Monday, August 31, 2009

AUSSIE RULES

From August 4th to August 17th, I was in Australia. I didn’t see the whole continent or do anything super extraordinary (like jump out of a plane or visit the reef), but I experienced a lot of cool things. This is what I learned:

Australian Women Love American Men

Women came on to me simply because of my ‘accent.’ These were two shockers for me: girls hitting on me, and “I have an accent?” I started using this to my advantage; speaking loudly so all could hear. Girls liked me; showed me attention; asked me questions. This never happens in the States. I felt like the cool guy in high school. I enjoyed it as much as I could.

That’s when I realized that foreigners do this all the time in the States. Their sexy accents melt our women. So why can’t the same work in reverse? Being a tourist is an amazing way to meet women. You come across as sweet, genuine, and naïve. You don’t know a thing and you openly admit it; women love that. Women are curious to learn about your culture so there’s always something to talk about. And because of your accent, you can say nearly anything, and it becomes interesting, funny, or charming. Plus, women seem to fall for the guy they can’t really be with. Since tourists are only around for a short period of time, women see it as romantic, and will pursue the man faster then normal. It’s almost like women forget about the game, and just have fun. In the end, the tourist almost always wins; he gets to know a beautiful girl, has some great memories, and then moves on with his adventures.

Austrasians

There were a multitude of Asian women in Australia; I called them Austrasians. For those who find Asian girls attractive, just add an Australian accent, and it’s even hotter. One super cute Austrasian girl told me she was not a big fan of Australian men. What kind of men does she like? She looked me straight in the eye, didn’t blink, and said AMERICAN MEN. I then blurted out: “I have a girlfriend.”

I Have a Girlfriend

As an attached man, I could do only so much interacting with women. But my girlfriend, who’s a bartender, encouraged me to flirt and have some fun. Flirting is like window shopping; you can look at as much as you want, but as long as you don’t buy anything, it’s harmless.

Since flirting was kosher, I took full advantage of it. First off, “hitting on women” is so much easier when you have modest intentions. I didn’t need to hook up and as a result, I was relaxed, and felt no pressure. Plus, I was a tourist which made things even easier. In the “singles” world, I would’ve needed to hook up to show success. But as an attached man, all I needed was the assumption that I could’ve hooked up. I suddenly didn’t need to close which is the hardest part of picking up women! It was like the gimme putt in golf (the ball is near the hole, but not quite in) when someone says: “You’re close enough…we’ll give it to you.” So now when I tell stories of my trip, I can say: “Tons of girls wanted to hook up with me.” Whether or not that’s true is not the point (I’m sure it’s not.) The point is that it was fun, harmless, and I was a good boyfriend.

The Tease

Some women came up to me and commented on my accent. Some bought me drinks. Some laughed at my jokes. Some asked me to dance. I would laugh, flirt, and probably lead them on. In the end, when some made more aggressive advances, I had to suddenly deny them.

I then realized that I was pulling the same moves women have pulled on us guys for all these years. I was such a TEASE. It was frightening and powerful all at the same time.

"Where Did You Get That Shirt, Mate?"

Even one dude came up to me when he found out I was from the States. He enthusiastically asked me where I bought my shirt. “The Gap,” I responded. He had never heard of it, but was eager to learn more. He smiled brightly and wrote down the information. He was mystified and excited at the same time. I don’t know if he was hitting on me, but if people liked my Gap clothing, I was definitely in a good place.

Working Girls

My luck with women even occurred at coffee shops. One girl, in her late 30’s, dressed in casual business attire, chatted me up in front of a café. We spoke briefly, and she asked if I was from the States. We flirted for another minute, and I told her to enjoy her coffee break. That’s when she informed me that she was working; she was actually a “working girl.”

I turned red and grew flustered; I was speechless. She then told me it was legal (it is!) so it’s all good. I regretted not chatting more and learning about the seedy craft of working girls, but I was so damn nervous and uncomfortable. I bolted into the coffee shop never to see her again. (Yes, that’s what really happened.)

This is the third continent where a prostitute has tried to pick me up: North America (Las Vegas), South America (Brazil), and now Australia (Sydney.) The worst part is each time I thought they were non-working girls that truly liked me and just wanted to hang out. I'm the guy who thinks strippers really like him too.

Australian Expressions

“G’day, mate.” Put another shrimp on the Barbie.” “There’s a dingo eating your baby.” These terms were not used very often, although “mate” was thrown around a fair amount. A very pretty blonde explained some other Australian terms to me. A bathing suit is called a swimming costume, a thong is a shoe, and a g-string is a g-string. And yes, I was very turned on by this conversation.

Australian Rules Football

My buddy and I attended an Australian League Football game. It was fast paced, high scoring, and a lot of fun to watch; like a combination of rugby and American football.

During the game, I learned a very important lesson. Never “root” on your team. Apparently, to “root” in Australia means to bang, to nail, to shag, etc. Of course, my friend didn’t tell me that right away. I enthusiastically asked a group of 7 year-old kids who they wanted to ROOT for. Which team? Which players? I told them I was ROOTING on #33. They looked petrified and called for their Daddy. Fortunately, the kids forgot about it, but I’m still a little traumatized.

Which Way Does The Toilet Flush?

About 15 years ago, The Simpsons went to Australia. They cause all sorts of trouble, but what Bart really wanted to know was if the toilets really flushed backwards…

…as a huge Simpsons fan, my first project was to find out if, in fact, this was true. I observed the toilet with great focus and excitement. When I pushed the lever, something weird happened. The water unexpectedly just sucked down in one motion. I couldn’t tell. I was very disappointed.
On a bathroom note, I was interested to discover that Australia is a big fan of the trough; very few urinals. It was like the old ballparks where everyone pees wherever they want; like a free for all. I stood on the divider until my friend said he pees on that too. I learned my lesson quickly.

