?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Look Back | Look Forward

Ow.

Ran out last night to get the Australian equivalent of Solarcaine and Tylenol, by the grace of which I was able to sleep well last night, but I'm sore today.

This is my second trip to the merry old land of Oz, but the first one in which I've really been able to experience the country. This is just a few thoughts in no particular order that occurred to me this morning.


  • The people are friendly to a fault.
  • Driving on the left is weird, no matter how you look at it. 45 years of driving has trained my subconscious to know where the steering wheel should be with reference to the left edge of the road, which means if I lose focus for even a split second I'm either straddling the lane or off into the ditch. Fortunately, both I and the car are still in one piece. It's getting easier.
  • It's odd that roundabouts, which were designed to create an orderly flow of traffic, are being removed at many intersections. (I know, because the GPS with 2006-based maps gives me instructions for roundabouts that are no longer there.) It may be due to an increase in population which necessitates standard semaphore-based control. Perhaps a roundabout doesn't work well when there are too many people trying to get through at once.
  • Things can be expensive here. A pastry that would be a buck in Smith's at home costs around $3.00 at a kiosk in the mall. A can of the Australian version of Tinactin was $14.00. In addition to a higher base pay here, much of what is sold must be imported, which affects prices. Candy is expensive - they must have to bring in all their sugar.
  • It's humid, at least here on the East side. Like average 65% humidity. Australia is coal-fired, homes heated where necessary by means other than forced air. Hence central air is a rarity. It costs about $3,000 to put in a single wall-mounted cooling unit that would handle one average-sized room. I'm always feeling like I've had a swim in a molasses pool.
  • North NSW and South Queensland has some of the most beautiful, fertile, lush and abundant land I've ever seen over such a large area.
  • I think the whip bird has the most delightful call of any bird in the world.
  • Pastry shops that sell meat and veggie pies are a gift from Heaven.
  • I could spend years exploring this country.


More as I think of it.


Support Wind Power

respective-eponymous

Comments

alaskawolf
Jan. 18th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
switching to right hand drive is always awkward, i always felt out of place driving postal jeeps :P


enjoy your time there :)
secoh
Jan. 18th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
Meat pies are a national treasure :-P
thefoxaroo
Jan. 21st, 2010 02:05 am (UTC)
I can't see Nicolas Cage coming here to film a hunt for them though :P
fearciuil
Jan. 18th, 2010 11:35 pm (UTC)
The OTC was concerned about you, after hearing about a huge dust storm in Sydney. Good to hear you're doing well and enjoying yourself.
ccdesan
Jan. 19th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
Tell the Couch thanks for me. I haven't been over as I'm saving all my webcomics for when I get home. Time constraints. But give everyone a hug!
thefoxaroo
Jan. 21st, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
Old Wolf wasn't here for the dust storm, but you received some photos of it, didn't you? XD
r_caton
Jan. 18th, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
Driving on the left? No worries, never bothers me....

Roundabouts vs. Traffic Signal Controlled Junctions.
Purely a metter of fashion. Yank one ut and shove the other in. Happens in the UK all the time.
dhlawrence
Jan. 18th, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
^ What he said. They're plonking them down all over where I am. One road is going to be getting them all the way along (except for one lit intersection to allow sidestreet traffic to enter. Give it time and some of those roundabouts will be going back in. thefoxaroo and I have a theory that Australia's infrastructure planning is 30 years behind the US and Canada.
secoh
Jan. 19th, 2010 09:28 am (UTC)
There is no planning here.
They do infrastructure only when the electorates start to shift against whoever is in government, and when they do it is only to fix current problems, not to plan for the future.

I'm fairly sure the road and traffic authority buy roundabouts in packs of ten, and use them before they go past the expiry date and start to stink up the depots.
thefoxaroo
Jan. 21st, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
What Steamwolf said times ten!
james_b
Jan. 19th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
The important thing with driving is not to ever consider driving while tired ... and you'd be amazed how many tourists get hit by cars after looking the wrong way when crossing the street.
james_b
Jan. 19th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)
I'm assuming that you're at Ashgrove and not Ashmore.

