Monday, January 18, 2010

My big Australian crush

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you've noticed that I make a lot of references to Australia. In fact, I'm mildly, no ridiculously obsessed with it. I've already written about it here, but since I know you're probably too lazy busy to take the time to go back and read it, I'll just say that both times I've been (spent six months there in my 20's and three weeks last fall) I've experienced an incredible sense of connection with the place. As in, electric.

Australia is a unique spot on the planet and has a myriad of temptacious delights to recommend it.

Animals with pockets, for instance.

dark chocolate Kit Kats

a store called fcuk

and a seriously sexy flag.

I have lots of Australian flag on my widget. I want more.

When trying to find a suitable picture for this post, Jim proposed I wrap up in an Australian flag for a flag hussy pose. He was willing to take the photographs and even suggested I throw in some accidental/artsy nipple and rock my revolution. However, I'm too busy full of integrity to do a photo shoot right now so I settled on a kangaroo sign.

I'm not interested in all things Australian. For instance, politics. I understand their political system, that it's different from ours, that they have a monarchy that's really a democracy, whereas we have a democracy that's really a theocracy. Way back when, Sydney and Melbourne fought over which city would be the capital, so to be fair they decided it wouldn't be either, that they would build a third city out in the middle of nowhere (Alice Springs?). I know they have a Prime Minister instead of a President, that he's much better than the last guy, who was kind of a wanker, though not nearly as hot as Obama. He looks like he needs to get out in the sun more and given that he lives in Alice Springs, I don't know why he can't make that happen.

Nor am I that interested in Australian culture, though as a whole I've thoroughly enjoyed my brief immersions therein. And while we're on the topic, Australians have the most wonderful sense of humor. It's a dry wit and they can crack a joke with a perfectly straight face, which is something I've never been able to pull off. When I was over there I would be talking with someone and they would say something that would strike me as a bit odd and I would be in the next room or shop or territory before I realized they were having a go at me. I loved that. Where Australians are masters of understatement, Americans are masters of the obvious. We drive a punch line home like a Mac truck. And then we'll repeat it a couple of times just to make sure you get it. It won't occur to us that the reason you're not laughing is, well, it's just not that funny.

I love the accents. Specifically the male accents. I've been known to lock myself in the bedroom with a glass of shiraz and a dark chocolate Kit Kat to watch Australian(ish) movies. Like A Town Like Alice (Bryan Brown plays the Prime Minister) or Gorillas in the Mist (Bryan Brown plays a naked photographer). Muriel's Wedding (though, sadly, a dearth of male accents) and Blood Oath (Bryan Brown kicks Japanese war criminal ass). Or the first half of Jurassic Park, until the Australian game warden gets eaten by the raptor, right after he says, “You clever girl.” Except that I watched it the other night and realized he was British, not Australian. WTF?

Jim puts up with all of this because (a) he has his own irrational crushes, though in fairness to him I won't reveal them here (pssst: think est-bray an-may, hot for Irish girls, into brunettes, I think, maybe, honestly no idea, he tells me nothing) and (b) he understands that really, despite how it may look, I'm not fixating on hunka homo Australis, but on terra Australis. Ultimately, I'm crushin' on the land.

Have you ever stumbled upon some place new, perhaps while on holiday, perhaps when you were younger and had the leisure to do some trekking with a backpack and a few dollars in your pocket, and you set foot upon this new place and felt an instant soul-smacking and inexplicable sense of connection? As if you'd been there before? As if the memory of this place was buried in the deepest recesses of your cells? As if you'd found your way back to a home you didn't know you had? This was my experience of Australia. It was an experience that completely circumvented the entire logic-centered part of my brain and went straight to my heart, so I can't explain it to you in any way that makes sense.

But life is a magnificent adventure, the point of which I've yet to work out, but which I doubt is to make sense. So I sit here in Kansas, which is filled with the people I love, though in my heart, it feels like a temporary way station, and crush on Australia, which is 9,000 miles away, but makes my spirit come alive.

Maybe someday I'll sort it all out. In the mean time I'll continue to drink Australian wine and watch B grade movies and collect Australian flag. Maybe one day I'll work up enough enthusiasm to give a rip about the politics, but probably not. I didn't much care for Alice, anyway.

