I promised recently that I'd dedicate an entire post to the country "Australia." This is that post.
I tried to think of a good theme for this Australia-post, like "Reasons Australia's Better Than America" or the opposite of that. Howevs ... I'm not sure if y'all are aware of this, but America's not rocking so hard right now and thus I'm having trouble bashing it [too obvious, possibly ungrateful, also problematic as I'm passport-less and therefore trapped, furthermore probs some Norwegian Star employee's got my passport and is doing dirty things with it] or endorsing it [we suck], so I'm just gonna ramble, per ush.
-A Special Place in My Heart for Australia: I've got a lot of connections to this country. I've got family there [in Melbourne and Sydney, my Mom's side], have traveled there five times, work as a copywriter for an Australian company and write for "The L Word Online," which's co-run by an Australian. Also, my dashboard clock is on Sydney-time, in order to best enable the delivery of about 50% of the work I get every day, which is a lot more than 0%, so that's something. Also, I LOVE SILVERCHAIR. JK, I don't like them, but they looked like girls, which's hot. They opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I kinda went to that concert.
-Handjobs for the Holidays: I attended second grade in Melbourne, Australia for a month. For fun. I honestly thought attending school was fun, isn't that badass? Unfortunately, the Australian teacher immediately noticed my improper pencil-holding skills: I wrapped my fist around the pencil, rather than gripping it properly like a douchebag. The teacher made me cry [first day, keep that in mind] and gave me a "pencil grip," which cramped my style big time. I'm back to the old way now, which makes my hand ache on occasion, but such is life. Other things don't make my hand ache, so that's something. I never learned it proper.
-Fun Vocabulary I Enjoy: , Have you noticed American slang, aside from AutoWinSpeak/Maviland, always sucks? E.g., "Sucks."? "NOT," "the bomb," etc. That's not near as awesome as how Australians talk. Wanker? Dropkick? Full on? Ace? I love "can't be bothered," too. Ace.
-Big M: I don't know why exactly, but as a kid, I felt drinking Big M was like drinking nectar directly from the inner organs of twelve dancing deities. I recall there being far more flavors when I was there than there are now. Someone tried creating flavored milk in the U.S. but it never took off, 'cause Americans are dumb and want to die. I'm one of them, what can I say.
-The Piano Has Been Drinking: Every restaurant is like, BYOB [right?] Saves money for more important things, like having afternoon tea with Queen Elizabeth. Oh wait, that's um, England. Hooo-haaa. Also, they're not so uptight about drinking over there. Kids can drink socially pretty young and consequently, they have less alcoholism and probs less blogs cause people learn to drink responsibly before they turn 21, instead of going off to college and becoming binge drinkers like in MTV True Life: I'm a Binge Drinker. I don't have any data to back this up, but I'm pretty sure it's true.
-The Australian Dream: The American Dream is a cool idea, but it doesn't really work, 'cause you're sorta fucked if you're born into a hands down totes shitty family in a super-poor area. I mean, you've got a shot, especially if you're good at basketball or strike oil in the Oklahoman hills, but you might not get toilet paper or textbooks at your shitty local public school, so you're gonna have to pull some Stand and Deliver shit if you wanna be president, which isn't really fair. Yet, Americans insist that we're indeed, a meritocracy [esp. laughable with the Blue-Blooded White House right now] -- that if you work hard enough you can be whatever you wanna be, if you can dream it you can do it, and if you fail, you've got no-one to blame but yourself. Or your parents I guess, but no one really wants to hear about your parents, like shuddup already.
So, this is what Australia and Europe have over us: they're not in denial about how the world works. America's not really a meritocracy, but we prefer to claim we are. In Britan, they're totes like, "yeah, aristocracy, totes," acknowledging of nepotism, the politics of silver spoons, the value of blood, the fact that life isn't really fair, that people aren't exactly where they deserve to be. They just are what they are -- more realistic about expectations and therefore less likely to judge a person straight off based on their occupation.
In America, it's all about "What do you do? What's your job?' It's so common, the first thing to ask straight away. I've become highly conscious of trying to make it not the first thing I ask now, because I don't like being asked, I hate it, actually. I guess it'd be cool if we could just be like "what do you DO?" like, with your time, things you might ask a school-aged kid. You're not gonna judge him on if he's in second grade or not, you know, he's totes just like a second grader or he isn't. Does he play soccer? Enjoy arts & crafts? That kind of stuff. And if the answer is your job, then that's cool.
