Thursday, May 27, 2010

Big Things

Australia is home to over 150 Big Things. What kind of big things? All kinds....  a  bicycle, wine bottle, pineapple, bull,  lawn mower, avocado..... and 144 others spread over the 7 states and territories with New South Wales claiming the largest number and Queensland close behind.These huge surprising sculptures sit at the side of the highway in front of corresponding establishments.  They've been built as tourist attractions, I guess, to give reason for a road trip. Now this is truly an Australian line of thinking. "Hey George, let's pile the kids in the car and drive (double digit number of hours)  to see the Big Banana."
It's  a kitchy place. Provincial, garish, laid-back,  and quaint come to mind when describing  this part of the country. Add to this leafy, serene, tropical, lush, sandy, and  forested.  Western in customs and culture, dress, social mores, and habits. The longer we stay the easier it is to forget we are half way around the world. We begin to not notice the differences in language and intonation. "How ya gowing" spills out of us as easily as natives. The newness of being here is harder to hang on to,  much as we try. So many delights and surprises those first few weeks; the joy of discovery.  We're loving  this amazing opportunity to live here... not just visit. So far away yet so much like California, sort of. If we don't open our mouth nobody even knows we're fereners.....

 Match the word to the translation:  answers below

1.jumper    2. boots       3. woolies            4. popper            5.  bubbler

 a. If he takes these off after a game or practice in the same room or in the car (gads! please no!) the smell will make your eyes water
b. fruit juice or some facsimile in a box with the little straw attached
c. the Aussie equivalent of Safeway, without the uber friendly staff
d. turn the handle and quench your thirst
e. We are donning one of these in the mornings as our house has no heat                                                                             

We're living in a sporty place. The state motto is "Getting more people active through sport and recreation." I picked up a directory of sporting clubs here on the coast and  found all the usual plus racing pigeons, orienteering, horse and pony clubs (not sure about that one) table tennis, darts, croquet, vigaro (what?)and paragliding. Heaps of choices. The set up for soccer here is quite different, and easier to navigate! The club is all centrally located...playing and practice fields, the secretary and office, uniform storage, function room for meetings/events, and changing rooms for the teams. Last weekend Eli played forward and got the first goal of the game, a header.  Yeah Eli! Spectator sports are really big too, there was a footy(rugby) game on last night and I think we were the only ones who missed it.

Recently Melissa made her first loaf of  bread. Next we're going to try pretzels and bagels, although we may not approach the nirvana quality of Los Bagels. Joan and Steve brought us a dozen and the kids immediately drooled and consumed two each. If they could only change one thing about Australia it would be to have Los Bagels. I miss Larripen dill sauce.

I'm now sporting a new 'do, and these are some chocolate lamingtons, sponge cake covered with chocolate and coconut. Almost as popular as sausage rolls and Vegemite, but you won't find either of those in my shopping trolley!! This is a photo of the Noosa river (not far from the Big Pelican) This morning at 6:30 I was a  spontaneous substitute coxswain... I managed to keep us from crashing into anything. Thank goodness!

answers:1.e; 2.a;3.c;4.b;5.d.


  1. I got 4/5! What a beautiful loaf of bread, Mel. Make sure to catch some rugby matches- seems pretty cool. do they say "cheers" for thanks & bye like in the UK?

  2. Steph, as we head into the Kinetic Sculpture Race weekend, I think your tribute to "big things" is perfect! I wonder if the folks in your house appreciate their prime location along the route?

    Where's that Big Banana? Anywhere close to a King Kong look-alike? I'll put THAT in my before-I-die bucket!

  3. Catching up at last, and delighted to read the latest as always. Love the big things and the new do! I did pretty darn well on the quiz, thanks to those phone calls, Steph! Sounds like you are happily crossing over the line from foreigner to resident. Let us know how the new school goes, and keep it coming.