There is still much to ponder and to tell. This will come in time.
One of my current post-Australia projects is to find out what Australian wines the local bottle shops carry. In Melbourne I mentioned to somebody that you can get a lot of Australian wine in the US and she said, well, Jacob's Creek mostly. And she was right, not just about that but about the fact that Jacob's Creek isn't what the Australians themselves look to as good Australian wine.
It turns out that the local-to-work liquor store has an Australian wine consultant. The manager there told me that somebody connected to the regional manager is from Australia and he came in and gave her advice on what she should carry that Australians themselves would drink. I got some inexpensive bottles of Cabernet/Shiraz -- a blend I enjoyed down there but had never seen here. So I have one source, and I'm hoping to find more. I've yet to find any Western Australia wines, though.
Anyway, that's just one small post-Australia thing. What's otherwise happening is that I'm starting to have a series of happy-to-be-home experiences that are slowly nudging the happy-to-be-in-Australia obsessions over to the side.
On Tuesday, for example, after Morris practice: In the winter we dance Border, on a team consisting of about 3/4 folks from my side and about 1/4 folks from the other all-male local side. I'm not sure why, but the different mix makes for a very different feel. Not a better or worse feel, just a different feel, and I'm very happy to have the time with some of the folks on Minnesota Traditional Morris. After practice we went to the Town Hall brewpub (had it been my team only we would have gone to Pizza Luce) and we laughed and sang and drank beer until well past the time that responsible adults with jobs should have been out on a weeknight. I told stories about my time in Australia that I couldn't quite tell in this public forum, which led to much frivolity and teasing. We talked about Morris teams, and about beer. It was a happy, cozy, friendly, social time and I wish I could explain to you exactly why. But the key to the evening was in how we felt, rather than in what we said or did. The point here is that on Tuesday night it felt very good to be back.
Last weekend, to re-acclimate myself, I spent some time back at the Eagle, where I distributed the kangaroo and koala condoms I had bought in a souvenir store in Melbourne. (Actually they were regular condoms, but there were pictures of kangaroos and koalas on the box.) I had other souvenirs for other Eagle regulars, the guys who had sent me off with big hugs and good wishes, and people seemed genuinely touched at the gesture. The teary-eyed hug I received from a friend when I presented him with a pair of socks that said "Manly Australia" is something I'll remember for a while.
I'm home. It's nice to be home. But boy, am I glad I made that trip.