Monday, January 31, 2011

Australia Day and Utes

Dean - Sydney, Australia

Australia Day 2011

This past January 26th was Australia Day. Like any Canada Day or Independence Day, it's a day of hanging out with friends and having a BBQ - but at the beach!! Wanting to experience this, I headed down to Bondi in the sizzling 33C heat. Arriving at the Bondi, aside from the chaos of the masses of people, I quickly found this event:

Thong challenge?!? It was not exactly what I thought. What I saw was over 2000 Aussies (and others) with inflatable thongs trying to break a record of most inflatables in the water. Quite a sight and apparently it is done across the country every year as a rivalry between different beaches. Nancy and I now have some fun plans for next Australia day! Walking from Bondi to Bronte along the coastal trail I couldn't believe the level of effort people here go through to have a god time (not that it's a bad thing!). Full on BBQs brought down, lot's of food and drink, music everywhere. In one bay a DJ had set up his gear on the rocks and there was a mass of people relaxing, swimming. I saw other interesting examples of what lengths people will go to for some fun: an inflatable pool, a ping pong table, and a water slide made from plastic sheeting down a hill. 

I finished the day off watching the events at Darling Harbour which is just west of the Sydney harbour bridge. They had a huge show which concluded with a spectacular show of sail boats and fireworks. A great day.

The Australian Ute

Does anyone remember the Chevrolet El Camino? My brother had one of these bad boys way back. I think the last time they were made in North America was in the mid 80s, basically a half car / half truck type vehicle. Well there seems to be an affection for that car style here as they are extremely popular. Made by Ford and Holden (local car manufacturer), they are called utility vehicles or "Utes" for short. And no I won't be getting one of these...

Translations of the week (some very English like ones):

heaps = lot's (I have heaps of work to do)
tomato sauce = ketchup (And that's toe-mah-toe not toe-may-toe)
ring = call (I'll ring you when I get home)
lift = elevator
take away = take out
skinny flat white = non fat (skim) latte type drink (I'll have a skinny flat white take away please)
crikey = wow/surprise
fortnightly = biweekly
car park = parking lot
car space = parking space
position = location (The house is in an enviable position)

Other update, after 2 weeks of searching, a dozen open houses, 3 unaccepted applications, I am still looking for a home for us. Crikey!!

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