Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What a Weekend

Now that I’m a regular working girl, those weekends are so important- and yet, so fleeting. Had a good one, chukkas (that’s Aussie for full) with activity.

Friday night, while Adi and his brother went to the footy, I almost burned down the flat by leaving a baked potato in the microwave a bit too long. I was unimpressed that none of the neighbours dropped by to see if I had enough oxygen. The potato itself, after being sucked dry of all moisture, levitated to hit the plastic microwave cover and resulted in melting that. So I’ll get to return to a dollar store. The stench is almost gone and I settled for pasta.

Then we stopped by Toby and Nat’s house because they had a present for me. A case of Barq’s root beer, purchased at the American Food Store. The Aussies passed one around and declared it disgusting, but this is a people who eat vegemite so really, what sort of taste do they have? Anyway, more for me. Still, it was nice of Toby to think of me.

On Saturday, after over a month of nudging Adi, I finally got to meet Bubba. The picture painted of her was one that seemed an almost caricature of a stereotypical Diaspora grandmother. When Adi called her in the morning to arrange our visit, her first words were: ”so, you remembered you had a grandmother.”

When we arrived, I entered her home and her gentle way of breaking the ice with me was : “Thank goodness. You’re 100% better looking than in your photo!” I guess that’s better than the other way around! But she’s a sweet little woman who clearly enjoys her grandchildren as long as they pay her the proper amount of attention, so I’ll work to help Adi do just that!

Saturday afternoon was spent shopping for a piano amp for Adi, as we’ve moved his keyboard into the flat. He has a gig next week so the time was right to satisfy his urge for a new amp, as he’s wanted one the whole time he was travelling.

Saturday night was “date night” to celebrate my first pay check- of which 1/3 went to the government. So that’s how they have universal health care. It might bother me less to pay into it if I were actually eligible to use this health care, but in a few months I should hopefully be a permanent resident and will then be able to do so. Meanwhile, I pay for a private plan specifically for immigrants.

I’ve been jonesing for Mexican so we hopped on the tram to go up to St. Kilda to Amigos. Upon arrival, I looked around at the primarily Eastern European staff and realized that I was the closest thing in the building to a fluent Spanish speaker. Once I resisted comparing the taste of my so-called enchiladas to the kind I’d have at Rosa Mexicana or anywhere in CO, it was good. I was frustrated that we weren’t allowed to bring our leftovers with us, though. Apparently, there is a law against doggy bags. So I’ll have to bring Tupperware and a bigger purse next time. It’s crazy- there are lots of homeless folks who would have enjoyed our leftover chips but instead we watched them get thrown away. This is the first time I was really frustrated by the difference in culture!

After dinner, a friend of Adi’s had directed a show that it supposedly on its way to NYC- off Broadway. Having seen it, I’m thinking more like off-off-Broadway. Or maybe Staten Island. It was horrid, to say the least. (Don’t worry, this particular friend doesn’t know the blog address). It’s called Dutch Courage and is a musical about a group of gay resistance fighters in Holland during the Holocaust. Mel Brooks notwithstanding, Holocaust and musical doesn’t usually equal success. This was no exception, although I did like the song “fags Can’t Fight in Act I. It was a self-indulgent project for Adi’s friend, who also cast himself as the lead, ‘Gretta, the Queen of Amsterdam.’

Sunday was my first Melbourne Jewish Wedding. The Chuppah (for the non-Yids, that’s the ceremony part) was during the day at a beautiful old shul that would normally anger me, but didn’t since men and women could sit together. Then we went home for a few hours and returned in the evening for the reception which wasn’t that different than a good old USA Jewish wedding with a few exceptions. The Hora was segregated, there were two of them and all of the speeches were given with Aussie accents.

It was a fun night and I got to meet a lot of family. And it was the first wedding Adi and I have attended together so it was nice to have a dance partner (though he needs a little work or I need steel-toed shoes!)

This week I’m going to be preparing my matzo crack which I plan to bring to Seders to distract people from the orange I’m planning on slipping onto the table. I am missing having my own annual event, but will be thinking of all the folks I normally celebrate with. Happy Pesach to all!!


Anonymous said...

I will miss your nontraditional seder this year! I realized that I had no idea when Passover even was since it's so long after Easter this year and I have no Evite to tell me! I know, that's bad.
Sorry to hear your Mexican food experience was so disappointing. I'll eat a burrito and some guac for you. And so strange to hear about not bringing leftovers home. Are the portions a lot smaller?

Sheryl said...

no...portions are fairly american sized. And we had guac-- which could have come from king soopers- and then needed more chips. So they brought usmore and then charged us $5 for them. And then we didn't finish the chips so we had to throw them out!

They need qdoba here so badly!!!!

falbs said...

Thanks for the update. I was kind of wondering why none of my Jewish friends showed up to our party this weekend. All is well in SF. Keep writing.

Amy Kopkin said...

The grandmother sounds like a riot. Talk about speaking your mind. Is she Israeli? Is there a decent amount of Kosher for Passover food in your neighborhood? King Soopers and Whole Foods both ran out of Matzah in Boulder. Todd had to go to Loveland!

Sheryl said...

Plenty of jew food in my hood- certinaly more than in Boulder. Melbourne has 50,000 Jews or so, and it seems as though they all live on the bayside. There is a very close-knit group of Polish and Russian survivors...see my next blog, coming soon. Bubba is not Israeli- she's Polish. So very much a diaspora grandma.