Speaking of money, I have heard some rather astonishing statistics about the Australian economy. The unemployment rate now is down to around 5%, which is considered full employment (any less and inflation is feared). While the U.S. and many countries in Europe are struggling with twice that, or more in some areas, why has Australia been left out of the global financial crisis?? The short simple answer seems to be China's growing need for exported minerals. And we've got them in spades: It's the largest producers of opals, and down under the down under there is heaps of coal, aluminum, iron ore, nickel, gold, uranium, zinc, and diamonds.
In Victoria,the spring carnival on the horizon. This is not any ol' pony trot, it is "The Celebration That Stops a Nation" according to the website. THEE preeminent horse race with the world's largest handicap, a cool 6 mil. It happens in early November and fans are closely tuned in everywhere, not just in Melbourne. I guess it's kinda like the Superbowl, except every man, woman and child on the continent is a fan. The richest Australian companies offer no competition to the richest folks in the gulf, so the major sponsor since 2005 has been Emirates International Airlines. Hmm. Dressing up fancy is de rigueur, including head wear. In not many places I hang out could a woman wear one of these things besides for Halloween. At the races the top milliners walk away with 20 grand in prize money. If you'd like to part with several hundred dollars this lovely topper could be yours.
Back on the non-decorative hat wearing home front, here's some snaps of the kid's woodworking projects. She made the pencil box (the designs are miniature footprints) and his adjustable, foldable deck chair unfortunately will not be making the trip back home with us.
Here's a few more of the most Australian Australianisms I've come across recently. Other terms like 'ring' for call on the telephone and 'book' for reserve are a little mundane, but these are nifty:
rugged up: dressed warmly
ute: truck or 4 wheel drive vehicle
|gettin' good with a footy bag|
daggy: sloppy, usually referring to dress
dodgy: sketchy or suspicious
stubbie: short beer bottle
bummies: short shorts
whoop-whoop: seems to be similar to hinterland, which is just inland, further inland is the bush, and then keep going and you're in the outback.
|kissing a mosaic 'roo|
|At the Australia Zoo wildlife hospital, a koala is prepped for surgery after|
being hit by a car
|new school bag we made last night|
|Jabiru at the zoo|
|brush turkey...they are everywhere|
|spotted turtle dove|