an overflowing bin & a parking ticket

IMG_7944I know. I know. It’s full. And — somehow — our bin got missed, even though we thought we had it in the right place on the curb. And the recycling truck doesn’t come back around for 2 more weeks. And our red regular-garbage/rubbish bin is almost full.

Don’t panic, Angie.

It’s funny (or not) how I talk to myself these days and the topic of those 1-sided discussions. I can honestly say I never panicked about recycling before, but suddenly I’m thinking thoughts that never before crossed my mind like…should I get up in the middle of the night and stick recycling in neighbor’s bin or to the shopping center?

Thankfully, a new mom friend from Lizzy’s kinder (preschool) came to the rescue, offering that her recycling bin had room.

I never thought I’d hug someone over taking my trash before.

Since we’re on the topic of “foreigner tax,” we had another one just yesterday in the form of a parking ticket. For $74AUD. (Fortunately it’s a bit less painful when translated to $60USD.)

IMG_8068

We had marked our calendar for yesterday, planning to go see a free Bubble Soccer all-day competition on the beach. We drove 40 minutes south from our house and found a great parking space. It didn’t dawn on me, “This is a block from the water. Would such a space be free?” The path to the park for the game didn’t pass us by the token 1 or 2 parking “pay here” machines. It was only when we walked back to the car after being gone 3 hours that we saw a machine. And saw the faint numbers in front of each car on the foot path (sidewalk).

Uh-oh.

Honestly, when we saw the white ticket taped to the windshield, we thought the penalty would be higher. (I have a friend whose husband floored it to get through a train intersection before the arms could come down, and he was slapped with a $1200 fine. Ouch.)

But the day was still fun and we continue to learn…and learn to laugh at ourselves and whatever situation we can’t quite navigate as Americans.

Bubble Soccer -- a total hoot, especially at the beginning of the game and after each goal. The teams line up on each end and run toward each other to get to the ball first, knocking each other over and top speed. Should we be laughing and cheering it? Ha!
Bubble Football (aka our soccer) — a total hoot, especially at the beginning of the game and after each goal. The teams line up on each end and run toward each other to get to the ball first, knocking each other over and top speed. Watch video.
One of Joshua's very favorite places to be although his serious face doesn't show it. Maybe he was hearing the faint sound of our parking ticket being written.
One of Joshua’s very favorite places to be although his serious face doesn’t show it. Maybe he was hearing the faint sound of our parking ticket being written.

The final “foreigner tax” confession is about light bulbs — and how many trips to the store and purchases –it me to get the right bulb. Have you seen such different sizes and…shapes? And this doesn’t even include 2 others not pictured that I tried. To my credit, try #4 fit and worked but, as Scott noted, it was like staring into the sun.

Oh, so I guess I have to pay attention to the wattage and the size? I almost cried. Ok, not really. But almost. Next you’ll ask me to pat my head and rub my stomach and make sure I put the recycling in the right location on the curb.

IMG_7955

To end with a good laugh (because we actually are in a good grove and enjoying living here more and more), I give you great glimpses of Australia.

IMG_6453

IMG_6089

Because you say, "I have gastro" to describe any stomach issue.
Because you say, “I have gastro” to describe any stomach issue.
Remember, it's a very international city. Sometimes you just have to state the basics. On the back of the toilet stall.
Remember, it’s a very international city. Sometimes you just have to state the basics. On the back of the toilet stall.
Kind of like an impulse item at the petrol (gas) station. Oh yeah! I forgot I need to cut the grass. Oh look! I can rent one right here. How convenient.
Kind of like an impulse item at the petrol (gas) station. Oh yeah! I forgot I need to cut the grass. Oh look! I can rent one right here. How convenient.
Our neighbors don't need that rental service. They have turf instead. And that's...not an uncommon sight here. Aussies don't spend lots of time on their grass here. Water and time are too valuable to do that and, truthfully, they'd rather relax and "play." Our garden (back yard) is an example of the landlord's place of value -- it wasn't ever really seeded for grass but rather a compilation of various weeds, we think.
Our neighbors don’t need that rental service. They have turf instead. And that’s…not an uncommon sight here. Aussies don’t spend lots of time on their grass here. I can count on one hand how many really-well-tended lawns I’ve seen since moving here. Water and time are too valuable to do that and, truthfully, they’d rather relax and “play.” Plus, some spaces like this plot in the front of our neighbor’s house is so small, they probably think. 
Hannah, our babysitter, sitting at the Cru stall (booth) at Melbourne University during the first week of school.
Hannah, our babysitter, sitting at the Cru stall (booth) at Melbourne University during the first week of school.

Oh, and the beginning of the school year on college campuses for Cru has gone great! God is moving and we’ve heard of about a dozen or so university students from across Australia who have heard about Jesus (probably for the first time) and made a choice to follow Him. Amazing in light of the country’s secular reality.

Who knows what is yet to come!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s