"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Let's look at Australia, Part 2

This is Part 2, if you didn't catch part 1 yesterday may I suggest
that you read it first, it still won't make sense but at least you
will be on the same page as everyone else.

We take up Douglas Adams look at Australia at the beach.

Be warned. There is also the matter of the beaches.

Australian beaches are simply the nicest and best in the entire world.
Although anyone actually venturing into the sea will have to contend
with sharks, stinging jellyfish, stonefish (a fish which sits on the
bottom of the sea, pretends to be a rock, and has venomous barbs
sticking out of its back that will kill just from the pain) stingrays and
surf boarders.

However, watching a beach sunset is worth the risk.

As a result of all this hardship, dirt, thirst, and wombats, you would
expect Australians to be a dour lot. Instead, they are genial, jolly,
cheerful, and always willing to share a kind word with a stranger,
unless they are American. (Note; not true we love Septic Tanks.)

Faced with insurmountable odds and impossible problems, they smile
disarmingly, and look for a stick.

Major engineering feats have been performed with sheets of corrugated
iron, string, and mud. Alone of all the races on earth, they seem to be
free from the 'Grass is Greener on the other side of the fence'
syndrome, and roundly proclaim that Australia is, in fact, the other side
of that fence.

They call the land "Oz", "Godzone" (a verbal contraction of "God's Own
Country") and "Best bloody place on earth, bar none, crikey."

The irritating thing about this is they may be right.

There are some traps for the unsuspecting traveller, though.

Do not under any circumstances suggest that the beer is imperfect,
unless you are comparing it to another kind of Australian beer.

Do not wear a Hawaiian shirt. Religion and Politics are safe topics of
conversation (Australians don't care too much about either) but
Sport is a minefield. (Be warned!!)

The only correct answer to "So, howdya' like our country,eh?" is
"Best {insert your own regional swear word here} country in the world!"

It is very likely that, on arriving, some cheerful Australians will
'adopt' you on your first night, and take you to a pub where
Australian Beer is served.

Despite the obvious danger, do not refuse.

It is a form of initiation rite.

You will wake up late the next day with an astonishing hangover, a
foul-taste in your mouth, and wearing strange clothes.

Your hosts will usually make sure you get home, and waive off
any legal difficulties with "It's his first time in Australia, so we took
him to the pub.", to which the policeman will sagely nod and close his

Be sure to tell the story of these events to every other Australian
you encounter, adding new embellishments at every stage, and noting
how strong the beer was.

Thus you will be accepted into this unique culture.

Most Australians are now urban dwellers, having discovered the primary
use of electricity, which is air-conditioning and refrigerators.

Typical Australian sayings:



"It's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick."

"She'll be right."

"And down from Kosciusko,
where the pine clad ridges raise their torn and rugged battlements on high,
where the air is clear as crystal,
and the white stars fairly blaze at midnight in the cold and frosty sky.
And where, around the overflow, the reed beds sweep and sway,
to the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide.
The Man from Snowy River is a household word today,
and the stockmen tell the story of his ride."

Tips to Surviving Australia:

Don't ever put your hand down a hole for any reason whatsoever.

We mean it.

The beer is stronger than you think, regardless of how strong you
think it is.

Always carry a stick.


Do not attempt to use Australian slang, unless you are a trained
linguist and good in a fist fight.

Thick socks.

Take good maps. Stopping to ask directions only works when there are
people nearby.

If you leave the urban areas, carry several litres of water with you
at all times, or you will die.

Even in the most embellished stories told by Australians, there is
always a core of truth that it is unwise to ignore.

See also:

1. "Deserts: How to die in them"

2. "The Stick: Second most useful thing ever" and

3. "Poisonous and Venomous arachnids, insects,animals, trees, shrubs,
fish and sheep of Australia, volumes 1-42"

I was a little disappointed in Douglas' dismissal of sheep in just two
lines, these animals that start out as cute little lambs and finish up as
one of the dumbest animals on the planet have never-the-less been
a mainstay to the Australian economy for many years, a roasted leg
is also one of our favourite Sunday dinners.

Any stories or rumors you may have heard about other associations
with sheep can be better applied to our near neighbors the Kiwi's.

