What Do I Think of Australia?

Australia is a bit of a strange country.

Obviously, I didn’t stay there long enough to make any meaningful assessment, but . . .

I get the feeling Australia is like someone’s crazy cousin who is responsible in every way, probably has a job and even a family, works responsibly, can be counted on, but has just one screw loose somewhere, sometimes saying something totally nuts or doing something utterly bizarre. That’s a little bit of the feel I get with Australia.

Or someone who, for whatever reason, just has a slightly different take on things, seeing things from a slightly different, perhaps cock-eyed, angle.

Perhaps Australia was simply too far away from mother England, or away for too long, and things evolved on their own, growing a bit off in the process, or as my son suggested, perhaps it has something to do with the convicts who originally populated the country and some of their craziness settling into the gene pool there.

But something is ‘different’ in Australia.

Here’s one simple example. Take the Australian Coat of Arms. It starts off well enough, and even has a bit of a British air to it. Noble. Serious. Stately.

C1 copy

But then I guess someone said, “Hey, why don’t we put a kangaroo on one side of it and an emu on the other side.”

And everyone said, “Bloody good idea, why didn’t I think of that!”

So the coat of arms then became this.

Coat_of_arms_of_Australia.svg

And, just on principle, you have to think something is strange about a country that has such a plethora of weird animals and subsequently weird animal road signs.

We saw lots of these signs on our visit there.

Kangaroos – we saw lots of these signs on our visit there.

Wombats

Wombats

Camels - there a wild camels roaming around in the outback

Wild camels apparently roam around in the outback

Dingoes

Dingoes

This one would seem to indicate that cattle will come and knock your car over.

This one would seem to indicate that cattle will come and knock your car over.

More kangaroos.

More kangaroos.

Crocodiles will leap out of the water and attempt to eat you.

Crocodiles will leap out of the water and attempt to eat you.

Some of the road signs we saw on our trip were perhaps a bit edgy.

IMG_2088

And this slogan for seatbelts that was on a billboard.

Unknown

Not sure what to make of this car.

SAM_3455

I liked Australia. Again, I wasn’t there very long. Some aspects of it remind me of the way the US was perhaps years ago. Certainly by comparison, New Zealand and its people seem more staid. Maybe New Zealand is like the younger more responsible sibling of Australia. Yes, I like the weirdness of Australia—it suits me—and I’d like to go back someday and stay for a longer time.

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