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Some impressions about Australia

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 18 June 2008 | Views [2043]

For a long time, Tiffany has been insisting me to write what are the things that, under my foreigner point of view, have called my attention in our Australian experience so far.


I have been delaying the writing of this post for several reasons, most of them absolutely external from the post itself, but today, when the server I was supposed to work in (I am a web developer) wasn't letting me connect repeatedly, I took it as a sign and I thought it would be a good moment to do this.


I don't know if it happens to you, however, but I have a bit of a problem "starting tasks". I mean: I am a naturally lazy person, and I use to look at the tasks to be started with certain dislike. But once I effectively start them, I don't have a problem continuing with them, and I even enjoy the process of finishing them. I guess it is good that I know myself that way, and I just need to push me over that starting point.


Not that any of this is any relevant at all for the topic of the post, but…  whatever


Here there are, then, some of my impressions!




I have never been a huge fan of rugby. But I certainly had seen some games (or, to be honest, some parts of some games) back in Europe, and as far as I remember, they were not like that. They hit each other occasionally, yes. It was a bit rough, yes. But here, this is something else. Somebody lighted my ignorance saying that one play rugby union and others play rugby league. Maybe is because that, but here, this game is absolutely barbarian, and players just crash onto each others like angry trains without any kind of restrain.


In Europe, when a player is bleeding, it is not allowed in the field, and must be treated outside before coming back. Here, everybody ends the game bleeding profusely and nobody cares much. Of course I guess it is normal, seeing how they play… And I wouldn't like to see the bruises at the end of the game!


So, in Europe, at least in southern Europe, we don't have any sport of this kind. We play mainly soccer, and then basketball and handball and all this senstive stuff… so we don't really have a place where to send the really tough guys that want to hit others.


I guess that's why we kill our wives? I don't know…


Or maybe the guys here are a bit tougher? I would bet so… and maybe even the girls…


Public Toilets and BBQ'S

Some other things are great in Australia. For example, there are MANY public toilets. Everywhere you go there is a public toilet. This doesn't happen over there… and what do you tell me about the barbeques? Free electric barbeques in every single park we have seen, squeezed between the toilets! These are great features for the homeless nomad traveler.


They say that barbequing is one of these great things Aussie. I don't know what is about barbeques, but everybody seems to want them for themselves. In South Africa, people was telling us how typically south African thing barbies (brie) were. In the States, you don't wanna know… in Spain, the barbeque is such an event… not to talk about Norway, where as soon as there is a little bit of sunshine and you just need a couple of jerseys to be half comfortable outside, they draw the barbeque utensils ready to flip whatever it takes. (and mix it with the most shocking things, but that's not for here).




To accompany the barbeque, what's better than a beer? And man… here we have tons of types and brands and smoothnesses to choose. I have been changing favorite quite a lot of times, but this is because every second beer that I have is something I haven't tasted before. The super dry style, by the way, is such an invention for those thirsty moments! And so is the Solo!


Wild Things


The profusion of wild animals everywhere is also noticeable down here. Crossing the road are hundreds of kangaroos, up in the trees, koalas rest their bums, in the night you have to be careful that a sneaky hungry possum doesn't approach your food. You can not swim here or there because there are crocs, or sharks, or rays, or stingers, and the variety of sounds coming from the treetops is mind-blowing.


In Europe, you have lots of pigeons in the cities… and… humm… that's about all… in one year in Norway I saw just one lone moose (and it even was on a trip to Sweden), and in my whole life in Spain I doubt I've seen much more than stray cats.




I guess it helps that there is just 20 million people in a more than huge country. So, for more than they try to chop off natural habitats, there is still a lot to go. Spain can be the size of a county here, and it holds up to 50 million people, not even too squeezed.


People in Australia live as far as they can from anybody in their big houses in the suburbs, and they go to eat and shop as close as they can from anybody in huge shopping malls, that take the social life from city centers, full of businesses and offices and that. If I was a daring man looking for problems, disapproval and antipathy from my fellow co-residents, I would say that it looks pretty much to me like the American model. However, and since I am not that kind of man, I won't say anything.

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