Thursday, October 23, 2008

Your Questions Answered Part 4

Here we go with another set of questions. I hope everyone is learning a lot from these posts. There has been a good variety of things asked.

Today's questions are from scintilla and here's what she would like to know:

1.Is the moon upside down ?- when my sister came to visit me in Positano, she swore that the patterns she could see were inverted. (It's meant to be a snail shape over there)
2.Does it take you longer to drive around than it did in Texas ?
3. Which is your favourite beach?
4. Are you water wise more than in the states? (I know, they are boring questions)
5. Do you mind if I put you on my blogroll?

The teacher in me wants to tell you there is no such thing as a boring question scintilla. Here at G'day Y'all, we are just happy to have any questions at all. =) So thanks for asking and here are my responses:

1. Is the moon upside down? -when my sister came to visit me in Positano, she swore that the patterns she could see were inverted. (It's meant to be a snail shape over there)
Wow scintilla! That's a tough one. Are you trying to play stump the Expat here? I thought about this for a long time today, but I couldn't actually go and look at the moon because it wasn't dark. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that even if I could see the moon I wouldn't know if it was upside down or not. See, I'll be honest here, I haven't spent a lot of time studying the moon in my life. I don't remember what the patterns would have been like in the northern hemisphere and as such couldn't really compare them to what I can see here tonight. Does it sound like I'm giving up? Well I'm not! I've decided to ask one of the wisest people I know--the Handsome Australian. This is how the conversation went:

Me: Is the moon upside down here?

HA: The moon? Upside down? Who are you writing to?

Me: It's a question I'm answering for my blog.

HA: Oh. Okay. Is the moon upside down? No. It can't be upside down. It's a sphere. How can it be upside down. It's a sphere and we are part of a sphere and so we see the same side of it. No, no way. It's not upside down.

Me: Thanks, that really clears things up.

So scintilla, there is your answer. Are you thinking, "Well that's a bit piss weak?" Cause I am.

2. Does it take you longer to drive around than it did in Texas?
I'm not totally sure what you mean with this question, but I'm taking it to mean is the the traffic worse here in Melbourne than in Texas or are things more spread out than in Texas? I wouldn't say the traffic in Melbourne is particularly bad compared to most large Texas cities. When I think of notoriously bad traffic that just doesn't move during peak hour sometimes, I think of Houston. I think the traffic in Melbourne is a bit better for a few reasons:
a) The prevalence of public transport means people have other means to get to and from places rather than driving their own car (there is very little public transport in Texas) and this means less traffic
b) The tendency of Aussies to shop locally and the existence of small shopping strips in nearly every suburb means you don't have to travel very far to get your shopping. In Australia there are lots of little shops in each neighbourhood whereas in Texas, we'd drive to a more central gigantic grocery store.
c) People ride their bikes here as a form of transport and there are dedicated bike paths for this purpose. The Handsome Australian is a keen cyclist and during the warmer months will ride his bike to and from work (that's a 32km ride round trip) and he can make the whole trip on a paved path that runs along the Yarra River--he doesn't even have to ride on the road. Lovely.

So no, I don't think it takes longer to drive around here in Melbourne than it does in Texas. I can remember lots of frustrating traffic jams I've experienced in Texas, but very few that I've come across here.

3. Which is your favourite beach?
Australia is known for it's beautiful beaches and it's beach culture. I grew up in the desert though and don't have the faintest idea what to do at a beach. We had a lot of sand, but no water. So the whole beach thing is kind of new to me. I must admit I often forget that we live so close to the water here in Melbourne because I spent so much of my life living so far away from it. When we do go to the beach, we usually leave the city and head to Apollo Bay. That's probably the one beach I've been to repeatedly. It's nice and is along the Great Ocean Road which is an amazing little drive to take. I don't know if Apollo Bay is my favourite, but it's the one I know the best. Since our recent holiday to Queensland though, I've become very fond of Noosa. So if I was pressed, I think I would say Noosa is my favourite beach.

