Follow by Email

Monday, March 13, 2017

Boyz in the (new) hood

It's been a little while since I've done any consulting work. I forgot what the challenges and blessings of collaboration are. Having the kids post a blog entry falls mostly into the "challenges" category, though it has been a blessing for them to speak more openly and answer questions from the readers (vs. me, Aaron or the grandparents).

So, without further ado...I present E and M's perspective on Australia. As a reminder, E is 8 and M is 5.

Q: What are the big differences between Arkansas and Sydney?
E: Sydney is a waaaaay bigger city.
M: It doesn't snow as often. And we're probably not ever gonna get snow in Sydney.

Image courtesy of WikiTravel
Fun facts:

Sydney is 4,775 square miles; population in 2012 was 4,293,000; the walk score at our Balmain house was 97.
Bentonville is 31.51 square miles; population in 2012 was 38,390; the walk score at our Bentonville house was a very respectable 69.

We live in the Inner West on the easternmost peninsula. Aaron works in Central Sydney near the westernmost peninsula (finger?). His commute is 4 bus stops. 

Q: Does life feel much different for a kid when you're traveling around the world?
E: Yes; you're in a different place, people speak different languages, um, you have to make new friends.
M: Uh, yes; uh huh. {Mommy asks: would you like add anything else to 'uh, yes; uh huh?'}
M: yes; I would like to add that.

As I've noted before, the kids have adjusted incredibly well to this change! They've made great friends already and are doing beautifully at school. They're taking a hip hop dance class, attending a weekly Judaics / Hebrew school program and E is playing basketball. They're learning to play handball, cricket and rugby. I'm still amazed at how easily they've acclimated to life here!

Q: What are the most common questions kids ask about America?
M: Kids ask about guns. They also ask about fire trucks. My friend Oscar asked me a few days ago if we have fire trucks in America. I told him "of course!"
E: Kids here want to know about guns in America and nothing else. 

Q: What's your favorite thing about Australia?
M: Making new friends.
E: Seeing koalas.

Image courtesy of Taronga Zoo, one of our favorite places in Sydney!

Fun facts:

Koalas are protected by law in Australia. It is illegal to hold them in certain states (including New South Wales, where we live).

Q: How do you like living in Australia?
M: Bad so far + eye roll. {This is news to me!}
E: Good. That feels like a Grumpa question. It's awesome.

Q: How about vegemite?
M: [Making a face] We didn't try it the right way. I'll try it again.
E: I tried it the right way in a vegemite sandwich. It's not that good. I didn't want to say anything terrible or bad so I don't hurt someone's feelings.

Q: What's it like being the "new kid" in class?
E: It's so cool to be the new kid! Cool as in really cold. Giggles.
M: Kind of weird and kind of awesome.

Q: Please share your experience riding the train or bus.
E: Good. Can I also write that I have to take an Opal bus to swimming? Not Mr Sam's bus...and we need *2* of them for 4 stage 2 classes!
M: Great! We have our own Opal (transit) cards! We get to tap on and tap off by ourselves. We also get free extra money on them when we've used all of it. One time the bus driver didn't see me tapping off at the back door and closed the door while I was still on and I tapped my opal card. Mommy was yelling and mad.

Image courtesy Transport NSW

Fun facts:

The public transit system here isn't called Opal, it's called Transport NSW; the card we use is called the Opal card. The transit system includes trains, buses, ferries, light rail and school buses. The kids' school has a small shuttle van (AKA Mr Sam's bus) but most of the time when the kids go on an excursion (field trip), they take a chartered Transport NSW bus.

Q: What's your favorite activity:
M: Wildlife Sydney and the aquarium
E: Going to the zoo and the aquarium.

So, that's the boys' perspective on life in Oz. It got us talking about the new foods, friends and experiences we've had since we arrived here. It also got us talking about some of the things we miss back in the US. Stay tuned so you can prepare your care packages! Just kidding...sort of!


  1. I enjoyed reading the boys perspective of their new home. Please share what you miss most about America & NW Arkansas.

  2. I enjoyed reading the boys perspective of their new home. Please share what you miss most about America & NW Arkansas.