If so, see if you can get out to "Digger's Pies" at Albany Creek (720 Albany Creek Rd, Albany Creek, QLD 4035 - p: (07) 32644652). If they're still there, they'll be in one of the 2 strip malls on the south side of Albany Creek Rd in Albany Creek (in the strip mall that doesn't have the Cole's supermarket).

They were my preferred pie shop and usually do well in the competitive baking events.
ccdesan
Jan. 19th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Nope, Ashmore. Gold Coast. But lots of good pie shops round here, too. *urp*
ccdesan
Jan. 19th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
I always look both ways to hedge my bets...
secoh
Jan. 19th, 2010 09:23 am (UTC)
Roundabouts are only effective when there is relatively even flow of light traffic from more than two directions, otherwise the stream of traffic charges through from one end and everyone else is stuck waiting at what really shouldn't be a bottleneck - but is...

deckardcanine
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
1. When Dogbert in his Clues for the Clueless discussed how close you may stand to people in different countries, he said, "In Australia, any distance is too dang close." The illustration showed a voice over a hill calling, "Hey, can we talk?" as a grumpy Aussie speed-walked away thinking, "He must be a tourist."

To be fair, that was almost 20 years ago, so times may have changed. And Australia is big enough that you might encounter very different attitudes in different parts. My family met mostly polite people in France, but then, we were in Paris only at the airport.

2. My dad reports the same: "It's counterintuitive." But so is driving at all, when you think about it.

3. I never quite understood how roundabouts were supposed to help. There's a circle near my old house, and drivers frequently don't know how to handle it.

4. Back when video arcades were popular, I heard those were expensive in Australia too. Maybe it's something about junky non-necessities.

5. I thought Europe's lack of air conditioning was bad enough.

6. I wonder if that's where they filmed some of the movies I've seen that credit Australia.

7. Just this morning, I was thinking of the term "whippoorwill."

8. Not my thing, but at least they might counteract the cloying sweet smells.

9. I'm sure we all could. :)
thefoxaroo
Jan. 21st, 2010 02:28 am (UTC)
ccdesan said:"The people are friendly to a fault",
Depends what part of Australia you're standing in.

ccdesan said:"Things can be expensive here",
He's learning folks... He'll be almost house trained by the time he's due to fly out. :P

ccdesan said:"Candy is expensive - they must have to bring in all their sugar.",
Actually agricultural products are one of the few things we rarely import. I know; the main sugar corporation in this country is one of my company's clients.

The actual MANUFACTURING in this country is where the expense comes from. With all the stringent high quality standards, union enforced regulations and inadequate infrastructure in this country there's very little we can produce here to compete with the cheap sweat-shop junk imported from our "friendly neighbours." I know you enjoy JibJab, so you wont mind seeing this again. XD http://sendables.jibjab.com/originals/big_box_mart - applies to Australia just the same as the USA.

ccdesan said:"It's humid, at least here on the East side. Like average 65% humidity. Australia is coal-fired, homes heated where necessary by means other than forced air. Hence central air is a rarity. It costs about $3,000 to put in a single wall-mounted cooling unit that would handle one average-sized room. I'm always feeling like I've had a swim in a molasses pool.",
I did warn him. Didn't I warn him? But no, mnn nnn, don't listen to Stephan! :P

(Wink!) ;)

ccdesan said:"I think the whip bird has the most delightful call of any bird in the world.",
It certainly is nice. :) Especially when you hear the female answer the male's call. You hear the long drawn out call of the male, then immediately (a distance away) the two high pitched notes of the female. I wish I were able to compare it with other bird calls.

ccdesan said:"Pastry shops that sell meat and veggie pies are a gift from Heaven.",
Well you're 50% right :P

ccdesan said:"I could spend years exploring this country.",
Let me know when you're ready to do Jenolean Caves and or the snowfields and you'll have a foxaroo hopping alongsid the Old Wolf. ;)

Profile

Fortunata
ccdesan
The Old Wolf
Website

Latest Month

November 2017
S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com