Wednesday, October 31, 2012

photos: so many ways to say i'm sorry

Okay, I'm sure you're all way smarter than ... everyone else I met today ... but just in case you're having an off moment ... I'm a formal apology!!  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

update: further bus bloopers

--An issue that I haven't actually had, but have had the foresight to foresee ... when the bus is full at a stop and some people step outside to let other people off ... how likely is it that one of these days they're just not going to get let back on??  Entirely too likely for me to risk it, that's what.

--Just a reminder, the standard button issues.  Pressing them too early, pressing them too late, not knowing when to press them.

--10 minute bus wait in Neutral Bay morning rush!  Followed by 10 minute bus wait on George Street in the morning rush!  It was preposterous!

Monday, October 29, 2012

quicko: words australians don't know


Locks, yes, tresses, no.  Any befuddled Australian reader -- go look it up.  You really should know.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

quicko: references australians don't get

--the Miracle Worker/Helen Keller/Annie Sullivan
--Harriet Tubman/the Underground Railroad
--Mister Rogers
--area codes

Saturday, October 27, 2012

home is where jesus is

There's no where I feel more at home not at home than church.

I've just spent more or less an entire day hanging out at the launch of I Heart Kirribilli -- complete with Made Fair markets, an art exhibition, face painting and a sausage sizzle -- followed by worship with my church family and I'm absolutely exhausted, but there's no place I'd rather have been.

As an ex-pat living far from home, my church is my family here -- not because we share the traditional blood ties, but because we share the blood of Jesus.

Home is the place you can be grumpy and know that you're still loved.  It's where you can spend hours just talking to one person over a cup of tea with nothing else to do.  It's where you can just walk in and make a cup of tea with whatever you find in in the fridge.  It's where you can steal a cupcake when no one's looking.  It's where you eat.  And sleep and sing and learn and grow and love people and live together.  You come as you are.  You're home.

And I am so ridiculously proud of my church home here.  Church by the Bridge does an amazing job every year of engaging our community in relevant, meaningful ways like I Heart Kirribilli.  There's so much passion and love that goes into creating not only an amazingly classy week-long affair, but one that's focused on Jesus and inviting people in to share the good news of His love for them.

If you're interested, please stop by our art exhibition this week on Sunday from noon to 3 pm or any time Monday to Friday from 9 am to 9 pm.  (Thursday there is a prize night from 7:30 pm and Friday there is an open mic night called I Hear Kirribilli and dessert markets from 7 pm.  Access to the art may be limited at these times??)  Church by the Bridge is easy to find -- it's just across from the steps of the Harbour Bridge if you're walking or Milson's Point station if you come by train.  Or you could catch the 227, 228, 229 or 230 to Milson's Point.  Hope to see you there!

(Sorry, just to be clear, we're now all out of cupcakes.  And the markets were just for Saturday.  But inside there's lots of incredible art that's on display all week.  Check it out; you'll definitely be glad you did!)

public service announcement: I HEART KIRRIBILLI!!!

Hey everybody!!!  Today starts the launch of the annual I HEART KIRRIBILLI week at Church by the Bridge in (you guessed it) Kirribilli.  It opens at 9 am today and runs all week long!

Today is extra special because there's the art display PLUS made fair markets PLUS a sausage sizzle PLUS kids' stuff PLUS lots of general festivity and cool people.  Festivities go until about 3 pm today, but the artwork will stay up all day.

Throughout the week, you can stop by and meander in and see tons of local artwork (the theme is DISCORD) in the church from 9 am to 9 pm, today through Friday (though there are a few special events on Thursday and Friday nights that might make it harder to come then).  Friday night is I Hear Kirribilli and there's local artists performing live music ... and dessert markets!!

More information HERE!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

quicko: overused words

Mob and clever.  Just seem to have been hearing them (pardon the Australianism) heaps lately.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

update: bus bloopers

So this week there's been the relatively run-of-the-mill bus break down in peak hour when I'm already late on my way to work, but also, much more creatively, there's been the mysteriously directioned bus.  This was the E71 which stopped in Neutral Bay clearly hailing itself a Manly bus, which was perfect, seeing as Manly was where I was going.  Unfortunately, it had a very different idea about how to get there than I did.

Having traveled to Manly probably hundreds of times by bus and car, it's one of the few places I feel pretty confident I could drive to without actually having driven it myself (generally I can be driven somewhere umpteen times and still have no idea how to get there until I do it once on my own ... seeing as I don't drive per se in Australia, well, I guess it hasn't been that much of an issue.  It's more of an issue when someone is driving me and expects me to know my own way home ... which I would, providing they stuck to the bus routes and left those pesky back roads alone).  To be precise, when you come up Military Road and hit Seaforth, I tend to think a right-hand turn is in order.  If you looked at a map, I'm 99% sure you'd agree with me, unless you're a big fan of seeing the rest of the world before you see you Manly and have a car that could handle that.  The bus, it appeared, thought it was such a car and hurled headlong into a left-hand turn.

