Sleepless in Perth

The last few weeks have been going well, albeit a bit uneventful. School has been starting to pick up and go, and although I’m not struggling to keep up, it’s hard to stay focused and motivated when it’s constantly 70* without a cloud in the sky.

One of the Americans here had never seen Sleepless in Seattle, so we watched it. I hadn’t brought it with me, but I had bought it at Target when I saw it because I didn’t realize just how much I would miss Seattle itself. I knew I would miss my family and friends, but I hadn’t thought much about the city. After living in the area for twenty years, I guess I had learned to take it for granted. It wasn’t until I got here and I looked at pictures of Seattle and kept up with the news that I realized just how much I missed the place. I miss the busy city, the weather (well, not the cold weather, let’s be real), the very vibe of Seattle.

I miss UW’s campus a lot, too. Trying to familiarize myself with a new campus has been tricky, and I miss a lot of the café’s and quiet areas UW had. It’s not that UWA doesn’t have them, it’s just that I have to search them out all over again. I didn’t realize just how much I actually felt at home on UW campus.

And as a true Seattleite, I miss the coffee like nothing else. Starbucks exists very quietly in Australia, for some interesting reasons. I read that in America, Starbucks had fundamentally created the coffee shop culture, and that this culture was already established in Australia when Starbucks came over. Essentially, they couldn’t replace what already existed in its finest form. Thus, no Starbucks in Perth, and only a few in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide. 20 shops altogether, I believe. Last time I checked, you could find about that many Starbucks within any given 2-mile radius in Seattle. I know the first thing I’m doing after my plane touches down at Sea-Tac…

One interesting thing is that you can sometimes tell who the exchange students are by the little things they do or don’t do. For example, they will walk on the right side of the sidewalk instead of the left. I recognized a jacket some girl was wearing because my sister has the exact same one. They cut their food with a knife, put the knife down, and then eat with just their fork. The little stuff, but the stuff that makes you go, hey, I’m not alone.

I do love it here. I’m feeling more and more at home every day. But being here is also helping me to appreciate my real home even more, and it gives the word ‘home’ a much deeper meaning for me. Home is not just a place where all of my friends and family are. It’s a place where all of the little things come together to create an environment where you feel completely safe and comfortable.

Also, Starbucks.

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