Man On a Chair with Binoculars

Australian Amusements

You must be tired of hearing that I went to Australia, so I won’t be telling you more about how I went to Australia.

Although, when I did go to Australia, just two short months ago, I came across a couple of curious signs and things I found amusing. These I now share with you, in the form of screen-rendered visual representations.

I think regular folks call these “photos”.

Watch Out For Crocodiles

Ah, Australia. Beautiful beach, beautiful sea, a subtle “WATCH OUT FOR CROCODILES” sign. Bliss!

 

Drinking Consultants

Where have you guys been during my high years? Also, can I have your job?

 

Cow In A Tree

When the cops get there, that cow will have some explaining to do!

 

Gangnam Stone

Oppa Gangnam Stone?

 

Pool Open Spectators Welcome

I usually prefer my changing rooms and showers spectator-free, but maybe that’s just me.

Do you have photos of some funny or curious stuff you came across lately? What are your thoughts on shower spectators? Did you know I went to Australia recently?

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5 ways my life’s different after Australia

It’s happened. Against all odds and expectations I have returned to Denmark. Oceans were no match for me. Vast distances didn’t scare me. I soared through the air like an eagle.

Yes, exactly like an eagle trapped inside a massive metal tube with wings, packed with screaming children, travelling through turbulence at 900 km/h.

I am back.

A compassionate blogger knows to avoid talking at length about his travels, lest others become envious and depressed.

I am not a compassionate blogger.

Behold as I present to you a list of things that have changed in my life after this long vacation in Australia.

Quite a misleading picture, seeing how we never went to Ayers Rock

Misleading Picture Alert! We never actually went to Ayers Rock

5. I have a (sort of) tan

This may sound obvious until you learn that, for me, the standard definition of a tan is “first degree burn”. However, a wondrous combination of generously applied  SPF 30+ sunscreen and Australia’s nuclear sun…and voilà – nice crispy brownish colour. Too bad this applies only to the regularly exposed parts of my body, like arms, legs, face and the big toe of my left foot (I need new shoes). On the whole I’m probably more like a Frankenstein’s monster, assuming that Frankenstein assembled his monster from differently shaded Ken-doll body parts.

4. I’m now an expert on Aussie lingo

“G’day mate, how you going?”. Are you impressed yet? OK, so there’s more to it than that. Here’s a helpful guide to speaking like an Australian:

Pick a word. Any word. Does it have more than two syllables? If yes, shorten it to exactly two syllables. Make sure it sounds like you’re talking to a 5 year old. You’re done. Examples include: “brolly” (umbrella), “lolly” (lollipop), “sunnies” (sunglasses), “mozzie” (mosquito). What can I say? Aussies love their baby talk.

Now, can you guess what “flip-flops” are called there? You said “floppies”, didn’t you?! Cute, but wrong! “Flip flops” are called “thongs” in Australia, because of course. I imagine there once was a hilarious misunderstanding involving an Australian company trying to sell “kids’ thongs” on the US market. Good laughs were had by all, except those who ended up on the sex offender registry.

3. I’ve learned a lot about Australian wildlife

When you’re in Australia you’re inevitably exposed to a whole host of wildlife you’ve never met. For example, do you know what the difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby is? If you’re like me your answer to that question was “Wallawho?!”. Thanks to the Australia trip I’m now a lot wiser. I’ve seen it all: wallabies, platypuses, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, wombaroos, koalabees. You name it!

Koalabee. Courtesy of: your nightmares!

Koalabee. Courtesy of: your nightmares

2. I’m no longer a snorkelling virgin

Yup, Australia’s where I’ve snorkelled for the first time in my life. At the Great Barrier Reef. With fish and turtles. And coral. I even petted a turtle on the back. It was awesome.

What was less awesome is that our guides gave us a long lecture on the dangers of the tiny Irukandji jellyfish, only to immediately drop us into the water full of them. Thanks to my snorkelling mask I could enjoy a crystal clear view of dozens of Irukandji swimming right past my face. Delightful.

1. I don’t have a girlfriend anymore…

…I now have a fiancee!

Yup, some minutes after midnight on the 1st of January 2013, shortly after the Sydney New Year fireworks have died down, I proposed.

The proposal took a form of me pointing into the crowd to our left and saying “Hey look, someone’s proposing!”. While my girlfriend’s confused gaze was temporarily fixed on the crowd I took out the ring, which is what she saw when she finally turned back. Despite this cheap trick having unequivocally proven that my emotional maturity is on par with a toddler, she said yes.

She must really see something in me…maybe it’s my bitching’ tan?!

Incredibly, someone on Clker.com made this uncannily appropriate picture.

Someone on Clker.com made this uncannily fitting picture.

So there you have it – I’m soon to be a married man. Or, as they undoubtedly call it in Australia, a “marmie”.

______________________________

What have you all been up to? How’s 2013 going? How many thongs do you own?

