Drop bears prefer travellers

To my Canadian friends,

You may recall that I mentioned drop bears in an earlier blog entry.

Here’s a bit more information on drop bears from Australian Geographic:

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/drop-bears-prefer-travellers-says-study.htm

Yet another reason for eating vegemite!

Enjoy the read.

Nic

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Frogger – Canadian Style

Do you remember the old video game frogger? You know – the one where you have to maneuver the frog across the road without it getting squashed.

In Canada they play a different version. Instead of a frog they have a little Canadian wearing a white shirt with a red maple leaf on it. As the Canadian steps into the first lane of traffic, all the cars slam on their brakes. When the Canuck walks further into the traffic the same thing happens. Trucks swerve. Cars pile up. Buses skid sideways. But the good news is that the Canadian gets to the other side without so much as a glance in either direction.

This version isn’t as exciting, but it’s much closer to real life in Canada!

I didn’t realize it before I came to Canada, but in Australia the pedestrian is as far down the road hierarchy as you can get. Unless you cross on a designated crossing watch out. And even then you still better be looking for Dazza in his ute screaming down the road. Continue reading

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The Maple Syrup Curse

In the beginning, the great Gods of maple syrup, Dave and Jen, created the land now known as Canada.

Even today, every second Canadian is named Dave and Jen in their honour.

Dave and Jen were kind Gods. They made sure their people were well fed and clothed in the latest maple leaf attire.

As a gift, Dave and Jen bestowed maple syrup upon their people. Maple syrup was plentiful. It flowed from the trees all year long, being transformed into maple syrup by the Gods.

The people of Canada drank maple syrup at every meal and used it to brush their teeth, shampoo their hair and as a deodorant. Apparently it was also useful for getting gum out of hair.

The one rule that Dave and Jen imposed was that no-one could touch the maple sap until they had purified and distilled it, removing the maple essence which was far too powerful for mere humans. Dave and Jen warned that it would make people sleep for eternity. Continue reading

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G’day Canucks – Quiz #3

So, you think you know about platypuses and skunks – let’s see!

As usual, there is one rule – don’t google the answers.

Click on the link below to access the quiz.

If you want to access the survey from your email inbox, just go to this link:

http://nicquestions.polldaddy.com/s/gdaycanucks-3

The person scoring the highest will have their name posted in lights in the G’day Canucks comments section (how’s that for inspiration?)

Good luck

Nic

Picture credit – http://pl.atyp.us/platypix/index.html

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Tip me if you like my blog

I’m feeling brave today! I’m ready to take on the sacred cow of tipping in North America.

Tipping me for writing this blog post is just as ridiculous as tipping your hairdresser.

Where does it end? If I tip waiters and hairdressers, why not tip the postie (postal worker) or the guys fixing the potholes on the road in front of my driveway or the bus driver or the woman serving me at the supermarket or the guy who gave me directions when I was lost? They all did something that directly benefited me and many of them are on pretty crappy money.

USA is a kingdom built on tipping. I feel bold enough to say that no-where else in the world has a tipping culture like the USA. You have to tip waiters, bartenders, hotel staff (maids, concierge, porters, shuttle/bus drivers, valet parking attendants), casino dealers (this is actually illegal in Australia), tour guides, hairdressers (plus extra for the person who washes your hair), masseurs, spa/beautician workers, taxi drivers, mechanics (some people tip, others don’t), ski instructors, dog groomers, etc etc.  And it’s not just an expectation for a little tip. Usually we’re talking at least 15% of the bill.

In Canada it is a little better, but there is still a tipping culture and expectation, particularly in restaurants.

In Australia, I sometimes tip in restaurants, but only if the food and service is particularly good. Tipping isn’t expected, but often people leave a little extra, but no-where near 15%.  As for other services, it is virtually unheard of. My hairdresser wouldn’t know what was going on if I offered her a tip!

Continue reading

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The Aussie animal that bloody scares me most…

And the winner in the category of ‘The Aussie animal that bloody scares me most’ is … (insert drum-roll here)

A magpie!

Yes – a magpie.

You probably think I’m pulling your leg. I know I took a few liberties with my Creepies and Crawlies post and blurred the line between fact and fiction, but I swear that Aussie magpies in spring will make a grown man squeal like my little nieces (yes you Lilly, Amy and Kelsey!). Continue reading

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Vegemite – glorious black sludge

Something is missing from the G’day Canucks website. Something so essential that I’m surprised the comments section hasn’t gone into meltdown and crashed the WordPress servers.

I’m talking about Vegemite – that glorious black sludge of a spread that Aussies love.

Without a Vegemite post, G’day Canucks would be like Shaggy without Scoobie, Mick Jagger without his luba lips, a Canuck without hockey, a bike without two wheels (unless you ride a unicycle!), Posh without Becks, Angelina without an orphan, an Aussie without a boomerang (we all carry them you know!!). Anyway, you get the picture! Back to Vegemite lesson 101.

What is it?

Vegemite is a spread used on bread, toast or savory biscuits. Some hard-core Vegemite lovers will also tell you that it is great mixed with hot water as a drink.

Continue reading

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Words worth stealing

There are some Canadian words that I plan to wrap up in tissue paper and place in my pocket for the long trip back to Australia. I’ll sneak them past customs and release them into the Aussie wilderness.

They will have to be tough to survive. Maybe, just maybe they will catch on.

  • Bike – yes I know we call a bike a bike in Oz. But in Canada it is also a verb! I ‘bike’ to the shops. I go ‘biking’ with the kids. Before I would have told people that I ride to work, but they would be left wondering if I ride a horse, a motorbike, a bicycle or a skateboard. See how useful it can be!
  • Tuque – I know I’ve mentioned tuques before, but I really like the word. Maybe because the word sounds more fancy than a beanie.
  • Cleats – this one may be met with some resistance back home. Cleats are footy boots. Any shoe/boot with studs or blades for traction are called cleats. I like it because it gives the boots a real name rather than just being boots or shoes that you happen to play footy in.
  • Pick-up hockey/soccer/basketball etc – when kids (or adults) get together and play an impromptu game of something it is called a ‘pick-up’ game. You might go to the park and have a pick-up game of basketball or hockey. It is very casual game and anyone around can play. I don’t think we have a word for this in Oz. Maybe we’d call it a friendly game, but this doesn’t really describe it accurately.

Continue reading

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Snowflakeology

Snowflakeology!

What a cool word!

For a few short minutes I patted myself on the back, smiled smugly to myself and thought about how clever I was making up a new word.

But damn you again Google for being a know-all. Someone beat me to it! Apparently Wilson Alwyn ‘Snowflake’ Bentley described himself as a snowflakeologist (what a coincidence since ‘Snowflake’ was his middle name!!). Continue reading

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Beware of the freezing fog

Minutes before this picture was taken dozens of people were throwing snowballs and frolicking. This is irrefutable proof that freezing fog disintegrates people. Picture by N.Godwin

[To be read with scary horror movie music in the background – or maybe Jaws music would be more appropriate – you choose!]

I have just locked the doors and bordered up the windows. Something strange and mysterious is occurring outside.

My terror started this morning when I checked the weather forecast. I am seasoned to just about any weather condition. I’ve survived freezing rain, hail showers, snow blizzards, and even light drizzle. But never have I encountered freezing fog!!

At first I thought it was a joke. But then I turned to the ever reliable and trustworthy Google to calm my fears.

Apparently it’s real! And it’s out to get you.

Continue reading

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