Saturday, July 28, 2007

Playa Hatin'

Okay, okay, it's been like a week since I posted anything. But I needed time to cool down after that last post. I got really riled up about that one, and then caught all kinds of flack from my Aussie friends who were all like, "wow you sound angry, giiirl, why you all be hatin' on Oz n' shit?" (it didn't actually sound like that, because they can't sound black, especially when they try, but I try not to hold that against them...they've never seen black people outside of the "telly".)

But honestly folks, I don't hate Australia. I'm merely observing and recording in a spiteful manner. And to be honest I can do that from anywhere. Just ask my sister; if nothing around me is particularly bothersome, I'll make fun of her tattoos or pick on her boyfriend.

So in an attempt to make nice, I've compiled a brief list of things I've discovered here that could only exist, in all their true glory, in Australia--objects I shall truly soon as I get the fuck out of here.

1. Tim Tams.
Chocolate gizz you'd never spit out. Especially when it joins forces with tea or hot chocolate to become the Tim Tam Slam.

2. Berocca.
I always considered myself a formidable drinker, especially for my size and socio-economic status, but if not for all my practice before I moved here, Australians' drinking capacity would surely put me to shame. As they don't possess the cure-all combination of Excedrin and Emergen-C, husband introduced me to Berocca, in all its orange powered sweetness and brain cell-patching abilities. It gets me moving enough to get to work, functioning as well as can be expected, but sadly hasn't been improved enough to stop me from still being drunk at said job.

3. Really really tight jeans.
One winter my girlfriends and I back in New York were on an all-out quest for the perfect skinny jeans. H&M briefly carried like 20 pairs (sold out in one day) and went back to lame-o flares with washes that looked like you'd just slid down a loofah. I refused to buy Tsubis because they're like $400 in NYC and I'd thrown so much food at Tsubi-wearing anorexic fashion students on Fifth Avenue that I would've felt like a hypocrite.

The quest got so competitive that one friend refused to give up where she'd found her pair, in fear that we would all get the same ones. (After they sold out she then confessed they were from Urban Outfitters, but I have a major moral dilemma about those idiots anyway.)

Husband informed me that Melbourne is THE world capital of painted-on jeans, and much to my satisfaction, my friend Thom makes the perfect pair at a reasonable price. These bitches are so tight they make my Leona Edmiston stockings look like snow pants. My friend Benny and I have the same pair. He's like 6'6" so his are a foot longer...but same circumference...skinny ass hipsters.

Soooo, I promise from now on I will mix my likes with dislikes in an attempt to be a nicer person. I just can't promise any kind of healthy balance.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Walking Class Heroes

This post was supposed to be about people who don't know how to walk.

New York has something like three times more people crammed into it than Melbourne, which has rightfully forced various unspoken rules as to how to walk down the sidewalk. The flow of pedestrian traffic mirrors that of car traffic:

1. Stay to the right.

2. Pretend you're a car and stay in your goddamn lane.

3. If you want to pull over and look at your map/answer your phone/masturbate, look before you slam into another person.

4. If you want to window-shop, fuck you tourist. You should have figured out what you wanted to buy online before you left Midtown. But you didn't, so there is a designated lane for DUMB, which is right alongside shop windows.

This all makes sense to me. But not to Australians. Even though it may make sense to them to mirror traffic, their instinct is telling them that maybe they should walk on the right, because it's the way God wanted it, but then something reminds them, "wait we do it backwards here mate" and then they get all confused and start dawdling and drooling and pretty soon I'm kicking their children and screaming "This is AMERICA, asshole!" Which it isn't, of course. Whatevs. They know what I mean.

But this isn't about that. Because in my extensive research, wanting to fairly represent the Australian opinion on the matter, I came across another organization lookin' out for the safety of its citizens:

The Pedestrian Council of Australia.

This shit's so exciting that even John Howard (that's the Prime Minister, for the Americans reading this) wrote a letter describing how he splooged a 'roo (man I wish that was a real Aussie phrase) when he heard the council was creating "Walk to Work Day". Well he didn't really, but here it is.

Walk to Work Day, for those of you who haven't fallen asleep yet, counted nearly 1,000 people walking to work that day, and there was an article entitled "Walking Class Heroes" about the event on page 45 of the Canberra City Chronicle.

Holy shit.

