By Y | May 4, 2013
I enjoy writing about what happens in my day-to-day life on this website. It’s sort of my online travel diary. If there’s something on my mind I can get my little fingers typing and usually as I write, things get sorted in my head. I don’t expect anyone to read my blog. They’re my experiences and why would anyone want to read about that? But in the 6 years that I’ve had this website, I’ve had heaps of people comment on the site and/or email me about their thoughts on the website. And every time I get a message about how that person can relate to what I am going through or have gone through, I’m truly amazed. I’ve had wonderful people email to say that they’re homesick and my experiences have comforted them and I’ve had Americans, Australians, Swedish, British, and countless other nationalities tell me that they’ve found my thoughts and experiences amusing. Thank you friends – your support and comments mean a lot to me!
The other day I received a reply to an old post that was quite disturbing. Here is the censored version of it:
“I know I’m replying to a years old post, but f*** you.The US lets thousands die because of a lack of health insurance, that would NEVER happen in Australia. You're an over opinionated f***ing b**** who should have been given a punch in the face and told to shut the f*** up years ago. I hope you're back in the US now because the last thing we want is some stupid yank from the land of "universal healthcare is communism" telling us our healthcare is backward. F*** you.”
Oh dear, where to start…
OK I will start with the obvious.
It’s not a years old post, dumbass. It’s a 5 year old post. I was in Australia for less than a month at that point. Every single experience here was brand new for me. The tone and subject matter I write about has changed drastically here as I have grown and learned my way around Australia and Australian ways and customs.
Also, I was speaking about my experience with 2 doctors that I had seen at that point. I was not generalizing. I was speaking about experience-specific but you may not be educated enough to know the difference.
And most importantly, if you don’t like my posts, then you have all the power in the world to NOT read them. Don’t like what’s on my blog? Find something else to read. Don’t like what’s on the internet? Turn the computer off and get a life.
I support President Obama’s healthcare reform. Not that I needed it, my employment in the US at a public school provided me with very good healthcare, but I do believe in everyone having access to healthcare regardless of how much they earn. I grew up poor and didn’t have health insurance but if I was ill I was taken care of. I even had my tonsils taken out when I was 12. I didn’t die because I didn’t have health insurance so I don’t know where you are getting your information. I never had to wait 2 hours to be seen by a doctor as it is very common here and every doctor I ever saw in the US believed in preventative care something that I have seen some doctors here lack.
Australia’s health system is far from perfect, as you can see here (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/patients-dying-in-queensland-hospital-emergency-departments-waiting-for-treatment/story-e6frg6oo-1226035019242) and here (http://www.news.com.au/travel/man-dies-after-waiting-four-hours-in-an-ambulance-outside-nambour-hospital/story-e6frfq7r-1226441798306) and I can fill up this post with many more examples (some firsthand experiences) but there’s no need. I won’t justify my thoughts anymore than I have already.
I love Australia. It’s my home now. I’m allowed to be critical of something that I see can be better, just like I am critical of things in America. I couldn’t imagine writing something negative about France because I have never been so I wouldn’t consider myself well-versed based on some things I may have read or seen on the internet or news. That’s only for pompous idiots.
Ok, now for the not so obvious…
When I first read that hateful email, I wondered what would possess a person to write those evil words to someone they don’t even know. There are lots of things I don’t agree with but I do 1 of 2 things. I either address them and say something along the lines of “I beg to differ because of (fill in the blank)”. I would like to have a meaningful discussion where each side is heard. That’s what brings about change. Or I ignore it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how off they might be. But no one should feel attacked by an ignorant bully.
Who in their right mind really thinks it is OK to attack someone like that? Someone said that he must be mentally disturbed. I don’t agree with that statement. I work with the severely mentally ill and not one of my clients would ever think of expressing such hate to someone whether to their face or in an email. Only someone morally ill could think of doing something like that. It brings to mind the quote:
“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm S. Forbes.
Someone who will sit down and take the time to write something so explicitly heinous is not a good person in general. He is a bully and needs to get help.
By Y | April 30, 2013
Got an order of our favorite American goodies, including Snapple.
First Snapple in at least 4 years. I think I had an orgasm!
By Y | April 29, 2013
I’m still absolutely amazed that the NRA is more important than the lives of innocents.
By Y | April 22, 2013
LJ fell over and bumped his head. At first I thought it was funny because he was on the floor when he did that so only my son would hurt himself while already playing on a carpeted floor, but he came over so I could kiss his boo boo better and do my traditional Puerto-Rican boo boo chant which my husband finds campy as it is, and I felt his bump. It was huge! My little boy had a knot the size of a golf ball on his head – just from falling over on the floor! MJ questioned if we needed to take him the hospital. I said as long as he didn’t fall asleep within the next half hour or so he would be fine. So LJ sat on the couch holding his boo boo while watching TV leaving MJ and me (mostly me) to chuckle about the klutziness in my genes that I have passed down to our children and about home remedies.
ME: Butter. Mom always put butter on my head bumps.
ME: Yes butter.
MJ: That’s ridiculous.
ME: Butter or home remedies?
ME: What about corn starch on diaper rashes?
MJ: Well that worked.
ME: Well see not all my mom’s home remedies are ridiculous. And just to prove it I shall Google butter on head bumps.
And sure enough there were lots of entries for butter on head bumps – -with at least one medical site confirming its healing properties! See my mom was awesome and I didn’t even know it! I went on to tell him about all the other home remedies my mom would do when I was a kid.
