Saturday, February 27, 2010

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (2)

After traveling fairly steadily for the last 2 months of my life, I seem to be finally settling down (for now) and as a result, I don't have nearly as many stories, pictures or videos to share with you. I have started to economize wherever possible and with that it has curtailed almost all excursions that may cost money, and any meals eaten outside of the hostel. This has resulted in me just being able to be observant about my surroundings rather than the amazing sights that I have been seeing.

With that, I present to you, weird things I've seen/noticed/experienced in Australia. If you've ever been to Australia you may not think this is weird at all. Given that it's been so long since I've had any sort of normal, I think it's pretty special that I'm even try to point out the unusual, but here goes.

1 How you going? - This is the typical greeting that an Australian will give to you. Not 'how are you doing' but ' how you going?' The first time I heard this from anyone, I had to have the guy repeat himself twice before I figured out what was going on. To this day, it still sounds peculiar. I had a Canadian person say this to me and I actually thought he was Australian for a while.

2. Salads - I went to Subway the other day to see if the subs were any good. I had tried it in Thailand and it was less than average, so I didn't have high hopes, but it turned out to be one of the best subs I've ever had. This was not the most noteworthy part of the encounter though. When I was ordering my sub, I had picked out my meat, bread, cheese and then we arrived at the vegetables. "What kind of salads?" What? Salads? I want vegetables. Oh, ok. They call those salads.

3. They drive on the left side of the road - When Kari and I had rented a car, it was fun to see how many times she tried to get in the passenger seat (or me in the drivers seat) and how often she would turn on the windshield wipers rather than hit the signal light. This, along with looking the wrong way while crossing the street has turned out to be much more difficult/hilarious than actually driving on the wrong side of the road. I swear I'm going to be looking for a car the wrong direction as I get drilled by someones hood.

4. Sultanas - This isn't all that weird, but has a story behind it. I was at a cricket match (my first ever) and I had been talking with the ushers the entire match. Somewhere in the middle, David (the usher) comes down and starts to tell me about this wonderful snack that I should get and keep with me. He describes it as dehydrated fruit. If you saw my post from my flight to Sydney, you know about my addiction to dehydrated fruit. Needless to say I'm intrigued. David takes out a box that says sultanas. At this point, I have no idea what to expect. I start asking questions as to what a sultana is. After David tried to explain it to me, without me comprehending, he decided to just let me try them for myself. He opens up the box and poured a few into my hand. Raisans. They were raisans. I'm dumb. Since then, I've been to the grocery store several times and seen them everywhere. They even have Sultana Bran (Raisan Bran).

5. Rice Bubbles - In a similar train of thought, Rice Krispies are called Rice Bubbles.

6. Road terms - While traveling with Kari we noticed several items that requiring mention.
- Twinning a highway - Duplication
- Rumble strips on the side of the road - Audible lines
- Making a U-turn? - Turn Back
- Stuck in rush hour? Nope - Peak hour
- There is no passing lane - Overtaking lane

7. Rubish - That's what they call garbage over here. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that this is a British thing that has transfered over.

8. Temperature - It's nice to see that the termperature actually fluctuates here. After my time in Thailand where the temperature was nearly always the same everyday, it's been good to see that some days are 35 while the next day may be 25. It even rains here (I had a combined total of 5 minutes of rain in Thailand).

9. Relating to Peak Hour - I saw a gas station that had it's petrol (yeah, that's what it's called) price at 1.17 in the morning, then they bumped it up to 1.34 for 'peak hour' before returning to 1.17 that evening. No longer will I think that gas stations in Canada are ruthless.

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure I will find more as I go along.


  1. You forgot about capsicum and chilies (as in not chili peppers) and goon and rooting and how schooners are the standard vessel of beer at bars, rather than pints--and my favourite, budgie smugglers.

  2. Yes it is a British thing you're noticing. Sultanas are British, so is rubbish, sweaters are jumpers, flip flops are thongs and yes capsicums are peppers. Very very confusing place, but I'm sure you'll have fun!

    Oh and I think the correct answer to "How you going?" Is "she'll be apples". No idea why though. Had a friend live in Geelong for 6 months and she still says "how you going?" once in a while.