Saturday, July 25, 2009

Some Aussie observations

So, today was mostly a day of sloth, so there's not much to report. We got up, went down to the local market where we bought some postcards, some lovely pictures which we plan to have framed when we get home, and sat on the local beach. Oh, and we also took a quick drive outside of town because we wanted to get a picture of all the sugar cane. Why? Because I've bitched about the sugar cane, but haven't actually taken any photos of it. And this seemed like a good opportunity. So here's a picture of Cathy standing up beside some of it. I told you the bloody stuff is huge.

So instead, a few general observations about Australia so far.

1. There aren't many North Americans over here. So far we've run into one American couple who we chatted with on a bus. And we've run into zero Canadians. I'm not saying we're the only Canadians even in the Whitsundays. That would be foolish. But we've chatted with loads of people from Australia, plus people from England, Ireland, France and the Czech Republic. But no Canadians. Which is pretty weird and perhaps says something about the state of affairs back in the homeland.

2. This is my definition of Australian humour - if you took identical twins and separated them at birth, and then magically reunited them 50 years later, you might have an idea of the similarities between Newfoundland humour and Aussie humour. Dry, sardonic, occasionally self-deprecating and you can't always be entirely sure when you're being mocked. There's a fine line between laughing at you and laughing with you and the Aussies skirt it with skill. It's not entirely like Newfoundland humour, but the distortions are familiar. It's kind of fascinating, really.

3. For years I've mocked the Cavalier Z-24 and Sunfire Sports Coupes as "Baymen sports cars". That's because I've seen some baymen in ridiculously souped up versions of these very bland cars. It occurs to me that since they don't make them any more, I don't know what the new versions are.

However, if the car below ever makes its way back to North America, it's going to be an instant hit, I think. I remember these cars back in the 70s; the half car/half pick-up. The first time I saw one I thought it was just a well-preserved one from the 70s, but no, they are popular here. And I've seen some ridiculously done up ones, unlike this one, which kind of has practical uses.

4. I have no idea why the Whitsundays, which are about 700 km further south that Cairns, is considerably warmer, but I'm not complaining. Actually, when we leave here on Tuesday, it's promising to remain warm as far as Brisbane, which is reassuring. But the weather here is just lovely. Constantly in the mid-20s with a breeze to prevent things from getting too warm. Australia in the tropics during winter has a lot going for it. It's dry and the temperature is just right. Much warmer and it would be uncomfortable. Much colder and you'd find it chilly. Whitsundays are the porridge that's just right.

5. And finally, just to torture people in Nunavut, this picture I took from the market today. You know, I'd forgotten how good fresh fruit and veggies taste. I'm going to look at this picture later this year and weep, I just know it.


Way Way Up said...

I haven't bumped into many Canadians the past couple summers I was traveling overseas. Perhaps I just wasn't paying attention....or they were avoiding me.

Shanlee said...

My husband will be happy to know that Elcamino's are still over there. That's what he drove when he was on an Ag exchange over 10 years ago in Australia. He was sad that he had to leave it there when he came back to Canada!

Adam Snider said...

RE: Baymen sports cars

You mean they don't just sup up Honda Civics like everyone else in the world?

Amanda said...

hello, I found your blog when looking at my friends kara's. I used to live in Kugluktuk with her, left in September and am currently in Australia. Have a 1yr working holiday visa, currently working in Darwin. Its fun to read other peoples blogs about what they think of Australia, and laugh at everything you have said, cause its true!!! And so yes, there are other canadians here, but I do agree, they are far and few between. Haven't been to the east coast, so i look forward to reading what you have to say about it! Have fun on the train to sydney, i took the indian pacific from adelaide to perth - 41 hours, and loved it. You'll be fine on the 13hr one!! cheers mate :)