A Travellerspoint blog

Australia Day

What does it mean to be Australian?

sunny 28 °C
View Round t' World on pollyali's travel map.

Sorry it's been so long, but in all honesty our travelling adventures have been put on hold for the next 9 weeks, that is until we finish working and have saved up enough to commence the fun and frollicks of our Aussie adventure. So far we have seen Melbourne and Sydney city centres, not much to excite the masses I'm afraid, however we did manage to get some pictures of Sydney in the sunshine just to make you all jealous! Sydney_skyline.jpg look at how the buildings glissen in the rays, do you wish you were here yet? Ali_and_Opera_House.jpg now you do don't you!

We also experience the public fesivities they call Australia Day yesterday, and the question that seemed to be on everyones lips was 'What does it mean to be Australian?', well let us answer that for you.

It all started on Thursday afternoon at work, the company were kind enough to hold a bbq for us, and we all chipped in and gave a bit for the Sally Army who were collecting for the families effected by the bush fires. Ten sausages later and we were all asked to move forward and congregate under cover in the garage area ready for the raffle and speeches, the excitment was unbelievable! and quite rightly with a Jamie Oliver calander and some 15 year old whiskey in a bottle shaped like the Eiffel Tower who blame us! Everyone was truely in the spirit of the day wearing the countries national colours of green and gold and they all soon broke into song (the National Anthemn) whilst I, nervously munched on my bread roll and tried not to draw any attention to my intrusion into their National Day. It was an enlightening experience, and I wondered if any Company in the UK would take so much pride in their staff and their country, I don't think so.

Friday (yesterday) was a public holiday (yippee for us at its a day off work, but boo because we didnt get paid) We rose around the same time as during the working week and headed into town for the many festivities being held. This was before we watched the customary England batting collapse as we tried to explain the rules of the game to a bunch a yanks who thought we were Aussie! Apre's bier, and a rendition of Waltzing Matilda we headed down to Darling Harbour and baggsied a top spot by the water, making sure we took up as much room as possible! Meeting up with some friends we made at the very start of our trip we snuck some beer past the armed police and proceeding to bring a British edge to the distinctly aussie party (no one else was drinking, which suprised us although there were lots of us from other countries flouting the no alcohol rule).

From what we made out during the 3 hour show, being Australian means liking ships (lots of ships) supporting and showing appreciation for the Emergency Services (especially life guards - whom it seems were all around 15 years old) and for the rest of the evening, we felt like we were watching an Australian Army recruitment video. Stream upon stream of multi cultural immigrants (not one of them actually Australian) poured out the most patriotic bumff about what a great country this fair land is. What we laughed at was how serious it all was, and more importantly, what exactly was the point of the day? The ships were from Amsterdam and there were more foreigners in the crowd than Australians! They were careful to add 'This is and always will be an Aboriginal land' as not to offend anyone. We stayed to watch the fire works display, which we may add, the Aussies do extremely well.

Aussies are extremely patriotic, and dont get us wrong we both felt it was a good thing although some here feel it breeds racism. The Big Day out Music festival promoters asked the crowds not to bring the flag with them as they were scared they could not control any potential fights. This spread outrage across the country and the Prime Minister (regardless of how we think of him) condemned this action and said it was a sad day when Australians were not allowed to show their pride in their country. We can only imagine this happening in the UK. It would be Tony Blair banning the Union Jack as it was UN - PC!

Other activities successfuly completed by Team Pollyali was the walk across the Harbour Bridge last weekend with an afternoon at Coogee beach. It was well worth while, when you're on the otherside you get to see the great Sydney skyline of the harbour you get to see the image we all know well of the Opera House, Opera_House.jpg
Like any famous landmark, it's much more impressive from a distance, when you get up close you can see that the roof is made from chip-shop tiles (much like the off white ones we had in the Granny flat's kitchen) and it says 'made in Sweden' on them!

