Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Where in the world have you been?

One of my favorite places to visit is Australia. I have been to Perth, Geralton, Darwin, Brisbane, Sydney. The people are very friendly and hospitable. All of the big cities are near the coast, because th interior is basically desert waste land. Coastline, swamplands and arid deserts. In some places, the transition is only a matter of a few miles.
The farther north you go, the more tropical the climate becomes. Darwin, Australia was actually bombed by the Japanese during WWII. And American troops helped to defend against the invasion. A fact not lost on the residents, when US Navy ships make a port call there. It is a country where sailors are encouraged to go ashore in uniform. Usually sailors want to blend in. But Austalians really go all out to entertain military visitors. Also,before arriving in a foreign port, Sailors are treated to an indoctrination. Rules of the host country, things to avoid, ands the always important list of off-limits establishments. This is where you find out where all the fun places are located. The old saying goes; "Sailors will go places to get a beer and see girls, Marines wouldn't go without a machine gun."
Well, they told us that the people will by your drinks if you show up in uniform. There are four women for every man. There are no off-limits establishments. And to avoid getting in a fight, because Australians fight dirty. There are many wonderful things to see and do in Australia. There are a great many important things you won't find in a travel brochure. For example, the picture above of the man waving. He is shooing flies from his face. It is called the Western Australia salute. I'm not kidding. Flies. Not gnats. But big old buzzing flies. From dawn to dusk. And also everyone has heard of the shark perils in Australian waters. But there are even bigger threats to your health in the coastal waters. The very common Salt water Crocodile and the Box Jellyfish, claim their share of human lives. I have no idea why this isn't common knowledge.
There are other misconceptions about Australia. First, they are not looking for immigrants from America to move in. Jobs are hard to come by. Secondly, if there are four women for every man, somebody had eight every time I visited there (I wasn't married until I was 30). Australian men fight dirty. But no dirtier than a Carolina homeboy. The people call everyone Mate, or Love if they are addressing a member of the opposite sex. Women are pejoratively refered to as Sheilas. Australian men are notoriously macho. They will get a woman pregnant just to kill a rabbit. They think American football is girlish, because we wear pads. I have witnessed them drink beer to their fill. Gag themselves and yak up the contents and start drinking again. Beer, all beer is called piss. This was a fact I needed up front. But didn't get until later. As I was entering into a local pub (BAR), A fellow staggered out the door and banged right into me. He caught his balance, and with the most charming Aussie accent he said "Hey mate. I'm pissed."
To which I replied "Not as pissed as you're gonna be in a minute." We then proceeded to take a tour of downtown Knuckle City, with a brief stop at the Lights-Out Cafe.
When the locals find out you are from the USA, they call you "YANK" regardless of your Southern Heritage. Most are completely ignorant of American history. And some still refer to the US as a colony. But they mean no insult.
Kangaroos are looked on as pests, much like crows in the US. They can wipe out a field of wheat in one night. And farmers shoot them on sight. Pigeons are mostly non-existent. But Gray Cockatoos are everywhere. The Aussies think we have an accent. The Aussie accent is the same every where. There are no regional differences from North, South, East or West. Winter is in July. And there is no such thing as a white Christmas down under. Casual sex is referred to as a "SHAG." This is important so that you will know you are not being invited to get a haircut. Woody style station wagons and panel trucks are called shaggin' wagons. Again; They are not offering to trim your hair.
There is no place else in the world like Australia. And there are no other people on earth like the Aussies. If you get the chance to visit. Go. I give it six stars.
Oh yea, thatt big red hill in the above photo, is actually the largest Monolith (Single Rock) on this planet. It is called Ayer's Rock. It is almost dead center of the continent. And is where Meryl Streep, uttered the famous line "The dingoes ate my baby."


Kelly Combs said...

What a neat review. One of my bloggie friends is from Australia and she likened kangeroos to deers here in VA. She said you are always hitting them with the car when they hop out in front of you.

Interesting lingo, mate. :)

Amber said...

Always wanted to go to Australia, now I feel like I've been. Well a little bit anyway. Great post!

2Thinks said...

And if I remember right, nobody names their kid Randy in Australia-and you better hope that isn't your name if you visit there. Yes? or No? I don't remember things I was told long (or short)ago all that well.

Edie said...

Very interesting and informative. I feel so sorry for the guy who bumped into you. Geeezz.

Heart2Heart said...


Would love to visit the land down under and throw some shrimp on the barbie! For now, it will be just a visit to Outback!

From what I have heard there is an underground hotel there, wonder if that is real or just a myth!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat


You forgot to mention their huge spiders!
Being English, I don't like Aussies.

Kanani said...

I've got many friends over there, and they all have an easy going manner that's combined with utter honesty. I really like seeing them.

One of them is an American who met her husband on the internet! It's not easy to find a job over there, though she's been fairly lucky. But unlike here, there seems to be less emphasis on "stuff," and more on being with family and friends.

Great place. Fab people. Bad snakes and spiders.