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”.

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

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