Who would have thought that coming to a different country would turn me into a grown up version of a childhood cartoon character? The infamous Dora the Explorer was constantly embarking on quests. With her purple backpack and trusty monkey sidekick, she was always ready for an adventure. I have come to realize that I am much like Dora. As I have spent the last 7 weeks in Adelaide, my quests have been plentiful. Adorned with my purse filled with many goodies and my trusty friends alongside me, I have been able to amble the countryside.
Along each adventure, Dora would call upon her backpack to help her find her way to her destination. I too rummaged through my bag whenever an adventure came upon me. Pulling out my faithful iPhone, I was able to find directions and snap photos of each place. My favorite game to play was Spot the Difference. Just like Dora searching for a difference in scenes, I constantly found the differences between Australia and home. For instance:
- America’s agricultural pests tend to be deer, wild boars, raccoons, crows, etc. while Australia has a problem with kangaroos, wild dogs, birds, and me.
- Each country has its own slang, which can get confusing at times. In America, they say, “how are you doing” while in Australia it’s, “how are you going.”
- The Australian fashion is a little bit behind that of home (though I don’t know much fashion past a pair of pants and a t-shirt). Aussie Sheila’s (girls) wear chunky shoes and their hair pulled halfway up into a bun.
- Australians don’t eat hotdogs. They eat snags in bread. Sounds nasty right? Surprisingly it’s good! Just slap a sausage on a slice of bread and you’re ready to go.
- Everyone in Australia is just so friendly. They seem to love American accents and always question where I’m from. Americans on the other hand prefer to keep to themselves on the streets and in public areas.
- The American legal drinking age is 21 while Australia appeals to the younger crowds at 18.
- Australians drive on the left side of the road but their steering wheel is on the right side, totally flipped from the United States. Let’s just say that was hard getting used to. You may want to stay off the streets when I get home. I might just stray and drive Australian style.
- Alcohol down under is up the wazoo. I don’t understand how people can afford getting drunk here. A shot alone is cheapest $5.
- The beaches in Australia are down right AMAZING! Bright blue water and fine white sand is such a picturesque view to soak up in the February heat.
- What is baseball? Oh yeah, it’s much like cricket but with bases. They both are huge national sports though. And football (American), well you might as well play rugby.
So of course my detective skills were going wild here in Australia. Each obstacle was easily defeated with the help of my new family. Luckily I never failed to find my way back to The Nest and successfully completed each quest. Unfortunately, as each journey came to an end I came closer to the end of my stay here. I’ve come to realize how fond I have become of the bustling Rundle Mall and endless array of gelato, not to mention living with great people and newfound friends. Adelaide will always have a place in my heart and I will eternally remember the memories that my camera phone has captured. My only wish is that there were no foes that hindered my fun. I guess just like every Dora episode, Swiper was always in the background searching for the opportune time to strike. Mine has been time. It has finally caught up to me and here I am sitting in the airport waiting for my long journey home.
Swiper no Swiping!