Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Prodigal Blogger Returns

The Transportation Security Administration take their jobs very seriously. We were body scanned and had our hand luggage and /or our checked baggage rifled through at every single airport we stepped foot in. I forgot at the first airport that I had 110 mls of coconut sunscreen in my hand luggage and we got ripped out of the line and questioned. Another time  Mr. P had a breath mint in his pocket that looked like an ecstasy tablet.  I'm pretty sure that was what placed us on a watch list for every subsequent airport. At one point I was pulled aside by a security dude who, to add insult to injury, was pissing himself laughing , because apparently the bras in my hand luggage looked suspicious. The only thing suspicious about it was that he hadn't ever seen bras that huge before and he was obviously concerned I could make a Sherman Tank out of all that underwire on the 29 minute flight between islands. 

I strongly suspect that Mr. P wearing this t-shirt didn't help our cause. And I'd like to point out that my checked bags were only fully searched when they were mislabelled with Mr. P's name. Yep-it's official- my husband looks suss. 



In comparison, on my arrival back in Australia I duly declared my 345 packs of Oreos (I literally squealed when I saw the huge range in supermarkets there) and one of everything single thing Hershey manufactures, 400 York Peppermint Patties, maximum allowable amounts of cheap liquor, and my awesome wooden salad hands. I could have been a mule for a Columbian drug cartel carrying 19 kilos of A grade cocaine but because I was speaking with an Aussie accent mate, I was just waved through without a bag check. My fears of ending up on an episode of Border Security and having my Oreo stash confiscated were completely unfounded. 



It took me forever to get over the culture shock of being in another country. There were so many things that were different and not just the obvious ones like accents and driving and money and the fact that I gained an extra day that I also lost again somewhere over the Pacific en route home. America did you know your butter is completely different to ours? Is yours made from albino cows or something? And why does all your bread taste like someone fell over into the dough vat with a 20 kilo bag of sugar?  Any why are brown eggs more expensive than white eggs? Don't all eggs come from a chickens butt? What's up with your bacon? The good bit is missing.  What do you do with it? Why is your walk man at the traffic lights white and not green? Why are your light switches upside down? And why do your toilets suck everything down with a g force that was so great that I was concerned for my life every time I had to pee? I found that so amusing I had to video it.  Pondering this and other imponderables kept me amused for hours. 


American Butter 
The Aussie variety 
On the other hand American restaurant chains are the shitz. I fell in love with them and the price of booze in the US. I thought Mr. P was going to wet his pants when he bought a bottle of Canadian Club for 13 bucks. I had to remind him to start breathing again. How you aren't all obese alcoholics has me buggered.  I swear if I lived there I'd be drinking Southern Comfort like it was water and staggering to Denny's 3 times a day for fully loaded cheese fries. And I'd eat breakfast at least three times a day too. In fact , some days I did. I also defiled your bread by adding Vegemite at every possible opportunity. 



I bow before your burger greatness America. You ARE the masters. Hand you a hunk of hamburger mince and some cheese and you knock out something that is awesome in a way Australian burgers will never be. 



And you know how to do proper chocolate fudge cake too... Cheesecake Factory how I love you so. I miss you already. If I could have worked out a way to get this stuff home without it growing fur and going green I would have done it. 



It wasn't all eating and getting shit faced on cheap booze (although I have noticed an inordinately large amount of food and cocktail pictures among our holiday snaps). We did see some of the sights too. Sea turtles and lava and hydrangeas the size of my head. Pearl Harbor, a palace, gorgeous beaches and hula dancers. Most of Hawaii is incredibly beautiful. And we only drove on the wrong side of the road twice.  



And naturally I managed to accidentally stumble into a few quilt shops. And had to post 40 pounds of fabric home in secret because that was the only way of keeping Mr. P from knowing exactly what I bought to augment my already overflowing stash ....



I came home to this jar of treasures that Little P had been collecting for me since we left. It doesn't get any cuter than that. 



