Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Travelers Companion to Australia

While Australia is an easy country to travel and remarkably similar to home, what with its English signage and familiar foods, there are still enough differences to leave even the most itinerant traveler slightly befuddled – I think it has to do with Oz being upside down.

1. You already know this, Canadians, thanks to the 2000 Sydney Olympics and our team uniforms, but the word “Roots” has very bad connotations here. Don’t wear your Roots T-shirt in Oz. Especially don’t wear sweatpants with “ROOTS” printed across the butt, as hilarity at your expense will ensue.

2. Ladies: Aussies will call you “Darling” and “Love”. Embrace it, especially when the words are uttered by an adorably tanned male barista with adorable eye crinkles, dark curly hair and a sexy smile.

3. Food translations: Chockie = chocolate bar. Sambo/sanger = Sandwich. Pie = pie of meat, not pie of sweet. Be forewarned!

4. Nobody here drinks Fosters beer, which means that Aussies remain utterly unimpressed and un-charmed by our surname.

5. There really are kangaroos, koalas, wombats, cassowaries, and crocodiles running wild here, to say nothing of the snakes and spiders. Eeeeek! Thankfully, we haven’t had our lives threatened by anything creepy and/or crawly… yet.

6. The sun’s UV rays are approximately a hundred million billion (give or take two or three) times stronger here than they are in your northern hemisphere home, so you’ll burn to a crisp in about three milliseconds. Wear sunscreen, and then add some more. And then wear a hat.

7. Food, gas (petrol, sorry), clothes, and mascara (!) are more expensive here than at home too.

8. Aussie men like their shorts short, which can be good, but can also be very bad. Aussie ladies like their shorts even shorter than the short shorts that their male counterparts wear.

9. There are male toilets, female toilets, and disabled toilets here in Australia. Those poor disabled toilets; I wonder what happened to them.

10. Australians are possibly the friendliest people in the world, so don’t be in a hurry to go anywhere or do anything once involved in a conversation with one. If traveling, Australians will want to know where in Australia you’ve been, where you’re going, and how you’ve gotten on so far. They will then ply you with advice about your future destinations. Here’s a hint: take the advice, as they’re always truthful, sometimes painfully so.

In the end, my most important point about traveling Australia is this: COME TO AUSTRALIA!!!!!

p.s. Just for Dawn: Doona = Duvet.


Dawn said...

Wicked Campers did not have doonas. This leaves me very disappointed, as the name itself sounds so cool/mysterious. Let alone how nice and toasty we would have been with them. Hmph! Your camper rocked.
P.S. Have you tried Tim Tams? One of the best (and fattening) pieces of Aussie advice we got.

wompcat said...

i actually don't know the "roots" reference - you'll have to share that with me sometime. how much longer are you there? i'd love to come!!! did you watch the olympic opening ceremonies? it was pretty spectacular...miss you!!! xoxoxoxo

Mark & Jen said...

Hey, guys. Thinking about you from Denver. We're both working again... and reminiscing. :) Glad to hear you're still going strong!

Mark & Jen