Sunday, March 13, 2011

Aussie Firsts This Weekend

The boys watching a street performer in front of the Frauenkirche in Dresden.  Nothing to do with this weekend, just the tortured ambiguities of my soul!
A good one - finally drove a car here.

And a bad one - finally took the national anthem for granted.

As the kids sang 'Australians let us all rejoice, for we are young and free' my mind was on the houses I am looking at, at possible job prospects with the government, on people I needed to talk to about...well, it doesn't matter.  It wasn't where it should have been.

I snapped out of it long enough to realize that, oh yeah, I am in AUSTRALIA!  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!  It helped.  Because while starting over is hard, it reminded me that I am lucky to have all this opportunity to worry about and agonize over.

Or luckier than I would be if I DIDN'T have all of this to worry about in Germany.  (I am sorry, I watched Valkyrie this weekend too, and while I am going to take the sane root and NOT say what I REALLY feel, let it be noted that I DID briefly consider handing in my German passport.  As if that would change anything.   I am very very disappointed in my country.  Let this be grist for the novel!)

On a MUCH lighter note, at least if you aren't driving along the same roads as I am, Damon DID finally let me get behind the wheel Sunday evening.  As I keep reminding him, I never payed that much attention to the road while I was driving on the RIGHT side of it from the LEFT side of the car, so I couldn't really see the difference it was going to make driving on the LEFT side of the road from the RIGHT side of the car. 

Somehow this didn't reassure him.

The car is only a borrowed one from a neighbor - and we aren't officially registered to drive it - so I've been good and kept a low profile.  But I got to drive home from a barbeque at a friend's on Sunday.  (German beer AND Aussie beer for Damon, keys to the car for me!)

It really wasn't all that hard.  Maybe because it was dark.  And maybe because I really DON'T pay that much attention normally!  Or maybe because I've already been here for four months, know nothing else than the view from the left.  And maybe, just maybe, the other thing I have been reminding Damon holds true.  "I may NOT be a brain surgeon, but I AM a veterinary surgeon.  And if I can do a hidden suture with both hands, I think I can probably figure out how to use the stick shift with my left hand."

I can.  I did.  Even almost got the hand of using the signal on the RIGHT instead of the windshield wipers on the left.  Pretty soon I'll even be signalling in the correct direction.  (It is DOWN to go right, UP to go the direction of the wheel...but opposite from a left-sided signal.)

And since I HAVE to draw a pithy little conclusion, let us say all three are about freedom and power.  Personal choices to stay strong and positive (and do the RIGHT thing you ASSHOLES - oh sorry, that just slipped out!)

It may not be much, but at least I can go to the mall on my own now!

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