A Travellerspoint blog

Australia Day

What does it mean to be Australian?

sunny 28 °C
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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!

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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.

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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 Comments (3)

Same Shit, Different Year.

It's 2007!!!!

sunny 26 °C

Hello every one and welcome to Sydney!
For those that dont know, we arrived in Sydney on 30/12 after a last gasp decision to uproot from Melbourne and head to the Emerald City for the NYE celebrations (something we always wanted to do!)
We landed early am on the Friday before NYE and were recommended to take the airport shuttle bus which would drop us off outside our hotel. We parted with the $12 each and waited patiently for a minibus to arrive. Well, when it did, the driver was a complete lunatic... he forgot where everyone was staying and nearly crashed into two buses while driving at 70kph! after half an hour of the supposedly 20 min journey, Pol and I said we'd had enough and got out by the hilton.. we were then refused further passage by another shuttle bus driver unless we paid him $5. Bunch of con artists.. (note to all.. do not take the airport shuttle bus if the driver is called Sean!)
When we had finally found our accommodation, we had a quick snooze and went out to explore the vastness in front of us... it were kewl, albeit rather rainy! we went to the Sydney Opera House (Pol HAD to touch it!) and supped a cold glass of wine by the river while Fork lightning loomed menacingly overhead.

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NYE was a blast.. we wandered into the quay area around the bridge around 5.30pm to be blown away by the number of people that were already there (a fellow traveller had warned us to arrive early)We sat in the street hobbo stylee and drank cans of KB which to our increasing consternation, seemed to be attracting much larfter and picture proposals..(why?) Well, the fireworks came and went, Pol ran around trying to see them whilst, i, the faithful lapdog, followed while apologising to the people she had left in her wake!
When the clock struck 12.10am, the police asked everyone to leave so we joined the crush of nearly 1,000,000 people, all trying to escape the same place. After re-meeting our Swedish chums, we scoffed a mediocre kebab and retired hurt.
Bit of a change to the usual on New Years day - We went to the beach and basked in the sunshine whilst fighting off a nagging hangover! Bondi beach by the way.. is kewl! there is however, too many British Lobsters and on a sunny day, nearly 30,000 people descend on the resort.
We started looking for work on Tuesday of last week and in the second agency we visited, we scored! yippee! I am now employed as an office dogs body with the New South Wales Fire Brigade's Industrial Relations team and the Polster is working in a customer service department updating customer record! (havent we scored big?!) Moved into a shared house on Sunday and are both in the process of knuckling down and saving some dollar (in other words - we is skint!) pay day is a week away so its early nights and foxtel movies for us until then!

Parents: We will call you when we have some more cash - i.e Next week.. but we are ok and doing grand!
Anyone else that still reads this: We need more comments.. you all promised so much and then collapsed. Rather like the England Cricket team i may add... Come on.. lets have some more news from back home!

Col: Hows the work etc? Back in Manc yet?
Matt s: Wobble

Lots of larve and hugs

Polly and Ali

Posted by pollyali 23:57 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (3)

To Sydney and Beyond!

semi-overcast 18 °C
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Hello everyone, its been a few days since we updated the website so i thought i would let you know what we had been up to. The last time i wrote, we were in the process of getting hammered before going out to a club. Well, unfortunately, the getting hammered bit proved to be my down fall. I was so drunk i had to go home at 4am and remember very little about the night! Needless to say, Christmas Eve was spent in bed and repenting the sins of the previous evening.
Christmas Day itself was a strange one. We woke early and as customary in my Family, we started drinking asti! a couple of hours later and a strong xmas spirit concoction from our landlord in our bellies, we ambled to the beach to fulfil a must for every Brit in Australia at Xmas. A Walk (or if you are
Pol, a swim!) There was one problem with our wickedly evil plans... it was 16 degrees and raining!

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After the crazy cats re-emerged from the surf we headed back on the free train to our lodgings for some scran and more booze. Needless to say, Us Brits enjoyed ourselves more than the Europeans amongst us as the pic shows!

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Boxing day was a mixed one, we recovered from the previous days excesses and watched England collapse whilst praying that the game made it to the Third day and we could go and watch.
Well, it made it to the Third day (today) and after rising early, Pol and I made our way to the MCG to partake in the highly recommended Boxing day Test. And how we wished we hadnt parted with forty pounds each before we had left Blighty. For starts, a tout was punting the tickets (in the England end) for $20! and then there was the cricket! Nice views though!

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So its off to Sydney tomorrow, we say good bye to Will and Andrea and hello again to our Swedish Chums Rony and Linnea. Lets hope Sydney provides us both with work and more fun.. and if not, well...erm.. we will worry about that later.

Polly and Ali

xxx

Posted by pollyali 02:10 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (5)

Heat - eat your heart out

sunny 15 °C
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Well, its been a long time coming but in the last week, we have doubled our cricket watch count to 4!
Yes, you guessed it, we saw some more of Englands finest (well, I suppose thats not saying much but heh!) cricketers today while we were ambling around the centre of Melbourne looking for some swanky clubbing gear. Matthew Hoggard was the first to fall into Pols Celeb Radar and Pol feels that TV does not do him any favours.. he has a "rather pert bottom" and is not as fat as he looks! After some stalking to certify our kill, Pol moved onto some serious shopping while i sauntered to the tram stop to head home. And who should i see in Federation square... none other than Englands Young Cricketer of the Year.... Alastair Cook and his better half! Gosh.. i feel complete now, all i need to see is the poor excuse for a wicket keeper (Geraint Jones!) and ill be happy!
Other news.. Off to see a Dance diva tonight (Inaya Day) courtesy of our Landlord Sean.. we are waiting to go out at the minute so have been sinking the Gin and Tonics and wont be going till 12.30am
Thats your lot for your post Xmas blog... take care all i hope Santa is kind and gives you all what you want (sorry, Pol and i are too big to fit in his sack!) and please spare us a thought on JC's birthday as we will be on the beach while you all are in miserable blighty

Good night and God bless us all

Polly and Ali

xx

Posted by pollyali 03:30 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (2)

Kevin Pieterson!!!

i nearly wet myself!

overcast 27 °C
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Kevin Pieterson.. the high scoring English/S.African batsman.. oh, and his chum Andrew Strauss.
You probably dont know what we are talking about, but give me chance, and ill try and explain. Whilst taking our daily stroll down Acland Street (in St Kilda) i was absently chuntering to myself when the Polmeister chirped up "Ooooh Ali, look who it is, its that Kevin Pieterson... and isnt he tall?" To which i remarked "Thats not him... where, whattya on about" and lo and behold it was him. Wow! thing was, we didnt have our camera, we didnt have our phone, in fact the only time we do see anything remotely interesting, we can't prove it! (oh well, you will all have to take our word for it.
Other exciting things to tell you all... Off to Sydney for NYE as we cant find work here in Melbourne and are ready to do some more travelling.
About it really. we just thought we would tell you about our brush with stardom and wish you all a very merry christmas and if we dont speak to you before.. a very happy new year.

Lots of Love

Polly and Ali

Posted by pollyali 00:40 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (2)

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