Vegemite is better than Marmite. I will stand true to this fact no matter what pressure I am put under by my British counterpart. I know this is true and here is why. When I first tried Marmite, the following thought went through my head, "What do I have to do to never taste this again?"
Not quite the same reaction when I had that first Vegemite on Toast. It was tasty. It didn't change my life, but it was tasty. Perhaps if it is on sale at IGA...
With the exception of bus drivers, the Aussie Hospitality industry in big cities is severely lacking. This is odd as the people here are wonderful and friendly. Do hotels not like my kind walking into their establishment? Not sure. But what I do know is that I feel like I am bothering their personal time by asking for directions.
Where you find Australian hospitality in abundance is in small farming communities. The sort of places where people have pulled together to make a stand up town that has a fraction of the people, but twice as much personality as the big cities.
Australian TV is great, so why is American TV messing it up? Thus far I have been very impressed with domestic programming. Just the other night I watched a great show on TV called Laid. It was very funny and I do hope it makes it over to the USA. Realistically what will happen is US TV will pervert it into something that is mildly funny for 1 season then cancel it.
What I have also noticed is the amount of American TV is staggering. Two and a Half Men and Big Bang Theory for example. Even on the other side of the world these shows still aren't funny.
Why do the UK and Australia get so much programming from the USA, and while those nations have great homemade programming to share it rarely makes it stateside? Sure, there are the few that we like enough to turn into American versions of, such as The Office and even Sanford and Son were originally English programs, but why not just send the original? I guess we get confused by the accents..
I want a dog. Traveling for long periods of time does not afford me the ability to have a dog, but I miss having a dog very much. I always remember the dogs I have met along the way. Mo-mo, the Great Dane at the YHA in Narooma. Murphy at the Hostel in Cradoc. Even the mix named Sally who lived on the grape farm. Least forgettable is this guy who was hanging out at a coffee shop in Sydney.
They are just such great animals, but no, I cannot until I have the means to take care of one properly. In the mean time, I will pretend that each dog I see is my own. I hope the owner doesn't catch me breast feeding it.
YHA card concession prices can't be beat if you're backpacking through town. For whatever reason(probably my own laziness) I never got the gumption to buy the YHA card. In the mean time, this card has become my financial thorn in my side. Everything you by, especially when traveling overland as much as we do, has its own concession rates.
From a couple dollars off a dorm to $10 off bus fare and how about $5 admission to Port Arthurs. I could have used that little card more times than I can count and I still don't have one. Why? I don't know.
Book Hotels and Hostels in Advance. Whatever happened to the days of showing up into a new city or town and walking to the hostel knowing they always have room for one more? We arrived in Melbourne only to find all the hostels were fully booked or were charging $40 each for a dorm. For a Dorm?!
You might as well spend $10 extra to get a hotel. And because we didn't book ahead that is exactly what we ended up doing. We now book most things ahead to avoid paying extra for lodging and transport. It is a bit more organized, but doesn't leave room to fly by the seat of our trousers, should we so choose.
Another example was showing up to the Spirit of Tasmania at 8am to buy a ticket. Well, tickets at the gate were going for $180 each. Had we ordered them online only a day or two earlier we would have saved $50 each. This delayed our arrival into Tasmania.
Lesson Learned: Be prepared and book in advance.
For the final lesson learned you will be required to press play before reading on.
Now that I trust you have pressed Play, you may continue.
And finally, it is official, I am too old for dorms. This is a hard one to admit, but I do not like dorms anymore. I have been there and done that, and I no longer care for dorms or huge shared rooms. Maybe that makes me an old curmudgeon, maybe not. All I know and care about is the fact that I need my sleep and when I am joined by a chorus of throaty sleepers I go crazy.
Take for example the gentleman you're listening to right now(I trust you pressed play), he was our foul smelling roomie in Sydney. For two nights in a row he came back at 3am, stammered about the room, then fell straight away to sleep. Luckily, I could tell he was sound asleep because no living human being could otherwise make that noise.
Now I can take it when people get drunk and maybe when they smell bad. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he has a glandular problem? It's just when his tonsils shake so hard that my bed vibrates from six feet away.
Being a four person room, I really felt bad for the french guy laying awake under him. He didn't sleep a wink and when I got up to walk around the building to let my ears recover, the french man took off as well. Probably to sleep on a bench in Kings Cross or perhaps the train station. It might not be as safe, but at least the bed won't shake.
Additionally, this place, which would be rude of me to name, gave my partner bedbugs. But because I am a nice guy I will not mention that we were at the hostel 790 on George in Sydney Australia. No, that would be rude to explicitly discourage people from going there. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get some more Benadryl.
For photos and more stories from the Australia trip visit All Ways Australia.com
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