Friday, January 13, 2012

From Tundra to Tropics

Exciting news! I'm moving...

...Down Under!

My hot Norwegian why-don't-you-just-get-married-already boyfriend is transferring internally with his company and I, the good shacker upper that I am, am joining him as a trailing spouse!

We'll be moving to Brisbane in February 2012 once his Temporary Business (Long Stay) - Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457) - got that?- visa is approved, which should be 2 to 5 weeks as of this writing.

As much as I've "enjoyed" my post-grad school life of leisure the past few months I'm ready to get back to work, so as soon as we touch down we'll be 1) searching for an apartment in a rental market tighter than Buns of Steel and 2) securing employment for me. If you happen to be in charge of an International Office at one of the three universities in Brisbane, and happen to need an extra body, and you happen to be reading this, give me a holla. It's time to put my edu-ma-cation to work!

Here is a short list of the things I hope to do/see/experience during my minimum-two-years stint living in Oz:

#1 Watch Steve Irwin dangle a baby in front of a crocodile

That baby is half grown by now and a sting ray smote him good, so I'll have to settle for visiting his zoo, the cleverly named Australia Zoo. Zoos to me are like cigarettes or heroine to others. I know it's wrong but I just can't quit them.

#2 Dive in the Great Barrier Reef

This will require me to get PADI certified, which I stupidly started but did not finish when I lived in the US many moons ago. I have zero faith in the assholes we call humanity so you know that reef won't be around much longer. I want to get a good up close and personal look before it's all gone (or bleached to smithereens; see asshole comment above - that was not a coincidence).

#3 Eat kangaroo

I'm working on the assumption that seeing a live kangaroo is a given. Eating one, however, might take more effort. I have really come to enjoy moose meat (as you will see in a future edition of Norsk Mat) and I'm expecting kangaroo to taste similar: Meaty, gamey, delicious. There's only one way to find out, NOM NOM NOM.

#4 Discover (embrace?) the sun

If I'm ever outdoors (and that's a big if) you will find me slathered in SPF 75 or higher, under an umbrella, wearing a hat, bitching about the heat. Then why would I move to Australia you might asking yourself. I have no rebuttal to that.

Australia has the world's highest rate of skin cancer and the sun is legitimately more dangerous than elsewhere due to a thinned ozone layer (or so I hear) so I guess my ultimate goal is to not bitch too loudly - or frequently - about the sun and heat. On the plus side I've purchased some adorable shorts which I look forward to rocking. I haven't worn shorts in years, so I'm excited. With the legs of an East German shot putter I just might be able to pull them off without horrifying the locals.

#5 Go cage diving

If there's only one thing I could choose to do/see/experience while living in Oz it is cage diving.

OMG OMG OMG I cannot wait. Can. Not. Wait.

I love sharks. Nay, I am in love with sharks. Shark Week on the Discovery Channel is the #1 reason I would ever move back to the US (almost). Cage diving and seeing a Great White would be an absolute dream come true. I can't even accurately convey my feelings into words, that is how much I want to do this.

And I will. And it will kick ass and I will probably pee a little from excitement. I just hope I make it into the water before I go on a tinkling spree.

Of course I want to see the Sydney Opera House and visit Ayers Rock (actually I could give two shits less about seeing a rock in the middle of the desert but Martin really wants to see it, so I'm in) and all the other tourist things one must do when visiting Australia. I want to nip on over to New Zealand, but don't care to bother with Fiji. I want to feel fat and inadequate on Bondi Beach, and hold a koala bear if I'm reasonably assured it lives a happy life in captivity.

This will be my third international move in just shy of five years. I am very grateful for the opportunities afforded to me and am very excited for the adventures that lie ahead for Martin & I.

Goodbye tundra, hello tropics! Stay tuned for future tales of cage diving, pants pissing and new adventures.