Friday, July 23, 2010

Work chatter

I have a post about my trip to see modern art on Cockatoo Island all ready to go, but I'm waiting a little bit because my permanent internet will be installed on Thursday (woot!) and I don't want to run out of my temporary internet before then. Australia is different in the U.S. in that they have what they call "caps" on all their data plans. In mobile phone terms, this means pre-paid credit. In mobile internet terms, this means you are only allowed to upload/download so much data before your plan is done. I purchased a 1G mobile internet plan, so I don't want to upload too many pictures or else I won't be able to use the internet at all any more. Well, at least until my permanent internet starts.

My permanent internet also has a cap, but it's a lot larger (130G/month, download only), and when we go over the limit, they simply slow down your upload/download speed. The cap resets at the end of the month, so if we go over one month we just have to be patient and wait until the end of the month. Our internet speed will supposedly be 10 Mbps or greater. We shall see though. I'm also not sure how that compares to what we had in Alaska.

In the meantime, I'll post a conversation I had at work the other day:

Coworker1: So what are you having for lunch?
Me: Oh, peanut butter and jelly.
Coworker 1: So is that like, a thing in the U.S.?
Me:'s not a fad, if that's what you mean.
Coworker 1: I mean, do people really eat that?
Me: Um, yeah. Especially kids. I like to take it hiking because it's good energy and it doesn't go bad. What, you don't eat PB&J here?
Coworker 1: PB&J?
Me: Yeah, peanut butter and jelly.
Coworker 1: No. I thought it was something made up.
Coworker 2: It's a bit weird, isn't it? The savory and the sweet mixed together?
Me (thinking): Well, they do that on Master Chef all the time (a really popular Australian show).
Me (out loud): It's pretty good, you should try it.
Coworker 1: So, jelly. Is that like jam?
Me: Sort of. Jam usually has bits of fruit in it. But it's the same idea.
Coworker 1: You know what jelly is here? It's that wobbly stuff.
Me: Oh, we call that jello. Or gelatin. Jello is to gelatin like Kleenex is to tissue.
Coworkers: Oh, right.
Coworker 1: So what about hot dogs? Do you actually eat hot dogs in the U.S.?
Me: Um, yeah. Like if you go to some public event, there's pretty much always hamburger and hot dogs.
Coworker 2: We eat sausages here. Like bratwursts and stuff.
Me: Well, if you go to someone's house, they'll probably serve that. But hot dogs are still pretty popular at public spaces.
Coworker 2: Have you tried Vegemite yet?
Me: Uh....I did a really long time ago. It was pretty gross.
Coworker 2: Oh that's because you didn't prepare it right. You have to try it again. A piece of toast with lots of butter and just a bit of Vegemite....
Coworker 1: Mmmm....
Coworker 2: ...and it has to be white bread. Oh I know! You should try that Vegemite with the cheese in it! (Kraft makes a product of Vegemite and processed cheese all swirled together).
Me: Uh, I read about that and I almost threw up.
Coworker 2: Ok, well maybe not. But you have to try Vegemite again, it's awesome.
Me: Okaaaay.....maybe someday.


Mom said...

Vegemite and CHEESE??? Oh Boy! I know V. is supposed to be an acquired taste but...

We had hot dogs for dinner a couple of days ago. Every once in a while I just get a craving, even if I didn't like them much as a kid. Try 'em with sauerkraut and Gray Poupon and a side of hot German potato salad. Not bad.

Carlw4514 said...

pretty hilarious!

read an account once about a anthropologist studying and staying with an Amazonian tribe. He complained the Indians felt it was OK to "borrow" everything without asking, and eat all his food all the time too. But he said the peanut butter they wouldnt touch, it looked like excrement to them. Maybe Australians picture it that way too?

we ate hot dogs last night! we are happy to be able to get Nathan's with natural casing again after they disappeared here for a while. In addition to being tasty we find they do not turn into "gut grenades"

do Australians eat peanuts at all?

L said...

It's not just cheese, Mom, it's fake plastic cheese. You know, like Velveeta or Kraft singles. Really awful stuff. Hence why I thought it sounded so awful.

Carl, they do eat peanut butter here, but not nearly as much as they do in the U.S. I don't think. More to the point was that they don't eat PB&J. They are missing out, IMO.

I did find a pretty good peanut butter at our local discount grocery store that is called American peanut butter, as in "American" is the brand name. Admittedly, it is most like actual American peanut butter (JIF or what have you). Kind of funny.

Marsha Schmidt said...

Hi Louise:

I'm a friend of Carl's and he sent me your blog post.

You have to read a story I just posted on my blog about pbj. Go to

We must have been thinking about it at the same time.

Vegemite. Yuck! Something you have to grow up with. We travel all over the world and each country has its own version of something like vegemite--they love it and we are just puzzled. So I guess they feel the same way about us.

There is one thing I learned to do in NZ that I think they do in AU as well--put yogurt on cereal. Yummy.

L said...

Marsha, I liked your post.

I'm not sure what thing we have that makes everyone else go "yuck" but I think hotdogs are a close call. Everyone here certainly seems unimpressed by them.

I don't like yogurt, so I wouldn't put it on cereal, but I could see how if you liked it, that would be good. Here they eat a lot of muesli, which is like granola. A lot better than corn flakes, especially for yogurt.