Tag Archives: Australia

I would consider owning a television, mate.

18 Sep

Even the weather is entertaining because of the town names.

I’ve now been back from Australia for almost a month, so this is a bit, um, untimely. Whatever. I just stumbled across some notes I took while watching television my last night in Sydney. Since I don’t have a television at home, it hadn’t occurred to me to reach for the remote before then, and it’s one of my only regrets. Australian telly is entertaining.

On a cooking show:

Describing herring: “It’s knobbish.”

Instructions for crushing garlic: “Smash it. Just wail on it, mate.”

On an entertainment show, interviewing a celebrity about his stay in rehab:

“I wasn’t downstairs in the drug and alcohol unit. I was upstairs in the mood unit.”

Mood unit? That sounds like a gaping hole in the American health system.

They have a show that is like “The Bachelor” in the US. Except the Australian version is called, “The Farmer Wants a Wife.” Seriously. And it features six farmers who – you guessed it – want wives.

On Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, the contestant passed on this question:

Fill in this song: “I want to wake up in the city that never…”

When given multiple choices, she couldn’t decide between “ceases” and “sleeps.”

Even better, the host mispronounced ceases as CREASES.

And the contestant still got it wrong.

Also on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire:

When trying to select “Capuchin Monkey” as the animal in Hangover II, the contestant instead called it a, “Cappuccino Monkey.” Not sure why this tickled me so much.

Last reference from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire:

The contestant had to determine which charity was the beneficiary of a large fundraiser earlier that year. He ruled out “Save the Children” right out of the gate, but it was his rationale that made me laugh. “Why would they need fundraiser? Everyone already wants to save children.”

On the news:

A woman’s death (which had previously been ruled a suicide) was re-examined in light of new evidence. The evidence? A spear-throwing reinactment showing that the woman could not have jumped to her death, but could only have arrived in that position if thrown by a master spear-thrower. Because that’s a common skill.

Other Observations

This is where my notes get a bit fuzzy because I’d had a sleeping pill so I’d be well rested for my flight home. I won’t even TRY to make sense of them. Here’s the stream of consciousness: 

All the websites mentioned on commercials in with .com.au. How much would that suck to have to clarify your country after .com?

Apple commercials use American voiceover talent, not Aussies. I wonder if that makes Apple products seem more modern, or if people find it insulting to get technology lectures from Americans.

Even their channels have cool names: 7 Mate.

Awesome Australian words: Brekkie. Nibbles.

Carbon Tax in Australia. Why didn’t we think of that? Oh, because we are too busy trying to pretend we aren’t causing Global Warming. No wonder other countries can’t stand us.

I could become addicted to “Bondi Rescue” – it’s like “Cops” but about the lifeguards at Bondi Beach. And they’re constantly pulling people out who are caught in rips or have their heads split open by surf boards.

Finally, eyes heavy under the weight of pharmaceuticals, I managed to click the “off” button. I slumbered and awoke to a city that never creases.

Cliff-Hanger Resolution: Gout by any other name…

26 Aug

Remember that awesome bushwalk I did with friends in Manly? Well… I woke up the next day barely able to walk. My hamstrings felt like guitar strings, wound more tightly (by about four inches) while I slept. I could barely straighten my legs.

It struck me as odd, since I routinely walk longer distances than what I’d done the day before. But I had been somewhat sedentary since arriving in Australia, I reasoned, so maybe my body was simply revolting.

In any case, I decided to take it easy and stay in bed reading for six hours (from 3am to 9am – hello, jet lag!) before finally rallying to take a long bath and head to Bondi Beach.

Bondi Beach is arguably the most famous beach in the world, so I felt obligated to see it while I was here. My sore legs must have influenced my outlook, because when I fell off the bus and got my first glimpse of the waves, my thought was, “Seriously? This is it?”

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A few photos, because I’m pressed for time.

23 Aug

Sorry! I’m at the airport about to board, so no time to wrap up the cliffhanger. Instead, I’ll distract you with a few photos while I fly.

Feeding the 'roos at Featherdale.

I scream, you scream, ROOS scream for ice cream!


Once I no longer wanted to vomit…

23 Aug

I had a great time in Manly. Josh (an American colleague who just relocated to our Sydney office two months ago) and his fiancée, Malia, live in Manly, so they graciously offered to meet up for lunch when I arrived.

Manly is a peninsula with one side facing the harbor and the other side facing the Pacific Ocean. The ferry brings you in on the harbor side, but it’s a very short walk across a pedestrian area to get to the ocean. When I first landed, we walked a bit along the harbor side before shuffling along The Corso (pedestrian area) to the ocean.

Even though it was winter, and despite a “no swimming” sign stuck in the middle of the sand, the waves were large, the water dotted with dozens of surfers. Apparently it is – as Outback Steakhouse and Fosters commercials would lead you to believe – the national pastime. I love well-founded clichés.

We grabbed lunch (fish and chips, which – if you believe the guidebooks – is probably actually shark and chips) at a café next to Shelly Beach, and then got on the topic of the North Head and the Quarantine Station, both of which were just up the hill from where we were sitting.

The Quarantine Station appealed to my fascination with the morbid since it was where they quarantined people with the bubonic plague or the flu after WWI. Apparently they do a mean ghost tour up there in the evening, but  – still scarred from my ferry crossing – I had decided to hop the boat back to Sydney before sunset so that if we did end up dog-paddling around in the bay, the helicopters would be able to spot me. Alas, that ruled out the ghost tour.

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Flying fox, my ass. You know that’s a bat.

21 Aug

After getting rejected from the City2Surf fun run, I ventured down to the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens are beautiful — it’s a huge chunk of land that slopes down to the harbor and is incredibly well manicured, with a flagstone path guiding you along fountains and statues.

The garden is surrounded by a fence and the gate is opened at 6am on weekends, so you know someone must be around. But when I tentatively set foot inside the gate at 7:30 last Sunday morning, I definitely stood there for a moment, debating the wisdom of walking solo  into a park that seemed desserted.

I was still standing there imaging serial killers lurking at every turn, when I started seeing a few people on the paths in the distance. Activity was starting to pick up, so I proceeded.

(After the fact, I checked out Wikipedia for information on Australian serial killers. Australia has a pretty sizable list compared to other countries, which shouldn’t have come as a shock considering Australia was originally founded as a penal colony. The wording of one line item in particular disturbed me: John and Sarah Makin – who killed 12 children in their work as “baby farmers.” Seriously? Baby Farmers?)

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