Friday, September 10, 2010

Goon and Sausages in Coogee

Ok, I think I am excited about this trip.
I’ve only been in Australia for about 10 hours, but I have come to a few conclusions Australians, or at least about people in Sydney. They aren’t so different from Americans except: drinking boxed wine and vodka openly in the park and in front of an entire class of children does not seem to be frowned upon in the least; the school children wear uniforms: the boys ties and slacks, the girls dresses, but despite these nice clothes are allowed to run about and frolic and play rough like I don’t think American children do anymore- everyone is always afraid they will break a bone or something; and sex and sexual innuendo is not just something pulled out occasionally for comic relief in certain company, it’s pretty much their entire language. Allow me explain these conclusions further.

So let me tell you about my afternoon of “sausages and tomato sauce,” “goon,” and the party bus. When I checked in, I was told there would be a free beach barbecue (which means cookout). I was down, after all, I had no plans yet, and what better way to meet some people I would be living with? So we met in the lobby at one pm, but the bus was way late, and I ended up standing in the middle of the room, feeling like I looked really dumb because it seemed like everyone else was traveling with at least one other person they knew. About 1:30, the bus arrives. This is no ordinary bus. This says “Oz Party Bus” on the side. We all load on, and I end up having to stand for the trip. This trip is narrated by the bus driver throughout, interspersed with sexual references and mostly inappropriate music (I loved it, by the way). One song, sung by an Australian, was about men not wanting to have to put up with girls, but just wanting to have sex with them. It suggested asking if they screwed on the first date, does their dad own a brewery, just awful, boy stuff. They also played the “G’Day” song that I think I have heard before. Anyway, we finally arrive at Coogee, and I have to say, I was impressed. I wish we had more parks like this in America or NC. Just a nice park with gazebos and grills and a beach- what more could you ask for? I really think the sand part of the beach is man-made though, because the majority and surrounding area is rock and the sand seems oddly out of place. I also need to research the type of trees there. They were evergreen, but seemed to grow upward branches, opposite what you expect to see in American Evergreens. The water was COLD, so we didn’t get in. Sorry, no pics, I was too flustered and jet lagged to get it together, but it is a nice little park. I was sitting alone in the sand wondering if I took some of the boxed wine, or goon, being offered would I fall asleep immediately, when I was approached by a girl named Jessica and asked if I was traveling alone. I told her I was, and she invited me to sit with her and her friends. I found out they all work and live at the hostel. Most of the people running this event were in the same situation. They are all fun and crazy, which I suspect adds to this type of job. We drank goon in tiny plastic cups, which Jessica explained is called goon because that is slang for pillow, and once drunks have finished the box of wine, they can blow the bag up and use it as a pillow. Stay classy, Australia. (I love it) They were making sausages, which I found out were just hotdogs, but a little longer that I’m used to, and maybe a little tastier too, though it could be because I hadn’t eaten since my 5 am airplane french toast. We could put tomato sauce (ketchup) or barbecue sauce (yick!) on it. And they were slathering it on, they go heavy on the sauce. The girls I was hanging out with decided they wanted more than their sausages, so they walked to the McDonalds across the street and I joined. I didn’t get anything, since I vowed only Aussie food, but I did make note of the differences in the McDonalds menu in Oz. And I loved that the girls called the fries “chips.” Yes! (I probably seem like such a weirdo. I have realized I have been studying people very closely while I have been here, listening to how they say things, because sometimes, when they are talking fast, it is near impossible to understand them.) Anyway, after some red rover played by throwing a nerf football at the backs of people while they are turned around (again, I can’t see being played in America, such wusses), more sausages and goon, it started raining so we got back on the party bus. Again, they played more music, but this time they played Tenacious D’s “F*&# Me Gently,” then “Sweet Caroline,” then “Don’t Stop Believing,” then “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Am I still in America, circa 1996? I mean, they are classics, but does Australia have it’s own music? I just seems strange that this is their party bus music.

In this same vein, it seems I am already a novelty. I have told 3 Australians, tentatively, that I was from the United States. The responses , none of which have been really negative, were each different. Jessica was pretty indifferent to it, perhaps because she wasn’t sure where North Carolina was located, but didn’t seem too interested. The second was a male who works at the hostel. He seemed surprised and said he didn’t see a lot of Americans, mostly Canadians (or maybe Americans lying to be Canadian). The third also agreed Americans were uncommon, but also made reference to the fact that all they knew was the stereotype of Americans. Then he recalled someone who visited the hostel, either from North or South Carolina, he thought North. He said they person had explained the difference, that North was larger or more populated or better in someway than South. “Yes,” I agreed, nodding. “North Carolina is just better.” “That’s what I thought,” he said. “What’s the capital of North Carolina? Isn’t the capital of South Carolina Kansas?” At least we know Americas aren’t the only nationality that sucks at geography, like the Iran and the Iraq, such as (Miss Teen South Carolina, for those that needed the reference).

Anyway, such was my first day in Australia. I like these hostel people, although at the same time, I get the feeling they are kind of like the kids that worked at the club in dirty dancing- they are all pretty attractive, thoroughly involved in each others lives because they live together, and are pretty much here to kiss my and all other patrons butts. But everyone can enjoy some butt kissing every now and then, especially from some male with a nice Aussie accent.

My plan for tonight is to plan the rest of my days in Sydney out so I will know what I am doing each day, and maybe grab a bite and a drink in the Scary Canary, a bar hooked onto this hostel. I have a coupon for a free shot, mine as well. That is, if my uber jet-lagged self can make it. I am laying on my stomach as I am typing this and having trouble resisting laying my head down and closing my eyes. But give me two days, I will be fine. Cheers! (Yes, in my head, I am already talking with an accent, but it has a swig of Irish too, maybe because of the guys I was talking to today)

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