Things that are treasures to a three year old
On the agenda for this weekend is getting re-acquainted with my sewing machine and spending some serious time in my pyjamas. And drinking some decent tea. And sleeping. And trying to find a recipe for chocolate fudge cake because the 12 pounds I put on overseas simply wasn't enough. 



52 comments:

Rachel said...

The butter, who knew? The bread-have you checked the obesity stats in the US? Eggs-Apparently we will pay more for color....Bacon-OK, I didn't know I was missing anything...LOL...Now I am sad (and I still don't know what I am missing...LOL)Nice fabric haul!! OK, that jar is the best thing I have seen in days! That is SO sweet!!!

Suzan said...

I am most curious about the bacon. Does your bacon actually have meat on it? I know ours is mostly fat. I prefer the color of our butter mostly because your yellow butter looks like our margarine (which is gross). You can't get Oreo's in Australia? Let me know when you need more and if it doesn't cost an arm & leg, I will gladly send some down to you!

I used to live in Hawaii and was back over to visit about 5 years ago. I think I need another trip!

Jennifer said...

You had a good time, didn't you! Have you bought a new piggy bank to start saving for the next trip?

Brenda said...

Bahahahaha - you are hilarious and how interesting all the differences! (I too am in love with the Cheesecake Factory)

Michelle Ridgway said...

OMG How I have missed you. Your travel log has had hubby and I in stitches. I think you should put out a travel guide. Lol! Sounds and looks like you had a ball. Good for you. Fantastic post. I knew it would be. I have been looking forward to it.
Great to have you back on the air again.
Hugs xx

MB in MI said...

awesome post--thanks for the LOL! so glad you and your hubby had a good trip!!

Elizabeth said...

I told Mr. Bug that the little walk man is white, but he insists that he's green. Thanks for the tie-breaker ;).

I loved this post. Absolutely loved it! I'm so glad you had a good time. I wish I could have met you. Next time Utah, OK?

Your photo collages are so much fun!

xo -E

P.S. Cheesburger Mac is one of my favorites! I hope you enjoy it!

Sheila said...

Welcome home.You are soooo funny,hope your PJ's still fit you. We have a variety of Oreo's here in SA, saw them at Foodland yesterday, but much prefer TimTams if i am going to have a choccie biscuit. I saw a pic on a blog yesterday of someone having a toasted cheese sandwich , made with cinnamon fruit bread.. yet more sugar in the bread..Probably delicious but i don't think i could do it.
Your fabric purchases
are impressive... can't wait to see what you do with them

Kirsten's Cooking said...

It's so great to read about your trip! Who knew how different our countries were??
I've never been to ihop, cheesecake factory, and maybe been to Denny's once! Glad you enjoyed yourself!!! Did you seriously gain twelve pounds?
Love the photo collages!
Sorry about the tsa issues!

Char said...

Sounds like you had a marvelous time!
I don't know what the difference is with the butter, maybe ours really isn't butter at all.
I think you must have been looking at the wrong people. We are all obese alcoholics! Lol
I really love your treasures. What a great gift from Little P!
I'm glad you enjoyed yourself!

Vesuviusmama said...

Welcome back!!! You've got me giggling good, looking at America through someone else's eyes. And may I say, your orange butter looks radioactive! What do you add to make it that color? So, your food is more expensive than ours, huh? Maybe if I visited down under, I'd lose some weight? Love your treasures. I'm looking forward to reading your posts again!

Katy Cameron said...

Ha, I'll have to post my Atlanta airport story sometime, but in brief they were convinced I was over there to marry one of the good ole' boys ;o)

Sugar keeps North America going though, it's scary the things it finds its way into - salad dressing? WTF?!

Marie said...

shay ... sounds like a good time was had by all....the treasures are adorable (as is the fire truck fabric) ....

evidently I need to charge more for my brown eggs ... I get green ones too.... hummmm

Karen said...

You have got that right on the burgers...there are SO many amazing places for burgers along with incredibly high calorie fries to go with...problem is locating those fabulous burgers in some cities. Sounds like you had a fantastic time!

Pokey said...

