Sweet 16 and Flying Monkeys

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I’m sure you were expecting my first entry since arriving in Perth to be about the horrid 30 hours of it takes to get here.  Well, it didn’t really phase me much since I spent most of the travels sleeping – so alas, no recounting.  I am sure, however, that there may be a few fellow travelers’ blogs which have been updated to include anecdotes of a silly girl who was under the influence of a fair amount of sleeping aids making her way mindlessly throughout various Qantas clubs across the globe.

That being said I have acquired my very own Aussie driver’s license.  It makes me feel like I’m 16 again – minus the stress of prom.  It was scarily very easy to obtain.  I just had to present myself, my American DL, my passport and a document with my Perth address.  The helpful worker and I filled out the form together (I think mainly because I had a difficult time figuring out what 5’6″ is in centimetres – so I just wrote 5’6″ … )  Oddly the form asked for my build – I tried to put svelte, but he crossed that out.


Him: Where are you from?

Me: Kansas

Him: Ahhh, like the Wizard of Oz

Me: um, sure – except we’re not in black & white anymore, so basically after Dorothy gets back from Oz – oh, and minus the monkeys.  We have the twisters though, and snow when we left

Him: Snow, now that must be fascinating!  I’ve never seen snow!

Me: Fascinating? You’ve probably never been cold than either- it sucks

I also did not have to take a drivers test (written or physical).  I can barely walk down the sidewalk without forgetting that I need to walk on the left side.  They must be on the honour system and trust that I’ll drive correctly (or they saw the look in “Obert’s” eyes as he stood behind me saying “don’t worry, I will ensure she NEVER gets behind the wheel of a vehicle in your dear country”)

Getting my license made me think about when I was 16 and had my first car.  It was awesome (because I didn’t have to pay for it) – it was a Geo Prizm.  Yep, you heard me right, not a Chevy but a Geo Prizm – a blue one.  It was a hand-me-down from my dad and I got to share it with my sister and then she totalled it.  I bring this up because I noticed something very odd the first day I got here.  People  LOVE the El Camino – except it’s not called the El Camino here – it’s the Falcon.  The Aussie admiration for this vehicle is equivalent to the American lust for the Camaro (which also makes me die a little inside).  The pimped out version is upwards of $65k.  It makes me sad to see kids here aspire to that time in life in which they can own and drive an El Camino … I mean Falcon.

For the record – about two-thirds of the people I’ve met have mentioned the Wizard of Oz.  One would think that after years of fallout from Crocodile Dundee they would be a little sympathetic to ridiculous movie references as examples of true life.

Book Review: “Unfamiliar Fishes”.  Staying true to Sarah Vowell’s dry humour and passion for history how can you not love a book that includes sentences like: “The only thing more European than spreading VD is documenting it” and “It’s tempting to reduce the initial encounters between Hawaiians and missionaries to some sort of clunky prequel to Footloose“.  Oh yeah, it’s about the annexation and attempted Americanization of Hawaii.


2 thoughts on “Sweet 16 and Flying Monkeys

  1. So, driving on the other side of the road makes me nervous, same with stepping off a sidewalk. Look out!
    I got an “International” Driver’s license to drive in Taiwan, it was tough, just sent in a picture and got a snazzy laminated card to prove I can drive like a maniac with everyone else.
    Aaaand, everyone has to mention potatoes if we tell them we are from Idaho. So sometimes we fudge and say Cali, since technically we moved from there. All Asians love CA.
    I hope you’re enjoying getting settled in!!

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