Miscellaneous thoughts from the Eastern Hemisphere

On Cell Phones

Remember huge amount of trouble that we went through to get cell phones?


Total pain in the neck. Would you believe that they got turned off a few weeks later because the correct paperwork had not been filed?

Fortunately for me, Chris got to brave the cell phone store without me the second time around. The phones are on and working again and all is right with the world.


On Air Travel

A few weeks back I mentioned my disdain for checked bags. They make me nervous.


It is no surprise that I was super upset when, after six flights with the same bag I was nearly forced to check it when leaving Melbourne. It turns out that they are extremely strict with checked luggage there. I talked my way out of it. Close call, huh?

Ironically, thanks to Chris’ huge purchase in Kuala Lumpur (more details next time) I elected to check my bag for the final of eight flights on my journey. Go figure.

On Toilets

I prefer the ‘Western’ variety. Not really a surprise.


I wonder if I would feel differently it I had grown up with the other variety? I bet I would. I always appreciate ‘Western’ toilets with instructions, we could use more of those at home. Maybe that would prevent the ‘splatter’ so common on public toilet seats.

On Chinese Candies


Acid Horns do not taste good.

Well, not to my American palate anyway. During my week in China, one of the ladies in my meeting would pile the middle of our tables high with candies and sweets late in the afternoon in attempt to keep us awake and focused. Each day I would eagerly anticipate this event like she was the Easter Bunny or something. Most days, I was sorely disappointed.

I clearly don’t understand Chinese candy. There were many corn-flavored treats. I am still not sure what flavor the Acid Horns were. After all, you can only ask ‘What is this?’ so many times before people suspect that you might not like it.

Next time I go, I think I will bring some American candy. I wonder how it will go over?

One of my co-workers brought Jolly Rancher chews to Australia. The Aussies seemed to think that they were way too sweet and flavorful, but the group did seem to polish off a few boxes of them each afternoon.

On Expensive Bananas

Food prices in Australia were very high in general compared to US food prices, but the first time I tried to buy bananas there I was especially taken aback.


During the last grocery run of my trip, I finally got to the bottom of it. See the fine print? Remember the flooding in Queensland earlier this year? It seems to have wiped out the banana crop severely cutting supply and thus driving prices sky high.

I asked a few people why they didn’t just import bananas. After all, most of ours in the US come from South America. The opinion on the street was overwhelmingly that Aussies would rather buy bitter, overpriced bananas than anything imported. That’s some serious national pride, especially from the point of view of this girl with a one (or more) a day habit.

  1. Kier said:

    Well that is interesting about the bananas! As much as I would love to buy local bananas (hmmm…do you think they would grow in Iowa?!), that habit would quickly break the bank!

    • Brit said:

      Thanks! Maybe I will get to try them again sometime knowing to expect tamarind. I bet I will like them better! Sometimes flavors don’t seem to taste as good when you can’t identify them.

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