Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Expat Qs


I was born in Melbourne, a place called Kew, I spent the first few months of my life there and then we moved to Sydney, where I stayed for twenty something years. Now I live in Louisville, Kentucky. 


It had always been a dream of mine to live in America, my obsession with America started when I fell in love with the babysitters club. I met an American living in Australia, we became friends, she went home, I went to visit her, met my husband, made him marry me and here we are.


Why? Why here? Why would you leave Australia? I get it, if I meet any Australians in KY my first question is always what the f*ck are you doing here? 


The hardest part was that I actually originally intended to come here for a year, but then I ended up staying. So I never felt like I got that closure. 

Other than that, the language has been the hardest for me. We all speak the same language, but we really don't. There are different spellings for one, and different words, the same words are pronounced differently or used differently, I've gotten laughed at or corrected more times than I can count. I wouldn't mind except that some people really cannot understand that the word might be different for me, I'm not being an asshole on purpose. I don't use Australian words when I know people won't understand them, like I said, that's an asshole move. I've had to change the way I talk because only an asshole would continue saying eat in or take away when they know it won't be understood, just say for here or to go, you know? But then I lose take away and start saying to go at work, then in my normal life, and before you know it I've forgotten what take away means. Plus I say 'for here' which sounds like 'for heeyah' so then I start over enunciating the R which makes me sound like a complete tool. 

The easiest part was that I knew KC and other friends before I moved here. That made my life so easy, especially because I lived with one of my friends and got a job at her dad's restaurant (see above mentioned take away vs to go). I am still friends with those people and I don't feel like a novelty to them.


 ^^ hahahaha

But really? My expat experience isn't really very expat-y anymore. It's just life. I work, I read, I sleep, I pay my bills, hang out with friends, I got married, bought two houses and have 3 cats. It's just life now.


Oh my gosh. So many options. I honestly like things about food and drink here vs specific items, if that makes sense? I love the portion sizes because I really like food, I love the bread before the meal, the multiple sides with everything, chips with sandwiches, ridiculously large sodas, free refills, and how cheap everything is. 

As for specific things, there are more that I don't like or freak me out that are 'American' in my head. Like making sweet potatoes or pumpkins into something sweet, drinking milk at all let alone with a meal (vomit), anything cinnamon-y, peanut butter and jelly (let's not mention jelly vs jam I DON'T GET IT) and I should probably stop before I offend someone.


Erm. I don't think anything? Getting married? Hahaha. I probably travel more here because it's easier, closer and cheaper. I never would have bought a house at home, ever ever ever.


I don't know if this is America wide or just in Kentucky but lord it drives me crazy when people use here or anymore incorrectly. Drives me BONKERS. 

I'm not good with examples, only pointing it out when it happens (which I'm sure everyone around me appreciates). But off the top of my head:

Here: It will be hot here soon, I'm going to eat here soon. They don't mean physically here, it's like an extension of soon. People say it without saying soon, but like I said I'm not great with examples. It doesn't bother me as much as anymore though and perhaps it isn't wrong, it just feels wrong in my head.

Anymore: like, instead of 'these days'. Anymore, the cinema is so busy and I don't like going. Groceries are so expensive anymore. Anymore I've been trying to eat more vegetables.

The other day I used here the way Kentuckians do and I almost slapped myself. Kidding. Also I googled the anymore thing while I was writing this and apparently it's pretty common but it is nails on a chalkboard to me.


Again, for me it's just life now. And life is pretty fun to live. Other than that, I love travelling to other places. It's so fun, easy, cheap and close to do so. 


Likely not. KC and I joked that we would move home if trump became president and I'm still here, aren't I. There are a million and one reasons to stay, there are a million and one reasons to go home. I like to just ignore it.

Anymore, I forget I'm even an expat. OMG KIDDING. About the use of anymore in that sentence and forgetting I'm an expat. As if.

So tell me. What the bloody hell is the difference between jelly and jam. Kidding kidding. But really. Also, jello is a brand, right? But you call it all jello? Even if it's a different brand? Like kleenex or coke, but they are tissues and soft drink (or pop or soda or whatever). Does jello ever have a different name?  Just curious.

