Saturday, May 12, 2007

Miscellanea australis

The Southern Cross (which finds its way onto the flags of both New Zealand and Australia) really is pretty disctinctive, and easily spotted. And Orion is upside down.

No, the Coriolis effect in reality has very little noticeable effect on the direction of flow of water draining out of a toilet bowl. Pace the Simpsons.

Australian wine is fantastic. South Australian wine (I've spent the last couple of days traipsing between wineries and swirling the vintage around the palate) particularly so. I'm definitely a fan. Such a pity that I can only bring back 1 litre duty free.

Vegemite has to be tasted to be believed. There's various ways in which one can express one's outrage that people actually eat this sludge. Three letters, expressed with suitable intensity, suffice. UGH. And yes, they are actually proud of it down here, and seem to like it too! I only had one bite of a vegemite sandwich (no, it wasn't given to me by a smiling, muscular, six-foot-four man in Brussels), with a layer of avocado on top (at the suggestion of a friend of Mac's). I could barely swallow that one bit. UGH! A couple of nights ago in Adelaide, I asked a grocery check-out clerk whether he liked vegemite. His eyes actually lit up! "Oh yeah! Why, don't you?" he asked, giving me a quizzical look, as if I were from a different planet. I guess the US could, conceivably, fall in that category.

And there's no easier way to get Australian ladies to giggle than to be polite, in the good Southern way, and go, "Yes m'am" and "Thanks m'am."


Mac said...

It's on the flag on Papua New Guinea too, actually.

As for Vegemite: now, now. You didn't even give it a proper chance before you spat it out! Perhaps one needs to be in a hot climate -- you were here during the cool autumn, after all -- where one needs to keep one's salt intake up. I was first acquainted with it in the jungles of the Solomon Islands, where indeed one sprinkles salt on pineapple. Maybe not: the Brits eat similar products, sub nomine Promite.

The gal in the supermarket was still carrying on with "please" and "you're welcome" today. And she hadn't even been exposed (so far as I can recollect) to your "ma'am"!

Clare Krishan said...

Marmite rules! If you can catch a container of Twiglets

they're a savoury snack seasoned liberally in a yeast extract/cheddar cheese coating that is very addictive...

Seriously tho' the Vitamin B rush is an acknowledged mood stablizer, perhaps you've discovered the secret behind all that colonial 'stiff upper lip': Spartan stoicism enabled by mellow munchies at teatime?