It’s two months since I left Australia today, meaning I’m a third of the way through my exchange. It’s funny, last month when I posted about my one month anniversary, almost everything I said I missed related to food and yet this month, the cravings just aren’t there. I guess the more time that passes the easier it is to cope. That’s not to say that I have stopped missing everything, hell no, I’m just not willing to kill someone in exchange for a taco anymore. Some of the main things I haven’t quite mastered the art of moving on from this month are:
- Singing in the shower. As anyone in my family will tell you, my twenty minute long showers are always accompanied by my iPod hooked into speakers blasting loudly and my extremely off key voice singing along. While I have an ensuite bathroom on a floor with no other bedrooms in my house here, I feel way too awkward even thinking about attempting a rendition of “In Which Draco And Harry Secretly Want To Make Out” or “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” while washing my hair.
- Waking up at eight every day. In Australia, I was not a morning child. At all. If I even had to wake up ten minutes prior to my usual eight o’clock alarm, I would be crappy, tired and all ’round disorientated for most of the day. Of course, here in France my school day begins at eight am, so not only do I have to be awake by then, but I have to have eaten, showered, dressed, caught the bus and be in my classroom by that time, which means a wake up at the horrible hour of six thirty. The last eight weeks have seen me slowly become adjusted to this, and I no longer find myself falling asleep on the bus (well, most days anyway). My mum is likely reading this and silently rejoicing as she thinks I’ll stay being able to function at early hours upon my return to Aus, but she needs to keep dreaming. Sleep-ins are pretty much what I’m most looking forward to.
- On that same line of thought, Staying up later than ten pm. The opposite to being a morning child is, of course, being a night owl. In Aus, eleven was an early night for me. I wasn’t even doing anything particularly crazy; internet, texting, reading… I just was never tired before close to midnight. Waking up at six thirty and ten hour school days, however, have left me exhausted and if I’m not asleep by ten o’clock, pretty much on the dot, I honestly find it near impossible to function the next day. I miss my late nights so much, though I’m sure a combination of jetlag and year eleven procrastination will mean it won’t take me long to get back into the swing of things once I get home.
- Spending all day in my pajamas. I wasn’t exactly the most social creature in Australia, so an average weekend for me involved only getting out of my pajamas to shower. Of course once I started work this changed ever so slightly, but it was a rare weekend for me to be seen in something other than pjs or kfc uniform. Although my weekends are equally as lazy here, I feel awkward letting my Host Family see me in my pajamas (weird? probably) so the first thing I do of a Saturday and Sunday is shower and hop into actual clothes. Sure, my biggest tradition here is “Sweatpant Sunday” where I wear trackies and an old shirt, but I miss lazing around in pjs all day and not having to go to the effort of getting changed before I go to sleep.
- My Dog. Anyone who has ever been to my house and met my dog will laugh at this one and think I’m joking. When I’m at home, my dog annoys the hell out of me. She’s a maltese/poodle and spends her life barking and jumping everywhere, especially when I’m trying to watch something important. Before I left I thought about things I would miss and she was definitely not on the list, so it has surprised me how much I miss her. I miss her company, being able to walk her for exercise (wait…I never actually did that), cuddling with her on the couch and her licking me when she noticed I was sad. While I definitely don’t miss her falling asleep in my bed while being covered in mud, her stealing my slippers and bed socks or her crying at my bedroom door because there’s a storm/my light’s on/she wants to be annoying, I really can’t wait to see her again.
- The Australian School System. Uniforms > No Uniforms. 9-3.30 > 8-5.30. Lots Of Outdoor Space > Everything Inside. Packed Lunch (…because I totally packed mine everyday) > Cafeteria Food. January-December > September-June. Basically, Australian School > French School.
- Australian Supermarkets. I love supermarkets. I know that must seem really weird, but I used to go with my mum in Australia nearly every day. Before I moved, we went at the same time every day and would always see Toong and her mum there. It was like, our tradition. Every time Toong and I have a sleepover we do a ‘supi run’ to buy supplies. At one of our parties we spent over $100 on junk food for five of us. Whoops. While French supermarkets are a novelty in their own way (they sell everything from TVs to fresh fish) they just really can’t compare to good ol’ Coles, Safeway or IGA. Seriously, when I get back, I’m going to walk through the doors of my local Supi, take a deep breath of that amazing supi air and say “I’m home!”.
- One Cent Text. I’m not one of those teens who send hundreds of texts a day but I do text Toong a fair bit. In Aus this is no problem, as we were both telstra and therefore both had one cent text. We could text each other as many random things as we wanted throughout the day (and I do mean random) without worrying. Sadly, sending text messages across the world isn’t quite as cheap. We can’t break our habit though, so for poor Toong especially, quite a lot of credit is being eaten. It doesn’t matter so much for me as I don’t really have another use for my credit over here but I’m sure she (well, her wallet) is going to breathe a sigh of relief once I get back to Aus and switch my telstra phone back on…
- Answering The Phone. I love answering the phone. Even though it’s rarely for me, I always call dibs when it rings at home. While I can’t do that here, I’m very grateful for the fact most teens here prefer calling to texting so I get a few calls a week on my mobile. Definitely something I’m considering continuing once I get home.
- Hugs. Two months is a long time to go without a hug. As one Aussie exchange friend said to me today, “the little kisses are cute, but I miss giving everyone hugs!” I couldn’t agree more. I’m going to be a hugging monster when I get back. On the plus side, my awesome friend Jon just texted me saying he’s likely coming to my town in ten days which means I’ll finally have someone to hug 🙂
It’s weird, when you imagine what you’re going to miss before you leave, you think of people and big things. I never thought I’d be here missing something as simple as chilling in my pjs or doing a supi run, but I guess it’s teaching me to be grateful for the little things in life.
Three and a half months to go.
frangipani princess xoxo