"I'm dreaming of a white christmas..."

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  ,
Saturday, December 25, 2004

I think you know when you have taken that step from childhood to adulthood, when you stop waking up at 5am on Christmas day, instead, rather preferring to have a lie in on one of the few public holidays you have been given!

Holly doesn't seem to have taken this step yet, eagerly jumping on me at 9am and ramming a Santa hat on top of my head. Lets hope next year will be different!

I was quite surprised we all lasted till 12 to open presents, as she was eagerly rattling and feeling her presents like a 5 year old, since breakfast. We were both really surprised about how many presents we received off everyone, expecting to sit there with false smiles, while everyone opened theirs. Instead we were the targets of observation, with all of them fixed on our reactions to the Aussie presents they had bought us! We were given music from Aussie bands, boomerangs, Aussie rules footballs, beer stubbie coolers, and of course a cork hat each!

Because it was our first Christmas away from home, Holly's family laid on a typical Aussie xmas bbq for lunch - well its what they do in Neighbours, so I imagine that's what every other Australian house hold does? It made a nice change from the usual turkey spread that we were used to at home, although we were disappointed there wasn't any 'Shrimps on the Barbie;' sold out apparently!

It was an unusually hot day today so we decided to go down to the gorge again to play with our new 'toys', and to take a swim to cool down. We quickly realised that

a) We couldn't throw a boomerang


b) We couldn't kick a football straight

We took solace in knowing Holly, Mads and Guy couldn't either, which made us feel a bit better! That said we still looked good with our t-shirts off, and our Santa hats on!

Boxing Day

For Boxing Day, we drove East for about an hour to Burney, home to a shack of another Aussie friend we had met in London, Brock. The good thing about his shack was they had built a 'Pool Room' underneath the house. Although I was disappointed not to see a pool table, or swimming pool, I cheered up when I saw the bar.

Brock's family had an unhealthy obsession for the beer Boags (the brewery tour we went on last week). They had collected so much memorabilia over the years, every wall, and surface was covered in it. They had even gone to the trouble as to getting a Draught pump set up in the bar!

We spent our last day in Tasmania, getting drunk with all our friends from London who had turned up to say goodbye. We had covered nearly all of Tasmania in less than 2 weeks, had seen so much, but still not seen everything! I now see why they call Tasmania, the Apple state. I wonder if all Australia's states will match up to it. Were soon see, we'll be in Sydney tomorrow!!

Funny of the Day

The questions below about Australia, are from potential visitors. They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a sense of humour.

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)

A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)

A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? ( UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first
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