What is not to love about Australia? The people are incredibly friendly, chatty, and chill. They are basically Americans if Americans were chill. And why not? We are both countries formed out of shady Brits, the only difference is that Americans were like "OOHHHH RELIGION!" and Australians were like "OHHHHH FELONIOUSNESS!"
Basically the same. How much do I love Australia? I am enduring a two connection itinerary from San Francisco to Melbourne, stopping in Seoul for an hour and a six hour overnight layover in Singapore. THAT's what I will do for you, Land of INXS.
Things I love about Australia:
- People are just the nicest. I have had some of the most friendly random conversations at bars in Australia and they weren't even weird and predatory. The bros can get a little punchy -- no , I don't mean drunk, I really mean they start punching -- after 3am, but they generally keep that amongst the dudes so I feel pretty safe.
- The beer is cold. Check it out, Britain: All your castaways left and learned that flat warm beer that tastes like moldy wood is the reason you are so cranky and miserable all the time. And when we discovered carbonation and cold were actually wonderful things, we became the happy people that we are.
- The Australian Open is the best. I mean....Wimbledon is kind of the best, really. But no Slam is as fun as the Aussie. It's like the first day of school when the year is full of hope, your teachers aren't sick of your stupid faces anymore, you aren't sick of your stupid teachers' faces anymore, and everyone is genuinely happy to see each other and catch up. At least for the first hour.
- Respectable social establishments do not close before midnight. Again...looking at you, Britain. People think I like going to bars so much because I really like drinking an inordinate amount of alcohol. THAT IS NOT ACTUALLY TRUE! Sure, I like a nice tipple, but honestly, I just think there's nothing better than grabbing a friend or two and hitting a quiet bar and just talking until 5am in the morning and when you settle the check and walk outside the sun is rising. Those are moments full of bliss. You can do that in Australia.
- The time difference to the States means you don't have to be a morning person. I'm a night owl. Working through the night at the Aussie Open is my sweet spot.
- The coffee culture. I'm not a huge fan of the flat white but there's no doubt the Aussies know their coffee, care about their coffee, and take great pride in their coffee. In otherwords, we're soulmates.
- TimTams and Lift. Best cookie and soda in the world, respectively. And we get Lift for free in the media center so BOOOOYAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
- Lord of the Fries. I have never actually stopped to get french fries there but I always walk past it and the name just makes me smile.
- Tasty Cheese. I don't know what it is. They literally call it "tasty cheese" like we say "cheddar" and "provolone". It's a very presumptuous cheese name. I love it.
- The dumplings. Melbourne has the best dumplings outside of Shanghai. I am going to eat a metric shit-ton of dumplings. I am going to be so happy.
- The McDonalds across the street from Flinders Street Station. You and me, buddy. You and me.
- Rooftop bars. A totally foreign thing to us Northern Californians. LOVE. There's one -- Cookie? -- that is basically Williamsburg on a roof and it's an amazing spot to people watch because THEY ARE BEING SO EARNEST.
- And this year, for the first since I first started going to OZ, A FAVORABLE EXCHANGE RATE. I'm sorry your currency is sucking right now but HALLELUJAH I can buy more than just toast and butter for brekkie.
- That it inspired the LOL-worthy In a Sunburned Country. Bill Bryson is wonderful and he is no more wonderful than he is in this book. You must read it.
- That they call "flip-flops" "thongs". lulz.
And last but not least, THIS SKETCH:
See you a few -- 30? -- hours!
Ok, one last one:
P.S. -- I'm going to actually try and fill up the Gallery section with travel photos this year. So stay tuned to that section of the site.