Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Lindsay Holidays: Passover

Last week I hosted my first of many "Lindsay Holidays" in Australia: Passover (stay tuned for the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and of course, Halloween). Do you know how hard it is to find Matzah in Melbourne? Now, I did venture out to St. Kilda this weekend where all the Orthodox Jews live, but Brunswick is like Turkey by way of India. Subsequently, I was unsuccesful on the Matzah front.

Anyway, I was able to find egg noodles and I made a damn good pasta sauce to go with. I know they weren't "Kosher for Passover" noodles, but I tried. It was as Kosher as dinner was going to get at that point. I am still unequipped to cook an authentic Jewish meal full-on, but one day my kitchen will have all the necessary supplies to do so.

Traditionally during the Seder, The Four Questions are asked to help remind us "Why this night is different from all other nights." During our dinner, one of our guests turned to me and asked "So, what do you Americans think of Australians?" I had to stop and think about it, and after a minute I said "Honestly, we don't."

When there's any mention of an Australian, there are one of two images that comes to mind:
  1. A mixture of a Crocodile Dundee, Steve Irwin, Outback-living hick; OR
  2. A tan, blonde surfer dude.
I prefer the tan, blonde surfer dude.

I turned the question around to the Aussies: What do you think of Americans? In asking this question, I braced myself for a response along the lines of "fat" and "redneck" and "obnoxious" - but that was not the case:

"I think of Sex and The City"

"Is it true that everyone in America has a therapist?"

Um, what? In Europe, I was told by a (now) friend that she was surprised that she liked me because I was American (meaning she didn't think I was overtly selfish - shocking!). In Israel, I was told by Israeli soldiers that all Americans "eat McDonalds, own guns, and drink Miller Lite."

It was refreshing to hear some not-so-negative perceptions for a change. I much prefer the funny ones.


Anonymous said...

Happy Passover :) I honestly didn't even know it was Passover until my mom told me...I searched frantically for Matzoh, only to find 2 boxes and they were NOT KOSHER FOR PASSOVER....yea, so that was intersting. I guess we just have to do the best we can.

Lindsay McHugh said...

Happy Passover to you - rather, end of Passover!

I never understood the point of calling fake "Matzah" Matzah if it's not Kosher for Passover! No one eats it for kicks. Oh well.

Auntie Jill said...

Auntie Jill here,
I love hearing about your travels and travails of your journey. Year-long vacation? I don't think so but you can't deny that because of location or dislocation it's not your typical daily routine. Different, challenging, culture shock, and yeah there are routines because you still have to feed yourself and pay the bills but for the first 4 - 6 months in new is still under tourist status and hey...why not? Give into your inner tourist. It's fun! It's a great way to see the area. I wonder what is the Australian equivilant to the American Roadside Attraction? You know...South of the Border, the World's Largest Prairie Dog, Mount Rushmore. And you know what else... knowing where your going is overrated. You never know where your adventure is going to lead you and if it doesn't kill you (even if the experience is unplesant) you'll have a great story to blog.
Of course we missed you at Seder and loved talking to you.
I went to a seder on Friday with Muslim families. It was enlightening. We all sang songs from our traditions and shared immigration stories. And talked aobut how we managed the interfaith celebrations in the families that have different faith beliefs. The folks at my table were a Mom and her two children ages 14 and 12. Nicole (mom) is a convert to Islam, married to a man from Algeria.
Instead of the traditional Four Questions the Rabbi's posed other questions that prompted us to share with each other our experiences, similar and different.
Love ya,
Auntie Jill

Lindsay McHugh said...

Aunt Jill! Funny story. Last night I was talking about heading up to Queensland with Mom and my friend suggested that I check out The Giant Pineapple and The Giant Macadamia Nut - the Aussie equivalent of the American Roadside Attractions. It made me think of you! I'll make sure to take photos if we make it out there. Miss you! Thanks for reading!