Friday, December 17, 2010

Objective Echidna, and Bob's Your Uncle

Back from our first big Australian safari. No echidnas, I’m sorry to say, but that’s probably for the best, as I forgot to bring my Leatherman along, and Nigel and I would have probably been torn to bits. We did see a man standing on something on the surface of Nareen creek, a body of water that looks more like a small lake, rowing it along with a long oar. Nigel said it looked like he was standing on a garbage can lid. When he got closer we saw it was a surfboard. Maybe people stand on surfboards and row them in the States, I don’t know.

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Walking with Tin the mile or so from Shannon and Kevin’s – Tin’s sister and her husband in Narrabeen, where we're staying at the moment - to the bus stop yesterday a woman, maybe sixty-five, in a little yellow car stopped alongside us and asked, “Do you need a ride up to the top of the road?” We didn’t really, but it was such a nice thing that we said Yes! and jumped in. She chattered on about – well, I don’t really know what. Even after being married to an Australian for eight years in the states the Australian way of using English is still often beyond me. (I can’t wait for the opportunity to say, “Bob’s your uncle!” to someone, although I’m sure it’ll be the wrong moment to say it.)

“Where ya headed?” I understood at the first pause . Tin told her – going to get an apartment in Collaroy – and I happily added that it was my third day in Australia as a migrant, and what a nice thing it was to have some stranger just pull up and offer us a lift. She was delighted. So was I. Such displays of the famous friendliness of Australians have been abundant in my first few days here, and I can tell you that it makes this transition a lot more sweet than it might be in other circumstances. Of course I might be beaten to unconsciousness by a gang of cricket hooligans this afternoon. Bob’s your uncle! (I’ll ask Tin if that was right…)

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