week 1...
flat whites and brick dunnies

Melbourne (on the left)

This is an emu. She may look pretty, but when you're looking the other way she'll snatch the peanut butter sandwich right out of your hand. Just ask Kevin's brother.
Top Five Electronic Hassles
1. None of our appliances fit the funky sockets....
2. Even if they could, the voltage would blow them out...
3. Not that it matters, because the computer is busted...
4. And Australian DVDs can't be read in our machine...
5. Not to mention that our cell isn't compatible with the Australian mobile network.
about those dvds... Okay, we knew that VHS tapes have two different formats (though we didn't really know why), but DVDs? Arent' they universal? Before we left, we said, "Alright, we'll bring the DVD miniplayer, but leave the DVDs at home, since we won't want to lug them around with us. We'll just rent when we get there." Nuh-uh!

Turns out, the only DVD we brought with us is Over Canada, a "lyrical, visually stunning celebration of Canadian images," given to us by Kev's aunt. It's a great film about the geography and beauty of Canada, set to Canadian music, but it doesn't exactly make for an action packed Saturday night.
meet the pattersons
Way back in 1982, Kev's dad did a teacher exchange with an Aussie family. Kev got to live in Australia for a year, go to school, ride a bike on the left, get a cute accent... while that lucky Aussie family got a chance to experience Canadian winter. Good trade, eh?
And 20 years later, here's that lucky Aussie family! Meet John and Ros...

What are you up to these days? Still teaching, actually. [John's] the principal over at Broadford Secondary College, and [Ros] is teaching up in [some town that starts with a K].

How are the kids? There all over the place these days. Nick's over in New York City, Richard's living in London now. Georgie still lives close to home, about 45 minutes away in Melbourne.

What do you remember most about Canada?
Well, I remember on our way over, we were supposed to meet you in Hawaii to swap winter gear. Your dad had said not to bother buying warm clothes in Australia, since they wouldn't have anything close to adequate. Anyway, your plane was delayed, and we missed the swap. We stepped off the plane to the coldest weather I'd ever felt in my life. I'll never forget that first step off the plane.

When's the last time you were overseas? We visited Nick just recently in New York. He took us around, showed us the sights... we had the chance to have a drink at Windows on the World.

Favourite Footy Team? Geelong.
reality check Kangaroos:1 mob Emus:Today's Weather:
It wasn't real in the departure lounge of the San Francisco terminal. It wasn't real during the 14 hour flight. It wasn't even real when we landed, the airport gift shops were stocked with koalas, and everyone but us was talking funny. Nope. Coulda been anywhere. But then on the way to the Pattersons, it became real. We saw kangaroos. A whole mob of 'em. Now we're in Australia.

"Little Kevin? Crikey, he's built like a bloody brick dunnie now!"
- Paddy O'Sullivan.
slummin' it Beers:Shots:Wines:Coffees:2  Today's Weather:
If it was your first full day in Australia, you had jet lag, and someone invited you to an "architectural tour of some of the old hotels in East Richmond", would you go? What if that was just a fancy name for a pub crawl? Now, that's more like it! The biannual ritual of the Broadford Secondary School faculty is to pick a neighbourhood in Melbourne, explore some of the old pubs in the area, and get bloody pis-- I mean, gain an insightful view of the city.

Pot: (n.) Smaller than a pint, bigger than a glass.
How 'bout a pot of Vic B, mate?

b.y.o. Wine:Four Sisters Bottles Consumed:3Today's Weather:
After a long day of running errands, John and Ros took us to a unique Australian experience: a BYO restaurant. A simple concept, really: You want wine? Bring your own. The serve their own wine too, in case you forgot yours, but would you rather pay $5.00 a glass at the restaurant, or $10.00 a bottle at the liquor store? We thought so too. Of course, the patrons of the Gaol (that's "jail" to you and me, the joint was built from an old prison) are probably more discerning than $10 a bottle, but you get the idea.

"We've only been here two days, and John's already brought us
to six pubs, a topless bar and put us in jail."
- Kevin.
spider sense Rent:$95/wk Spider Span:4" Today's Weather:
Our own place! We haven't had our own place since last June when we moved out of New Jersey. It's a shared space on the upper floor of a huge house in Wheelers Hill, a suburb of Melbourne. Though we were told we only had one roommate (Shaun, a Monash Uni student and bouncer at the Crown Casino, whom you'll meet next week), we've actually got two. Allow us to introduce you to Nigel the Spider...

"'Harmless' as in 'doesn't bite', or 'harmless' as in
'the venom takes a good thirty minutes to reach your heart'?"
- Kevin.
suburban wildlife Parrots:Golfers:11 Today's Weather:
Since his eagle eyes were so quick to spot the roos on our first day here, Kev's set a much loftier wildlife goal for himself: the wombat. And wouldn't you know it, right there in the middle of Jells Park, there's a wombat! Of course, it was made of plastic and mounted on a spring, but a small victory nonetheless.

"Melbourne suburbs are like Thunder Bay, but without the strip clubs."
- Rosalie Odea.
flat white: Coffee with milk, no sugar. Following that, a "short black" is an espresso, and a "long black" is an espresso with water. (We've taken to ordering "sweet whites" to see if the phrase catches on.)

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We've got mail...
You've really outdone yourself!! I've read all of it already!
And by the way OMFG!!!! I almost freaked out when I saw the actual size of the spider! Coexist my ass! I would be on the first plane home!!!
- Inga, Thunder Bay ON

Aimee - you are my hero! Learning to live with Nigel? I call Martin to kill the little things we have around here!
- Kip, Ottawa ON

Hey Mates;
Yeah, I am sure that is the first time you have heard that since arriving there. Glad to hear all is going well. The new site looks awesome!
Looks like you are having fun. Damn that is a BIG spider...I feel for you. Is this Aimee's first time downunder? What an experience it must be.
Take care you two...I am looking forward to reading more as it gets posted.
- Sean, Brantford ON

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