Happy Australia Day!
I swear, for years I have jokingly been telling my friends that I was definitely born in the wrong country. After I visited Italy, I said I must’ve been an Italian in my previous life. However, all signs are pointing towards a nation further away… So I put together a little list of things that definitely show that I should be an Australian, and how you might be one, too.
You can’t stand cold. You’d think that over twenty years living in Finland would have taught me, but nope.
You haven’t known true winter until you’ve seen the thermometer hit that -38 degrees and decided that maybe you’ll just learn to hibernate. No wonder bears are so pissed off if you accidentally wake them up in the middle of the winter, I would behave the same way.
|Brighton Beach. Melbourne|
You’re a night owl. Have you ever run into that crazy Tumblr theory that has it that if you’re more awake at night and terrible at getting out of bed in the morning, maybe you were just born into the wrong timezone? Suddenly everything makes so much more sense. Sydney is some +9 hours ahead of Finland, so when I start dozing off during that 2 p.m. Spanish Grammar class, it has got nothing to do with the previous hearty meal and the fact that Spanish grammar is boring, it is just my body telling me to hit the bed as hard as I can. And when my most productive hours happen to be 10 p.m. to 12 p.m., well, maybe I am just a very rare species of Australian Earlybird.
Why I can’t stand waking up earlier than 8.30 though, that escapes me.
|Somewhere on the south coast|
You have no problem with small talk. If you read my Truths&Myths post about Finland (or are Finnish), you know that my nation isn’t exactly renowned for it’s people’s chatty quality. In fact, it is often said that Finland doesn’t really have a small talk culture, which a lot of English-speaking countries seem to have. I felt this was the way in Australia as well. A woman started talking to me about my hair in the metro, a guy asked me out for an ice cream on the beach, other backpackers chatted with me in Macca’s. I loved it. Small talk has special importance if you’re travelling alone and you don’t want to feel lonely all the time.
Then again, I am a little on the fence with small talk. I can be a grumpy old man whose ice cream just fell on the ground if you bother me at the wrong moment. I apologize.
You don’t really mind freakishly big bugs. For a lot of people, Australia equals wildlife that either will kill you or give it it’s fair shot. Sure, there might be some drop bears poisonous snakes, but in general the rule seems to be that the bigger the thing, the less poisonous it actually is. Spider-wise, the big ones are the ones that eat small, annoying bugs and flies, thus help keeping your house clean. They are your friends and you should love them. Those other bugs then, I’ve got no clue what their deal is, but they seem to be pretty happy just going about their own business. I shared a tent once with a thing that was all antennas and legs and that little pal was all right.
Then again I have never been particularly squeamish about bugs. When I was little, I used to build spas for worms, and my best friend had a fly farm. I never let my dad squish the occasional spider that had found his merry way into the house but carried them out. This is fortunate for Ben my travel partners in case they need a huge bee removed from their vicinity.
The second you tasted kangaroo, it became your new favourite meat ever. I remember my first kangaroo well. It was my first night in a new hostel, and the event called for celebration. And four kangaroo hamburger steaks were only three or four dollars. Score! That night I made kangaroo hamburgers, and maybe it was because I hadn’t had a burger in a while – or because I had been living on unseasoned mince meat and rice for three weeks – or because, you know, kangaroo is the best thing ever – but those humble burgers were heaven.
I have heard that kangaroo can be terrible if you cook it wrong, and that’s probably true. If ever I hear opposing views on the deliciousness of kangaroo meat, I just refer to this point in my mind and become content again. I don’t care if the kangaroo you had was sinewy and gross, you Danish stranger, because you’re probably wrong. I was made to eat kangaroo.
|Yummy. The Grampians Mountain Range|