Fortunately, I know that particular area quite well, having lived there for a year and a half awhile ago.  Unfortunately, it appeared that the driver had not made a wrong turn for the route in question because no one else on the bus appeared the slightest bit perturbed.  I hastily pressed the button, got off, crossed the street and waited ten minutes at the bus stop going the other way and finally caught the much more reliable 143 to Manly.

I presume the E71 must have made it there eventually, but I suspect I beat it by a long shot.  Perhaps you've found it in your neck of the woods as it meanders its way across the globe?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

quicko: capsicum spray

I had always thought pepper spray was pepper as in salt and pepper pepper spray, but it turns out it's pepper as in red pepper, chili pepper, green pepper pepper spray because Australians call it capsicum spray, which is their word for red peppers, chili peppers, green peppers peppers, not salt and pepper pepper.  How peppy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

photos: sculptures by the sea

(This year the sea was more the focus than the sculptures ... sculptures were a fun excuse, but I've seen better years for the festival.  Still worth going though, obviously!)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

quicko: euphemisms

Americans don't talk about going to the, um, unmentionable room.  We use a bathroom, a restroom, a lavatory on a plane, a WC or a loo in England, the facilities, potentially a john, a little girls' room, a little boys' room or a nose powdering place, but never the crass, overt word Australians use so freely, if you know what I mean.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

quicko: driving distances

A useful trick of the Metric trade:  it takes about an hour to drive 100 km.  (Highway speed limits being about 110.)  Thus, if you want to calculate how long it'd take you drive somewhere, simply divide by 100 to get the distance in hours.

Friday, October 19, 2012

quicko: a long black

AKA an Americano.

My co-workers thought it was important you know this.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

quicko: done and dusted

I have a vague feeling I've mentioned this one before, but I've been hearing it a lot lately.  So there.

Oh, yeah, the definition:  (isn't it obvious?) completely finished.

So there.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

quicko: the brisbane line defense strategy

Now I haven't researched this fully (read: one of my friends once told me it was true), but evidently during World War II, Australia had an official government slogan that was "if things get really way too bad, then we're willing concede everything north of Brisbane."

Let's hope this wasn't common knowledge back then.

And, please, if this post incites you to comment overly quickly, think carefully how you phrase your response.  Relax.  Talk it out.  Then go ahead and correct me nicely.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

update: further bus traumas

Okay, so like the past couple bus posts, this one isn't revolutionary, but it is annoying.  It's when a bus stops 4 lengths back instead of at the actual stop (quite possibly because there had been other buses in front of it, but still) and then you can't see it (particularly if you've been reading while you're waiting) or can't flag it down in time or at the very least you have to go running to get it, or, more annoyingly, go running to check if it's the bus you want or not, and then find out it isn't.  And then lose your seat on the bench.

Monday, October 15, 2012

quicko: a dog's breakfast

An idiom meaning something is a mess.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

quicko: big things

Australia has various BIG things.  For example,

--The Big Banana
--The Big Pineapple
--The Big Lobster

But gosh, why do you need my list when Wikipedia has already concocted it for you?  It's much more in-depth in its explanation, too.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

quicko: things people think are american, but are actually australian

I'm sure there must be a lot in this category, but I need help completing it.  They've started me off with:


Friday, October 12, 2012

quicko: what's huge in america; a flop in australia

Here begins an intermittent series of lists my co-workers have concocted to breathe life into this blog.  Their first contribution?  What's huge in America, but a flop in Australia.  As follows:

--Chick Filet (the store)
--huge turkey drumsticks
--Sizzler (came and failed here)
--American beer
--cheese in a can**

*Debatable.  There are lots of Starbucks around, but it was insisted to me that they are only in tourist areas.

**I insist this is also not big in America.  At least I really hope it isn't.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

photos: a beautiful rainbow off my balcony!!

review: (insert name of chocolate place here)

Perhaps you'd do better finding this chocolate place if I actually had any idea what it's called ... if it helps, it's pretty near the Chocolate Room and Darling Harbour ... maybe you've passed it?  I'm not even sure which road I was on, though it could have been Bathurst?

Anyway, Melissa found it and we decided to give it a try.  I had the Earl Grey chocolate, which was, they said, Earl Grey flavored and milk and white chocolate, or something to that effect.  I'm not convinced I tasted Earl Grey, but it was delicious.  It was also pricey -- it's a pretty place, all decked out in plush purple lounges and many fake books with multiple copies of Oliver Twist in front of every table.  (A bit Gatsby, anyone?)  The trouble was I finished my $6.80 hot chocolate in about a  minute flat, which just isn't very big bang for your buck, in my opinion.  Melissa was distressed because they wouldn't do soy, which is virtually unheard of in Sydney.  All in all, we liked the place but disliked the service.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

photos: night noodle markets

The night noodle markets are in Hyde Park every night this week and next!

quicko: good hair

Now I'm not the American that came up with this, but I see no need to disagree:  American girls have great hair.  What else is there to say?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

quicko: an ulcer

AKA what Australians call a canker sore.  Totally panicked me the first time a friend casually mentioned they had an ulcer -- I, of course, assuming their stomach had major issues that probably needed surgery.  Turns out they just needed to stop eating so many sweets and hang tight for a day or two.

