Wow, I am becoming more and more of a slacker all the time.  Almost 1 year since I last wrote on this thing.
 
Oh well, I just got back from my Australian trip and I thought I would put a few of my thoughts down on paper.
 
Culture
===========
Well I was only in the big city, and didn’t get out west to the outback or north to the Great Barrier Reef, but I was very surprise how; well western it was.  I realize that Australia was a British colony and all, but I don’t think that I was prepared for just how much like any other large western/english city it was.  Food very similar, language very similar, building very similar, people very similar.
 
Weather
===========
I was here in the dead of winter (literally, think Feb 1) and the temperature was around 20+ degrees in the day and around 10+ degrees at night.  They apparently do have cold snaps where it will be 15/5, but those are rare.  I was told that the summers are not much warmer than we are used to in Toronto, but I wasn’t there so I won’t comment on that so much.
 
Driving
===========
Okay so they have the whole UK left hand drive thing like most UK colonies (Canada probably being the most notable exception) and Japan.  I didn’t drive and I don’t think that I would in the city, at least not to start.  To be honest the person sitting on the wrong side, just seems odd nothing else.  What really takes getting used to is being on the wrong side of the road, even trying to cross the street is rather interesting since the cars are coming from the wrong direction all the time, it is all quite surreal at times.
 
Food
===========
As I already mentioned the food is very much the same as here.  I was looking for something very Aussy, but didn’t really find much.  A few things worth mentioning:
  1. Coffee – They don’t brew coffee in Australia (you can find it if you look hard), all coffee is made in Espresso machines similar to what you see in Starbucks.  Personally I found the coffee very strong.  It is also worth noting that you don’t get cream in your coffee you get milk everywhere.
  2. Fish – Although the #1 fish around is the Barramundi which is from the pacific, the #2 fish you see on the menu is Atlantic Salmon, very strange to see.  Apparently they farm it on Tasmania and ship it around Australia.
  3. English Muffin – Although you can get these here, they are definitely more popular in Australia.  Similar to a McMuffin an English Muffin with combinations of Egg, Ham, Bacon (Bacon was weird, they must have different pigs), plus a few other things that I didn’t know.
  4. Lingo – Of course the Aussy’s have their own little lingo going on down there, a few of the ones I had to use or heard were
    • Long Black – Black Coffee
    • Flat White – Coffee with Milk
    • No Worries – (Kind of like the Canadian "Eh") A friend of mine uses this sometimes and always said it was an Australian thing.  I don’t think I ever expected to hear it so much.
  5. Beer – Australian’s may be known around the world for their wine, but there is a good reason that the only Aussy beer is Fosters.  Really they do make fine beer, the only problem is it is all the same.  They have about 15 different kinds of Lager.  Very similar to Canadian or Blue only slightly more bitter.  They also seem to have a few Wheat Beers, but none of them really wow’d me.  Otherwise the micro-brewery revolution hasn’t seemed to hit there.

Finally it was a very nice country, I would love to go back, that is the only good thing about traveling for work, you get to figure out where you want to go back to and where you don’t :-).