Friday, September 01, 2006

I Come From A Land Down Under: The Lists

In order to inaccurately and incompletely catalogue my experience, I've compiled some lists. I will update them as necessary if I remember more. The trip was a raging success and I had an amazing time with Adam, Hannah, Memphis and the itinerant Steve. Pictures coming soon!

Cool Stuff that I saw or heard-

I saw Ben Folds walking across the street in Adelaide!

I heard Advertisements on the radio for discount funeral parlors! They have funeral parlors called “sensible funerals” and “Funerals R Us” …ok the first one is true but it seemed to me to be a little like our “ambulance chasers”.

Aussie musicians that just haven’t made it here in the US… Missy Higgins for one. Did you know that the Di-vynals are aussie?

HOWYRGOING? A common greeting which roughly translated means, What’s up?

Doco, sporto, arvo and any other manner of words shortened by slapping an “o” onto the first syllable and giving up on the rest of the word.

I heard teenagers swearing and trying out new American phrases like, Wicked Awesome. It was really funny because you could tell that they felt a little awkward/cool like any self conscious teenager. It’s like me saying something is “heaps good” and secretly smiling to myself at the proper usage.

Cool Stuff about Australia that I didn’t know before

-Adam told me that there was a political energy in the air, but I didn’t really think it would affect me. Everytime someone found out I was American, they wanted to chat it up about George Bush and American foreign policy. I quickly learned that even though I am educated, I am really really ignorant about many of the things that our country is party to. In an effort to sound moderately intelligent in future international bush bashes, I may start to read the news.

-At one point they tried to introduce Hershey’s chocolate, Dr. Pepper, A&W rootbeer and Taco Bell to AU, but evidently Australians just weren’t ready for the waxy goodness of Hersheys and the late night legacy of Taco Bell.

-We were successful (and I was thanked profusely) at introducing McDonalds, Burger King (known as Hungry Jack) and KFC…they love themselves some fried chicken…McD’s is conveniently nicknamed Macca’s. In the Maccas, there are McCafe’s with real desserts like cheesecake and tortes. They also have an Oz Burger that contains, you guessed it, egg and beetroot.

-There is no orange cheese in Australia. Except on Cheezles. But not anywhere else… I mean, what’s so hard about adding a little food coloring to your cheese so that it looks right? Whatever.

Cool Stuff I Did

Went to an Australian Rules Football Game and cheered for the Port Adelaide Power against some other team wearing black and white. Ate australia’s version of “nachos” and watched the power lose the game by 2 points because of Adam’s Curse.

Played at an open mic at the Governor HighMarsh Hotel which is a cool Adelaide Music Venue where famous people play. I brought the pool players in from the back and won over some heckling aussie barflys. They asked me to come back the next week and I did and some guy got up from the audience and played his violin with one of my songs. It was fabulous!

Petted a kangaroo, a koala, an emu and saw dingos, wallabies, wombats and a bat eating a mouse…I get that I could see a bat eat a mouse in the US, but would it have an Australian bat accent while eating the mouse? I think not.

Took the bus into the city, handed the driver my pirate money (HUGE COINS and LOTS OF THEM) and wandered the streets of Adelaide. Had my back thumped by a quadrapalegic homeopathic medicine student in the doorway of King William Street.

Bought $3AU diet coke every day at Woolworths and sat on park benches watching the parade of Aussie Fashion at Rundle Mall. Entertained myself by imagining that all of the teenagers in their respective school uniforms hovering in tight circles were actually gangs plotting to knife one another through their pleated tartan skirts.

Tried to get noticed for my foreign accent. Sadly, no one seemed to care even though I purposely spoke more than necessary when handing the cashiers my change when purchasing tim tams. When it was acknowledged that I WAS an exotic foreigner, I got asked if was Canadian. When I asked Adam what that was all about, he told me that Canadians get offended if you assume they are from America…thus it is safer to assume Canadia and be corrected by an American.

Went Ops Shopping, AKA thrift shopping. Found lots of cool stuff including a wicked awesome copper bracelet and Brisbane footy scarf. Heaps of fun.

Checked out a casino with pokies. There was no one there as it was a Monday night and the only people there were die hard nickel gamblers. I almost got kicked out because I was wearing flip flops. Evidently you can only gamble if your toes are not exposed in Australia.

Bought food at the Central Markets, wandered through the crowds, threw money into the hat of a family performing old country songs.

Participated in criminal activity: I snuck (sneaked) into a sold out concert with Adam’s help (forging hand stamps and using old ticket stubs) only to be sadly disappointed by the crappy band called the Audrey’s. Cool name, Cool concept, poor execution. Adam and I cursed the Audrey’s for the next week for tainting our very cool break-in by being crap. Shame on you, Audreys!

Walked on the beach at night under the stars.

Saw the southern cross.

Had my 29th birthday party with the “in-laws” at which we had pasties (traditional Aussie food) and a pumkin pie which I made as a novelty and Adam adorned with cheezles and a Cabbage Patch Kid birthday candle. We told the parents that in America, you eat the pumpkin pie with cheetos on top and they bought it. I couldn’t bear to let them actually do it in the end, but we did get the picture. Oddly enough, no one was in love with pumpkin pie. That’s ok, because I wasn’t in love with pasties but we all humored each other.


(general note: Most things in Australia appear to be things we know and love, but when you eat it, you realize that there’s somethin’ just a little bit off…)

-pies, pasties (pronounced PAHstees), sausage rolls
-pie floater (meat pie doused in split pea soup covered in tomato sauce aka ketchup)
-tim tams & tim tam slam, accompanied by MILO…delicious of all deliciousness
-chickenshop hamburger = double decker hamburger with egg and beetroot
-BBQ food – meat, meat and more meat
-semaphore chips with chickensalt
-various candy bars including what at first glance appeared to be a kitkat, but upon closer inspection in my mouth was still a kitkat but with different chocolate
-passionfruit , passionfruit flavored soda
-meat flavored potato chips
- Tons of Indian, Japanese, Lebanese
- Lamingtons (sponge cake covered in sugar and coconut…pretty good although not spectacular)


Mike said...

I don't really like pasties that much either. I do like lamingtons.

Did you try pavlova?

Kirsten J said...

Mmmmmm I love Pavlova!!! Although I've never been below the Equator. I just worked at a restaurant that had it. And I AM SO JEALOUS YOU SAW BEN FOLDS CROSSING THE STREET. I'm almost afraid to tell D because he will just be mad at you next time he sees you.

Sara McOllie said...

I have a good recipe for pavlova. Not difficult to make, but it takes a few hours to cook so you need to make sure someone is home for about 2 or so hours.

lenalou said...

Pasties are English! National pride requires me to mention that, but really I'm just glad that our Aussie cousins are still keeping the faith by eating them.

Pavlovas are yummy.

And we should get passionfruit drinks imported here immediately.

An EtchaBear said...

Shoes are optional almost every place in NZ. So go gamble there! I recognize that the Kiwis are a whole separate breed than the Aussies... However, their LNP soda is to DIE FOR. I switched from the hard stuff (coke classic) to that in half a minute!!

Ninny Beth said...

I can't stand an achronym not spelled out...what does LNP stand for??? Please! Please! It will ruin my week if I do not solve the mystery of the acronym!