Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On Oz

Save for a brief spell in the motherland, I've spent the last nine solid months on this isolated island.  In this short gestational time period I've done two random observation posts (here and here) and it's about damn time I do one more.

It's fun, you learn something, and I look wise like Yoda.  Enjoy it you will I hope.

I'm pretty sure Brisbane at one time housed Jurassic Park.

What else could explain this structure?

A bar is called a "hotel".

It often looks like this (unfortunately not all have the gay pride flag flying out front):

I imagine this makes it difficult for out-of-towners to book a place to stay (you know, a freaking hotel) since regular sleeping hotels are also called hotels.

There's often several bars under one roof of a hotel, so you can drink from different establishments without ever having to move seats.  A genius idea to be sure, just a confusing name.

Birds are murderously aggressive here.

I noticed a ton of bikers with zip ties sticking out of their helmet, like this:

I thought they did it just for funsies or to be fashionable or something, but it turns out it's to protect birds from swooping down and attacking their head.  

Now, these birds (magpies) exist in Norway but I don't recall any tales of bird-on-human crime.  I don't know how vicious the attacks are (Are eyes pecked?  Could they even do that to a moving target?) but it's apparently serious enough of a problem for people to bike around with spikes sticking out of their head.

What the eff, Australian fauna.

Australians are nuts - nuts - about their coffee.

You've never met a race of people so snooty about their coffee.  It's like the French and their wine, with 30% more snoot and 60% less body odor.

Secret code words and elitism surround the humble coffee bar in Australia.  Ordering from one is not for the faint of heart, so here is a handy ordering guide for those new to the game (but beware, the game is a blood sport):

Flat white: Steamed milk over espresso

Long black: Espresso + water, somehow different from an Americano

Short black: Just espresso, but Australians are too damn fancy about their coffee to simply call it espresso

God help you if you order "just a coffee".  There's no such thing and your request will not compute.  You might get laughed out of the joint or detained by authorities.

They're serious about their coffee, yo.

Eew, bugs.

The other day a cockroach fell from the ceiling on to my colleague's head.

Again, what the eff, Australian fauna!

When you're biotching about your below zero temperatures repeat after me: "At least there are not cockroaches falling on my head".

I can't afford this shit.

Seriously, the cost of living here is off the chain.  This is just one (albeit egregious) example.  Salaries are good, yes, but a large portion of my soul died when I saw avocados that cost $4 a piece.

I mean it, I can't afford this shit.

1 comment:

  1. Loving the bike helmet. And I feel your pain on the COL. I can buy a cauliflower the size of my fist for $6. Great.