Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How Australia's becoming that little bit more European

When my (German) husband persuaded me that moving back to Australia was the right thing to do, he used a lot of arguments about the good weather, the friendly people,job opportunities and my family and friends being here. My counter-arguments (which obviously weren't quite as good) included not being able to travel around so much or so cheaply, missing out on culture and a lot of fascinating "old stuff", and missing his family and our friends in Europe.

He won, clearly, but recently I've been really excited to see Perth turning a little bit more European - in odd ways. I'm a firm believer of good (and bad) things coming in threes, so I wasn't surprised when in the space of just one weekend, I observed all of these three items being available in the shops:
  • Fruit tea. Not black tea that's flavoured with fruit (that's NOT fruit tea, as I have fervently mentioned to many waitresses who try to serve me that here in Perth). REAL fruit tea, of the kind that is abundant in Slovakia (where I first became addicted to it) and all over Europe. Now in my local Woolworth's they are finally selling 30-bag packs of Lipton's range of fruit teas. Delicious. I'm still waiting for the ultimate - cherry tea - which I loved to buy at the supermarket in Dlhe Diely, Bratislava ... are you listening, Woolies?
  • European pillows. You know, those funny over-sized square pillows? We have a bunch of pillowcases to fit them, from Germany's Ikea. Personally, I don't like to sleep using one, but my husband does, and this season they are suddenly all over the place. I bought some new pillowcases for our new European pillows at Spotlight and at the checkout the woman said to me, "You know these are European pillowcases, don't you?" - I guess some customers had been bringing them back in disgust since they didn't fit their Aussie pillows. Unfortunately I was obnoxious enough to answer, "Yes, it's OK, my husband is European."
  • Rotkohl. This dish made of red cabbage, imported directly from Germany, appeared on the shelves of our tiny independent supermarket. In fact, there are now four or five imported products from Germany on their shelves, some without translation as to how they should be used. I'm guessing we're one of the few customers who buy them, but I love that they exist.


  1. umm... I hope I don't sound like an idiot, but what kind of pillows do you use if they're not oversized and square?

  2. Good point - I guess knowledge about pillows goes both ways! I think this goes for all English-speaking countries (in my experience) that pillows are rectangular and not much wider than your head. Square ones were a big revelation to me when I first went to Europe!


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