Love you Shay!!! Although I do not know what is wrong with our bacon, we enjoyed every bite of a pound this morning, 3 adults who should know better, but ah, we hadn't had any for 3 months, for some reason.... glad you're home with your memories and treasures, and your gifts from that special little fireman in your life ~
:-}pokey

Julianne said...

Oh Shay! You are so frigging entertaining..what a great post! Glad you had a good time and made it back home safely....I love Hershey bars too....just let me know when your stash runs out...I'll mail some to ya!

Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

Hi Shay

Welcome home!! So good to have you back.
You are so right about that butter and the sweet bread!!
No Bakers Delight on the corner.

Sounds like you had a fab time. You posted the fabric home but what about shoes???? Did you buy any???

Cheers

Linda

Sue SA said...

Welcome home, have missed you...well your hilarious posts! Love the treasure trove that sweet boy saved for you.
Hmmmm dont start me on the price of food in USA and the subsidies they pay their farmers that our farmers DONT get. However I think but will not swear to an answer regarding the colour of our butter...would be the diet our cows have? We keep our dairy cows outside...cos it doesnt snow here, so they eat pasture, rather then being housed in a shed and fed hay or ?
Didnt I warn you about the airport security, still glad you didnt get arrested or appear on TV or worst even have your calorie ladened goods taken away! I forgot to try Hersey while we were in Hawaii...I was desperate to try take away chinese in those cute boxes, but forgot to do that too! I have a good recipe for Rocky Road with Oreo's if your interested...after you come to terms with cooking for yourself v eating out!
Happy PJ wearing stitching!

Cindy said...

Welcome back, Shay!! I have missed your humor more than I can even begin to tell you!! So you are a big oreo fan, huh? Maybe we can work out a deal...you be my chocolate pimp and I'll be your oreo pimp...we'll talk later. :) xoxo

Helsie said...

Wonderful! I'm glad you've had a great holiday. There's nothing that can beat traveling overseas... in so many ways... and the food is one of them! I'm surprised that you haven't gained more from the way you are talking!!
Cheers

AnnieO said...

Well I guess I won't need to send home Oreos for you with Loz, but if you have run through them by the next five weeks, just let me know :) Loved your description of American food--yes there is a love affair with sugar in everything. Glad you got to see all the sites and sights, even though they may have been blurred a bit by all the alcohol and carb loading :) The fabric haul looks yummy! Little P's collection is Awwwwww inspiring!

Kris said...

Give it up Shay! I know you had the bread analysed cause you know exactly what's in it! 20kg of sugar! When my daughter lived in the US one of the first things she requested was a bread recipe. She figured anything that called itself bread AND lasted for two weeks or more had to have very bad things in it. Plus it tasted wrong. She had never baked anything at home. For the 12 months she lived there, she baked her own bread. Oh. And you're right. Eggs are eggs baby.

Kristie said...

Welcome home!!! I love that 90% of your post is about food. So glad you had a great time eating and drinking and playing in Hawaii, and I LOVE the treasure jar homecoming gift, so precious!

Tazzie said...

You are hilarious Shay! It's so funny how the Aus and USA things are same but different, each time I visit I find something new to amuse me - and it's fun to see it anew thru someone else's eyes. Can't wait so see you and hear more about your adventure!
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Jackie said...

Glad you enjoyed visiting the USA! Who knew about the butter? I wonder if the eggs were free range? Definitely pay more for those. I have to say, I really dislike Oreos.

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Welcome home - and thanks for your view on the US. ( I have never been there) kept me in stitches! Glad you had a good time and I love the treasure jar.
Now you have got me wondering about brown eggs vs white eggs - are they on a superior (read more expensive) diet? Or are there fewer hens laying brown eggs ...... the mysteries in this world ....

Dianne Neale said...

Welcome home and thanks for the best laugh I've had since you left! I agree with the bacon. It's similar here so we have to smuggle it in!

thea said...