Favourites aside, what I have noticed about Australian beaches is that there is literally no one on them. I've been to Apollo Bay during peak season in January when relations of ours who summer there every year have commented on how crowded the beaches are. I look around and think, "This is crowded? There's almost no one here." I also remember the very first time the Handsome Australian took me to Apollo Bay. It was 2 months after I first arrived in Australia and we drove from Apollo Bay to a little spot called Crayfish Bay. We walked along that beach together and as far as you could see in either direction, there was no one! Literally no one. I've never been on a beach with no one else around. It was amazing. Australians are truly lucky to have so much space to themselves. The country is so big and the population so small.

4. Are you water wise more than in the states?
As I mentioned above, I grew up in the desert. Water was always an issue for us. I've lived with water restrictions for most of my life. Most people where I'm from don't have front lawns--they've got rocks and gravel laid out in different patterns with native plants dispersed throughout. Mostly your hearty desert plants--yuccas, cactus, etc. So I'm used to thinking about water use, but in the past several years as the drought has worsened here in Australia, I've had to consider the issue more and more. I'd say that I'm definitely more water wise now than I have been at any time in my life. I think most Melbournians are. We have to be. Last year's hot topic of conversation was grey water systems. Everyone was having one installed or a rain water tank. These items became a must have here. We don't have a grey water system at our house, but we do carry the kid's bath water out of the house in buckets and use it to water the plants in the garden. When I'm on the ball, I do the same with the runoff from the washing machine. At first these measures seemed extreme, but now they are normal and seem rather sensible.

5. Do you mind if I put you on my blogroll?
Go right ahead scintilla, I don't mind. =)

Thanks for your questions scintilla. Hope the answers live up to your expectations.

We've still got a few more to get to, so stay tuned tomorrow for more answers to your questions!


Scintilla said...

I'm laughing so hard for the first one that I could barely read the answers to the others.

Anonymous said...

I have a question--what is a "scintilla"? ;-)

suzinoz said...

No worries scintilla. The Handsome Australian is always good for a laugh.

suzinoz said...

I'll turn that question over to scintilla and perhaps she can shed some light on it for you. Or I could ask the Handsome Australian and see what kind of winner he comnes up with this time =)

ibbabs97 said...

On your Question #2 I believe on getting around being easier. Yes the public transportation and all helps with actual traffic but it seems to me that when we go to visit it takes forever to get places as we do not travel on highways. In Houston we are the king of the Highways. In Melbourne it seems that you have to sit through a ton of traffic lights and go around traffic circles. So to me it seems like it takes forever to get down town.
By the way I am not upset that you miss Whataburger more than me. Also long as you understand that the reason I can't come visit you is that I have spent all my money going to eat at Whataburger very regularly. Not to mention the money spent at Chick-fil-a, Taco Bell, and all of our other favorites.
I have some more questions for you.
1. Do you find that most people over there live close to their families? Do many of your friends have large families that are near by?
2. Do they have the same fruits and veggies as in the US.
3. As I am watching the news here tonight they are showcasing a girl playing football. Are there any girls that play or allowed to play Aussie Rules Football?

Scintilla said...

stillifeinbuenoairies - 'scintilla' in Italian means 'spark'!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog from, I just added mine there as well. I am a newbie to the area & would love to be able to ask you some questions, since you have been here for 8 years already!
1: do you ever get used to the coffee here? (if you are a coffee drinker, that is!)
2: is it easy to drive when you go back home to the US, going from the left back to the right?
3: are there ever times when you are so homesick you want to jump on the next Qantas flight?
4: What's up with the lack of online shopping?

Thanks -- I have a lot more questions, but I don't want to bombard you with them :)

suzinoz said...

scintilla--"spark" I like it! =)

dsduffy--Thanks for stopping by. I'll add your questions to my homework list and answer them in the next day or so!