Thursday, January 29, 2009

Through a Visitor's Eyes

About three years ago, my stepson decided to move to Australia. Strange decision, coming from a kid who previously couldn't move himself far enough to attend college classes. Turns out there was a girl involved. He met her on the Internet.

Could have ended in disaster. But instead, Nick and Dani fell in love. He lives with her and her grandmother in an Adelaide suburb. She's a zoology grad student and he's in college (actually attending this time) studying psychology. They are both on summer break from school and have come to America to visit for a few weeks.

It's Dani's first trip to America, and it's been a great deal of fun to experience our country through a visitor's eyes. Of course, being curious types, my husband and I pepper the poor girl for her impressions.

Several things stand out in her mind. The terrible traffic and the huge, multi-lane freeways are alien to her. Super Walmarts and gigantic shopping malls are overwhelming. Then there's the weather. Since she hit Texas, she's been hit with temperatures ranging from the 20s to the 80s. She's had snow, sleet, ice and hail, rain and wind and heat.

Despite all that, she likes it here, or at least she says she does! But the thing that has made the biggest impression on her?


No squirrels in Australia. She finds it freaky-cool that they're everywhere, in the yard and on the roof and running in the streets, and that you can get so close to them. She thinks they're very cute. (Clearly she's never experienced them chewing holes in her house or emptying her bird feeders!)

In a couple of weeks, Nick and Dani are headed for California and Disneyland, the quintessential American tourist experience. I imagine squirrels will fade into the background then.


Trish Milburn said...

Have to admit, I really like squirrels too. I love watching them chase each other through the trees.

I imagine it's totally wild to see a country for the first time. I've not been out of the U.S., so I've not had that experience.

Estella said...

I have an Australian DIL. She says they do not have hummingbirds, either.