I have been taking note of many things since I first landed in Australia, and I'm very observant so not much has squeezed past me. Here's a checklist of things I've done so far, just to shed light on how far I've come within only a matter of months —
If I haven't written it down here, I probably haven't yet experienced it:
|View of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in Sydney from Mrs. Macquarie's Chair.|
✓ Been to a few birthday parties — Birthday parties are nothing like those in the Netherlands. This, for myself, is such a welcome relief!
✓ I've already driven on a few long road trips up and down the east coast.
✓ Been to an Australian rules football match.
✓ I've surfed... OK, sort of.
|Koalas at Symbio Wildlife Park.|
✓ Been to Bondi Beach. If you're in the Netherlands, do you watch Bondi Rescue on TV [op Net 5]?
✓ I've visited several wineries, including many in the Hunter Valley.
✓ I have played lawn bowling.
✓ I've had a sunburn down here so far this summer — Not good! I got it quickly too. The Aussie sun is definitely strong, just like they say!
✓ I've already taken the train and bus down here many times and alone... A small feat which took me longer than expected to do in the Netherlands.
✓ I've also eaten kangaroo meat a few times... It's good! They sell it at the supermarket with the other meats and loads of Australians eat it.
✓ I've been to so many beaches and more times than I can count. I rarely visited the beaches in the Netherlands...
✓ I've shopped at Kmart and Target... And a store identical to Walmart called Big W.
✓ I've eaten at the Outback Steakhouse down here — I had to see if it was similar! Same menu...
✓ I have visited many different RSLs and surf clubs for dinner...
|Three Sisters near Katoomba, New South Wales.|
✓ Visited the Gold Coast.
✓ Discovered a website for the Dutch living in Australia and a blog written by a Nederlander in Australia.
✓ I now put tomato sauce [it's just like ketchup and pronounced tuh-mah-toe sauce] on foods I'd never dreamed of putting it on...
✓ I've eaten more beetroot lately than I ever had in my life — And love it!
✓ I love burgers Aussie style — They call it with “the lot”.
✓ Been to Paddington Markets and Darling Harbour.
✓ I've made stamppot and hutspot, and I have eaten bitterballen at a restaurant in Australia, all of which I'll cover more about in another blog entry soon...
✓ I visited a man-made glow worm cave at Tamborine Mountain.
✓ I've tried over a dozen different Australian beers. Note: They don't drink Foster's here. Ask any Aussie.
✓ I've done some volunteer work.
✓ I've taken a class at a college.
|The National Museum of Australia.|
✓ I've cooked
✓ I also love the bacon and egg roll for
✓ Learning Aussie slang has been just as fun as learning Dutch — And sometimes just as complicated.
✓ Driven through a town called Woy Woy and another called Bong Bong.
✓ I've watched countless beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
✓ I have fallen in love with frangipani flowers.
|Cars drive on the left side of the road Down Under.|
✓ Shopping malls in Australia are identical to American shopping malls.
✓ Some Australians really, really love Dutch violinist, conductor and composer André Rieu.
✓ I've seen and heard plenty of times the kookaburras sitting in the old gum tree.
✓ I've eaten Vegemite, Lamington, Pavlova and have even tried mint sauce on my peas.
✓ I love meat pies with mash and peas from Harry's Cafe de Wheels.
✓ I've seen no snakes, but I did see a blue tongue lizard recently.
✓ I've visited a rainforest.
✓ I had a picnic lunch at the lookout at Saddleback Mountain.
✓ The way Aussies celebrate Australia Day [coming up on 26 January] seems almost like how Americans celebrate Independence Day or how the Dutch celebrate Koninginnedag... Except garage sales are not part of the party, like the Dutch. By the way, Aussies can have garage sales whenever they want, just like Americans.
✓ Visited the Dutch Club in Sydney.
✓ Worn my Havaianas [thongs/flip-flops] so often that they are already almost worn out!
✓ I say “no worries” often now without thinking about it...
So, as you can see, I've been quite busy — A lot going on since I arrived here, and I hadn't had much time to blog or go online even. Everything's been fantastic and I look forward to sharing more soon!
In the meantime, I'm on the hunt for things Dutch in Australia and have already found a few things that I will soon share. For now, ik wens jullie allemaal een prettig nieuwjaar [I wish you all a Happy New Year]!