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Friday, May 16, 2014

Australiana #5: Q&A

Australia puzzles you. Sometimes, you wonder if it is really on the world map. There is so much going on here but you never really hear about it unless it's about a PM losing his job, cricket, Olympic medals or Nicole Kidman. Everything else is a haze. So when you actually land up here, you keep asking questions and searching for their answers:

  • How big is this country, really?
    It's a continent, Mate. You never believed it, but it is.

  • Why have I never heard of this place/thing/person before?
    Because media/books/films in India have enough stuff to cover back home and when they feel they're short of something, they just peep over the borders to get some juice. Australia is a long way away.

  • Who is the Australian Prime Minister?
    The answer is Tony Abbott, for now.

  • What exactly is a crowd?
    Three's a crowd.

  • Why is parking so expensive in the city?
    You're lucky, Mate, at least you've found a place to park your car.

  • Why is public transport so expensive?
    Because they don't have the population density to make it cheap Mass Rapid Transit.

  • Why are the spiders here so poisonous?
    They've probably held on to stuff they needed to kill giant flies millions of years ago.

  • Where does the desert really start?
    Which one? There's the Great Victoria, Gibson, Tanami, Great Sandy, Simpson, Little Sandy, Strzelecki (I don't know how you pronounce that), Sturt Stony,Tirari and Pedirka. Move about five hundred miles away from the city and you'll sure be on the fringes of one.

  • How much near is near when somebody tells you, “It's nearby”?
    That depends on who you're asking. If the person you're asking is Asian, the “near” could be a walk away. If the person's a local (the five-generations-in-Australia kind), then it could be a long trek. Either way, you've got to carry a map and a bottle of water.

  • How does one exactly define 'bush'?
    Any place with untended shrubbery, looks undomesticated or wild.

  • What has the best chance of killing you in the ocean – jellyfish, shark, sea snake or saltwater crocodile?
    A heart attack when you spot one of them.

  • Why are books so expensive?
    Because you're in desert country with little wood. How shall you make paper for books or otherwise?

  • So what's really Made in Australia?
    Dairy, meat, sugar, beer, wine, veggies and wool. 

  • How far do you go before you see a wild kangaroo?
    Not too far, just a couple of hundred kilometres or so and they'll be everywhere.

  • How high should you go to spot a wild koala?
    No matter how high you reach, those white-bottomed furry animals will make sure they're out of your sight.

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