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franklin county times

For the love of free refills

It’s good to be back in America.

“Back in America?” you might echo. “Why, where have you been?”

I actually spent last week halfway around the world in Australia. I can tell you, it was a challenge putting together a community newspaper when that community is 10,000 miles away and 14.5 hours in the past (hello, time difference). But I think we made it work.

Australia is a beautiful country, and my husband and I had a great time. We got to eat some delicious food and do some fun things like visit the Taronga Zoo and take in a footy game (Australian rules football – you can check out on Youtube, if you’d like to know more). I also got to feed a kangaroo and pet a koala at the Cleland Wildlife Park, so I’m definitely grateful for those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

But as much as we loved every minute of our trip, setting foot back on red, white and blue soil was definitely a pleasure. Let me tell you just a few of the wonderful things about America – or at least about the South.

  • Bacon: They don’t really know how to do bacon in Australia. When you order bacon, you very well might end up with ham.
  • Cost of living: Granted, we spent our entire stay in a major city, so I know that had something to do with the cost. Compounded with that is that the exchange rate favors America, with $1 in Australia equaling 75 cents back home. Still, the price tags in Australia just about made my eyes bug out of my head. I paid $21 ($16) for a personal-sized pizza. I paid $11 ($8.25) for potato wedges. Potato wedges, y’all.
  • Mexican food: Have you ever had a delicious burrito, quesadilla or plateful of nachos? I’ll bet you have. I have. Australia hasn’t.
  • Free refills: I will freely admit I have Diet Coke problem. In Australia, if you want a second Coke with your dinner, you have to pay the same price as you did for the first Coke. On top of that, the glasses are smaller. For someone who often has three or four glasses when out to do dinner (I told you, I have a problem), that extra cost added up fast. I had to – however grudgingly – limit my intake. It’s comical how relieved I was to return to the free refill life.

Are all of my examples superficial and related to food? That’s possible. At any rate, my sentiments are sincere – I sure am glad to be an American.

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