It was my intention to keep this blog up on a consistent basis, but it seems that didn’t happen. Part of the reason is that we haven’t really done too much worth blogging about. The main reason for that is our location in Cairns. We are removed from the main part of town where everything happens, and the weather has been either raining or too hot to walk very far to access transportation. We enjoyed staying at the beautiful house we were in, and spending time by the pool, and working on our laptops outside, under the covered patio in the rain.
One fun thing so far, has been learning about all of the differences in the food culture. One night we wanted to order pizza, so we chose to order from a name we knew (Dominos), but that is where the similarities ended. These pizzas were some of the most unique I had ever seen. I saved a screenshot of one page so that you could see an example, but there were 3 pages just like this of random toppings that we would never put on our pizza at home (and Dominos at home certainly doesn’t have). Trevor decided to be bold and ordered the “Prawn & Bacon Hawaiian” that you see in the photo. It was topped with BBQ sauce. I went more traditional. Some that you don’t see on photo include “Argentinian Pulled Beef”, “Peri-Peri Chicken” (South African flavoured BBQ sauce on top), and lots of “Chicken & Prawn” pizzas of all kinds. They even have a selection of pizzas that come with Camembert cheese on top. Check them out below!
Another interesting food fact is that they don’t have “Ketchup” here. They have what they call “Tomato Sauce”. Tastes pretty close to Ketchup, so not much difference there. You just have to get used to ordering food with “tomato sauce” on the side.
There is a large Indian and Asian influence here in Australia. A lot of the shops are dedicated to the Asian tourists, and the locals seem to enjoy Indian food, as it has been the food we have seen the most of in our short travels around town and attempting at home food delivery.
Another interesting difference in Australia is the lack of censorship, both on TV and (what appears by this store’s name) in public. The most interesting store we have seen is called “The Reject Store”. Can you guess what they sell? This would be the same as our “Goodwill” or “Value Villages” back home. It is a second hand store, but we were both a little shocked when we saw the name!! When we have watch TV we are (pleasantly) surprised by the lack of censorship with the use of swear words and other “taboo” words in Canada. Instead of hearing “BEEP, BEEP….” You actually get to hear the dialogue, which is a very nice change!! We quite enjoy this!
Oh, another random fact is that if you want to dial 911 – you won’t get any help, because that doesn’t exist here either. You will need to call “000” to get emergency services. Good thing we learned this early on!
We spent the holidays here in Cairns (Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). We had a pretty uneventful Christmas. We Skyped with our families on Christmas Day (Christmas Eve to them due to time change). We stayed at home and didn’t really do anything. On Boxing Day, we fought the crowds at the local shopping centre, where I bought myself a laptop. I didn’t think about it at the time, but when we got home, I realized that the laptop has an Australian plug attached to it, which should have been obvious, but it wasn’t, so now I own an Australian laptop. Not a huge deal, just requires adapters for the rest of its life to work in other countries, including once we come home.
We also got a chance to see some of the waterfront on Boxing Day. Here are some photos:
New Year’s Eve was enjoyable. For the first time in our lives, we got to see the Sydney fireworks in their entirety. Normally, we only see 10 seconds or less on the news in Canada, so this was a real treat! It lasted about 15 minutes, and they spent 7 million dollars on them, so you can imagine how spectacular they were!! We would have loved to see them in person, but unfortunately we don’t get to Sydney until this weekend. New Year’s Day was enjoyable also. We hung out by the pool, and starting around 1pm, we got to start watching other celebrations around the world, as it was just approaching midnight in most places. At 3pm we live streamed the New York celebration at Time Square, and watched the ball drop. It was an interesting experience, considering we are used to seeing it live back home, and now we are watching in from “the future”.
We did experience The Great Barrier Reef, but I will post a separate (short) blog about that soon.
Happy New Year Everyone!