Friday, February 19, 2010


Victoria's so excited to leave for Australia that she's even started to laugh at my jokes. The woman is well travelled: born in Austria, spent time in London, Paris, the rest of Europe. American citizen, having spent alot of the wilds of her youth in the culture-filled, urban melting pot that is the Twin Cities. But one thing she has never done is go south of the Equator.

Her time is approaching.

She asked me the other night, "what are some of the major differences I'll notice quickly?". Good question. Let me take a crack.

Well, easy one, we drive on the left. She experienced this in London so no fascination there. I am surprised, given her time in the UK, with how unwilling she is to drive my mother's car (not that mum has even said she could anyway). I suspect it's due to the mountain of latently chauvinistic criticism she says I direct her way when she drives here in the US.

Of that I say: I have no idea what she's talking about.

What else.... ah yes, the food. To all my American readers, my apologies in advance, but... in general the food here in the Yoonited States of America blows, to use a term I hear employed by today's youth. Bland, over-pesticided, too many preservatives. The food is outstanding down there. One of only two things I miss. The other being the beaches.

Which brings me to the beaches. First up: they're topless. Now, I'm not an ogler. It's true. At least not when I've left my mirror shades at home. But I have to say that women walking down the beach with their breasts hanging out does provide entertainment for the eyes. I would think it would be similar were there men walking around with their schlongs out. It's not something one sees every day and therefore is a curiosity to take in.

But I digress. Here's the challenge for Victoria: will she do it? I would think it would feel extremely vulnerable to go topless when you're not used to it. Kind of like walking into a library topless, or anywhere else for that matter (Switzerland has topless libraries. Amazing). We'll see.

Another thing about the beaches is the fineness of the sand. It's like cocaine, it's so fine. How do I know to draw that comparison? Victoria is a huge cokehead. If you ever need to know exactly how fine cocaine is, give her a call.

The water? Here's the irony: when I was growing up, Sydney's world famous Bondi Beach was a shithole. Literally. The local government back then used to pump raw sewage just off the headlands, and on the right (or wrong) days it would flow back into the beach. I remember, as a child, swimming out in the lovely brown water and wondering why people were unwrapping their mars bars and throwing them into the sea.

This blog today is gross. Positively scatological. My apologies.

Anyway, about twenty years ago or so they decided to get serious. They built a high-grade sewage treatment plant and have begun pumping the much cleaner stuff right out to sea. So we're in great shape, swimming in tropical, light-blue water. Gorgeous.

Last piece of trivia, which has nothing to do with fecal issues: every single public beach in Sydney is required to have an enormous net a little way out. You can't see it, but you're delighted it's there. One imagines hordes of sharks just beyond it, straining to get their teeth on a succulent piece of fresh meat.

A similar dynamic to what will take place on land the first time my girlfriend goes topless.
Good luck, darling.

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