Another story from Evelyn Taylor, wife of Bryant Taylor, son of Floyd (twin to Lloyd). Bryant and Aunt CB were first cousins:
Lance, Mitchell, Bryant
Evelyn and Pam in front
Living in another country for any length of time requires certain adjustments. In 1968 our family immigrated to Australia, located in the Southern Hemisphere…Gone was the Big and Little Dippers, replaced by the Southern Cross. The seasons were the exact opposite – spring became fall, summer-winter, fall-spring and winter-summer.
To add to our confusion, the hot water tap, not faucet, was on the right and cold on the left. If you watched the water drain out of the sink, it swirled counterclockwise due to the pull of the South Pole.
The toilet was in a separate room from the bath (washroom) and not necessarily right next to it. My first experience with this was when we visited friends in Queensland, I asked where the bathroom was. When I got there, there was no toilet, just a tub and sink. Embarrassed, I had to go back and ask for the toilet which was not a word commonly used in polite society at that time. I was directed to a tiny room off the kitchen, housing the toilet but no sink.
I am writing this showing my adjustments----my husband and children had their own to deal with. One of my most challenging was when I shopped for groceries and cooked.
First of all, supermarkets were just starting to be built. I had to learn to take my “string” bag with me to carry my purchases. This is a nylon cord bag with an open weave which expands to hold purchases.
First, was the green grocer shop to purchase capsicums-green peppers, pumpkin –squash, and unfamiliar named apples. Items were wrapped loosely in paper without string to tie it. By the time I got home, carrots, green beans could be working their way out the openings in the string bag.
Meat was available at the butcher shop. Hamburger was called mince, but beef was not plentiful so became an expensive item. This was sheep country, so lamb and mutton were meat of choice----not one that we liked. Seafood was quite plentiful, especially shrimp called prawns, with legs, feelers, and beady eyes. Ugh!
Another store supplied the staples and “tin” goods, jelly which was Jello, not our jams/jelly. There was no peanut butter. Everyone grows up on Vegimite which tastes like softened, salty bouillon cubes. Another ugh!
My biggest challenge was getting my 25 years of baking recipes to work. Nothing rose up. I had flat cakes, cookies, biscuits. Finally, I got help when I bemoaned the fact to the woman store manager of the small supermarket. She said that another American woman had the same problem until she bought flour which the commercial bakeries used.
The manager offered to order it for me but warned that I had to buy it in a 25 lb. bag which was very “dear” ( expensive), Their flour came in 4 lb. packages as our “down-sized” packages are now--- 47 years later.
We stayed three years and then came HOME. Because of this experience, we were more flexible people, more aware of differences in our own language and customs in another country.
I pose this question to my two grandchildren who now live in Melbourne. Is it different now?