Now I know that you are all just dyin' to come visit Australia now that
a few of the rumors about it bein' a dangerous place have been dispelled.

Just remember to carry that stick.


Gwen said...

Hi Pete...it's been a while but finally made it to your post again.
Read part one as suggested then onto part two,enjoyed both as I usually do.
Keep it up Pete(the good work)
but you knew that's whatI ment?

Merle said...

Hi Peter ~~ Are you trying to encourage tourists or scare them the
hell away? Good post too, don't know about the Septic tank bit. Michelle says Hi. We are having a great time, but she leaves on Sunday.Take care,
Cheers, Merle.

Miss Cellania said...

This is great! Australians are always proud of having to be tough in a tough place, aren't they?

Katherine said...

Ok, is this guy Adams actually from Australia? Because if so, I'd consider kicking him out if I were you. He's going to scare all the tourist (and their money!) away. :)

Jack K. said...

Thanks for the sage advice.

I hope to get down there some time.

Packing list will include a big stick and lots of water. lol

Christina said...

I've always wanted to visit Australia. One of my alltime dreams is to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef.

Hale McKay said...

I guess you didn't get that job as a tourist agent.

DellaB said...

haha.. very good find Peter, funny how people scoff, but... I see the stingrays got another one this week!

And the newly named "Death Lizard" some joker decided to have a pat of... roll on summer...

b.t.w. do you know why your text is breaking ?

wazza said...

Hey mate that was bloody good. Struth
if it was a book then I wouldn't be able to put it down, but now then what's that about hawaiian shirts.
Why it was only Thursday I had arranged with the staff at work that Thursday was hawaiian shirt day (for no particular reason) and 85% of the staff showed up wearing something hawaiian. I must admit I looked pretty good in my hawaiian shirt and sarong (now no smart arse cracks now)

Meow said...

Love, love, love your Australia posts, Peter. Well done.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Take care, Meow

Steve G said...

Peter you convinced me. I need to visit Australia.

Jeanette said...

HI Peter
Loved both your Aussie posts. take care keep smiling

LZ Blogger said...

Peter ~ So now you give me the TIPS! I could have used soem of these last summer! You are right about the beaty of the beaches. In fact this American uses a shot of sunrise on Surfers Paradise to prove your point on my blog header! ~ jb///

Big Dave T said...

I always thought it was the snakes that'd get me in Australia. I remember being told that in elementary school (don't go running through the tall grasses in Australia).

Jamie Dawn said...

I was about to have a chunder when I read the previous post and saw the words "geologist" and "plate tectonics." I am neck deep in Earth Science at college and HATING every second of it!!! You sent me over the edge, buddy!!!!!!!

As for this current post...
Australia is the BEST country in the world, and has the best beer in the world, and the best beaches in the world, and the best sharks in the world, and the the best crocs in the world, and the best stingrays in the world. etc...

By the way,
I watched a bit of Steve Irwin's show the other day and was reminded once again why he was so beloved. What a joy he was to watch!!

Zinnia said...

I hope to visit Australia one day. I think it's an incredible country full of mystery and glorious beauty.

kenju said...

Hello, Peter, I missed you while I was away.

I amways thought I wanted to visit AU, but now I am not so sure. The spiders are enough to make me wary of it!

jules said...

Can I get a stick over there, or am I gonna have to try to get one by airport security?

Joy said...

I'm enjoying your Australia posts Peter. Those spiders may keep me away from visiting however...and I've read enough of Merle's posts to know that snakes hang around all over the place too. Nevertheless, I'd still love to see it's beauty...and there is a lot of that I'm told. G'day Mate!

Prerona said...

this was brilliant! i am tempted to send a llink to every one i know even remotely australian! lol. hows u, Peter?

Lucy said...

Hmmm - this is a little scary to me. Can't you do something about all those dangers? ha ha. Now i wonder what kind of prep CBS did when they hosted one of the Survior shows over there.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Now I'm convinced that I MUST visit Australia...along with my very big walking stick.

Trucker Bob said...

You've got quite a following here Peter, and well deserved!

Maybe one day we can share a Fosters or six, but in case not, I'll have one for you here.