30 August 2006

Your questions for Australia answered

Thanks for those of you who suggested questions--I'll pass them on. I realise you might have learned some of these answers in the past year, but for now, I will provide my answers, just in case. Here are the answers to the questions you asked, or someone else asked and you were too afraid to:

Is Mick Dundee famous in Australia?
People certainly know who he is, but he isn't exactly a celebrity. Kind of a sellout. Paul Hogan trivia: Before Hollywood, he used to be a painter on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

What's the weather like down there?
Nice as. Here in Sydney, we have a mild winter and warm to hot summers. In the northern part of the country, the summers are pure hot and winters are mild to warm. Further south, winters are cool and summers are warm.

How often do you see a kangaroo?
Every time I ride mine to work. Kidding. I saw one in Queensland near the crocodile farm, and a few weeks ago we saw quite a few on our way to the Blue Mountains. Outside of the cities there are supposed to be places where they are plentiful, but if you are asking if they hang out by the Opera House, the answer is no. Although that is a good trick to play on tourists.

Do people really use the phrase "Shrimp on the barbie?"
No. We don't even have shrimp here--we have "prawns".

Do toilets spin the other way when you flush?
No--too small. You are referring to the Coriolis effect, which does effect the rotation of hurricanes/cyclones in the Northern/Southern hemispheres due to the rotation of the earth. In your bathroom's sink/tub/toilet, however, the direction the water drains is determined by the size/shape of the device, how the plug is pulled and the direction the water was initially added. See for yourself: fill a sink with water with your hand over the drain. Twist your hand clockwise as you remove it from the drain and the water will spin clockwise. Now repeat counter-clockwise to reverse the effect.

Are the Wiggles big over there?
Big with the kiddies I guess. I'm sure Crocodile Dundee doesn't listen to them.

Does everyone there hate Steve Irwin as much as we do here?
Are you kidding? The Crocodile Hunter is tailor-made for the American audience. Australians can't stand him. If you do see him on TV here, his accent is much less pronounced.

Do they really eat those cute, cuddly kangaroos? Who could do that??
Yes, and me. Tasty. Actually, many Australians, especially in the city, are still hesitant to eat roo, but out in the bush, the animal is just another pest. Late last year, the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia held a contest to rename roo meat to avoid the 'cute animal' perceptions--think venison. 'Australus' won the contest, but has yet to be officially adopted by the KIAA. Personally, my favorite entry was "jumpmeat".

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