To give just a silly example of me not paying attention to culturally differences: Yesterday, an American friend on Facebook posted a picture of her Starbucks Venti Iced Latte. I took a minute to really stare at it. The cup was HUGE! I don't even think that you can get a 24 ounce coffee drink anywhere in Melbourne. I haven't yet visited a Starbucks here (there are only about four in the metropolitan area of over four million people), but I know from my other extensive international travelling that typically, an American Grande size (16 ounces hot) is everyone else's Venti size (whereas American Ventis are 20 ounces hot). In the majority of cafes here, you never need to specify the size of coffee you want because there is only one size.
I really look forward to our first American visitors (which should take place sometime this year). I can't wait to see their reactions to everyday Australian life. I love those moments when visitors point out what is different, then I need to think, "Oh yeah! I guess that is different! I had totally forgotten!"
We've been here for over seven months now. [Side note: if I cumulatively add up my time here from 2001 and now, I've spent an entire year of my life in Australia!] I still love it and don't really ever get homesick. I certainly have no reservations regarding staying indefinitely. Again, I always miss my family, friends and certain constant components of American culture (stores remaining open until 10:00pm, proper Mexican food, competitive pricing on goods, affordable health club memberships...), but I never feel like I want to board a plane and hightail it to the U.S.
I've got a little more than a week to go until I return to school. I'm really looking forward to my next semester. It's been a great summer, but you can definitely feel that fall (or autumn, as it is called here and in the rest of the world) is in the air. I'm ready. I'll try to post more too, okay?