Sunday, October 26, 2008

Last Rites for the Vegemite

Ten days ago I made my final step in becoming a New Yorker - I enrolled in the local gym and got myself a personal trainer.

With black gym-wear and a white hair band I look like everyone else in New York on a Sunday afternoon. Now I only have to master the art of reading while I work the tread-mill, and I'll be a super cool New Yorker.

For those who have not met me in person, this change is something of a miracle and has surprised my friends who cannot comprehend how such a thing could happen.

How did a tea-drinking, chain-smoking, eat-whatever-you-like sort of person turn into a coffee-drinking health freak? How could a woman, who before she came to New York, could never stoop to eating something as wholesome as an apple, now not only eat the things, but own Apple stock. Apple shares that is. I used to think stock was a bunch of cattle, but now I know better. I also used to think that a "CD" was a music album. Now I know it is a "Term Deposit". I put my return address on the FRONT of envelopes and order in instead of take out. I think the F word is part of normal everyday speech and have forgotten in which country to say "napkin" and in which to say "serviette".

I save for my retirement. Oh how easy it was in old OZ. You'd get your pay cheque, bank it, pay a few bills and the one credit card and Bob was your uncle. Maybe put a bit aside for that annual four week holiday in Bali with the kids. Now I have automatic deductions from my pay - into 401Ks, mutual funds, health insurance, travel cards and loan repayments. I used to think a portfolio was a collection of ones paintings. Now I know it is something to worry about. And as for the four weeks in Bali ... don't even go there. Instead, perhaps a long weekend in Kennebunkport. Time permitting of course.

For a while there I made sure that I always had a jar of Vegemite in the fridge, even though I never eat it. Now it's place is taken by a jar of protein supplement - gotta tone up those muscles.

I have stopped referring to Americans as "them". Now they are "we".

Scary stuff!

And now for the next installment of, The Readers of New York

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