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  1. French connection UK! I remember going into one in London and almost bought an overpriced "FCUK" shirt to bring home to the states.

  2. I just love that you GET our humour. And that you understand why I don't find American comedy funny. At all.

    I love you.

  3. Ugh, I meant to say 'why I don't find American comedians funny.'

    I like you. I think you're funny.

  4. The Australian Capital is Canberra which was chosen because it was halfway between Sydney and Melbourne. That proved not to be a good reason. It has a truly awful climate and could be used for SAS survival training in both summer and winter. It is inhabited by hordes of public servants and is probably less exciting than Topeka. Not that I have been to Topeka - but I have imagination.

  5. Pssst. Have been to Canberra and Topeka (but never fcuk). Canberra is much more pleasant.

  6. You are forgiven for thinking Sam Neil is Australian (Jurrasic Park) I thought he was too but it turns out he grew up in New Zealand - which is close enough! Try Snickers Pods next time you are there, yum :-)

  7. No, Sam Neill plays an anthropologist and doesn't get eaten (by dinosaurs). Game warden man is a bit part. Violet Crumbles also yummy!

  8. We have dark Kit Kats here too and as Trevor pointed out fcUK. And we can do understated humour with straight faces. I think it's us you love really!

    Blog post going up for you tonight. Just about to go and write it.

  9. Oh, and I meant to say, love the photo at the end.

  10. After reading Bill Brysons book, I have a hankering to see Australia too, though it does have the downside of being full of Australians.

    Though having said that, 50% of them are working in pubs in London, but still.

    Rather too many poisonous homicidal creatures too, but enough about Dannii Minogue, I always preferred her sister.

    Giving some good flag there Kristin ;-)

  11. Kristin, I even used my magnifying glass, Can't see nipple anywhere. Is that Joey covering it up? Love good kangaroo porn!

  12. Well, damn JA, it's just my wrist again!

  13. I never had any intention of even visiting this place before I fell in love with a native and moved my life here. Now I can't imagine being anywhere else.

    It's a good country, for sure.

  14. cute blog! i've always wanted to go to australia...

  15. I wasn't too busy to go back and read your previous post - it was beautifully written.
    If you haven't come across it already, you might like to have a look at
    It might help you not feel so "homesick".

  16. kbxmas, just passed an award on to you. Visit NR II to pick it up.

  17. Freefalling - thanks, I checked out the site and loved it and also visited yours. Nice to see a new face.

    And hello to you too Christina!

  18. AV - you're too sweet! Thanks for thinking of me.

  19. Nice to know I have a partner in crime with the Aussie accent crush thing! Great post!

  20. I love you. I love this blog. I hope this isn't all too sudden. I kind of want to take you to dinner and a movie.
    NO work will get done until I am done reading through your archives.

  21. Just thought I'd stop by and say hi (or should that be G'day?!?), I found your blog through MummyTime's blog hop.

    And by the way, pretty much every 'famous australian' was born somewhere else...I think Keith Urban and Hugh Jackman are the onyl 'real' aussie! Lol! We just love to claim those Kiwi's for our own!

  22. Found it. Can't say I will ever see you the same way now that I've, um, seen you wrapped in a flag! (Even if it's the Australian flag.)

    Good stuff.

  23. hi,just thought id say hi,,im an Aussie and was goin to say the capital is Canberra,but it has already been said..nice to see u enjoy Australia!

  24. Oh you people, I know where your bloody capital is!

  25. Thanks for the heads up on where to find you wrapped in an Aussie flag - and I must say very sexy photo indeed. Personally I love Canberra, but then I have never lived there and my Aunt who does says can be very hot and very cold. I also can't believe so many people missed your joke about Alice being the capital.

  26. Well, the light has come on. I realise now why you are part of the AMB, but live in Kansas. Australia is my home now and in only 2 years time I will have lived in Australia longer than any other country. I can definitely see why you have a crush.

  27. Well, there you go. One day came. And you let rip about the politics ;) You're some kind of prophet.


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