I can't believe I am coming up on 6 years since I moved here. I wonder if there is a point that I stop calling myself an expat. I don't think I will ever stop calling myself/identifying as an Australian, no matter how long I live here. Just like I was born in Melbourne and never really lived there, just visited family, I am Victorian or a Melbournian, always will be. It never comes up here, but back in Sydney, it was a big deal. Just like here, I imagine, when you move from state to state. You'll always identify with the one you're 'from', right?


  1. I couldn’t not laugh at #5. I’m known as “the prawn girl” in Louisiana because this one lady said “throw a shrimp on the barbie” and I was like “we actually don’t call them shrimp, we call them prawns” and apparently this lady told everyone in the mall and when I went back a few days later was like “hey! It’s the prawn girl!” ... fast forward two years and I thought they’d forget about it only to have her say “oh my word! The prawn girl is back!!! John the prawn girl is back!!!!” 🙈

  2. Ok I find this so fascinating!! I can’t tell you the difference between jam and jello though. And it is odd how certain brands became synonymous with the entire line. Like band-aids! The here and anymore thing I’ve never heard of before! People have strange sayings here in PA too they drive me insane! They say carmel instead of caramel. Or say it’s “close” out when they mean humid! Or “its all” when they mean it’s all gone or empty. It’s bananas. I guess after 25 years I say I’m from PA now? But it took awhile to let go of the NY or Maine....

  3. I still find the whole expat thing so interesting. If I got a do-over, I'd study something in college that gave me more opportunity to travel and move around. I'm sure I'd be sick of it eventually but I'd like to find out first. I've been in this city for 19 years and still don't feel like it's home. Oh well ... but jam has more fruit bits in it than jelly does, but not as much as preserves. And Jello is the name brand of flavored gelatin.

  4. I hate jam and jelly, so I couldn't tell you the difference - both gross. I don't get the anymore thing -- I have never heard that before! I love these posts of yours -- always like learning more about you!

  5. OMG, the anymore thing! My ex-boyfriend is from Michigan and when he still used to email me he would write things like "Life is so busy anymore". What does that even meeeeean?! Ha!

    I think I'm going to steal this as an easy post to get back into blogging.

  6. Hahaha- "made him marry me."
    I feel like KY might be a place where people get irrationally upset about foreign words or meanings. California or NY might have been a little less 'MERICA. Hahahahaha.
    I love that your friends are so welcoming and inclusive- right from the start!
    I'm laughing so hard about "here" and "anymore." I understand both examples completely. Lol
    I have dual citizenship with Switzerland and I joked that I'd go there if Tr*mp won. Unfortunately I'm still here. Ugh.
    I think general jello is gelatin. And I thought the different between jelly and jam was the piece of fruit that's inside one of them (but I don't know which...). Also, call soda pop "Coke" is a southern thing. Up here we say "pop" and some places say "soda." Hahaha :) We can't agree on words and language in our country- you're just fine to use Australian phrases! Lol!

  7. I have never heard "anymore" used that way. And yes, all Jello is jello. Maybe they had it trademarked for a long time and it took longer for knock-offs to exist? But who wants to eat "gelatin dessert" or whatever? I love posts like this! I hate that people are jerks when your colloquialisms are different - I mean just say "oh takeaway, that sounds so much more sophisticated than 'to go'" and leave it...

  8. Didn’t know you were a blonde! Pretty either way. I love Kentucky for many reasons, but the language (and politics) are two things I could do without. Sigh. Look forward to meeting you one day!

  9. Oh my goodness the "anymore" thing bothers me too! That's so weird! And it really does amaze me how different English can be from the US to Australia to the UK. Plus sometimes when you get accents involved, it makes it a little bit harder. When we were in Scotland earlier this year a cabby asked Chris if he needed help with his cases which sounded like keys. We totally would have gotten the whole cases meaning suitcases, but the accent just made it a little more difficult to understand. We all laughed about it later though, and he didn't make us feel bad for being silly Americans. I think that's so wrong for somebody to tell you that you're using a word or a phrase wrong and to try and make you feel bad about it.