Toothpaste on burns? Liquid Jell-O mix for diarrhea? Black coffee rubbed on your eyes when they were crusted over with pink-eye? Butter and crushed aspirin on a bruise? Noxzema for sunburns?
To my dismay MJ hadn’t heard of any of these! Not a single one! Which made me sad. MJ didn’t fully enjoy his childhood and didn’t get as many scrapes, bumps, and bruises as I did, or his parents weren’t nearly as poor as my mom and they were able to afford to buy proper medications for their children. Either way, I survived my childhood, something must have worked! Hopefully my kids fare better and we don’t have to resort to any type of home or store-bought remedy! But tonight, I did put butter on LJ’s head for good measure.
By Y | February 13, 2013
By Y | February 10, 2013
Facebook gets bombarded with snow blizzard pictures and statuses are “OMG it’s snowing” as if it’s a surprise that one should get snow in NJ, in the winter, in the coldest month of the year.
By Y | February 3, 2013
If you could have only one food for the rest of your life and it wouldn’t affect your health in any negative way, what food would you choose?
PIZZA! Not just any pizza though, proper East Coast American pizza (New York pizza specifically)! If I had to choose the pizza parlor it came from, I would choose my favorite childhood haunt, Romeo’s Pizza!
Damn, I’m hungry now.
By Y | February 1, 2013
When I was in school, a very long time ago, books were given to us on loan. At the beginning of the school year you were given your textbooks and then at the end of the year you gave them back for other students to use after you. You had the option of covering your textbooks. If you chose not to cover your textbooks, then you ran the risk of having to pay a damage fee when you returned your books. Notebooks and the like were yours to do as you pleased, since you bought it. Because we never had much money for fancy book covers, we used brown paper bags and a black marker to tag it and if you were anything like me a few doodles here and there. I considered myself very fortunate if I was able to score plain brown paper bags without the store logo or name on it! I went to public and private school growing up and I did this to my books in private school as well.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago when I became a parent to a school age child. When LJ started Kindergarten, I was given a list of supplies he needed- a book list – even though technically there weren’t any books on the list, just a bunch of notebooks and pads. On the first day of school I brought in all the supplies neatly labeled with his name. To my horror, I saw that every single student had brought in their notebooks and pads COVERED with fancy sticky contact paper! Immediately, I handed them to my husband for him to make them disappear until we could quickly get the same type of contact paper and cover them so LJ wouldn’t feel like the odd duck out.
Two years later, I’m so over it. On his book list this year, again there were no books, just notebooks of various sizes. Why in the world do you need to cover notebooks?? Notebooks are there for self-expression not to be covered up with the same crap as the masses. And do you know how difficult it is to properly cover a floppy notebook with sticky paper? Very hard. So much so, MJ took it off my hands because I was doing it all wrong and leaving bubbly bits everywhere. So this year, I have boycotted contact paper. I was planning on not covering the notebooks at all but LJ insisted that he have covers because they’re cool to look at, so I got him easy slip on ones that I found on the internet, similar to the fancy ones that the kids with money had at school when I was kid. They weren’t expensive at all. They were actually cheaper than the contact paper and much easier to slip on. However, if brown paper bags were easily available now, I would have suggested he use that and I’m sure he would have loved it because he does take pride in being an odd duck sometimes because he’s more enlightened than his mama.
By Y | January 28, 2013
It’s Australia day (well, the observation of the day. It was actually on Saturday!) It’s been 5 years to the day that we arrived here and made this place home. The decision to move wasn’t made overnight and was never made lightly. We sold/gave away/left everything we had ever owned to start fresh in a new country with just the few things we were able to save. Our son was less than 2 years old, sill speaking baby gibberish, and we took him away from the only home – the only family, he had known. I left my extended family behind and everything I had ever claimed to know.
5 years later, we are all doing well.
MJ is happy to be home and feels he’s getting more accomplished than he had in NJ with his own business and slowly fulfilling our ambitions.
LJ took to Australia like a fish to water. He’s a regular Aussie eating meat pies and sausage rolls and chips not fries, with sauce not ketchup. CJ has only ever known Australia as home and he’s growing up to be a fair dinkum Australian. To both boys, America sounds like a faraway magical place with yummy food, theme parks, and strangers for family, they would like to visit but never live because they are and will forever be Aussie boys.
I like to think I have adjusted nicely. I still miss home desperately but the home I miss is the home in my memories. I know that so much has changed in NJ that in all honesty, I couldn’t imagine living back there. Trust me, I have thought about moving back a lot these past 2 years but I wouldn’t want to run the risk of uprooting my children from their home for a home that doesn’t really exist anymore.
I have made considerable strides to make this place my home and I think I have achieved it. I’m working, driving, shopping, meeting people, living…
5 years later, I’m not only an American living in Australia but also an Australian who has lived in America.
By Y | January 25, 2013
MJ has been in a mood today. Nothing has been going right on his day off so the long weekend is off to a great start. To cheer him up I let him choose what’s for dinner. He suggested Takeaway (Take out for the American peeps) but he can’t decide what. When he’s down, the doctor (that would be me) prescribes the greasiest of foods so the following is the conversation we had in the kitchen:
Me: Hmm, what about those dildos you like to eat?
MJ: I do not eat dildos. Do you mean battered sausages?
Me: Yea, those. Do you want one of those?
MJ: Not now, I don’t.
He did end up having one but was highly offended that I called it that, even though he knew exactly what I was talking about. Well it’s a sausage and it’s covered in batter and deep fried, causing the batter to misshapen a bit. MJ didn’t let me take a picture of it before he ate it and I’m feeling too lazy to look one up. Trust me. Use your imagination.
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