I didn’t get to have a September 18 last year. I lost it somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, crossing the International Date Line. I left Los Angeles late at night on Wednesday, September 17, and touched down in Melbourne early in the morning on Friday, September 19.
That’s about what it takes to get to Australia: a day out of your life. At least. One way or another, you’ve got to make some effort to get here from just about anywhere.
I started this blog from a hotel room at LAX a few hours before I got on the plane, in preparation for beginning the great adventure of life in a faraway country. I’ve designated today, the day I sacrificed to the time zone gods to get here, as the official birthday of Roving Lemon’s Big Adventure.
In the past year, I’ve found answers to all four of the questions I asked in my first post, and I’ve learned a lot of other things besides: about Australia, about writing and photography, about blogging, about food, and about people, myself most of all. If you’ve been along for any part of the journey, thanks for your interest, your company, and your comments. If you’re new, welcome! Pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable. I expect interesting developments for the coming year, so stay tuned. But before we move ahead, to commemorate this momentous occasion, I offer:
The Top 15 Things I Didn’t Know About Australia Last September 18
15. Imported cheese—when you can find it—is really, really expensive here. So is bread. Any kind of bread.
14. Macadamia nuts, on the other hand, are not. Good to know when you’re famished from the lack of bread and cheese.
13. There is a serious lack of good pizza in Canberra. And bagels.
12. On the other hand, mangoes are widely available. (But I’m still not sure I like them.)
11. So are quinces. (I’m absolutely certain I love them.)
10. Gas grills are apparently indispensable to daily life.
9. If you’re in the market for a secondhand grill—or just a good deal—you should head to your local op shop.
8. Australians are happy to take any excuse for a good cup of coffee. They’re even happier if you offer them a baked good alongside it.
7. When people tell you Australian summers are hot, they’re not kidding. Trust me.
6. But don’t believe them when they say it’s summer all the time here. You just have to know where to look for the other seasons.
5. As my niece said when she was here, “The wildlife here is AWESOME!”
4. But some of the critters are more horrifying up close than I ever imagined.
3. Australian processed foods don’t use high fructose corn syrup.
2. You can get WD-40 here!
And the number one best thing I have discovered about living in Australia?
1. You can find rhubarb in the supermarket all year round.