Hi Everyone! Surprise, I'm still alive!
For the ‘thousands’ of you who read this website, I’m sure a handful have probably been asking where I’ve been these last few months. Truth is, I’ve spent the last little while finally digging my claws into the country and culture I’ve come to experience. After spending a good deal hiking through the rainforest in my backyard in April and May I decided it was time to do some travelling, all while taking my job at Greenscene a little more seriously. From July 1st through to the 12th of September, I visited four states in Aus, two countries, looked after three homes, and ran one business (fortunately not into the ground).
To keep things interesting I’ve trimmed the fat, and kept the stories short. It’s important to note that the exciting moments in any adventure are punctuated by long moments of work, planning, anxiety, and anticipation. Those don’t necessarily make for great stories, unless of course they’re written by someone who's better at writing than I am (i.e. most people). Despite the incredible amount of learning that has been involved lately, I don’t know how many people are really interested in autobody work, dealing with difficult clients and maintaining professional integrity. So, I’ve put all that stuff in the new ‘For Arbs’ section.
Now as for travel, the last few months have consisted of visits to the ocean, a derelict WW2 bunker, and one vast, vast, vast desert. Vast. Buckle in for two or three mediocre blog posts about some great locations.
BUT FIRST! An homage to my homeland:
Some Canadian Nostalgia
Although I’m not one to jump on the nationalism bandwagon (in many ways I detest it), I have to say that as our National holiday passed at the beginning of some two months of relative craziness, I came to a realization of many parts of Canadian culture I’ve missed. Besides the forest, the smell of white pine, and our pristine northern lakes, there are a fair few Canadian staples that are absent down under.
This one gets the Aussies laughing every time. Whenever I mention my all time favorite food, and the staple Canadian pub food, others can’t seem to wrap their heads around it. Inevitably the poo jokes come out because of the way I pronounce it with my southern Ontario accent. POOTINE AHAHAHA. Cue scatological humour from my Aussie workmates: Why do you Canadians love POO so much? And so on… To be honest, it amazes me that nobody here has figured that fries, cheese curds and gravy go together. Like, seriously Austrialia? How is this such a revolutionary concept. As of late they’ve started to add gravy, but at this rate, I imagine it’ll be the 22nd century by the time they add ingredient number three (that's cheese curds for those of you who have lost count). Of course, cheese curds are a rarity here, so that complicates matters...
On the other hand, the Aussies have a delicious pub treat that we don’t have back home, called Parma. Parma is short for chicken parmasean and in it’s simplest form is deep fried chicken schnitzel with tomato sauce and melted cheese. I believe the goal is to cover the piece of chicken entirely so that it's impossible to know whether or not it's just a mound of cheese being served. Delicious, and the variety of flavour incarnations it comes is rivalled only by my beloved poutine.
"Goin’ out fer a rip, eh? Right on! Just giv’r bud. Heck ya, that’s fer shurr! Well we’re not here to make puppies, right?"
I never realized how much I said these things (not all at once, usually) until I was the only person saying them. There have been a few instances of miscommunication that have resulted in hilarity and in one case, (almost) near death. Although the stories are pretty interesting, they’re a little much to be published here. Let’s just say there’s a few outback towns I can never go back to.
Fair warning, the links in the title contain profanity.
Not going to lie, I miss hearing it, and reading it on every single product and sign. Adding french just makes everything more sophisticated. Our breakfast cereal, toilet paper, and highway signs are somehow classier thanks to this wonderful language (that less than half of the country can speak).
Maple Syrup and related products
This is where the maple rubber hits the maple road. Australia has maple products, but not in the amount and variety of goods as it should be. We are spoiled in Ontario and I will never take it for granted again. They have a lot of ‘table syrup’ but that stuff is an abomination. And where's the maple bacon, maple smoked ham, and maple milk? Sadly not in Australia.
Regardless, I strongly believe that if the Hebrews would have known about maple syrup, the promised land would no doubt have become known as the land of Milk and Maple Syrup.
Enough of this nostalgia, on to adventure tales! Stay tuned for part 2...