I have always been proud to be an Australian. Being an Aussie is seriously cool, people swoon at our accent, they love our laid back attitude and envy our natural surroundings.
What they don’t envy though is our time zone. Our time zone is seriously unforgiving, particularly if you want to do business or socialize with Europe or the East Coast of the United States. Even more so if you want to be awake, astute and passably witty whilst carrying out your obligation to your employer to turn up during local business hours. And by that I mean turn up not only in body, but also in soul and mind.
We are also slightly confused because at present there are four timezones operating in our wonderful nation. The refusal to operate under daylight savings times by some States introduces a fourth time zone for the summer months. Don’t worry Queenslanders, your curtains and cows are still safe, experiencing less daylight hours than everyone else. Don’t forget the SPF 55 sunblock!
However, there are also a few advantages that come with that timezone.
We are amongst the leaders of the pack when it comes to experiencing worldwide events that are tied to a fixed universal time. New Year’s Eve, we’re one of the first to click over. Christmas, we’ve unwrapped, stuffed ourselves and ho, ho hoed long before most of you guys have even gone to bed for your Christmas Eve slumber.
We are at the forefront of time zonage to pretty much all other countries other than New Zealand and a few Pacific island nations.
So to all my international readers who are still in yesterday this is my pre apoclyptic public service announcement to you.
It is now roughly 9am, 21 December 2012, eastern daylight saving time. There are no Mayans or Mayan spirits to be seen. The second last page of the Mayan calendar has been ripped off its hinges and discarded, actually no, hang on… that was a 2-year-old Oreo cookie that just rolled out from behind the maple syrup (yes, we have them here – Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry in fact).
So far, the only evidence of an apocalypse are:
- the state of my closet – what does one actually wear to an apocalypse?
- our Government finally admitting that there will be no budget surplus this year;
- the current state of Australian cricket;
- the number of Baked Beans tins in my pantry (one can never be over prepared);
- the state of Australian reality TV; and
- the state of my kids’ rooms.
There are however 15 hours to go.
Just wondering if the Mayans were timezone sensitive. Maybe for us Aussies it all ends on the 22nd and we have been lulled into a false sense of security.
D’ang, I will now have to return all the end of the world on the 21st Mayan merchandise
The good thing is that we have the
New Zealanders Kiwis, who are two hours ahead, to stand in the way of us and the apocalypse. New Zealand, we will be watching, whilst the rest of the world watches us.
Fear not, we Australians will sacrifice ourselves and the Kiwis for the greater international cause. We will be your apocalyptic guinea pigs!!
And the Mayans better get cracking on continuing the calendar. My desktop flip calendar is just crying out for some forward thinking Mayan wisdom and witticism. A suggestion though, the next version should be in the shape of a carrot… the world is now far more health conscious about its calendars.
In the meantime, dear readers…
If you could predict it, how would you spend your last day on earth? Are you changing your routine for the 21st? Do you have any Mayan relatives?
April 1st has finally rolled around bringing with it the start of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge . Good luck to all the participants – whether you’re a first timer and new to blogging like me or a seasoned blogger and Challenge champion. And a big thank you to the A to Z Challenge gods for giving my blog a shout out in their weekly wrap up last night. It means much.
Living in this time zone, I guess I am one of the first cabs of the rank… so let the alphablogging games begin!
Australia is my homeland and I am an Aussie. Aussies tend to refer to Australia as the lucky country, with good reason. Leaving politics aside, Australia is truly blessed with natural beauty (and beauties), a terrific climate, unique killer wildlife (the beauties aren’t included in that statement) and wonderful freedoms. I am truly grateful to be living here.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were just over 500,000 visitor arrivals to our fair shores in January 2012, the majority of which were from New Zealand (75,000), China (77,200) United Kingdom (57,000) and United States of America (38,000).
If you have ever travelled to a country for the first time, you know that there’s a fine line between fitting in and looking so much at home that you are asked for directions by other tourists! No tourist wants to stand out with a big “T” on their forehead. So here’s my 5 tips on how to do Australia like an Aussie:
1. Do your tanning on the beach – Australia is blessed with some of the most amazing beaches in the world. Crystal blue waters and soft white sand abound. If you are visiting a coastal city, do your tanning at the beach and not in a mid-city park. The only Aussies who wear a bikini in the park are those visiting a public swimming pool located there and those coming home after a big night on the town, having lost their clothes. Besides, you haven’t really experienced tanning until you have had sand in your cozzie (Aussie word for swimming costume) and crevices.
2. A temperature of less than fifteen degrees Celsius does not a summer day make – Australia is blessed with amazing weather. Summers are hot and winters are temperate. However, to most Aussies a temperature of fifteen degrees does not constitute a day worthy of shorts and a tank top. Appropriate dress for fifteen degrees is jeans, a jumper and a neck scarf!
3. Treat the possibility of a shark attack with the same caution as the possibility of a car accident - most Aussies are acutely aware that there are killer sharks swimming in our oceans. This does not stop us from enjoying the surf. News of death by shark attack is rare and reports of shark attacks seem to be greatly exaggerated by overseas media.
By contrast, treat the possibility of a crocodile attack seriously. For some reason, they particularly like the taste of European tourists.
4. Give everything a short, pithy nickname - Aussies tend to shorten the name of everything and everyone. Any word with more than three syllables is too much to say after a few drinks. For example, ” McDonalds” becomes “Maccas” (you’ll probably really need to know that one after a few drinks), Barbeque becomes “Barby”, “Kimberley” becomes “Kimbo” and “Politicians” become “a waste of space” er… I mean “Pollies”.
5. Savour all of our amazing food – Australians love to eat Aussie food. We love our pizza, yiros, pad thai, and donner kebab. Any dish which contains pineapple is considered Australian even if it originated from another country.
Now that you have had a taste of my homeland I hope you’ll come on down. Follow these tips and you’ll be tourist savvy in no time.
[photo of the letter A from flikr - Leo Reynolds]