Fuzz

Australia: Fact or Fiction?

Recommended Posts

My cousin from Malaysia is in Sydney this week, her first time she has been abroad. She was kind of apprehensive, because let's face it, I've been feeding her falsehoods about Australia for many years. :lol3: She was smart enough to not fall for the "we ride kangaroos to school" bit, but was unsure about a whole of other stuff; Hoop snakes that curl up into a wheel shape and chase you if you step on them, Vegemite isn't just for eating but can be used as axle grease, coffee substitute, paint stripper, Drop Bear repellent, etc, the "Bin Chicken" is our national bird, the Australian Army lost the Great Emu War of 1932 (ok, that one is kind of true, but highly exaggerated), and other nonsense.

Over the weekend we got to talking and I finally fessed up to a lot of things, which got me thinking, what other things about Australia do people believe, but are in fact a load of crock? Post up something you heard about Australia but are unsure if it is true, and lets see if we can clear it up.... or reinforce the myth!  :P

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Fuzz said:

Vegemite isn't just for eating but can be used as axle grease, coffee substitute, paint stripper, Drop Bear repellent,

 

this is clearly a lie. vegemite cannot be used for eating and certainly not a coffee substitute (although my old man would often have a cup of piping hot vegemite soup when he returned from fishing - recipe: a spoonful of that dreaded muck, boil water and pour over muck and stir. do not include anything edible). the rest of those items most definitely true. 

fuzz, if i could tell you some of the stories from what people thought of Oz when i was working in DC - mostly they didn't have a clue about anything. they had absolutely no clue how big it was. most thought a touch larger than hawaii. i am deadly serious about that - remember no internet back then and the only australian they knew was crocodile dundee. one bloke told me how much he loved our lions and tigers. others mistook us for austria.

i had three people who expressed surprise that i spoke better english than they did. i was able to confirm that their suspicions were most definitely true. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve been led to perceive that going for a swim in a muddy river there results in certain death....if not from the fangs of a deadly snake, or the jaws of a croc, then from a hungry wayward shark.

Fact or fiction?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Ken Gargett said:

some of the stories from what people thought of Oz when i was working in DC

Good lord. I certainly hope these were notions expressed by transplants rather than actual Washingtonians (I'm a District native). We get plenty of maleducated hicks moving to the area for work, but the local public education systems for those of us who grow up in the DC area, are thankfully pretty decent. I didn't grow up with any such notions of Oz. I also knew a few Aussies growing up, and had one marry into the family. I guess like so many other things, whether you normalize it or fetishize it largely determines whether your notions will be sensible or outlandish.

I was always a big wildlife fanatic too, since an early age. I had a 'wildlife fact file' book with all sorts of cool info on myriad species of wildlife. I was always fascinated with the great biodiversity represented in Oz. I guess i was just driven more to pursue corroborable FACTS about the place, than I was to entertain any notions of whimsy. If a claim doesn't cite a source, I'm generally dubious.

I will admit, though, that I'm still kind of confused about the distinction between country and continent, in Oz. Seems like the classifications have changed over the years, maybe? Where once the continent was referred to as Australia, now it's Oceania? Also is Australia both a continent AND a single sovereign state, or is it a union of sovereign states? Do the individual territories (NSW, QLD, etc) maintain sovereignty or are they more akin, legislatively, to the states within the usa? I just find the entire thing confusing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Islandboy said:

I’ve been led to perceive that going for a swim in a muddy river there results in certain death....if not from the fangs of a deadly snake, or the jaws of a croc, then from a hungry wayward shark.

Fact or fiction?

Places I went in the water 30 years ago I would not be game to now have seen crocodiles in the creek in the centre of my town and in the ocean would never see any there in the past 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Auspaul said:

Places I went in the water 30 years ago I would not be game to now have seen crocodiles in the creek in the centre of my town and in the ocean would never see any there in the past 

but if you go back 80 years, there would have been even more! always remember my old man telling me about listening the crocs crying at night while he was away with friends fishing - this was in the creeks around round hill head/1770. agnes waters. really not that far north. would have been the early fifties. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, cfc1016 said:

Good lord. I certainly hope these were notions expressed by transplants rather than actual Washingtonians (I'm a District native). We get plenty of maleducated hicks moving to the area for work, but the local public education systems for those of us who grow up in the DC area, are thankfully pretty decent. I didn't grow up with any such notions of Oz. I also knew a few Aussies growing up, and had one marry into the family. I guess like so many other things, whether you normalize it or fetishize it largely determines whether your notions will be sensible or outlandish.