I mean, people [strangers!] literally ask me "So what do you do for money?" all the time. I can't believe that's appropriate for human people to ask other human people they barely know. This might not be on topic, actually, moving on.
-The accent is really cute. Totes.
-And I Take Into Myself ... The Power of Drugs: I used to have this honesty problem. My Mom smoked a lot of weed and was very paranoid, and thus she swiftly convinced me to also be paranoid. This acceptance of paranoia was the beginning of my life-long personal dedication to humoring the insanity of others, which has paid off and not paid off in a number of interesting ways. Anyhow, when I was in Surfer's Paradise/Gold Coast in the summer of '96 w/my BFF Kristyna, I don't know why I thought the ticket-taker at The Craft would see into my skull and discover I was 14, not 15, and bar us from the film, but I did, and so when he asked my age, I fessed up.
Kristyna was unimpressed: she had a lying problem, and my compulsion for truth-telling habitually cramped her style, and she had significant style. What would we do with the beautiful evening that now stretched endlessly before us? Well, things worked out for us after all -- we trudged to the boardwalk and bought cigarettes and a lighter -- the salesman asked if we intended to "set the world on fire" -- I adopted the phrase immediately and permanently ... obvs. These cute boys asked for a cigarette which's teenage code for "Hi, I also like to live on the edge." They clearly both wanted a pass into Kristyna's pants, which wasn't a hard thing to procure really, but anyhow, they were surfers, invited us to their shady Motel, we clearly went.
Clinton rolled a joint. I tensed up. "Just do it, Marie," Kristyna said. "Just take one hit, your Mom won't know." I knew I was on thin ice already, we'd just met cute boys which was more or less the point of life at that time, and so, I just like, did it. I didn't cough or die or anything.
Clinton had longish blonde hair and sand in his ears, stylish swim trunks, clean pure tan. Jeremy was quieter, funnier, and kept his hoodie on -- we met up with them outside our hotel the next day and took them out to dinner on my Grandmother's dime. She was unimpressed, obvs, as I woulda been, were I her ... the problem was Kristyna, I just couldn't stand up to her. She was my best friend. I loved her and hated her so much.
Clinton and Jeremy kept telling me to take my "toboggan" off 'cause that's when I wore a winter hat 24/7.
So, that was the first time I ever smoked pot. I didn't feel anything, I just waited to feel things, all the time then. The second time I smoked pot was three days later, with my Aunt Alicia, who's only a year older than me. Alicia, Kristyna and I were staying with my cousin [I think?]'s family in Australia and my cousin's husband took Alicia and I to their study and started rolling a joint, using this joint-rolling contraption. I felt like I wasn't allowed to say No, so I said Yes. He took us out to the backyard.
Kristyna was sleeping, so it felt secret and special, maybe the first time I'd done something cool without her. The lawn was dark green and wet. Alicia was a far more developed badass than I was. I was innocent then, like tigerlilies. It was weird. My head felt sorta large and puffy. Barely felt anything though, as I hadn't yet learned to inhale.
[Kristyna, Alicia, Me.] That's my winter hat that I wore every day, even in the summertime. I thought it balanced out my lack-of-chin, but in fact it only extenuated the problem. Luckily I am far older & wiser now.
-Frozen Hands and Feet: During my most recent visit, in 1999 for my step-grandmother's wedding, I swear I was freezing my ass off the whole time I was there. No central heating. Also, I managed to gain five pounds in one week, pretty impressive. Sticky Date Pudding, spaghetti and meatballs, pastries at three in the afternoon, and fish 'n chips. Also, alcohol, obvs. My Mom freaked out that I was drinking, as I was merely 18. I really hadn't drank much then. I also went running every morning on the beach in Melbourne, listening to Jay-Z. Hot.
-Some Noted Exports: Rachel Griffiths-love her. Kylie Minongue- also noteworthy. John Marsden and the Tomorrow series. A series of books of children's rhymes, including: Unreal, Banana Peal, Alright Vegemite, Captain Cook Chased a Chook and Far Out Brussel Sprout! which are all apparently no longer in print. Olivia Newton-John.
-You Take a Second, Take a Year: The flight to Australia takes approximately a gazillion years. You stop in Los Angeles, then New Zealand. Howevs, Qantas, as referenced in the classic film Rain Man, is an ace airline. I had an ex-boyfriend who'd always joke that I was like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Like whenever I wanted to drive he'd be like "I'm an excellent driver." And he'd call me Rain Man. That was nice. Autism. ha ha.