After a day or two in the high 60’s, we are back into regular summer weather in the upper 70’s/low 80’s and I’m so grateful! With just three full days left in Australia, I’ve seen extreme heat, cool opposite days, thunder & lightning, crazy wind, rain, and perfect temperate days – in other words, not all that different (except for the storms) from Oregon in the summer! Of course it’s the first of March…
Oh and what are some of the other differences besides being in the opposite season? And besides the normal terminology that we all know differs between here and there? Here are a few things…
* Did you know Autumn begins March 1st? Not the same as our Spring on the 21st…very strange to me that they don’t do it on the solstice or equinox, but rather choose a day on the calendar. I looked it up – we in the US & Canada celebrate the “astronomical” start while Oz & NZ celebrate the “climatalogical” date…oh and in Asia? Lunar. Learn somethin’ new every day 🙂
* In Oz you don’t get your driver license til you’re 18…but on that same day you get to drink alcohol. That being said, there’s 0.0 BAC allowed those first three years for Oz drivers. Good idea in any country.
* Just like in the US, not everyone knows where Oregon is. Heh. Fine by me.
* The bugs are bigger and creepier, and it’s fifty bucks for breakfast in Melbourne. Oy!
* Voting is compulsory in Australia. In the US, less than 60% of eligible voters participated in the ’12 presidential election.
* Racism is the norm here. My host actually said she has very few friends who aren’t racist.
* There are no street food vendors!
* Tipping is completely up in the air – do you or don’t you? Just pick if we should or not ! Me? I tipped for good service, just like at home.
* My hosts said that Americans don’t consider Oz a preferred holiday destination. I explained to them that it’s about $2500 to fly to Oz, about $800 more than flying to America due to the fuel surcharges & taxes we pay. I got here with frequent flyer miles!
So…there are a few tidbits…and now, I’ll share a bit from my walk today…
the seagulls are very mellow, and look slightly different than the ones back home
you can barely see Melbourne across the bay…
i can’t make this aqua sea and blue sky up – i must’ve taken a hundred photos today!
part of the old Ozone paddle steamer, deliberately sunk in 1025 to provide breakwater for small craft
another big big happy sigh…
and another…man did i find a ton of cool shells today as well!
pre-sunburn and diggin’ life … the water did a number on the backs of my knees and tops of my feet, so i’m glad for the aloe plant growing outside my room to rub on the redness!!