I was always a big wildlife fanatic too, since an early age. I had a 'wildlife fact file' book with all sorts of cool info on myriad species of wildlife. I was always fascinated with the great biodiversity represented in Oz. I guess i was just driven more to pursue corroborable FACTS about the place, than I was to entertain any notions of whimsy. If a claim doesn't cite a source, I'm generally dubious.

I will admit, though, that I'm still kind of confused about the distinction between country and continent, in Oz. Seems like the classifications have changed over the years, maybe? Where once the continent was referred to as Australia, now it's Oceania? Also is Australia both a continent AND a single sovereign state, or is it a union of sovereign states? Do the individual territories (NSW, QLD, etc) maintain sovereignty or are they more akin, legislatively, to the states within the usa? I just find the entire thing confusing.

i got it from locals and the imported. in the entire year i was there, the news had only two mentions of australia - our prime minister cried on tv and the australian open tennis. otherwise, not a word. nothing. can't blame people not knowing. the hassles i had just getting a cricket score. usually had to ring home. 

australia is both a country and a continent. we just take up the entire continent - only country to do so. oceania is more of a general region down in the south pacific. basically the polynesian islands etc, plus the kiwis and us. not sure it is anything official, as in no government etc. 

we were colonised by the brits way back and there were a series of individual states - nsw, qld, victoria etc. federation, and an overall australian govt, happened beginning of last century. they, the federal govt, look after a series of defined matters such as defence etc. the states each look after state issues (all this is often blurred and can end up in the high court - our equivalent of the supreme court). and cities have local councils, so effectively a three tier system of government. in other words, way way too much government for our population.

that is very much a thumbnail sketch. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Islandboy said:

I’ve been led to perceive that going for a swim in a muddy river there results in certain death....if not from the fangs of a deadly snake, or the jaws of a croc, then from a hungry wayward shark.

Fact or fiction?

what kills you will depend on the river. we have monster eels, deadly octopus (though not up the rivers), sea snakes, stonefish and even those cute little platypus are venomous (well, the males are). and if you are up north and unlucky, a box jellyfish or irikanji might get swept up the creek. apparently the most painful things on earth. the good news is that you rarely live very long so the pain is cut short. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is one fact/fiction. Some think that the shape of the machine gun casing of the Australian tank WWII era «AC-1 Sentinel», was create for opression the psyche of the enemy

 

26C9210C-8913-412C-B4DD-C3331EE3B9AE.gif.ccc10c81f15d985a4ad81acefa96c552.gif

 

 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this got me googling "platypus venom" which is certainly not something I was expecting to be doing anytime soon...

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

 

australia is both a country and a continent. we just take up the entire continent - only country to do so. oceania is more of a general region down in the south pacific. basically the polynesian islands etc, plus the kiwis and us. not sure it is anything official, as in no government etc. 

we were colonised by the brits way back and there were a series of individual states - nsw, qld, victoria etc. federation, and an overall australian govt, happened beginning of last century. they, the federal govt, look after a series of defined matters such as defence etc. the states each look after state issues (all this is often blurred and can end up in the high court - our equivalent of the supreme court). and cities have local councils, so effectively a three tier system of government. in other words, way way too much government for our population.

that is very much a thumbnail sketch. 

Ken is correct. Oceania is just the Pacific region encompassing Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. To put the size of Australia into context, it is marginally smaller than the continental United States, but most of us live on the coast.

The states and territories of Australia (NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, WA, TAS, ACT and NT) are pretty much self-governing. They all have their own constitution, with the legislative, judiciary and executive branches. Technically, we have a third territory, the Jervis Bay Territory. There are also seven external territories (islands and also part of Antarctica). Each state has a bicameral parliament (except Queensland, who pulled a Palpatine, and the upper house). The Aus Federal Govt is resposible for national laws pertaining to defence, trade, foreign affairs, taxation, immigration, etc. States are responsible for the rest, but the Fed Govt can overrule the territory legislative assembly's decisions. Local govt (ie councils) are resposible for local roads, rubbish collection, building regulation, etc. Councils are pretty useless, tend to take ages to make a decision, and usually stuff it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Auspaul said:

Places I went in the water 30 years ago I would not be game to now have seen crocodiles in the creek in the centre of my town and in the ocean would never see any there in the past 

 

4 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

what kills you will depend on the river. we have monster eels, deadly octopus (though not up the rivers), sea snakes, stonefish and even those cute little platypus are venomous (well, the males are). and if you are up north and unlucky, a box jellyfish or irikanji might get swept up the creek. apparently the most painful things on earth. the good news is that you rarely live very long so the pain is cut short. 