  10. I've never heard the anymore thing and thank god I don't know any idiots who use it because I would slap them silly.

  11. Such a fun post, and love seeing throwbacks with your blonde hair! Holy nostalgia with the Babysitters Club, those books were my all time fav for years <3
    Green Fashionista

  12. This is so great. I have not heard here or anymore used in the way you wrote and I'm so glad because that would drive me up a wall, a wallllll! Jam vs jelly, oh man. Big big difference. Basically jelly is the flavoring of the fruit and jam incorporates the fruit. I'd compare it to smooth or crunchy peanut butter if that makes sense. I LOVE JAM, jelly is okay.

  13. I say take away still. In Bahrain, "to go" wasn't understood and then when I went on deployment to Scotland and Australia, it was just easier to say "take away".
    I'm wondering if the "here" and "anymore" thing are just Southern speech eccentricities. My pet peeve is "I done did." I use it jokingly, but I HHHATTEE it when people say things like that unwittingly. "I done went to the Walmarts (plural for the single store, of course) for some soap." /ragescream

  14. LOL made him marry you. I never in my life drank milk with a meal. That is so gross to me. I also dont really drink milk though. Chocolate milk...I can get down with some of that! Just not with a meal lol. I never really understood the difference between jelly and jam either. I think maybe jam is supposed to be less processed, closer to fruit spread than jelly? I dunno.

  15. I'll be a KY girl forever, born and raised there. Anymore it seems like it's not a big deal, but it is. HAHAHA. Couldn't help myself.

    It's a thing in Cincinnati, not sure if in Louisville too, but people add "s" to the end of things that don't really have it. Krogers, Aldis, etc - which I didn't notice until I left, and people were all "it's ALDI, not Aldis". HMPH.

    I absolutely call all gelatin by Jello, all soft drinks by Coke, and all tissues by Kleenex. And I can't stop, won't stop. I'm also not sorry.

    I will say, in other countries in general, New Zealand specifically, which, not Australia, but as close as I've been, portions were SO. SMALL. Like, I'd order anything, eat it, and then wonder when my actual meal was coming, because I was still starving. I also now know why everyone else is skinnier than America.

    We're glad you're here. :)

  16. I've always called it jam! I don't get it either! This was such a fun post! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Now I am trying to think about jello. Maybe gelatine? Jeez, I don't even know. And now I don't think I know the different between jelly and jam. This was definitely interesting to read!

  18. Do you generally associate with other Austrailian National Expats here in America and I'm curious, which city has the most Austrailian Nationals in America?

    1. Hi Tony - I don't know any other aussies in america, except on the internet of course. I would assume bigger cities/states have more expats in general.

  19. haha made him marry me. love that. Girl that anymore thing would drive me nuts. NUTS.

    Drinking milk on the whole is gross, but with a meal? shoot me.

  20. Yayyy! Very happy you did the quiz. I love being nosy.

    All those words you said I have no idea about. That would give me rage. And Americans have jam *and* jelly? I thought they just had jelly which is the same thing as jam? Also when I was growing up I definitely thought peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were literally peanut butter and jelly (eg UK jelly eg jello or whatever the heck I'm referring to, you know what I mean) and that confused me. I thought that must be a very messy lunch. And how can you say coke when you mean any fizzy drink? How do people know what you actually want?

    Anyway... What you said about a million and one reasons to stay and a million and one reasons to go home is so true. I don't think I'll ever get to the bottom of that one.

    Oh and I hear you on the not buying a house :/

  21. This post is so fascinating and funny! I don't hear "anymore" very often in that context. "Here"...maybe slightly more so it may be a little regional. I'm sorry people made fun of you for your language hiccups! That's rude and there's no excuse. :/ Thanks for sharing your experiences to enlighten the rest of us!

  22. I've had people here ask why I would leave Ireland when it's so great! The things we do for love, eh? That's so funny about the language issues, I never really thought about there being so many differences between australian and american english. I've lots of american friends here and I've been trying to gradually get them used to my irish phrases! I also agree that at some point it's just life and it doesn't matter where you are, you get up, go to work, cook, watch TV, haha!

