25 May, 2009

Discovering Australia from a US perspective

The library at CAJ is stacked full of US books. Probably understandable, but the other day I finally picked up one of the handful of books about Australia ("Australia" by Sharon Gordon) and learnt some interesting things... First of all, "Australia is a country like no other. Its unusual weather, people, and animals make Australia unique." I knew most of this already except that Australian people are unusual. Wad'ya reckon? It was nice to be reminded of the meaning of words like postie, arvo, billy, mate, brekkie, cuppa and lollies. "Chook" is a good one too! I have to disagree with the statement about Australians living in the outback: "A trip to the nearest town for shopping might only happen once a week." That would be for the ones living close to town, don't you think? "Many people eat a lot of lamb" Is this still true? Maybe compared to the US it is true. Apparently we do things like watch TV and do homework in the 'lounge'. I'm glad to be boning up on all these things prior to re-entry in 30 days! I was surprised to find that corner stores are now called "milk bars", although maybe that is just a southern thing? I was disappointed that the intrepid "Lollypop lady" was not mentioned, however. Do they still call them "Ladies"? Probably not! Lying in the sun is called 'sunbaking'. Apparently Americans call it 'sunbathing'. Didn't know that! The book gives an interesting description of cricket, implying that the main aim of the game is for the batsman to stop the ball from hitting the wicket. At least Ms Gordan made an effort to understand, I guess. Aussie Rules or "footy" gets a mention too. Of course Santa makes an appearance - on a sailboat. Northern Hemisphere folk are fascinated by our summer Christmases. Good thing I read the book. I'm sure there are still things I've missed, however...

4 comments:

Anika Qing said...

Yes, we do still call them lollypop ladies!

But I'm still puzzling over the "milk bar" thing...

Wendy said...

But what do you call a man doing the Lollypop lady job?

Anika Qing said...

Um...well, that possibility has never occurred to me before, I must admit.

(Does that make me chauvinistic or something??)

Melissa said...

The PC term is School Crossing Supervisor I think.