4 Things I Know About Australia So Far
1. Australia is expensive, shockingly shake your jaw and do the culture shock shimmy expensive. Allow the following to demonstrate: low-range rental cars start at 45 dollars(and this is for a half a car, really), a cup of tea from a cart is 3.50, a plain omelet with white bread: 15. Then there’s the street-side walk up counter serving deliciously healthy sandwiches and salads in Byron Bay which takes a place on the list all its own. Yesterday, at the Twisted Sistah Café a small, non-organic carrot juice was 6 dollars and my incredible veggie pannini and side salad topped the charts at 16.90 (I really wanted it and have to say it seemed worth it at the time).
2. The name Ginger is not quite as well received here as it is in the States. Seems they have a weird (read: negative) thing about redheads here and one thing they call them, derogatorily, is “Gingahs”. Ian says if we ever moved here, we’d have to use her middle name. When it rained today though and we saw the local reaction to it, we rethought that one too.
3. The Aussies around here in Northern New South Wales are exceedingly lovable and they seem to value three things above others: surfing, footy and beer. I’ve only been here 3 days and hate to propagate any clichés, but so far, there it is. The style among women is sort of a Eurosurf look. For younger girls (and boys too, for that matter) that means super-casual surf logo covered hoodies and skinny jeans with a long knit scarf around the neck for flair (not the guys, of course). For the 20 and 30 somethings, the look is just slightly more sophisticated but still casual with a legginged, sweatered, beachy look all in all.
4. There are a lot of things that want to hurt, maim, and kill you here. I could go on and on and will probably do a whole post on this later, if not several. But before Eric went to bed tonight, he signed off with this to say, “ Remember, don’t take Ginger in the tidal pools out here because there are blue ring octopus that will kill her, don’t let her play in the garage because the red-backed spiders will really inflict a lot of pain. Don’t pick up the snail shaped seashells because they might stab you, there’s a large bull ant that will literally chase you down our street to bite you, there’s centipedes and giant flying cockroaches in the house, also there’s huntsman spiders as big as your hand and faster than anything on the walls but turn out the light and leave ‘em alone cause they won’t hurt you. Oh, and the green snakes and the brown snakes are the bad ones. “ I was expecting a conversation like this one at some point, but somehow, when it came, I was more creeped out that I’d have thought. I am en guarde.
Also yesterday I treated myself to a hair cut and color in nearby Bangallo and was ridiculously happy with the results. Here is a picture which quickly became a before pic when Ian went surfing and G Rain and I did a hike up to the Byron Bay light house. As we walked into an oncoming storm on the exposed, eastern-most edge of the continent, what was once so dearly done up (did I mention how expensive things are here?) was promptly if not dramatically undone. I just had to laugh.
- just the way I’d wanted it…