at night which we didn't know so we got to walk all the way around the outside of the building - in the rain - to get to the bus stop), we had a very friendly bus driver. The driver said "'allo 'allo 'allo!" to the kids and was just very nice. We were near the front of the bus and were sitting there quietly. Ashley decided to push the stop button and when no one got off the bus the driver asked who pushed the button. When I explained what happened, he said "no worries!" and continued on. A few more stops away, a guy started getting on the bus. We didn't hear what went on but the driver stopped him from coming on and threw him off for 'being abusive'. Steve and I just looked at each other and shrugged. We got to our stop and as Ashley and Andy got off he said "good night! Be good for your parents!" As we were getting off, he apologized for the guy he threw off. I told him we hadn't heard what was said and he said it was a good thing because the language was rather colorful and he wouldn't want the kids repeating what had been said... grrreat!!
People are just more open here. They're more willing to tell it like it is. I love it. If I ask how things are, I'd like to know. Instead of the usual things are great even though my world is blowing up thing that people usually say.
I still miss my home. But I've learned to love it here and I'm enjoying to get to know more and more about it! The other day I got to go to a museum with a friend. She'd taken the kids and I to a "Live in Canberra" welcoming morning tea which was awesome (their pastries were AMAZING) and then to the museum. Anyway, we saw a show about space. It was very interesting to hear about the space race between the US and Russia from someone that didn't live in either place. I loved it! If you ever visit Australia and come to Canberra, you need to visit Questacon. Its very hands-on for the kids and its HUGE. Its a good thing we got a 2 year membership because it might take us that long to get all the way through it!
Anyway, off to put out some fires going on in the other room. Not literally thankfully!
Oh and the best part of this whole trip? Ethan has finally decided its time to potty train. YAY! Its the little things that can make life a happy place to be.