Monday, November 15, 2010

australia, first impressions

the bad news is that last week my laptop died :( its such a sad moment when it happens.... i managed to back up everything before i left england, but i think i forgot some music files and i lost most of what i did last week (not much). at least the beast held out until i started my new job, but unfortunately, my new computer has not arrived yet and so i'm feeling a bit helpless and unproductive.

i therefore took advantage of the down time to explore sydney a little and try to get my body adjusted to this oppressive heat, humidity, and sunlight! since i cannot download my pictures just yet, i'll share some observations:

The size of the bbqs have not disappointed. there is even a special BBQ cleaning spray that i've never seen sold in any other country!

i've adopted a "don't bother asking" policy and just assume that all animals in australia are poisonous. this was particularly distracting during my first lunch with new colleagues when there were a ton of small creatures crawling all over the picnic tables, yet no one seemed to notice them...

i bought some running shoes and attempted to run to the national park near where i'm currently living. i was unsure that i had found the small trail i was looking for, but pushed forward anyway.... until i came bounding around a tree and literally ran into a huge black snake!! ack! we both stayed stunned for a few seconds and then scurried off in opposite directions. i finally found the proper trail and ran long enough to release all my nervous energy while worrying that any little noise was really something poisonous poised to attack me! silly, i know... when i returned home, i did some research and learned that its the brown snakes i need to worry about and very few people are actually killed each year by animal bites or stings. whew.

my first weekend here there was a spectacular thunderstorm complete with lots of lighting!! i forgot how exciting and dramatic and intimidating thunderstorms can be!

i found some ridiculously specific statements in the paperwork for my new job: "normal business hours are from 8.30am to 4.51pm."

there are a lot of colorful birds with aggressive sounding calls. i had quite a faceoff with a kookaburra saturday afternoon... they are incredibly stout birds with huge heads and beaks for the size of their bodies! they are carnivorous, so i wondered if it was after my toes, but it eventually got bored and flew off to watch from a tree branch.

the people have been incredibly nice... strangers look at me and smile and some even talk to me!

surfer boys are cute. surfer girls are b.a.d.a.s.s.

its freaking HOT and humid here, and it's not even summer yet!

actual question on the driver's licence application that i have no idea how to answer: have you ever had attacks of giddiness?

no, water does not swirl down drains in different directions on different hemispheres! The coriolis force, created by the earths spin, causes storm systems like tornados to swirl in the opposite direction, but it does not affect a system as small as a toilet bowl or sink!


Big Mark 243 said...

As a child, I recall a song about the kookaburra bird sitting in an old gum tree... don't know much more than that.

I snagged one of you pictures from somewhere exotic you were and I hope you don't mind. Enjoy your stay and be safe..!

MikeS said...

Kookaburra Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree
Merry merry king of the bush is he
Laugh Kookaburra, laugh Kookaburra
Gay your life must be

It's one of my daughter's favorite. You should got to Taronga Zoo while you're there.

Unknown said...

wow - i know the kookaburra song!! i had forgotten all about it. thanks!

... although i can guarantee it will be in my head for the rest of the day now :(

Claire said...

Well have you..?? (giddiness) I wonder if they'd stop you having a licence if you answer incorrectly!

fotoeins said...

@Amanda: good on ya!

Unsui said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unsui said...

One benefit of crossing hemispheres is endless summer. Enjoy your runs and don't scare the snakes :)

C W Magee said...

In theory, the black snakes have a lethal venom, but they are very mild mannered and even if you do convince them to bite, they have fairly small fangs.

Kookaburras are adept at stealing meat (or sausages) off of sandwiches, so if they're eying you off, that is generally why.

Native bees do not sting, but native ants do: in town most species of both are introduced, but if you do see jumping ants, stay outta their way.

On the bright side, there is no rabies here, so hairy things (spiders excluded) that bite you aren't nearly as worrysome.

Feel free to ask if you have any silly expat questions, and enjoy the lovely spring weather.