When I think about Australia, I think about beer, kangaroos, koalas, and rugby. Australia was discovered in 1606 by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon but James Cook was the first to discover the east coast of Australia in 1770. There are theories, though, that the Portuguese were the first to sight Australia in the 1520’s also “the French navigator Binot Paulmier de Gonneville claimed to have landed at a land he described as “east of the Cape of Good Hope” in 1504, after being blown off course”. (Wikipedia)
Australia has a long history of drinking dating back to early settlement “Apparently the first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per person than any other community in the history of mankind”. It is said that pubs occupy more land than their Australian mines which is their most important industry. Now that’s dedication! “According to the author of The Rum State, Milton Lewis, heavy drinking was an established cultural norm transported to Australia at the time of colonisation”. (The Conversation) Alcohol was used as a food source in Europe because there wasn’t much available at the time.
Just like deer, the male Kangaroo is called a buck and the female is called a doe. The Red Kangaroo is the largest living Marsupial. These animals are big and fast. They can weigh in at about 200 lbs. and can move close to 40 mph. Their long jump is about 25 feet and they can jump 10 feet high. Kangaroos are the only large animals that move around by hopping and cannot move backwards. Kangaroos are herbivores and need very little water because they have adapted to the drier regions.These are just a few fun facts about Australia.
Now for some of the cultural differences between Australia and the United States.
Australia uses the metric system as to where we use the imperial system. We still use parts of the metric system for some measurements. We measure things in inches and feet instead of centimeters and meters. Driving is a bit different for the fact that people drive on the left side of the street. In Australia besides stop light cameras they have speed cameras as well. The seasons are backwards in Australia. Christmas is celebrated in the summer and Easter is in the fall. They do not celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving. Also, yes the water flows counter clockwise. Like the United States there are many food choices to pick from but if you are looking for Mexican food, good luck, it’s hard to find. Also, if you want pepperonis on your pizza, you won’t find it. Asian food is popular with sushi being inexpensive and sold in paper bags and eaten like a burrito. Things such as ovens, washers, dryers, and even cars are smaller. Even portion sizes at restaurants are smaller because you are not allowed to take leftovers home because of problems with people suing the restaurants for food poisoning coming from leftovers. Australia would be an awesome place to visit and will definitely be on my bucket of places to visit.