"where the crows fly backwards" is an australian saying for a far away or different place. i think the saying is a pretty accurate account of my experiences here in sydney...far away and a little different. i haven't seen any backward flying crows yet, or any crows at all for that matter...however, supposedly the toilets flush backwards, and i do know for certain that australians drive, walk, and bike on the wrong side of the road.
i've been here almost four full days now, and where somethings are different, for the most part everything has been great and is relatively similar to home. many common brands and stores - Target, Blockbuster, Subway, 7-11, Boarders, Ikea, Starbucks (not many though), and of course McDonald's and KFC. KFC is actually a huge sponsor of australian cricket - go figure.
one notable experience, and one i'd been dreading, occurred last night...my first encounter with a cockroach. laugh as you might, i have a legitimate fear of cockroaches and most creepy crawly insects - the larger the scarier. the cockroach scurried across my bedroom floor before i was going to bed last night. i had to confirm with my host mom that cockroaches don't typically crawl into bed with you. Then taking her word, i summoned all my strength and tried my best to fall asleep with my new roommate, c.roach.
if not a traumatic start to a restless night, i was then scared awake at 3am by a wild tropical storm. across most of the country, australia has been experiencing record setting rainfall since i arrived (of course) - and last night was the worst. sideways rain, thunder, lightening, and severe winds. i turned on my light to collect my nerves, looked right and mr. giant spider had joined the party.
at this point, i shifted into survival mode, and was just trying not to die. my bed had become my island, and my goal was to keep it as hazard free as possible - free from a tree coming through my window, the bite of the potentially deadly spider, and the return visit of c.roach sending me into a cardiac arrest.
i am happy to report that i did make it out alive. but today was only day four, and i fear many future encounters with australia's insane weather patterns and scariest creepy crawlies. to be continued...