I live here, I guess! We are at my wife’s parents’ house in a little town called Whittlesea, about an hour north of the Melbourne CBD. CBD stands for Central Business District. It’s where the buildings are.
Her parents are letting us crash here while we get ourselves sorted. I’ve decided to start a blog about this whole experience. Not living at my wife’s parents’ house necessarily, though there are a number of things I could write about it. For instance, there are four leather chairs and two leather couches in the living room alone. Friend, whatever continent you live on, that’s a ton of leather. But I’m more interested in Australia as a nation, and my living in it, navigating its complexities and annoyances.
But why, the voice in my head asks. Why start a blog? In 2019? I will answer the voice in my head with something my wife’s mother, Sal, said today. She expressed disappointment in not finding anything new on Bruce Springsteen’s official website (brucespringsteen.net), which she checks daily.
“You check it everyday?” my wife asked.
Her immediate reply: “Why not?”
Indeed, why not. This will be my new philosophy. Why not commit fully to this new Australian life? Why not start a blog about it even though no one has been interested in blogs for at least seven years?
I’ve thought plenty of things I’ve done with my life were interesting, and only when I started writing about them did I discover they in fact were not. But this time, I really think I’ve stumbled on gold. Me, a white American, living in a sorta different English-speaking white country? Talk about a fish out of water. Australians completely outnumber me here, it’s really astounding. Even my own daughter is Australian, my wife tells me.
This will be a place for me to vent about the niggling little differences between Australia and my home country (AMERICA) that will inevitably drive me insane. “Culture shock,” it’s called. I think lots of things are going to drive me a little nuts, and they’re already beginning to do that. The restaurants never seem to have hot sauce. The men’s urinal does not exist in any bathroom. Oh, and did you know that it is 9:30 AM here in Melbourne, but 7:30 PM in New York? Insane. Unacceptable. That’s the kind of thing I’ll be talking about here. Giving voice to it. Illuminating the differences. That’s a service I can provide this world.
So, yeah. This is a blog. I’m gonna stick with it. I promise to update it at least as much as Bruce Springsteen updates his.