Australia is Expensive

In Sydney, it’s hard to find a meal under $15 ($13, American.) You can’t just get a cheap sandwich or a burger; everything is pricey and it adds up.

But you save money a few ways:

No Tipping

The $6 beer at the bar is the same as $5 because you don’t need to leave that $1 tip. And why is there no tipping? I met a Montreal girl who was a waitress at a nice restaurant. She told me she earns $24/hour. Wow!

B.Y.O.

Almost every restaurant is B.Y.O.: (they’ve shortened their acronym, but it means the same thing) Bring Your Own Booze! The meals were pretty good, but bringing your own beverage made them great. In Melbourne, my friend and I each had 2 40 oz. beers with our meal. We stumbled out happy and a complete mess. It was perfect.

The Sydney Opera House

I did see the Sydney Opera House which I knew about because it was in Finding Nemo. It was a beautiful site and within walking distance of my friend’s apartment.
Batman

My friend’s apartment overlooked the Sydney skyline which was quite beautiful. The coolest part was at sunset. Not only were there beautiful pictures to be taken, but thousands of bats would fly over head from a nearby park; one of the cooler sites I’ve ever seen. I kept thinking Christian Bale was about to take over.

Hangin’ Ten

Speaking of superheroes, I felt like one when I put on my wet suit to go surfing. They’re tight, cling to your body, and you just feel like you can kick some ass. Then I jumped in the water, and proceeded to get crushed by multiple waves. But it’s pretty cool to say I went surfing in Australia especially in the winter.

Tough Winter

I knew that the seasons were reversed. It was winter there; turned out winter is 65 degrees and sunny everyday.

Left Lane Driving

Driving is reversed too. Every time my friend drove, I shouted in fear at least once: “You’re in the wrong lane…we’re all gonna die.” Then I realized that they drive in the left lane in Australia, and I felt like an idiot.

Hungry Jack’s versus Burger King


I love the story of Hungry Jack’s. Apparently, Burger King sold them their logo years ago thinking they would never open shop in Australia. As a result, Hungry Jack’s has the exact same logos, food, and style of Burger King down to The Whopper. Recently, Burger King changed their minds, and has since opened stores in Aussie. So now there are two nearly identical fast food restaurants with different names. Every time I saw Hungry Jack’s, all I could think of was McDowell’s versus McDonald’s in Coming To America. “Look... me and the McDonald's people got this little misunderstanding. See, they're McDonald's... I'm McDowell's. They got the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, but their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds.”


I Wanna Go the Zoo

I didn’t see Crocodile Dundee, but I did see a crocodile at the zoo. I also saw koalas and kangaroos. I don’t care how old you are; zoos are always fun!

Taking a Ferry to Work

I took the ferry a few times. The view was beautiful. The mood was relaxing. I’ve been in traffic in LA, and been stuffed in subway cars in NYC. Imagine taking a relaxing boat ride to work everyday. I’m sure it gets old, but it sounds pretty amazing to me.

Jet Lag Advice

Sydney is a 14 hour flight from LA plus a 17 hour jump into the future with the time difference. I left on Tuesday night and arrived on Thursday morning. My advice is to sleep on the plane if you can. With the help of Melatonin and an awful Drew Barrymore movie, I was able to sleep for half the flight. When I arrived, I stayed up the entire day, and went to bed at 10 pm. I slept 12 hours, and the next day, I was on Australia time.

Facebook Friends

When I stayed at a Hostel in Melbourne, I realized how huge facebook was. Every single computer was on facebook.com. And these were people from all over the world. It didn’t happen with friendster; it didn’t happen with myspace; but facebook is quickly taking over the world.

I became facebook friends with so many random people: the Yoga instructor from Toronto, 2 flight attendants from New Zealand, 2 female cops from Montreal, 2 Australian/Italian girls that ran my hostel, and a bevy of others. I even thought about adding the ‘working girl’ from the café.

I’ve always loved meeting random people, and now I have a system to keep track of them. Maybe I’ll never speak to them again. But maybe I will. Who knows where I’ll be in the future? Some people may judge me, and even call me a facebook whore because I have so many "friends." But I am proud of my excessive amount of virtual friends, and look forward to adding more!

A Special Thanks

My hosts, Marcy and Chris, were amazing, and so were all of their friends. They took me around the city: to parties, bars, restaurants, and clubs. They took me surfing; they took me lawn bowling; they made me dinner; they showed me how to cook; they introduced me to Australian coffee. Most importantly, they made me smile, laugh, and enjoy every moment of my trip.

Thanks, mates! You guys are awesome! Aussie rules!

4 comments:

JW said...

Oy Oy Oy! Great look at Australia. You forgot to mentionto the aspiring traveler: do not drink Foster's. It is actually Australian for "Only American shirleys drink that stuff."

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

As an Australian I enjoyed reading your blog post. I know you said you didn't hear "G'day" much, but that's probably because you were in the big cities. In the more suburban areas and then the further inland you go, the more the drawl comes in, and the Australian slang comes out.
Also, the Hungry Jacks franchise in Australia is the same company as Burger King in the US. When Burger King went to open a store they found a little store in Adelaide already owned the trademark. Later down the track there are contract disagreements and other legal mumbo jumbo that led Burger King to open it's own "Burger King" branded stores in Australia. They were very few and far between though, and nealry all of them have been converted back to Hungry Jacks. Strange but true!
I'm off to America soon, so hoping the women will think my Australian accent is sexy!

Anonymous said...

I farted

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