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Published: April 16th 2008
These are things Ive discovered on my stay to Oz. They are observed by Me and they are my own thoughts about things that I thought were surprising. They are not all negative nor positive. They are not in any particular order, They just are 😊
• There are public toilets everywhere. You never have to look far for a toilet. Same thing goes for caravan parks. Every single town and area has one.
• Everybody whose been in Australia and tells you about the people and the way they are, well, everybody says its an easygoing, relaxed bunch of people. So you come into Oz expecting it, and it still surprises you! It is SO true! As an example of this I remember living in Main Beach and going to the local bar alone, and pretty much getting to know everyone in the bar and getting invited to a bunch of activities.
• Beetroot is in everything. I havent had a salad, a sandwitch, a burger, a side dish, a main dish or pretty much anything that hasnt had beetroot in it. Now that I think of it, Ive even seen beetroot on a pizza.. Aussies
really love beetroot and they put it on everything. I was probably the most surprised in McDonalds where I ate a burger and discovered beetroot in it.
• The surfing lifestyle. I must admit I was mostly on the coast, but it is imminent. It affects everything and everyone here whether you surf or not. Everybody wears boardies and you may be the only one on the street that isnt carrying a surfboard. Ive learned that the reason for closing some of the bars and restaurants at midnight is so that people get enough sleep before hitting the waves at sunrise.
• Walking across the street on a crosswalk has to be the safest in the world here in Oz. Im amazed everytime when I approach a crosswalk and a car is already in a full stop eventhough Im still a couple of steps away from the curb. And this happens 95 times out of 100. Everywhere else Ive been, you really really have to be more careful when you cross a street on a crosswalk.
• Nationalities of people. You meet people from all over the world over here. Most people here are of different origin.
There parents or grandparents have imigrated but people still know their heritage. I feel also that the Kiwis are trying to conquer the Gold Coast, with the fact that so many people there are from NZ.
• Right - Left or Left - Right. Its the first time for me in a country that has traffic moving on the left side. It was tricky to get used to it but the fact that everything feels backwards surprised me. The way you walk on the walkway, the way the escalators go(they go the same as at Clas Ohlson in Vaasa), they're just all backwards to me. The weirdest and most dangerous happened to me when I was riding a bicycle for the first time. I had no idea they would have the brakes viceversa here. The back brake is on the left side and front on the right... I knocked myself over the bar making a quick stop for the first time.. Funny as, as I am thinking about it now. It wasnt that funny at the moment though... Now that Im back in Finland and on the right side of the road, it was just as odd. Took a
lot less time to get used to it again though.
• Bats. They are everywhere and they are HUGE! The biggest have a wingspan of one meter that Ive seen. I'll always remember beeing at a barbie at Forster and watching the sunset and seeing all this black birds constantly flying over us. I asked someone what kind of birds were they, because I thought they were hawks. I was pretty surprised with the fact of them being bats.
• Hungry Jacks = Burger King, Holden = Opel.... Hmm, what's the point of having a different name for a brand here than the rest of the world????
• Finnish products are in the oddest places. You find finnish built saunas in student dorms, coffee cups and elevators & escalators that are from Finland. And you bump into these pretty much anywhere else.
Yeah, only a couple that came to my mind. I bet there were a lot more surprising things in my mind on the way but these are the ones on top of my mind.
Id like to thank everyone who’s shown interest to my and Carolina’s travels. We also thank everyone else
writing on this website. We got a lot of useful hints and pointers from here at travelblog.org.
Cheers, Jani & Carolina
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