Hey, welcome back. I was hoping you'd get sent to San Francisco and I'd have to bail you out of some trouble or something, but no luck. Probably better for you.

so, does the butter taste the same? I can't imagine what the difference is? Maybe ours is treated with something or maybe it's not even real butter. What is your bacon like? I need to see it -- and does that taste different?

I'm so glad you enjoyed your time in Hawaii. You even made me want to go there.

Sooli said...

Hahahaha! Great post, I kacked myself laughing when I read that Americans pay more for brown eggs than white ones! Seriously is there a shortage of black chickens over there cos they're the ones that lay the brown eggs, thats the only difference! Where's the big meaty bit of the bacon? Do they only have the skinny fatty bit? Where do the best bits end up? Sugar in the bread, that explains why those rolls at KFC were always so sweet, makes sense now! and gold star to you for only driving on the wrong side twice, you're a legend as far as I'm concerned! I won't mention the 40 pounds of fabric if you don't, what happens on holiday stays on holiday! Great to have you back!

Shevvy said...

Am glad you are back luv, its been quiet without you.

Agree about the butter, its very odd there isn't it? Must admit I liked Dennys for breakfast as well.

cindi said...

this post was too funny. glad you had a great trip. but... did you realize that you were in the most expensive state in the us? if you had come to the mainland you would have been really shocked. and what is missing from our bacon? i am curious about that one. glad you're back and love the treasures that were awaiting you in the jar.
cindi

Susan said...

Just read your posting as Hubby and I headed off to bed. Laughed our butts off! Just wanted you to know that we do drink Southern Comfort often and there is a Denny's down the way, so we're there at least every 2 or 3 days. They know us by name and we seat ourselves! I think I can legally claim our favorite waiter as a dependant now. So glad you had a blast here in the states. My husband only had one question, do they ration chocolate in Australia? It seems like almost everything that you brought back contained chocolate. Do we need to get a telethon going to raise money and send chocolate to the families of Australia? Just kidding! Glad your are back!

Amish Stories said...

Fall greetings to everyone and hello from an Amish community in Pennsylvania. Richard from Amish Stories.

Susan Standen said...

Damn, I missed you! Now if Marg would just move into her new palace we can all get back to chatting! Funniest post ever here and loved to hear about your take on that 'other culture'.

Terri said...

Welcome back to Blogland, Shay! We have missed you and your humor. So happy you had a good time after all that trouble at the air ports.
- I have made butter... the color difference is colorant. Lighter butter = less colorant added. (It comes from cream afterall, and unless your cream is really colorful...
- Thick cut bacon sometimes comes with the rind (I'm guessing that is what you missed in our kind.)
- Didn't know our bread was sweet. Were you eating Hawaiian bread? There is a bread that is really sweet, and that is it. (Also, the Hawaiians have a really big sweet tooth - they grow sugar cane, and all those yummy fruits... gotta use some up. I'd guess if you'd visit CA you would find out that there is less sugar in things.
While you were gone we saw a special on TV about the (nasty) snakes in your region... in the houses, poisonous and PROTECTED? (Government is wacky there, too?) I get the shivers just imagining you there. I hope you are going to tell me that it was all a set up, and that the snakes are only in the countryside. (The show was an installment of "Dirty Jobs - down under".
Sorry to have rambled off, but we have lots to catch up.
Hugs

Kate said...

Glad you made it home in one piece. Great fabric and chocolate acquistions. Great photos. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

Welcome back to blogland. You've been missed.

Mistea said...

Looks like the perfect holiday.
Food and fabric are what being in the US is all about after all.
All the colour from the butter ends up in the cheese - didn't you notice how dark that is?

Lovely welcome home treasures.

Baa-Me Kniits said...

Looks like you had a fabulous holiday Shay! I bet it was nice to be home too though. Glad you are back :-)

Liz said...

Hilarious, thank you for a great laugh. I'm in Aust too, and heading off for the US in two days, can't wait to see all the differences too. Loved the huge bra comment and Mr P's t-shirt!!

Seams Inspired said...

