January 13, 2007

Sydizen of the World


So here it is, proof that I was actually in Australia instead of just using that as an excuse to call people in the middle of the night. More pictures will also be gradually available on my newly established Flickr account.

A few things I learnt about Australia while there:

Australians’ love for Steve Irwin is eclipsed only, evidently, by their inefficiency and/or laziness. Steve still makes a chilling plea from beyond the grave for environmental isolationism, in the short customs regulations video that all visitors are shown on entry, and which the government apparently hasn’t yet managed to replace.

Australia was at one point a land of giants. Everything is subtlely but noticably larger in Australia: the yoghurt cartons, the soft drink containers, the barbecues, and so forth. The fifty cent coin could in a pinch double for a shuriken. I can only assume that this is because the original colonisers were hulking mesomorphs who fashioned Australian material culture to their scale, and then died out (perhaps in some kind of tragic accident involving needing to hide from velociraptors in grass that was, alas!, not quite tall enough), leaving behind a population comically out of proportion with everything else in the country.

When pedestrians in Australia get a green crossing signal, this is accompanied not by a beeping noise, as in most countries, but rather with a breakneck drumbeat sound that was almost certainly taken from the opening of a Propellerheads song. Anyone wishing to actually cross the street must then speed mosh to the other side or face a hefty fine (see below).

The Australian police will fine you for pretty much anything. There are signs everywhere threatening to fine you for something, like smoking, putting your feet where they’re not supposed to be, refusing to exercise your right to vote, and so forth. Strangely, I never saw anyone being fined, though I did see plenty of people who were fiiiiine!

Because The Ashes were on while I was there, I watched enough cricket that I finally managed to work out what the rules are. Essentially, both teams run around at random trying to pass the time between meal breaks, and then at the end of the match Australia are declared the winners (this is the case even and/or especially when Australia are not actually playing).

Tomorrow: adventures in Japan!


sean said...

Your paragraph beginning "The Australian police..." made me el oh fucking el.

Anonymous said...

Several points in this blog made me laugh out loud. I guess I'm just a better friend than Sean.

Oh, and I got your comment about applying to Emerson and frankly Andrew, I'm not going through this again. You've tantalized me with the prospect of becoming an ex-squared-Bostonian once too often! Reports of me squealing and clapping my hands when reading that comment are greatly exaggerated.

Andrew said...

Well, you know what? They ALL made me laugh out loud, so I'm a better friend to myself than any of you losers.

Ahem. Thank you for your kind praise.

Please reserve your screaming and clapping for if I actually get into Emerson.

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