1. Winter. Because a year without snow, a year of summer might have sounded good in my head, but I miss the cold days, the teeth-chattering, long-john-wearing, cuddling together for warmth, opening up the oven door for extra heat kind of days!
2. KRAFT DINNER (My Favourite Drunk Food!) Here in Australia they have Easy Mac but it’s really gross. Well, to be honest, KD is pretty gross too what with the fluorescent orange and fake cheese taste, but for me it still has that childhood charm, okay? The food I wasn’t allowed to eat (except on very rare occasions like at my friends or at my aunt’s house when my mom wasn’t there to say NO!) so I put it on this pedestal of unhealthiness, the “BAAAAD” food I’d one day be able to eat whenever the hell I wanted. So, naturally, whenever I’m drunk! Kraft Dinner is my go to drunk munch. Easy Mac on on the other hand, comes in flavours like “chicken” and “bacon” and if that is not disturbing enough you’re supposed to cook it in the microwave instead of on the stove, “EASY” radiation, yum.
3. Mushroom Swiss Angus Burgers from McDonald’s (My Other Favourite Drunk Food)
I know, I know it’s bad. But some nights when I’m coming home from the party and I’m feeling a little wobbly, a tad bit tipsy, making kraft dinner just seems like too much work, and Mcdonalds is open 24 hours… BAM. That burger is like, ultra greasy, fattening, oozing with McChicken sauce and mushrooms, no vegetables to speak of, just all kinds of wrong, pure badness: delicious, terrible badness. The inner obese child from my past rebelling. The kind of the thing you eat and wake up feeling shitty about, but yet, it was still worth it at the time, and you’ll probably do it again a blue moon from now, or sooner… I don’t miss them all the time, just when I’m drunk, so, like, most of the time here in Australia 😉 (Kidding! Mom, Dad, I’m not an alcoholic. I don’t drink on Tuesdays!). But the strange thing is here in Australia they do have Mcdonalds everywhere on every street corner a big shiny golden M just like back home, but there “Mackas” don’t have Mushroom Swiss Angus Burgers they just don’t exist!
4. Board Games! Because I left all of my awesome board games in a box at my parents house on the other side of the world 😦 My poor lonely Balderdash, pictionary risk, sorry, chess, wizard…board games collecting dust. I just haven’t met anyone with a good stash over here. Maybe everyone is too busy playing sports because it’s so warm outside you don’t need to be cuddled up on the sofa with red wine and monopoly… but I’d like to be….
5. POTLUCKS!!! seriously I love potlucks and I told someone that here, and they were like “Whats that? That’s like a really American thing isn’t it?” And I was what!??!!? Is it? Oh my God. I don’t know, I thought everybody had potlucks. Food making, bringing, sharing, eating, the best combination ever. I would have a potluck here but I don’t know that many people so my potluck might be a little sad, like day old vegetables with no hummus!
6. VANCOUVER’S LGBTQ COMMUNITY & QUEER EVENTS!!!! Sure, I’ll admit, I have talked shite, we all complain sometimes about going to an event and having all of our exes in same room, all the people you’ve ever dated, slept with, the ones you tried to sleep with or tried to sleep with you, but it just didn’t work for whatever reason- a little bundle of intimate incestual queerness, and yet I miss this. I miss the familiarity. Of walking into a room and knowing so many people, seeing so many bright smiles, or angry scowls, familiar faces, even if you don’t like them or they don’t like you (anymore)! Even if you don’t know them you probably know someone who’s dated them so you’ve seen them on Facebook or messaged them on Plenty of Fish! It’s like a little family. I’m sure it’s the same here but I’m not included, I’m not linked in on the Melbourne Chart… or maybe I am and I just know it… but regardless I miss events like Prance, and Hershe and Man Up and after attending Brisbane pride and Melbourne pride this year, I can’t wait for VANCOUVER PRIDE, the finest of them all.
7. Canadian Power Outlets because even with my adapter my computer doesn’t plug into the wall properly here. I have to borrow my flatmates power bar thingie and then keep checking it to make sure it’s in far enough it is all very complicated. And then there’s the switch which is actually very smart but I always forget to flick the switch on and then my alarm doesn’t go off because my phone actually was not charging even though it was plugged in, so it died. Oh Canada, I miss you.
8. Grocery Shopping & all the amazing little grocery markets in Vancouver You might think it’s a little weird, but grocery shopping was actually one of my most enjoyable activities back home. I just loved it. Making a list, checking it twice, getting all the food I could ever want for TWENTY BUCKS or less, cambie and broadway, best value fruit & veg ever!! Here it’s a nightmare. Things are hidden in strange places and everything cost a million times more than it does in Canadian stores. And the eggs are not kept in cold storage and for some reason it just creeps me out, I think I’m going to bring one of the eggs home and a chicken is going to hatch!
9. Wreck Beach I’ve been to a lot of really nice beaches in Australia but nothing can compare to my favourite magical nude beach where beautiful naked people walk around selling alcoholic freezies and special baked goods.
10. THREE DOLLAR BREAKFASTS! Because here, going out for breakfast is an act of war against your bank account. Bennys cost 25 dollars! A plate of eggs bacon toast hasbrowns veggies whatever also 20-30. And if you want coffee, another 5-10 dollars just for a Americano I mean a “Long Black” which brings me to the next thing I miss like so so soooo much:
11. REGULAR DRIP COFFEE, because it’s good, it’s not as strong as a long black, but it’s cheap, and you can usally get free refills at any cheap diner or breakfast joint!
12. BELLINIS My favourite frozen cocktail. No one here will make them for me. Or if they do have a bellini on their menu, they never serve them frozen or blended (and I don’t understand because its such a hot freaking country!!!) they’re served in the tinyest Champaign flute available with a couple floaties, mushy fruit, which will cost you at least 12 dollars usually more like 18 or 20. No thanks!
13. FREE TENNIS COURTS we hauled our tennis rackets all the way from the Yukon to Sydney and now back and forth between Australian states but we have only used them ONCE! And we got into trouble because we didn’t pay the hourly fee. I understand paying if it is like a really nice brand new indoor court, but a fenced in square of dirty old cement, really? If you are paying to register for a sport with a team and refs in beautiful upkept fields or indoor venues I get it, but it’s all you, just you, your opponent and your rackets, why should you have to pay SO MUCH just to whack a ball back and forth for an hour. My poor flourishing tennis skills have definitely stopped flourishing, hopefully I still remember how to play when I return home! 😛
14. RAD FEMINISTS ON MY SPEED DIAL for all those moments after a really intense rant or disagreement when I can call up a friend and be like listen to this sexist, racist, classist, homophobic bullshit, and VENT to someone who gets it. To someone who will actually think critically and back me up… Really what I miss is being in the same time zone as all my BUDS so I don’t have to be like, let’s Skype at 8 my time which is 3 your time yesterday. Because whenever I really want to talk to someone from home, it’s always the middle of the night there!
15. MY FAMILY (of course!). Cause they’re LOOS like me. Cause they’ll listen to my stories even when they have NO point. They”ll support my latest project, manic obsession until it burns out before they tell me maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all. They’ll play board games with me even when they are not FORCED to, but of course sometimes I just won’t take no for an answer. They’ll push all of my buttons, and still love me when I am FREAKING OUT. And when I am acting totally ridiculously crazy, they’ll tell me that’s why they love me, “I’m unique”.
With LOVE (of maple syrup),
Heidi J. Loos