The Price of Beef

“SHORRRRRNA! SHORNA! Is that you?”

“Yes it’s me!”

“My GAWD, I can hear you so well! Can you believe this LINE? It’s so clear!”

My aunt is awed by the miracle of international telephony. I think she still believes there are ladies with headsets and twinsets plugging away at switchboards.

“And you still sound the same! I thought you’d have gone all Scottish by now! But you’re still just fair dinkum Aussie.”


“So you’re coming home. Nothing’s changed since you left. Except everything’s more expensive.”

“It is? I was looking forward to everything being cheaper!”

“Well I bought some lamb cutlets the other day and they were $2 each. TWO. DOLLARS. EACH! Two dollars for a scrawny bit of meat.”

“And half of it’s just bone and fat, really.”

“Exactly! You’re almost better off buying a bloody lobster than beef these days, I tell you.”

So we leave for Australia NEXT WEEK. I love being able to say that. I keep interrupting conversations to say, “Australia! Next week!”. Gareth keeps joking that I’ll refuse to get back on the plane at the end of the trip, but I can’t help wonder what I’ll make of it all.

I’ve never felt particularly homesick over the past 2.5 years. Emails and phone calls make it seem like your loved ones aren’t that far away. I’ve become so absorbed in Scotland that I sometimes forget that I’m not from here. Last week I caught my old bus, the 22, and as always it was full of Aussies off to work in the call centres. It was the same old conversations – drunken nights, rent worries, travelling on the cheap, the shitty so-called summer. I found myself irritated by their broad and booming accents, and silently muttering, “Well if you think it’s so crap, why don’t ya GO BACK THEN!?”

Yet on the other hand, I’m glued to Neighbours and the cricket, grinning dopily at the sound of Aussie voices. I’ve being baking scones and lamingtons just to get in the mood. I got teary at my Body Pump class this morning when the Shoulder track was an AC/DC tune. I keep pouring over our intinerary, wriggling in my chair just thinking of all the places Gareth is going to see, all the cool friends he’s finally going to meet.

Yep, I’m officially homesick. Woohoo! Plus I’m really busting for a hamburger with the lot.

Hello Operator! Give me the number for 911!

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for November 2020.

23 thoughts on “The Price of Beef

  1. Well now, that’s the Shauny we all know and love!

    I’m excited for ya girl!

    (what the hell is a “hamburger with the lot?” just curious)

  2. welllll trevor, there’s beef… fried onions, lettuce, tomato, sliced beetroot, then bacon, fried egg, cheese and a slice of grilled pineapple. most people have them with tomato sauce (ketchup) but I like mine with BBQ. And usually have it without the egg to be honest. From the Griffith Shops takeaway in Canberra. OH BABY. HOLY CRAP i can almost taste it. I cannae wait!

  3. Oh Shauna, I’m so excited for you!! It will be amazing. And the best bit is that you’ll have Gareth with you: there is nothing like taking someone special with you for the first time, it kind of makes you see your own country through fresh eyes.

    As for the broad aussie accents, wait until you watch the television news. The news readers will totally crack you up. They sound so freakin’ STRINE when you have been away for a long time.

    I hope you have the bestest time. And try not to think about the plane trip back – that’s the bit I *ALWAYS* hate.

    Take care,
    Kim x

  4. Dang! That IS a burger with the “lot!”

    umm, err, hmm, erm, can I come along, too? I mean, ya know, that burger sounds just deee-light-FULL!

  5. I’ve never been to Australia, but I grew up in Vietnam and Neighbours was the only sitcom we had for a while, so, strangely, I became addicted to it. An American in Vietnam watching Australian sitcoms!

  6. awwwwwwwww!!!

    take me with you!

    haha…i totally know what u mean by getting all sentimental about the dumbest things! i catch myself watching a new american reality tv show called, “rockstar inxs” just to hear inxs’s aussie accents, and i now actually go for lleyton hewitt in tennis matches!!!

    sigh…miss home.

    have an awesome time tho! and after the 60-something comments of advice on where to go in and around sydney and melbourne, be sure to let us know where you do get to!

    looking forward to all the stories – but no pressure! hehe…

    hey… “Australia! Next week!” 😛

  7. Nah. You gotta have the egg on yer hamburger with the lot.

    You’re coming home at the right time. Weather’s nice and warmish but not hot yet. Bit of rain but you’ll be used to that after Scotland. Mwha.

