Thursday, 26 April 2007

Ozzie Rules A-OK

Oz Stereotype #26 - Australian Rules Football is a game that largely has no actual rules (see here for the official party line on the matter). From my in depth research and analysis: Affirmative. At least no rules that anyone appeared to follow... And yes, they really do wear criminally short shorts -----> Marvellous!

As part of my ongoing and entirely selfless campaign to promote generosity and niceness in general across the world I volunteered to collect money for charity (I'm doing it for the kids) for a couple of hours before and after the AFL match between the West Coast Eagles (my team of choice, partly because they're local, largely because they are currently embroiled in some fantastic stories of drugs and scandal in the papers, and partly because I like their team colours: blue and 'gold' - don't know what it is in Australia but nothing is ever yellow, always gold - some kind of complex left over from the days of prospecting I suspect) and Carlton Blues on
Sunday. The offer of free tickets and free lunch was in no way the reason why I chose Sunday to be the day I honoured my generosity and niceness campaign. After having gorged on sandwiches in the MegaZone at the kids hospital (and let me tell you, mega goes no way to describe how awesome their play/chill out area was) and armed with a backpack stuffed with plastic handclappers (the <---- headache-maker as I called them), a money tin and a snazzy T-shirt, we headed to the Subiaco Oval to shout and bully and cajole people into giving us money - now this was something I could do and do I did, although many people would only give me money in exchange for a promise that I would SHUT UP! (ah money's money when it comes to charity, though I'm sure none of you could imagine me making lots of noise with my voice, ah-hem hmm hurrr.) 1 minute into the game it absolutely wee'd it down (in Australia?!? this isn't what I signed up for), and I mean wee like the sky had been hopping about on one leg for months before finally letting it go (which it probably had been in all honesty - *drought*). I was SOAKED to my soggy little pants. Boo hoo hoo.

Anyway and so to concentrate on important matters at hand. The 40 chaps running around the field after a ball. Yes 40!!! 18-a-side plus all these 'runner' dudes who just run about randomly during play to relay messages from the coach/local cocaine dealer. Loads of them. And in true schoolboy style they all huddled around the ball wherever it went. Throw the ball, kick the ball, wallop the other player, pass the ball, fight for a while, catch the ball, kick the ball in the goal, score! In this game you got points even if you missed the actual goal but got it through the posts in the mere vicinity of the goal. And from what I could see they weren't much good at catching the ball either, fumbling the ball they were great at,
though when I voiced my comments that they might all be a bit on the useless side it didn't go down so well with the nearby Australians (I daresay the immortal phrase 'bloody pommies' was bandied about a fair bit). My favourite bit was the throw-in which is done by the referee in a manner that can only be described in terms of a giraffes mating ritual, biz-arre. Even though I had little to no idea what was going on most the time I had a great time (authentic Australian sporting experience, tick!) and the good old Eagles pulled through to win by 100-39. Whoop whoop woo, GO EAGLES!

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Chocolate, bad karaoke, wine, fire unicycle, John Howards thieving little hands, frisbee, out

The title is a pretty good summary of this post, but I'm bored at work (opened 4 envelopes ALL DAY on Wednesday, clearly my contributions are on course to change the world any day now) so have written a suitably waffly bit of waffle for the pleasure of those of you out there as busy as I am.

So a Happy Easter to everyone. <------This is what I really really dreamed of arriving on Sunday but apparently the Easter Bunny doesn't do long distance deliveries - it would probably get stuck in quarantine anyway - so if you look carefully you will see in the reflection of the glass a little drool oozing down my face (pleasant image indeed). In fairness I did get to nab some free Hot Cross Buns from work - I was just sitting minding my own business (obviously not doing any actual work, why would I?) when this enormous tray stacked full of delightful little buns came round and invited me to take as many as I wanted. Being the generous soul I am I took about 70 (winter hibernation blubber building) and shared 1 with the others back at the hostel, ah the spirit of Easter. Speaking of the 'spirit' of Easter, can I just pass something on to shatter Oz stereotype #4: that Australians really really like their drink. With a lovely 4 day weekend ahead I got all excited about the prospects for entertainment and what do I find come Good Friday... all the pubs were SHUT!!!! Not one serving even a smidgen of a drop to thirsty folk. Huh? Well that's a teeny tiny lie. After much investigation it appeared that there was one place open for the night. A Korean karaoke bar, BRILLIANT!!!! Sadly none of my musical numbers were available so I took a purely spectatorial role in proceedings; never will 'Forever Young' sound the same to me after it's mauling at the hands of two overly enthusiastic (given their lack in tunefulness or indeed knowledge of the actual words) Korean fellows.

Languishing in the aftermath of un pue pompette-edness and having finished my book (Down Under by Bill Bryson, very topical) I got off mon derriere (and Swissland: please at least try to hold in your amusement at my French, boudine ronchon bete ogre citrouille visage) and did my one touristy thing for the week by catching the train down to Freemantle (a town/suburb about 20mins south of Perth centre where there are some actual 'old' buildings, and more importantly lots of nice cafes) armed with a camera with no batteries (when will I learn). There was a street performance festival of some kind going on, as far as I could tell this largely involved hefty applauding of very cute little kids blowing bubbles and clownish men jiggling about on oversize unicycles - what's life for if you don't throw fire sticks around whilst precariously balanced 10ft in the air? Took a quick detour to the beach en route home to relax, ah so nice to be able to just pop to the beach like that - jealousy jealousy jealousy ha ha me winner.

Anyone fancy laughing at Jo (who wouldn't)? Got my paycheck for all my hard work. Mmmmm $720. That'll go nicely in the bank. Hold on a minute, there seems to be some more numbers here... What's that minus sign doing near those numbers? $350 TAX!!!!!! 45%??? OUTRAGEOUS! It would appear that I am destined to single-handedly fund the upkeep of Australia during my stay. Or at least pay for John Howards retirement (and yours too probably Andrew so some sunglasses in exchange wouldn't go amiss!). I herein vow to take FULL advantage of everything they provide for 'free' from now on, even if it means spending all my days riding the bus round and round town.

<------Friendly spider, look at the size of it's legs!!! Run. Fast!!!

And finally those of you who are bigger fans of my Frisbee than me (and lets face it, who isn't?) will be distraught to know that it was judged to be too windy for Frisbee on the beach last week so it has spent most of it's time sulking under my bed, however panic ye not as I am scheduled to spend some quality time with it in the park soon.