Tagsanimals Australia Bora Bora budget travel cats church coconuts culture dolphins Fakarava fish fly aweigh food French Polynesia friends Grog files hiking history humor Mexico Moorea music nature New Zealand Niue Pacific Puddle Jump papeete Rarotonga Road Trip Sailing san diego sea life snorkeling snow Society Islands South Pacific Tahiti Tonga travel Tuamotus ukulele underwater video UNESCO USA wine
Thursday Island, Australia
Thursday Island really excited us because it was, we were told, a really rare opportunity to spend some time with the native people of Australia.
We also came to find out that the “Aborigines” are not the only native people of Australia. The “Torres Straight Islanders” are a completely different native people than the people of mainland Australia. So we actually spent some time visiting Aboriginal sites in mainland Australia but while we spent time in an area where there were “natives” these natives were not “Aborigines”…kind of confusing at first.
In a previous post, we talked about our experiences with racism and sexism in Australia.
But we would not be fair in our reporting unless we explained both sides of the coin here.
Because the natives do not make this easy.
Greg has a long-standing belief that tropical climates produce some of the best wine. His logic comes from visiting wineries in Florida.
Yes, Florida has wineries. We’ll get to that later.
The short of it is that the environment does not lend itself well to heavy wines. The climate of the tropics in general inspires beverages that are a little lighter, a little sweeter with fruit flavors often at the forefront and best served well-chilled.
So the tropics pretty much inspire the exact kinds of wine we enjoy and the single winery we found up here did not disappoint.
Australian Friend: It’s called “two-up.”
US: Ok…so what’s the deal here?
Australian Friend: You flip two coins at once and bet on how many will come up heads.
Now before you read further you need to understand that gambling is:
1) Something that is everywhere in Australia.
2) Something that we haven’t overly enjoyed
3) Something we are forced to deal with every day working in pubs
With that in mind –
US: That is a dumb gambling game. Why would you even play that?
Australian Friend: Well, we really only play it on this one day each year because, you know, they did…
US: oh dammit, we’re sorry, we’re ugly Americans.
Thursday Island, Queensland, Australia
One of the things that we love about Australia is that it is, as Greg describes it, “like looking at a imperfect mirror at ourselves.”
Or, yes ok it has been a while since we made a nautical reference so yes, like a reflection in a pool of water. The point is that reflection is not perfect and there are many differences between our countries but of all the places we have visited Australia is the most like home:
- We both started off as colonies founded by the same country
- We are both a country of immigrants
- We’re both, as countries go, large. Really large. As in “Europeans don’t get it” large.
- We both managed to butcher the same source language – granted each with our own special flair
- We both have to deal with issues revolving around lethal weapons
We could go on and we assume you get the point: As countries go, our two have a lot in common. This is what makes Australia so very interesting: how they took a set of similar circumstances and ended up in a different place. The choices we both made, as a people, and the results those different decisions had on where we both are now.
We didn’t want to bring this up until now because we really didn’t want it to taint our overall reporting, or our memories, of our experiences working in Australia.
At the same time it has happened at almost every place we worked and is especially prevalent at our most recent place of employment so it’s important we document it. It’s not our best video; we recorded it for the audio so we could get our thoughts in the moment.
This article is about our experiences with sexism and racism in Australia.
Thursday Island, Queensland, Australia
After the arduous process of “studying” for our Responsible Service of Alcohol test we passed our course and became certified Australian bartenders!
One hitch – where the heck is Thursday Island?
Now we know what you’re thinking –
That question took us a bit by surprise because, well, we hadn’t really put a lot of thought into it…
And we would be dramatically understating things to say that shocked our Australian friends.
Travel is an interesting thing and one of the most interesting things, in fact the very reason Greg states for wanting to travel in the first place, is to discover and challenge one’s own unknown assumptions.
What do we assume is “normal” without even realizing that we’ve made an assumption in the first place because everyone around us makes the same one?
For example, in an urban culture (like the one we were raised in) 10PM is an early bedtime for a young professional. Whereas in an agrarian culture…
(or a sailing one – “sailors midnight” is 9PM)
…10PM is an extremely late bedtime when you are accustomed to waking up at 6AM and 8AM is “sleeping in.”
(and no, we never got used to that… )
But what does this have to do with Easter?
Well, let us ask you this:
How important is Easter, as a holiday? Continue reading
Well since we’re going over adventures in outback bar tending, it’s probably about time we started updating the grog files to keep us with us.
We’ll be doing a new grog files for each state we visited in Australia but this week is all about our overall experience, which can be summed up this way:
Australia has a great libations industry –
It’s just not where you’d expect to find it.
What this pretty much means is that as long as you avoid the beer, Australia has a lot to offer.
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Because when you pronounce the “R” in “Cairns” the locals genuinely have no idea what you’re talking about.
Seriously people, it’s a word. In our common language. You can look it up.
Who uses a silent “R”!?!?!
Oh, and just in case you’re asking. “Guys? Why do they have a giant public pool right next to the ocean? Can’t people just swim in the ocean?”
Why yes, yes they could. Right up to the moment where the giant crocodiles that are all over the place ate them.
Which would of course lead you to then ask “Guys, didn’t you just go diving in that water?”
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
Life Achievement Unlocked-
We all knew the Nemo reference had to be made right?
We took a 3 day, 2 night “sleep on the reef” excursion.
And this time we rented an underwater camera to make sure we caught everything.
Especially the sea turtle…