Monday, October 8, 2012

quicko: baseball idioms

American English uses tons -- TONS -- of baseball idioms all the time.  From general sorts of "on the ball," or "play ball" to the more specific "struck out," "out in left field" or "step up to the plate," there are about 20-30 that are just general idiomatic parts of the language that are used frequently in daily conversation, professional conversation, conventions, presentations, etc.  Australians use/recognize many of them, but don't use quite as many quite as often.  I taught a bunch to my students the other day, thinking they'd be thrilled (idioms are generally a huge hit, if you pardon the idiom), but they weren't.  They didn't hear Australians using them and were convinced I'd made them up.  Students of little faith!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

quicko: school snobbery

It was recently suggested to me that Australians moving interstate for university is often a sign of either 1. a highly specialized major or 2. not being smart enough to get into school in their home state.  #2 comes especially into play, I've been told, if the student has ended up in Canberra.  (With the notable exception of one very good school there ... but I forget which one ...)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

quicko: melbourne

I went to Melbourne for the weekend and figured I ought to have something to show for it ... I don't really though!  It was a great weekend, but rainy and chilly and windy and just plain cold.  It was 9 degrees Celsius and I was convinced that must be about 38 Fahrenheit until I looked it up and discovered that it's more like 48.  I'm afraid I'm going really soft down here, so I'm just going to call it a windchill factor.  A few tidbits I picked up over the weekend, though:

--Pulled pork/briscuit/broiled/braided (for meat) are all not Australian terms.  I'd be hard pressed to tell you what any of them actually mean, but they generally fall into the edible category.

--The meat does not have to be a patty (one solid piece) to be considered a "burger" in Australia.  Hence, I had some sort of BBQ sandwich that was certainly not a burger, but everyone else was convinced it was.

--It's the law to wear bike helmets when riding a bike (and a motorcycle) in Australia.  Melbourne had an awkward blonde moment when it installed all these rent-a-bike places throughout the city in hopes commuters would use them instead of taxis, but then realized that no one was using them because they didn't happen to have a helmet with them.  Thus, they had to stock all the nearby convenience stores with cheap helmets and now the under-used bike racks all have signs telling you where the nearest 7/11 is so you can buy your helmet.

--There's a free shuttle bus that takes you all around the city of Melbourne.  It runs every half hour and is about an hour and a half ride.  It's a pleasant sort of ride, particularly on a blustery day, as long as you've got company to inform you of all the sights you're passing and give you little tidbits for your blog.

--"Scoff down" your food is the Australian (and British, it appears from a quick search) equivalent of "scarf down" your food.

--There's an Australian cake called chocolate ripple cake.  Evidently it's amazing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

quicko: at the airport

So I spent awhile at the airport today, and suddenly had a plethora of observations.  Aren't you lucky?

--There is a Victoria Secret in the domestic terminal at Sydney ... however, the deal that is supposed to be 5 for $25 was 5 for $50.  I was so disgusted I took my free sample of perfume and stormed right out.

--There was a free wine tasting in the airport.  I don't think I've ever seen that before.

--Do you experience this, or is it just me because I'm highly unobservant?  I call it the phenomenon of never seeing the same person.  I don't know how it works, but between check-in, the departure lounge, the flight itself and the baggage claim, I see an entirely different group of people in each place.  There's clearly only a set number of us going through this whole ordeal together, yet I evidently either glimpse every, single one of them, or else have no short term memory whatsoever.  The very occasional exception usually occurs if there's a suspect man in a straggly beard that just shows up absolutely everywhere.

--It's so easy to go through security!  There I was asking if I could take my water, stepping out of my flip flops, worrying about my belt, about to strip for all I was worth (don't forget the earrings!) and they were just like, ah, whatever, go through the thing like you are and if there's any trouble take something off and try again.

--1st class isn't as snazzy on most American airlines as it is on, say, Qantas.  Not that I'd know, but more luxurious travelers than I have recently informed me of this.

--I've also been informed that Australian passports have more pages for stamps.  Presumably for the obvious reason that Australians travel more.

--There weren't any people movers (moving sidewalks) in the domestic terminal.  I felt a bit gypped.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

quicko: nouns or verbs?

I thought this was a very repetitive, annoying mistake my students kept making:  come to find out, they keep making it because they keep hearing Australians (and Brits) saying it:  "to suicide" as a verb, instead of "to commit suicide."  Though they'd recognize the latter, the former is creeping quite freely into the grammar here -- drives me crazy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

quicko: min min

I had never heard of Min Min (the Min Min?) before today, but it was brought to my attention that they are a folklore of sorts in Australia, evidently dating back to an Aboriginal myth of some kind.  (Precise details are a bit scarce ...)  Basically, they're lights that appear and then disappear, especially in the eastern part of Australia.  They're not like the Northern Lights, but, according to Wikipedia, are probably Fata Morgana.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

quicko: tide sticks

I've got these handy little things called Tide Sticks, which I carry everywhere to avert any number of regularly scheduled catastrophes involving [whatever I'm eating] and [whatever I'm wearing].  They are truly magical little sticks and I don't see how anyone leaves home without one.  N

Monday, October 1, 2012