This week our preplanned class adventure, as they would say in MLB, was postponed due to a rain delay. Seeing an opportunity to check off the list his 463 day, Jordan stepped forward. With a few hours to prepare, he planned the class on the fly so to speak. He quickly booked us a tour of a chocolate factory and let the rest fall into place. When we quizzed him over lunch of our theme for the week he carefully thought and replied, family traditions and things that remind you of home. For his family has a tradition of having lunch and then going out for chocolates.
This struck a cord with me in many ways. First Jordan reminds me of Nolan. So right there he reminded me of home. And his willingness to wing an adventure with the full confidence of a peacock is oh so my son. My post this week reflects once again on my stomach. As the saying goes “home is where the heart is”, and one of my true loves is food.
I have to say my diet and eating habits have changed dramatically since my stay down under. Living by myself and trucking my groceries by hand has minimized my shopping experience. My apartment meals consist of fruits, vegetables, cheese and believe it or not peanut butter. I eat out maybe once every day with the leftovers finding there w ay back to my frig for the next day’s meal. I don’t lack for variety as the world is my menu. But I do find myself craving beef and what is better than a burger. At home I live for BBQ style patties complete with avocado, purple onions and home grown tomatoes cooked medium rare. Here burgers are all cooked medium and come with an assortment of toppings that slightly resemble my state side creations. Aussies are big on their red sauce, aka ketchup, but after that there is no norm to toppings. I have even discovered a cheeseburger complete with beets, pineapple and a fried egg.
I have learned from this experience is that we are all cheeseburgers with our basic ingredients, but it is fun to switch out our “toppings”. Being here has forced me to be my own self motivator. There is no one counting on me for a meal, clean laundry, or to take them to town. I have to be so self driven. I get it, that sounds hilarious, but it is so much harder than it seems. So I have decided that the “toppings” are what makes each day special and different. It increases my yearning to go out and explore. My daily tasks are more easily accomplished. And if I fit in a new location to eat a cheeseburger, well even better.
Australia has been a lovely experience that borders on paradise. It is quickly becoming my new happy place, giving Maui a run for its money. I can have one hell of a Mai Tai at Cheeseburgers in Paradise on Front Street, (Brandy knows) but the toppings just aren’t the same. “Makin’ the best of every virtue and vice, Worth every damn bit of sacrifice to get a, Cheeseburger in paradise”. Thank you Jimmy Buffet for reminding me of something so simple.
And, by the way, the fries down under are AMAZING