Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cultural experiences

I got an apartment! I will have internet in August! Yay.

I love that the license plates in Queensland let you know that you’re in “The Sunshine State.” This in a country that’s faced 7 years of drought, and a state that has regions which are typically flooded for 6 months of the year. It seems a little unfair. What about the NT?

I went shopping this last weekend for t-shirts with real sleeves. Maybe fashion in the states has changed significantly in the 3 weeks since I left, or maybe I was never very attuned to fashion there to begin with, but it seems here that every one is wearing jumpers (aka. pinafores in Australian) and smock-like dresses (some with pockets). I could not find polo shirts anywhere, only dresses for 6 year olds. The other thing that struck me was how similar each of the stores’ offerings were. I’m not sure if I’m just very well marketed to in the states and so I see differences in brands even when the products they offer are remarkably the same, but it really did seem like I saw the same yellow jumper with big buttons in at least 4 stores.

Australian shopping has far exceeded my expectations in terms of swimwear though. So many styles – most of them sold as separates with lots of different styles of tops and bottoms. And tops in bra sizes! I guess when there’s beach availability all year round, you have impetus to innovate.

I have yet to figure out union rugby versus league rugby versus footy versus AFL versus soccer, but I have picked up on the team names. Some of them familiar: Eagles, Warriors. Some less so: wallabies, crows. Some completely un-American: Bunnies, Swans. Maybe they’re mean bunnies, but really, bunnies?

Speaking of un-American, I got a car. Well, it’s a shared car with one of the regional orgs, but it seems to be mostly mine. It’s a distinctly un-American car. No American would have put 4 doors on such a small car. Cairns is not a walking city. Not that it’s that big, it’s just that it doesn’t have sidewalks. The sidewalks are the responsibility of the property owner to provide, so in many places, you’ll have several houses of sidewalks then just a grassy path. So, I’m happy to have a car even though it has no power steering. The driver’s seat is broken, so I can only barely reach the clutch. But, it’s a car, and with its perks, it’s not that popular with the rest of the office. We call it, lovingly, the green ant after the green ants we licked in Cooktown.


Jeff July 17, 2007 at 9:06 AM  

I thought you meant "licking ants" metaphorically somehow. Then I read the 1st item here: http://www.iexplore.com/com/ts_lking_bulgaria.jhtml


Ani July 17, 2007 at 2:13 PM  

Yeah, I missed the section discribing your ant licking fun. Cute car, I hope you have a pillow so you can reach the pedals! I love you and I am so happy to read your travel log. Mom

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