Saturday, March 30, 2013

quicko: life lesson

It seems it is not such a hot idea to rent a car on Easter Saturday without pre-booking.  There won't be any left.  (And even if they were, they wouldn't be able to be returned on Easter Monday because it's also a holiday here and everything's still closed.)

Good thing Manly is only a gorgeous ferry ride away.

Friday, March 29, 2013

quicko: butterfingers

They don't have Butterfingers here.  Not in candy bar form, not in ice cream topping form, not in any form.  It's taken five years, but, man, I'd really like a Butterfingers just now.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

quicko: have you seen this cereal??

Plus Sports -- it's been my staple morning cereal for ages now and Coles has suddenly stopped selling it.  They sell lots of other Plus -- women's or fiber or whatever -- but my blue box Plus is missing.  I have one box left that I'm getting pretty sentimental about.  Not sure I've got the heart to tear into it, knowing it may well be my last.  Alas!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

bus bloopers: the flat tire (tyre)

I suppose it's on obvious potential problem with any wheel-ridden wagon (it alliterates better that way, come on), but it's still not fun when it happens to your bus.  I overheard the driver say he was quite surprised because it was actually a brand new bus ... thankfully we were over the bridge at the time and were actually allowed out to walk to Wynyard from the ramp and no real damage was done.  This time.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

quicko: coriander

AKA cilantro.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

quicko: servings

At dinner in American homes, the table is set and there are various dishes served on the table -- meat, vegetables, salad, etc. -- that are passed around and everyone takes what they want.  There's generally a fair few leftovers at the end that make, say, lunch the next day.

In Australia, though, the standard is for each plate to be individually dished up in the kitchen by whoever prepares the meal and everyone is given a set amount of food that simply, I am told, becomes the amount of food you want for dinner that night.  Leftovers are rarer and generally along the lines of "the sausages came in a pack of 10 but there are 4 people who each ate 2 so we'll put 2 away for later."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

news flash: massive delays this morning!!

If you lived north of the bridge today and were trying to get into the city via bus aroundabout 7:45 am -- wow, you were up a creek.  Evidently there was some issue in the tunnel that backed traffic up horrendously.  Instead of catching my usual bus, I actually walked all the way to Milson's Point (maybe a 35 minute brisk walk from my house) to get a train into the city -- and still arrived half an hour after my students.  I fared better than another friend coming from around Manly via Military Road who ended up getting to school an hour late instead.  Thank goodness for kind and understanding bosses!

quicko: to call out

Evidently more American.  As in, "I totally called him out for saying 'oregano' like an Australian even though he's American."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

quicko: puma

Just utterly mispronounced here.  Along the lines of p-YOU-muh instead of p-oooh-ma.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

quicko: jaguar

Somehow acquires three-ish syllables in Australia instead of two ...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

quicko: st. patrick's day

I hope you had a fantastic St. Patrick's Day!  There was tremendously little happening in my life this year to indicate the holiday, but I heard there was an abundance of festivity in the city -- and that Scruffy Murphy's in particular was full of nothing but Irish accents.  It seems of the four million Irish -- well, tons and tons are in Sydney, mostly as a result of an unfortunate economic situation there at the moment.  Lots of 20-somethings are seeking their (literal and metaphorical) fortunes abroad -- many in Australia.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

quicko: the uniting church

The Uniting Church is an Australian Christian denomination that formed from three others -- Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational.  It's one of the main denominations in Australia and Uniting Care, its service and outreach ministry, is the second biggest employer in Australia (after the government).  Uniting Care runs many homes for the elderly and is one of Australia's unsung heroes -- yet actually much bigger than AngliCare (the Anglican church's equivalent) or the Salvos (the Salvation Army, which many Australians support but don't realize is a Christian organization).

Friday, March 15, 2013

quicko: australian brands

I was going to make you a list of Australian brands, but, like with everything, Wikipedia's beaten me to the punch.  Here it is.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

quicko: pseduo-bridal photos

It's a funny pet peeve to have, but I've been getting annoyed lately with all the brides I see around the Sydney Observatory.  Oh, it's not the real brides that bother me.  They're happy and glowing and perfectly entitled to be there.  It's the fake ones.