  8. Ah, it brings back memories of my trips home when I lived in the UK.

    My first stop would always be at the fish & chip shop for steamed dim sims, potato cakes and a hamburger with the lot.

    It’s taken me a while to get used to the Aussie twang again. When I first got back I thought that the aussie accent sounded really common and rough, but I’ve got used to it again and probably sound just as common as everyone else now!!

    Hope you have a fantastic time while you’re here. If you’re in Melbourne and fancy a meet up, just holler!

    And I don’t suppose there’s any room in your bag for some duty free Jack Daniels and Clinique stuff is there?

  9. Shauny! You’re back and I missed it! (Combination of birthday and visiting out-laws – I was offline.)

    Have a lovely time in Australia and please, please tell us all about it when you get a moment. On this occasion only, I expect your devoted fans can let you off posting on the grounds that you need time to enjoy yourselves. (But once you get back we’ll be tapping our feet and going “Where’s our Shauny? Did the coogees get her?”)

    It’s a bit late for me to reiterate all the stuff people have already said about not wanting you to disappear, not thinking you write wank (or whatever it was) but you know I mean it, don’t you? Don’t stop writing. We need you.

  10. Maybe this is a bad plan to tell you…but you can get a ‘hamburger with the lot’ at the Gourmet Burger Co on the Royal Mile, just up from Cockburn Street.

    Now go enjoy.

    Oh, and have the peanut butter and banana milkshake. To. Die. For!

  11. Mmmm a steakburger with the lot!! It absolutely HAS to have BBQ sauce!! Are you a Tim Tams fan? There are new ones out now!

    To quote Dorothy “There is no place like home!”

  12. Preya – I don’t think Neighbours is actually considered a sitcom!!! (Well not intentionally anyway!!)

    Kirsten – what the heck is a coogee???

  13. w00t!

    Mhairi! Do you mean Relish on the high street? OOOH yes, i have been there quite a few times now! the meat is so gooood and you are soooo right about the milkshakes, though i’ve only tried choccie and vanilla coz i am too chicken to brave the PB one!

    they do have an aussie burger but it is egg/pineapple/cheese, ie. no bacon… i feel the pig is essential so usually ask for the hawaiian (bacon cheese pineapple) with bbq sauce just to confuse them. or i get the italiano coz the homemade pesto is sooo nice.

    all us us edinburghers should meet up for burgers sometime. hehe.

  14. with the lot.

    sweet merciful gravy!

    Everything but the root n pineapple.

    I digress, could I ask a favour Shauny?

    When you get off the plane in Tullamarine (melbourne airport folks) could you make like the old Pope and give the tarmac a Smacker for me?

    Nah , didn’t reckon so.

    Have a lovely time the pair of you.

    Pol x

    consumed, I say, consumed with envy.

  15. How do you even manage to fit your mouth around that burger?!?! Wowza. Have a great time in Australia and a fantabulous third wedding! (It is three, right?)

  16. Michelle, for coogees – see the comments for . It’s all Gareth’s fault, apparently 🙂

    Those burgers make Scottish cuisine sound almost healthful! (Almost.) Pineapple on a burger? Well, I suppose why not, if you can have it with ham on pizza or on a gammon steak. (Our uni refectory used to serve gammon with half a tinned peach, which was considered odd. People still ate it though.)

  17. No no no! Not pineapple. Tinned beetroot slices are what makes a hamburger with the lot. At least, that’s what I know in Melbourne. Even McDonalds have got rid of their McFeast burger in the past few years, and replaced it with a McOz, which just has a slice of beetroot. Cant’ say I’ve actually tried one…..too pi$$ed off that they took away the McFeat.
    But, could it be possible we have varying ideas of burgers with the lot across our big country?

  18. Hey Shaunny – did you enjoy the cricket?

    The experts are calling it one of the greatest Ashes series EVAH.

    While in Melbourne, Greasy Joe’s in St Kilda do a damn fine burger – or they used to, I haven’t been for a while.

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