Australian Adventures Await

Ladies and gentlemen. Tomorrow is Friday, December 21st 2012. This means two things will happen tomorrow:

1) Fire will rain from the skies as the Earth lives out its final hours before we’re all ultimately engulfed by flames and dragged into the merciless pits of Hell.

2) My girlfriend and I will depart on a 5-week long trip to Australia.

Let’s focus on the more noteworthy of those two events.

Australia! Yes! Finally! I’ve been looking forward to this since the start of the year.

I know you’re probably caught off guard by this announcement, since I gave little indication that this trip was in the works. Well, I’m sorry. It’s just, I guess it’s time we take a break. You know, see other people for a while.

Truth is we’ve been saving up vacation days like Doomsday nutjobs save up zombie-piercing bullets and meteor-proof umbrellas. The end result is the longest vacation I’ve had since high school years. Can’t wait.

Red Meteor

Tsk, goddamn meteors again. Better go grab my rain gear.

Australia is a magical land where everything is upside down, inside out and, quite possibly, in reverse. Here it’s winter, there it’s summer. We drive on the right side of the road, they drive on the left. We say “Hello, how are you?”, they say “You are? How hello!” Probably.

While I’m busy riding kangaroos, wrestling koalas and playing catch with wombats I will have very limited time for the blog. This means that you can expect to hear from me only sporadically, if at all, until late January. I will try to make an appearance on your blogs and send a cryptic message or two on Twitter, but I can’t promise anything. No, I can’t! Stop it, don’t be so needy!

I’d like to leave you with a lovely drawing by the equally lovely Kalieta. Some weeks ago she asked her blog visitors if she should draw something specific. Being the egoistic narcissist that I am I suggested drawing a nest for Nest-Expressed. The very next day Kalieta came up with this (visit her blog post for the full sized picture):

Nest Kalieta
Awesome, right? Right!

I’d like to extend Kalieta’s sentiment to the rest of you, wish you a fantastic holiday season with your families and loved ones, full of joy and with only a limited amount of end-of-world incidents. See you all in 2013!

A very Nest December to you!

Guest Expressed: “Bizarre Questions Asked on Australian Citizenship Tests”

Today’s guest post takes us to Australia – the land of inexplicably odd test questions. Let’s take a look.

Whenever you want to naturalise in a country – this means that you want to become of that nationality – you have to pass a citizenship test.  These are held in most countries across the world and are often a real bone of contention because many claim that those who were born and raised in that country wouldn’t even be able to answer those questions.  However, so long as you are not one person whose life and livelihood is at stake through one of these tests, the questions can actually be a source of great hilarity.  Australians, it seems, have some of the funniest citizenship tests on the market.  Let’s have a look at some of the bizarre questions that have been asked.  I, personally, wonder what the answers have been as well.

The Australian Citizenship Test and Strange Terminology

Australians are funny people anyway, so it will come as no surprise that they ask some strange questions of people who want to become Australian.  Many of these questions are probably just formulated wrong, but some are actual questions that will have most people completely baffled.  For instance, do you know what a bloody little beauty is?  Also, can you tell whether “chuck a spaz”, “chuck a u-ey” and “chuck a sickie” are related terms?  Other questions involve terminology that will only be known by someone who actually is from Down Under.  For instance, terms such as “slabs”, “having a slash”, “flashing a brown eye”, “snags”, “tinnies”, “doing your block”, “barney” and “biffo” may sound like they were from a language that is anything other than English.

Is the Australian Citizenship Test all about Learning the Lingo?

The Australians do seem very keen on making sure that new residents don’t just understand the history of Australia, but actually know how to speak “Australian”.  Hence, on the citizenship test, people are asked to complete sentences.  For instance, complete some of the following:

  • Fair suck of the …
  • You’re going home in the back of a …
  • Fair crack of the …
  • If the van’s rockin’ don’t bother …

Australians and Full Essays about Behaviour

Australians aren’t known the world over for their fantastic literary achievements.  However, it seems that full essays are needed on citizenship tests.  For instance, discuss in no less than 3,000 words what it means to “have had a gutful and no longer can be fagged”.

They also want to know how people behave.  Hence, they will ask you if you have ever given or received a wedgie.

Australians and Food

Australians seem to have certain obsessions with food as well.  Sometimes, they use these questions to determine what the country of origin of a person taking the test are, although it seems that they could have just asked that.  Instead, however, they want to know whether you regularly eat chop suey, chow mein or kay see ming.  They also want to know whether you can cook a rissole by listing the ingredients.  Furthermore, you have to explain how you would eat a TimTam.  Other food related questions include whether or not you have ever eating a chop, a three bean salad and two serves of pav.  They also want to know whether you washed this down with someone else’s beer (my guess is that the answer to this question should be “no”).

Australians clearly have certain laws about food, because they want to know which vegetable is required by law when you want to cook a hamburger.  As a clue, you are told that the vegetable starts with the letter “b”.

As fun as these questions sound to outsiders, for someone who really wants to be naturalised in Australia, this is serious business.  Luckily, if you want St Kitts and Nevis citizenship, you won’t be asked these types of odd questions.