How do you know they're fake?  You know they're fake because you see them on a Tuesday afternoon.  Or a Wednesday.  Or a Monday.  With a groom, a photographer, perfect lighting and no one else.  Real brides come with entourages.  On weekends.  Regardless of it's perfect lighting or not, because they picked the day months prior when they couldn't guarantee it wouldn't rain at 5 pm.

No, the brides I see are the ones running about getting fake photos before the real event -- in fake dresses!!  Dresses that can be rented for the photo shoot (photos from which will most likely appear at the actual wedding, say, in the order of service or on placecards or something)!  For goodness sake, you want the real dress -- and that's why you take so many photos on the actual, real day!

I'm all for photos on real wedding days -- but no more of these highly orchestrated hoaxes.  When you see a girl in a bridal gown, you ought to be able to gush because you know she's a real bride -- not an imposter who's getting a whole 'nother day to herself two months down the track.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

public service announcement: exhibition

There's a really good exhibition on at the tiny little Manly art museum at the moment -- it's on the Holocaust and tells the stories of many people who were part of the resistance.  It's fascinating and thought-provoking, not too big and free.  Worth a visit if you're passing through.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

quicko: allan's

Start dating a musician and look what happens to me!  Suddenly I'm wandering around stores I never knew existed, taking pictures of trumpets (okay, that has happened before -- but with roses and white sheets, from memory) and blogging about -- Allan's, which, when one does one's research, one learns was originally founded by a Webster!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

update: you know you're a bogan when ...

(further updates from mX)

You think a Catholic church is a mosque.

You go to a wedding just for the food.

You refer to your TAFE [vocational school] Certificate II as "a degree."

You let your daughter, 15, smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.

You say "anythink," "youse" or "me" instead of "my."

Your toughest decision is whether or not to colour in the stars on your Southern Cross tattoo.

Your main mode of transport is a Razor scooter.

Anything East Asian isn't Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Thai or Cambodian but always "Choy-neez."

Your name ends in "azza."

Friday, March 8, 2013

update: bus bloopers

Your (brand new) bus can get a flat tire.  On the Harbour Bridge.

(Okay, so mine was just off the bridge, but that was just sheer predestination!)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

update: you know you're a bogan when ...

(stolen from mX ... from the 13th of March!)

You say "I seen" instead of "I saw."

You run around the streets howling like a dog and do a better job than a real dog.

You have Centrelink [Australian government agency] stored in your phone as "boss."

You consider your empty Calliano bottle collection classy home decoration.

Your rat's tail is almost as long as your driveway.

People think you're having a garage sale in the frontyard.

You sound and look drunk eery time your mouth opens.

You need a tattoo on your forearm to remember your last name.

You have triplets named Jye, Kye and Pye.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

quicko: politics

I really don't get much into politics in any country, but the (belated) buzz here at the moment is that Australia is having a (gasp, shock, horror) 9-month election campaign.  Now to those of us used to there pretty much never being a non-campaign moment, it's not such a shock.  To Australians, however, who are used to much shorter (say a month or two I think?) election campaigns, this is torture of a monumental proportion.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

quicko: toilet roll

AKA a roll of toilet paper.

Monday, March 4, 2013

quicko: health checks

The Australian term for physicals.  Here's the really intriguing thing, though:  they don't get them every year or even every other.  It's more, it seems, a recommended thing to do every ... so often?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

bus bloopers: the unflaggable bus

You're sitting.  Outside.  In the rain.  Waiting for the bus.  Which is overdue.  So you're talking on the phone to pass the time.  In the midst of the conversation, the bus pulls up, shows no inkling of stopping, and, by the time you've managed to try to flag it down is currently passing you and doesn't so much as blink.  So you're sitting.  Outside.  In the rain.  Waiting for the bus.  Which is 30 minutes away, if it's on time.

Oh gosh, Kim, you say.  You write so realistically.  Almost as if it really happened.

Aww, shucks, I say.  Thanks.  It must be a gift.

Friday, March 1, 2013

quicko: american syllabi

I came across this and surprised myself by actually being really intrigued and thoroughly skimming all the way to the end -- it's a collection of university syllabi written by (arguably, in certain circles) famous people.  I don't think I've ever seen an Australian syllabus, but these, despite a few quirks, really looked pretty typical to me.  The format is much the same as most of mine in undergrad -- though maybe that's just because my alma mater Calvin College is pretty awesome!