Note: Australians are known for their unique way of bending and shortening the English language. Personally, I find English dialects to be fascinating and will try to share some of the relevant and/or more entertaining slang terms we come across. They’ll be denoted by italicized text in parentheses.
We’ve been in Australia (Oz) for 12 days—a fact that my brain is having a hard time adjusting to. It may be in part because the cool Mediterranean hills of Adelaide feel familiar. The rolling residential streets are narrow and winding, shaded by mature gum trees (including eucalyptus (eucalypt); native here, obviously) punctuated by bursts of vibrant color from private gardens and native flowering shrubs like bottlebrush and jacaranda. And when you venture out beyond the suburban foothills, you find rolling grassland, already turning gold in the dryness of early summer, interspersed by oak-like woodlands. And beyond that, vast vineyards yielding some of the best wines in the world. Beyond that, the Great Australian Bight bleeds into the vast Southern Ocean. This should sound familiar to many of you. Yep, almost immediately upon leaving the airport, Colin and I agreed that Adelaide reminded us of the central California coast—a place that we both have very strong ties to. After 24+ hours of travel, we had landed in a familiar land…but not quite. Like California with crazy colorful birds, a British accent, koalas, and no Mexican food. A bizarro world of sorts. Though I’m sure the we-swear-we-don’t-feel-jet-lagged style of jet lag had something to do with our skewed perception of place.