  23. This is so interesting! I live in Philadelphia and we don't use "anymore" or "here" like that so I could see how it could be annoying! However, I'm sure there are countless things that we use oddly or incorrectly! I think regional dialects are so interesting.

  24. Wow, 6 years! I can feel how much you like it and how much you miss Australia as I read this. Hugs. I get the wanting to ignore it thing. People definitely say anymore and here like that too. I bet I do sometimes, but not a ton..? ha. Jelly = NO SEEDS, Jam = SEEDS. :) (more or less). And yes, Jello is a brand name like Coke or Kleenex. I feel like it is regional how much people use a brand name, like Coke to mean any soft drink. Or Kleenex to mean any facial tissue. Jello is more universal in my mind. It's just that wiggly dessert. LOL. But I guess it's technically gelatin. :P XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  25. So I'm pretty sure I do the here one sometimes, & definitely know growing up I heard it. The anymore one though I've never heard & I cringed just reading it. I've lived here my entire life & I'm with you on the sweet potatoes, pumpkin, & milk. Also, I *think* I know the difference between jam & jelly but I'm not confident enough in that to really say I get it. I'm pretty sure it's jam if it still has seeds/fruit parts in it & jelly if it doesn't?? I don't know! I think about the brand name thing too from time to time. I mean I definitely do it but also find it interesting that for a lot of things we just call it by the most popular brand.

  26. You absolutely always identify with where you're from.

    I love PB&J! I can tell you the difference between jam and jelly if you want. LOL. It's basically different in the form that the fruit takes. Jelly is made from juice of fruit and jam from crushed fruit.

  27. Your posts are the BEST. :)
    I've lived here my whole life and have no idea what the difference between jelly and jam is...it all tastes the same to me! lol

  28. First of all, YOU WITH BLONDE HAIR. I can't even. You look so different! :) I think these posts always are interesting to read from you, especially since things I grew up saying/doing of course would be weird to someone from somewhere else. Although, I wish I could tell you the difference between jelly and jam. Ha! Not a clue. Ryan and I joked that we were going to move to London if Trump became president, and we are still here, too sooo ... let's at least visit each other and make that easier, okay?

  29. I have never heard of that anymore and "here" usage...so weird!! And so wrong!! I am not a big jam or jelly person but I think jam is made with the entire fruit. I love reading these posts but they always make me feel a bit homesick for you!! So glad that you mostly feel settled and happy in your new "home" though.

  30. Love this! I've only moved around the U.S., but sometimes moving to a new region almost feels like another country because they'll have different words for things like soda or pop or coke, and you have to know the correct word for your region. Lol.

  31. My family moved from Michigan to Kentucky when I was ten and we've always said that was our first cross-cultural training experience--totally new culture, and new language, too! I've subsequently lived in Malaysia and China but Kentucky was good practice for adapting. :P

  32. Ahahaha this made me laugh. I've picked up so many random words over the years that when I speak it's a mixture of British, Singlish and even Aussie words with of course, American. My current man is Aussie so we have a good laugh at our differences. Hehe But yeah, drinking a cup of milk is just no. Total vom worthy. And even after all my years in the US, I just can't do peanut butter.

  33. People say "anymore" like that?! Must be Kentucky! Haha that would drive me so beyond batshit! But seriously, never lose your accent because Australian accents are perfect. I had a South African accent when I was little, and it's gone, gone, gone thanks to good ol 'Merica haha

  34. oh what a fun post. I don't know anyone who uses "anymore" in that context. But it would drive me batty!! I have no idea what the difference between jam and jelly are but I do know I do not like jelly at all. I don't mind jam but only on a scone with clotted cream!! haha.
    And I'm not a milk drinker at all. Recently, I switched to almond milk in my coffee and love it.

  35. haha great post! I'm with you, after a while it doesn't feel expat-y anymore, just life :)

  36. This was so insightful, thanks for sharing your story with us!

    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

  37. I'm SO late to commenting on this but I wanted to tell you I really loved hearing your story and found so many parts interesting! You loving America because of the Babysitters Club is so. much. YES.


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