Saturday, November 22, 2014

10 Things You Wonder about the Land Down Under: the American Tourist in Sydney

1. What kind of cuisine might I expect down under?
Mostly, it's like American food, with a few minor differences...

it actually tasted a lot like beef. 
I enjoyed it as long as I didn't think about it very hard. 
aw, those poor lil kangaroos...

 we didn't buy these. totally should have.

A$17.50 for this salad. Definitely not worth it.

I bought one of these, and it was pretty good. luckily, I didn't "eat-in." 
you want to sit down to eat that? that's A$1.50, please.

sign me up for this workshop!

2. Do Aussies speak a foreign language?

for some reason, this makes me feel slightly panicky. 
there is a way out of here, if you make it that far...

I love how this poster is exactly the same as the American version, 
except for the spelling of one word.

watch out for the red kerb!

who knew rubbish was a verb?

3. Are there enough bathrooms for the American tourist in Sydney? 
Yes! They have all the bathrooms your heart desires. Pretty sure they stole them from Paris.

check out the glowing t.p. at the opera house. 

4. Can I buy souvenirs that were made in Australia? 
They are so hard to find. Very expensive if you do find them.

designed in Australia! wait, look more closely... 

what the heck is "strict Australian Supervision"? 
a guy in a palm leaf hat chewing on croc jerky, 
glancing over to make sure they sew the seams straight?

5. Are there aborigines everywhere? Can I buy jewelry and art from them? Are they selling their wares on the streets, making money off their stuff?
Um, no.

these are two of the maybe three times I even saw 
aborigines in Sydney Harbour (at Circular Quay). 
it's my understanding that there are rules about them being in the city.

if you want to see aboriginal jewelry or art, 
you have to visit one of these (incredibly expensive!) art galleries. 
supposedly the money makes it back to the aborigines 
out on their lands in the middle of Australia.

or you can go to a museum or a cultural center.
this piece of artwork was a collaboration of various aboriginal artists 
from different parts of Australia, each representing their own homes and lands.

and this is just a really creepy wall. not sure who painted it, but ew.

aboriginal art showcased out in the Blue Mountains cultural center.

we saw this show in the Blue Mountains, put on by young aborigines. 
they danced and talked about boomerangs, smoke ceremonies, body paint. 

here's a short video I took of one of them imitating Australian animals on the didgeridoo.
so fun!

and here's Josh imitating a didgeridoo.

6. I've heard that all the wildlife in Australia is extremely dangerous and wants to kill you. Is this true?

not sure if these cockatoos wanted to eat me or not.

this guy almost got me, though.

ooh! a water dragon!

perhaps the scariest of all. 
mine! mine! mine!

7. Is there a beautiful beach that I should visit?
Well, let's not call it beautiful. Let's call it... Manly.

Captain Arthur Phillip, founder of what is now Sydney, thus named the beach because of the "confidence and manly behaviour" of the indigenous people there. 

Josh looking manly on Manly Beach.

Josh looking manly, daily.

the sand was soft and fine like brown sugar.

want to swim in the ocean? maybe the sharks won't get you here.

the breathtaking ferry ride to get there.

8. What does "the bush" look like?
We took a train out to the Blue Mountains for a day, just to answer that question.

the rock formation behind me is called "The Three Sisters." 
hey, there's three sisters in my family, too!

furry grand canyon?

here we are on Segways. 
I was very embarrassed to be uncool Americans 
who had never ridden one before.

9. What's that weird building that looks like a giant crustacean or a boat with too many sails?

oh, do you mean the Sydney Opera House, perchance?

here's proof that we actually went inside.
we got in trouble for taking this picture, so I really hope you appreciate it.
we saw The King and I. very fun.

check out this enormous tree in the Botanic Gardens right next to the opera house. 
the gardens are free, and very cool. 
the bathrooms are free, too. just thought I'd point that out.

our volunteer guide at the Botanic Gardens. 
a real Aussie. you can tell by the hat.

10. Is it true that Australia was settled by convicts?
Yes. I thought this quote from Charles Darwin was very cool.

it's a beautiful place, the little corner we saw of it.