But back to safety. So enthusiastic was I over discovering this, I delved further, and realized that the members of the Pedestrian Council of Australia are much like the neighborhood watch alliance in Hot Fuzz and that they are a bit too consumed with the safety of pedestrians. When you click onto "Issues and Policy" I discovered that there may be some serious breaching of safety due to the ever-popular Segway:

as well as "How they Flout the Parking Laws at Manly". But again, I don't speak Australian. So don't ask me what the fuck that means.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Gravity-challenged Australians

I swear officer, I haven't been drinking. I'm just really tired.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pie Chart: Pies

The polls are in!

Pies are a universal (read=Aussie) tradition, and this has nothing to do with apples folks. A pie is basic food, the people's food, and it is all a part of their convict tradition. See, the story goes way back to 1734, when one of the first Aussie convicts, Shane McBogan, was shipped to Victoria from London, for stealing a pewter AC/DC belt buckle. Whence he landed upon the New World, he had nary the skill for cultivating his own food, having been raised on curries, fish n' chips, and other foods kind to the people of stray teeth...hence was born the Aussie Pie.

The pie is a flaky dough encapsulating various forms of meat, the most common of which is The Meat Pie, in this poll defeating The Shepherds Pie (brought over from England) by a slim margin. Being always a proponent of the underdog, the Aussies now cherish the Cornish Pastie (no one likes the Corn person of England), and from there, they cultivated their own versions of "the greatest food ever invented that weren't just 'roo meat."

The winners:
1. Meat Pie
2. Shepherds Pie
3. Cornish Pastie
3. Steak & Curry Pie
4. Steak & Kidney Pie
5. Thai Chicken Pie
6. Asparagus, Sweet Corn & Cheese Pie
7. Beef & Vegemite Pie
8. Nachos Pie
9. Beef & Burgundy Pie
10. Cheese & Bacon Pie
11. Possum Pie
12. Marsupial Mash Pie

Awwwww shit!

Australians really know how to turn a phrase. I'm not being sarcastic here. They've managed to take one cuss word and attribute it to all parts of speech and emotion. Here's an abridged glossary:

Safety is the new Fascism

The thing about living in a Fascist State is that you get all these perks to keep you from remembering that you're living in a Fascist State. Okay so yeah, I live in the middle of Melbourne, Australia, for roughly half of what it cost me to live in my last apartment, in The Middle Of The Fucking Ghetto, Brooklyn, NYC, USA, Universe.

And yes, I get basic healthcare without even being a citizen, and get to crunch on these awesome painkillers that put Advil to shame. And when I step outside my swanky apartment building every morning, there is beautiful architecture and a kindly people:

I work as a designer at a job that doesn't exploit me, and the Fascist State makes my employers pay me decently and give me all these days off. And I never stay past 5:30pm.

ecs, wtf are you bitching about?

Safety town, that's what. And I'm here to set a few things straight.

Safety isn't cool. If you think safety is cool, then smoking doesn't look hot, the dudes from Easy Rider were pussies, and James Dean was a turd burglar.

For example: I recently started riding a fixed gear bike hipster-mobile to and from work every day. I have to wear a helmet. Husband makes me wear one, and if I don't, he threatens to sell my bike. You know why Husband makes me wear a helmet?

a: he has been conditioned from a life in Safety Town to be serious about it. (Fascist)

b: Because it's against the friggin' law not to. That's right, the Fascist State could take points off my driver's license if I don't, and at the very least, pull me over and fine me $50.

Now, I will say that I've grown to depend on wearing a goddamn helmet, even though I look like the mushroom dude from Mario Bros 3:

and that is because it is fucking dangerous to ride a bike through rush-hour traffic in Melbs. I have two theories about this, because I never felt in danger in NYC.

1. There aren't as many people in Melbourne, so cars think they're the only ones on the road.

2. They're driving on the wrong side of the road, so they're confused as to what to do or where to look. And they're Australian.

That will be my only concession to Safety Town. From here on out, I feel the need to prove to you, dear reader, how saturated this Australian culture is with signs, TV advertisements, billboards, and PSAs which all serve to prove that you don't know enough about yourself to look both ways before crossing the street. And henceforth you will pay 40% of your income in taxes to generate such gold as:

I don't read Australian so I can't figure out if they really don't like rollerbladers or if they just don't want gays around.

In case you didn't get that, please walk carefully. People are walking. Everywhere. All the time. Also, there are bikes.

Also, there are trams.

Also, there are cars.

And just like, be careful in the Safety Zone, yeah?