What does it mean to be Australian?
29.01.2006 - 26.01.2007 28 °C
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! look at how the buildings glissen in the rays, do you wish you were here yet? 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,
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!
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.
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