Snorting so loudly I've awakened my family. LOVED this post and have missed you in Bloggerville. So glad to hear you had a fabulous time in the good ol' U.S of A. Can't wait to see what you create with your new stash of fabrics. Can't even imagine what I'm missing in my bacon. And can probably help you with the fudge cake recipe. Happy Sunday night, Shay! :)

Nanci said...

Too funny Shay! We all missed your humourous blogs. Your adventure into American culture is what makes America. Europeans come to America and wonder at the food stores, the fast food chains, and the electronic hardware available....we in Canada have some shocks into them as well.
The brown eggs are scarce due to the chickens not being bred as much as the white egg chickens...and your country really really colours their butter...even ours here in Canada is pale in comparison.
Glad to see the stash of candy stuff and of course sending care packages home is always a surprise to see. But best is L'il P's package for you. So welcome back!

Quiltn Mama said...

We Americans aim to please...love mister's t-shirt, too! What's veggie whatever..the stuff you smeared on our perfectly good bread?

AMW said...

Glad you had a great trip. Fun to read the differences... Laughed through the whole post!

Cynthia L. said...

I am so glad you are home and that you enjoyed your trip. Your photos are wonderful! Your fabric stash is wonderful and I can't believe you stopped at that. I think things are expensive here, so it if funny for you to say it is so cheap! Funny how things are so different from country to country!

Pam said...

I just found your blog and had to follow, you have many values and lifestyle choices identical to mine.
I have not been to the States yet but have been to WA 3 times and love it. I do buy quite a bit of fabric from the States as even with postage and the dreaded VAT it is still much cheaper, if you look around, than the UK, and much of it never gets here.

Amanda said...

Glad to see you are safely back in land down under and sounds like you have had a wonderful time. Had to laugh about the posting fabric back.

P. said...

Welcome back! Sounds like a fantastic time. I really enjoyed this post and hearing your funny and unique voice/perspective again.

Logopaedchen/Kirsten said...

You´re back!! i am o glad you survived the cultural shock. Wait til you get to Germany one day! THAT will be a real shock!!!
Sounds like a fabulous vacation. I still envy you seeing those wonderful pictures.

Chicken said...

I'm sad that you came to America and I didn't get to see you. I felt better when I found out it was Hawaii, though. Not like I could have met you for a girl's lunch or anything. I'm glad you had fun. Come to the East Coast next time!

Marg said...

Lol I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one that gets pulled up at security check points at airports. If you had that much wire in the bra you were wearing it would set the alarm bells ringing!!!!! Maybe that's my problem too, you should go braless next time, he he he.
Sounds like you had a ball, can't wait to get over there and check out all that food! I won't be defiling any of it with Vegemite though!
Love Little P's jar, isn't he a cutie.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Yay! What an awesome sounding holiday. Lots of yummy food and palm trees. I think I put on weight just reading about all those cultural delacacies. Little P's jar of treasures is sooo cute!!

Jenny Wren said...

Shay - I'm in tears laughing! Way too funny.
I get the butter, bread and bacon thing. Is the butter bleached? I nearly puke when I go past the bread in the supermarket. Last time I was at home in Aus I took a photo of our great bacon - just so I could show my American friends what they were missing out on. And I put my hand in the photo - just for scale!
For the future - travel with the three year old, but be sure to check it's pockets for odd things before hitting security. I travel with kids at least one a year and we have only been pulled aside twice. The first time was when we declared having kangaroo skins (gifts for Americans). The customs guys wernt interested in checking them - they just wanted to see what they looked like! The other time I had very squashed mms in my carryon and they told me I CSS carrying liquid! They have to justify their job somehow.
On the grog front - we have never had a liquor cupboard before! It's nice to be able to afford variety. I was with friend and I was telling her about the jobs I had to do befor going home. One of them was to get a new gas bottle and visit the grog shop. I said that the first stop would be the bottle'o. She assumed that I was getting gas first!
Looking forward to seeing what gets made with the stash!
Oh - I've introduced Fairybread to USA too (made on some not so fluffy stuff from the bakery not the supermarket!)
Carry on!