There is a belief that many irukandji deaths are mistakenly attributed to other causes. Of all the symptoms of irukandji syndrome (abdominal pain, headache, nausea, tachycardia, hypertension, pulmonary edema, etc) the worst one they say is the utter feeling of impending doom, it makes you want to die. Considering all the crap that you are feeling, it kinda makes sense you want to die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fosters is for tourists. No Aussie actually drinks that swill.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been swooped on by a magpie since an "incident" in my first year at uni. :lookaround:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

we were colonised by the brits way back and there were a series of individual states - nsw, qld, victoria etc. federation, and an overall australian govt, happened beginning of last century. they, the federal govt, look after a series of defined matters such as defence etc. the states each look after state issues (all this is often blurred and can end up in the high court - our equivalent of the supreme court). and cities have local councils, so effectively a three tier system of government. in other words, way way too much government for our population.

that is very much a thumbnail sketch. 

Ok not dissimilar to the NSL tiered legislative structure here, then (including issues pushing to higher courts. Convoluted, but relatable.

Re: cricket scores - surely you atleast could've found international newspapers! I shudder at the thought of the cost of a call from dc to oz in the late 80s/early 90s

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, cfc1016 said:

Ok not dissimilar to the NSL tiered legislative structure here, then (including issues pushing to higher courts. Convoluted, but relatable.

Re: cricket scores - surely you atleast could've found international newspapers! I shudder at the thought of the cost of a call from dc to oz in the late 80s/early 90s

 

believe me, i searched everywhere for scores. it was not easy.

the cost of a call? that is why they invented parents and reverse charges (does that even still exist?). 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I can say is the fact that everything in Australia needs a large dose of common sense. If you don't and go into our bushlands, you will probably get yourself in trouble. 

This is highlighted by the usual high amount of people that go driving into our outbank deserts with no or not enough supplies, or ability to contact someone. For goodness sakes, at least bring enough fuel or water. If not, bring a sat phone. That is just the heat killing you, not the native wildlife, which usually leaves you alone (unless it is mating season). 

Aussies usually have such sense of humour and like to spread this ability to laugh at ourselves because if you can't laugh, you just might end up dead. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

the cost of a call? that is why they invented parents and reverse charges (does that even still exist?). 

I'm pretty sure collect calling does in fact still exist, surprisingly. In fact I'm pretty sure collect-calling is the only way prison inmates are able to place oitside calls. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the only reason it still exists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Telstra have canceled their Australia Direct and National Reverse Charge services, 1800Reverse shut down in July, but I think 1800MUMDAD is still operating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/17/2019 at 8:29 AM, Fuzz said:

Fosters is for tourists. No Aussie actually drinks that swill.

But I heard “Foster’s is Australian for Beer...”😉

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, La_Tigre said:

But I heard “Foster’s is Australian for Beer...”😉

Whats the common beer brands Aussies drink?  In the US besides the big breweries who mainly do Lagers we have appropriated every other countries styles so that there are so many choices  its tough picking most of the time.   I saw the joke about using Vegemite to keep away drop bears on some tv show.  Last weekend I saw this souvenir at the local second hand shop.   When you squeezed his bell there was electronics inside him that played didgeridoo sounds.

1479272203_stuffedkoala.thumb.jpg.33aa7b4ca77ac71b533539a325a07c5b.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

was a time when every state had their own and you very rarely saw anything else. mates and i would have an annual drive around the bottle shops to try and buy a collection of importeds. would get some becks, carlsberg and a few others but that was it and nothing from interstate. in qld, walk into a pub (except for a few pubs owned by the opposition, where you might get powers or brisbane bitter), and it was XXXX. all XXXX. victoria got VB, south aussies had something dreadful. KB i think - we called it kid's beer. nsw was reschs or tooheys or if you were lucky, muddy rusty water because it was better. WA got swan.

never the twain... 

i went OS for four years late 80s/early 90s, and when i came back, walked into a pub and asked for a beer. got asked what sort. never before. i asked what the hell do you mean? i want a beer. yes, but what sort? things had changed.

now, with all the craft beers, the importeds, the national beers and the interstaters, take your pick. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ken, KB (Kent Brewery operated by Tooth & Co) is a Sydney brand. I remember my father used to drink KB in the 80s. Along with Reschs Pilsener and Draught, they were the most popular beers in NSW, but KB Lager is now made in very small amounts by CUB.

Most popular beers in Australia (no particular order); Carlton Draught, Victoria Bitter (VB), XXXX, Coopers Pale Ale, Crown Lager, Tooheys New, Carlton Mid-Strength .

Lager was once the most popular style of beer, but with the rise of microbreweries, ales have taken over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.