Sunday, September 14, 2008

Queensland vs. Victoria

As today is our last day here in sunny Queensland, I've spent a lot of time reflecting on the last week and what a lovely holiday it's been. I've also thought a bit about the differences between the sunny shores of Queensland and life back in the sometimes sunny Victoria. For those Americans amongst you, our holiday here would be the equivalent of going from New York City to Florida in the US. Victorians love coming up to Queensland to get away from the cold weather and get a bit of sunshine. This is our Florida!

Anyway, here are a few observations I've made during this visit:

1. Queenslanders seem to be a bit more laid back than their Victorian counterparts--or at least the Victorians I interact with in Melbourne each day. I don't know if it's the climate or the natural beauty of the place, but things move at a slower pace here and people are generally not too fussed about things. The first few days you are here it seems a bit frustrating that no one is in a hurry, but then you get into the holiday mode and you aren't in a hurry any more either. Lovely.

2. Queenslanders seem to be more stereotypical "Aussies" than their Victorian counterparts. What that means is the people I've met here are more like the people you'd expect to find in Australia if you were coming from the USA for the first time. What I'm trying to say is that there have been quite a few people here that have reminded me of Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee. Same type of accent, same inflection, same 'have a go' attitude. Maybe my visit to the Australia Zoo is clouding my judgement, but that's the way it seems to me. So if you are looking for the 'stereotypical' Australian experience, then perhaps Queensland is the go...

3. On the whole, Queensland's restaurants are a bit disappointing. This is a big statement and I thought long and hard before typing it, but I think that Melburnians are absolutely spoiled. The Handsome Australian and I have been to many restaurants here this week (and last year during our visit to the Gold Coast), and nothing has really caught our fancy. There are no standouts and even your average places aren't that great. In Melbourne it's quite easy to walk off the street into any place you come across and almost be guaranteed a good meal. I truly believe the standard in Melbourne is simply that high.

4. People in Queensland love their Rugby and Aussie Rules doesn't rate. For those of you who aren't familiar with Australia's football code rivalry, Australian Rules Football originated in Victoria and until recent times was seen mainly as a Victorian game. The Australian Football League has expanded during the last two decades and now most capital cities around the country have their own AFL teams. Still, more than half the teams in the competition are still based in Melbourne and it's surrounds. So in Melbourne and Victoria, Aussie Rules is a BIG DEAL. So it seems very odd to us when we come to Queensland and hear people talking about the 'footy' and it's not Aussie Rules, but Rugby. Victorians would have you believe there is no other sport.

5. Poached eggs with Soldiers is a common children's breakfast meal here. I've never seen it on a menu in Victoria. What is it? Well, poached eggs are well, poached eggs (basically soft boiled) and the soldiers are pieces of toast cut into "stick" like slices. The idea seems to be you dip your toast sticks into your runny egg. Very cute. Our littlest one loved his poached eggs with soldiers today.

And finally, the Handsome Australian noted, "People here in Queensland seem to wear shorts more often." Hmm...I wonder why? This is actually a big statement coming from the Handsome Australian--anything above 18 degrees Celsius and he's in shorts--rain or shine. He might wear a jumper on top, but he's got shorts on bottom.

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