‘Move to America’ they said.
‘Land of the free’ they said.
Actually, the ‘they’ mentioned above was me.
And I don’t think I ever literally said those exact words.
Nonetheless, here I am, a visa-holding resident of the US of A, in all my Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi glory.
‘How did I get here?’ I sometimes ask myself.
‘By plane’ I usually answer, because I’m not above punning with myself.
The reality of it is, after 11 years of working in advertising and 35 years of living in the same city I was born, this little black sheep needed some adventure before I started to grow moss in places unmentionable in polite company.
Luckily for me, I had 12 weeks paid vacation built up and the means to wander the world looking for somewhere new to call home.
Let me be brutally honest here.
I didn’t know (and I’m not alone) that Sacramento was the capital of California. But it was a fabulously central point to all the places I wanted to visit and so, I made it base camp for my first visit in late December 2014.
Call it kismet or serendipity or blind stupid luck, but it just so happened that I REALLY liked Sacramento with its abundance of trees, gingerbread house lined streets and laid-back attitude. And it seemed to like me too. In fact, Sacramento and I went together like tacos and beer. I liked it so much in fact, I decided that Sacramento needed me to get a job here and become a permanent fixture.
An impossibly large number of applications and dents to my somewhat substantial career-ego later, I had a phone interview at 6am Australia-time with a ridiculously cheerful guy called Mark from Two Men and A Truck movers. After a lengthy chat (I’m the talkingest darn thing that ever lived) I decided that I REALLY wanted to work with Mark and his franchise.
Fortunately, Mark agreed with me on that.
Fast forward through several trips back and forward, a migraine-inducing visa application, a crazy two weeks of packing and moving and here’s me, standing in a Safeway checkout at 9pm looking perplexed about what a rewards card is and why I need one to buy yoghurt and fruit.
“You can have my number if you say ‘Crikey’!” comes the cry in the now familiar Sac-twang from behind me.
I cringe inwardly, wondering if it’s worth explaining that the Queensland accent is 4000 km away from my home town and cursing the Crocodile Hunter, his good-natured colloquialisms and all fruit of his khaki-wearing loins.
The tired-looking checkout chick informs me that with the rewards card I will save a substantial amount of money.
I quite like money, so I sigh, plaster on my best cheerful grin, turn to the helpful line-dwelling card-offerring local and in the broadest aussie accent I can muster, I mortgage my soul for $3.56 worth of supermarket savings.
“CRIKEY! That would be just bonza mate! I was swozzled like a wombats tonker. Lucky you were here or I’d be flat out like a lizard drinking! ”
**Join us every Friday for the further adventures of Tanya, our token Aussie and new Director of Sales and Marketing as she experiences the wide wild world of Sacramento in her whimsical, bumbling way.