Polly_and_Opera_House.jpg

The walk over the bridge was great again we got some fantasic views of the Sydney skyline, although I did manage to finished with a sunburnt scalp! That is the 3rd time this trip that's happened to me, I must be going thin on top of something, or prehaps I should just invest in a hat, the one the girls bought me from work only could stand two plane journeys.

Sydney_Harbour_Bridge.jpg

Sydney_Har..lose_Up.jpg

Other news Will and Andrea saw Mike Skinner (aka, the Streets) in deep conversation about contemporary art and we had a few beers!

Hope you are all ok

Polly and ali

xx

Posted by pollyali 19:10 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world

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Comments

Love the pictures. I think it is time we were proud to be British. Lets face it though, unlike other countries we are made to appologise for our past and pay pennance for other peoples crimes. No wonder people are looking to live abroad when they retire.
News from home: I am feeling better at last but dad has gone down with it, bless him. Sara is so excited about her wedding it lifts us all and I am so pleased she is happy at last. Her dog is getting better at his tricks and she loves him too bits. Nanna continues to worry us and she has a horrible lump on her spine. We hope it is only bruised because it is a very definate round shape and a proper lump. Sometimes I wish I'd never worried about trivia......what a waste of life. Just what is old age about???? I guess if you have lots of money it's a doddle but there are some very sad cases in the homes nanna has been in. BUT Ali my mum never moans and still smiles when she sees dad...alas she has not recognised me for the past few weeks.

David continues to love his knew job and is so happy. I will update you on Laura after we see her this weekend. Steven had an interview for an offshore job and they are keeping their fingers crossed. It is a tense time for looby as her results are due in a week or so and her dissitation is loomimg before her. I know how competitive she is!!!!!

Well I think that is all the Grimmy news. Message for your DAD......Hope you are OK? Nasty fall it would seem. I guess, " It smarts a bit" goes no where near the pain!!!!!!

Love as always to you both

Mum xxxxxxxxxx

by Davydawn

Get a hat,Sarah you silly woman!We're all ok here and the weather is very good at the moment.Laurence is home on leave for a week and will probably have more before he starts his course.There is very little news here at the moment,the dogs and Binbag are all well as are the sheep chickens and your Father!xxttfn mum.

by red1

Hi Guys!
Glad you're both having fun...despite having to work (must be a right pain in the arse for you! haha) Thanks Pol for my birthday message, I was well impressed that you remembered - just goes to show eh, the old ones really are the best!! :0) Still busy doing this bloody PGCE, it's a right ball ache at the mo - am struggling to muster the motivation to keep going but at £3000 a year i'll finish it even if it kills me! I'm at a posh school in Altrincham now which is a culture shock compaired to the 'challenging' schools i've been in so far. It's great, I get fresh, warm, choc muffins delivered to me at break time (compaired to a sweaty round of toast in Stockport, this is the height of eductional luxuary!!) but I have to contend with nearly breaking my neck at the expense of 30 strewn lacross sticks every lesson which will be the end of me i'm sure. My sis has spilt up with that waste of space Tom and so on Monday we went to The Acadamy to watch Just Jack to cheer her up (her choice). I stood, like a mum, grimacing at the 'kids' as they jumped around dropping fag ash down peoples backs, saying all that though it was a good night and albeit not really my kinda music I actually did find myself considering buying the album (must of been the beer). Er, what else? we were in Leeds last night, John had a gig in a place called The Mixing Tin. It was a surreal experience, I watched them sound check behind a group of 20 tangoed Leeds girls dressed in pink glittery cowboy hats and pink tshirts (tied in the compulsory knot under the bust)on 'Gemma's 21st Birthday' nightout. They screamed '4,5!' after every microphone check '1.2' and poledanced to the opening few beats of each instrument check! Needless to say, they soon realised it wasn't Yates and disappeared into the night. The gig was great, played to a full house and got a few crates of free beers (excellect for us groupies). Righto, best go now. Hope you had pancakes on Tuesday?? Take care, love to you both, Jen x

by jenneth

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