Friday, June 18, 2010

Aussie Lingo June 18, 2010

Well, it’s Friday night and we’re facing a hectic weekend! Tomorrow morning we go down south for a ward activity at an indoor volleyball centre (owned by a ward member). It’s about an hour’s drive from here. Dad’s big problem is that he has to drive through the center of downtown Perth to get there, and he hasn’t even been brave enough to take on the challenges of driving in the BIG city yet. There is one freeway interchange that looks twice as complicated as the SLC “spaghetti bowl.” This event is part of their ward conference weekend, beginning with the volleyball activity, with ward conference meetings Sunday, to be followed by Soup Sunday. Everyone brings potluck soup, or other meal items to go with soup, and stays for the social gathering after church.

We have been having fun collecting all the interesting and unique expressions, etc. (Aussie Lingo) that they use here. We have been dying to show you what they have for shopping carts here.

Here they are called “trolleys” the same as in the UK. Grocery stores are mostly in the malls here, and so people drag trolleys all over the mall. The problem is that they are impossible to steer because all four wheels swivel. So people are going sideways down the aisles of the mall, taking twice the width. We have tried to steer them forward, but they have a natural tendency to go sideways.

While driving, especially at round-a-bouts, their yield signs say “GIVE WAY”. At their fast food restaurants, they don’t have take-out; it’s “TAKE AWAY.” If you want breakfast at McDonald’s, it’s “BREKKY.” KFC doesn’t offer chicken breasts as we know them; they are boneless fillets, pronounced “FILL-ITS.” They also have unique crosswalk signs for “DUCK CROSSINGS” picturing a mother duck followed by her ducklings.

They don’t have mow strips between the road and the sidewalks. There is a grassy area between the road and residence that is about three or four times the size of our mow strips and called “THE VERGE.” Because there is no shoulder on any of the roads, people just pull up onto the verge to park their cars – even for a day at the park to watch their child’s game of soccer (football in Australia).

Here they don’t say “knock on wood.” They say “TOUCH WOOD.” We found out today that it originally referred to the Savior’s Cross. (Interesting, huh!) They also use the phrases “NO WORRIES, CRIKEY, DINKY DI, BARBIE, and G’DAY MATE.” Of course, much of the time I can’t understand all of what they say, so it doesn’t matter anyway. At the Mission Office, when I have to talk to people on the phone, I often ask them to “please spell that for me” because I can’t understand the Aussie lingo. I have to admit though, that the really tough ones are those who have come from other countries with their own accents, and have blended it with the Aussie lingo, making it even tougher!

According to our reckoning, in three days we should be to the Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year). But just picture this flowering tree in full bloom in your neck of the woods in mid-winter!

Winter season here is their rainy season, and this week we have had several rainy days where the mosquitoes have come out of the woodwork! And people wear everything from winter jackets to tank tops, shorts and flip flops!

Each day we discover more unique and wondrous things about Australia. We really are enjoying each and every day here on the other side of the world from Utah.

Lest you think it’s all fun and being tourists…we’ve also had many wonderful experiences. As the three years of service for our Mission President and his wife are ending, the emotions seem close to the surface for all here and we are being swept up in the tide of things. What a time to be here in the Australia Perth Mission.
Love to all….Elder and Sister Nielsen and Mom and Dad to our kids…Love ya!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Fancy Flat - June 13, 2010

Last Tuesday we moved into our “Fancy Flat” at 4 / 26 Montrose Way, Nollamara, Western Australia 6061. By the way, the 4/26 means the fourth flat of 26, and this type of address is common throughout Perth. Elder and Sister Miller, the Employment Centre Coordinators, flew back to Utah by way of New Zealand very early Tuesday morning. We packed up our bags (again!) and spent the day moving into our new flat, then unpacking, hopefully for the LAST TIME!

The view as you drive up Montrose Way, is one large garage door, but there is a narrow approach squeezed in to the right between the mailboxes and the garage door, allowing you to pass through to the six flats tucked into our paved driveway.
Our driveway is shared by those six flats, with ours being straight ahead at the top.
The door to our flat can’t be seen from the front, but is set back on the left. Not much front yard, RIGHT!
Judi’s view, as she is standing at the door, is all the paved (bricked) driveway out to the street.
As you enter the flat, you come into the dining area, with a view of the patio doors out the back. The patio consists of a table and chairs, with a few tropical plants in the corners. This comprises the complete covered back yard, only about 12 ft by 18 ft.
Then to the right of the dining area is the kitchen. (Pretty fancy, huh!) The large open space and the wooden floors make sounds echo.
On the left of the dining area is the living room. All Dad needs is his recliner. No real comfortable seating in this room! The heating and A/C unit is on the left near the ceiling. Australia has no central heating, and this is their deluxe answer to the problem, by adding a unit which will control the temperature for that ONE room. Only the more expensive flats have this type of unit; the rest have only space heaters or fans.
Down the hall, just past the living room, and on the right is the office (or spare bedroom). This is where we set up the computer and where Mom is SUPPOSED to exercise (but its COLD in this room in the morning!)
Next on the right is the HUGE bathroom. Notice the clear glass sink bowl. This sure seems strange to us, and hard to keep clean. There is also a shower (on the left of the picture) AND a bathtub.
At the end of the hall is our bedroom with LOTS of closet space. Dad gets the ONE door on the left; the other two are Mom’s. There is also a heating and A/C unit on the wall of this room, and it does manage to keep this room toasty all night long.
We are really living it up! And NO we aren’t on vacation. But after working in the office all day, Monday through Friday, it is like HEAVEN coming home to our “Fancy Flat.”

Sunday, June 6, 2010


The Mission President assigned us to the Doubleview Ward which is just a few minutes drive from the Indian Ocean. Our first Sunday here, May 30, 2010, we drove to the beach following our meetings. It was a clear day, with a chilly breeze blowing. Our first panoramic view of the ocean was spectacular: lots of blues, some white clouds in the sky, and a few Aussies surfing. Because of the chill in the air, there weren’t many people enjoying the beach. We enjoyed a light sack lunch and traveled south on the beach road.

Beautiful Scenery

We have a beautiful view of the “bush” from our patio door, which includes a walk through “paradise.” The birds greet us as soon as we awake in the morning, and their cry sounds much like a child’s squawk. There are several ponds interlaced with walking paths and bridges. For being fall weather, with its cooler temperatures and leaves of the deciduous trees changing colors and falling to the ground, the remaining foliage stays green year round. There are also many flowering plants that bloom throughout the winter months. In the early mornings when we go walking, there is a mist rising from the ponds that produces a fairyland appearance. Some mornings there is a little bit of chill to the air, and Elder Nielsen wants to hurry back to the flat.

The Imfamous MARANGAROO Flat

“The Imfamous MARANGAROO Flat.” (That’s apartment to those of you from the states.) Last spring, one of the senior couple’s flat was flooded. It’s still can’t be used, so the mission was short a flat for the senior missionaries when we arrived. One set of Elder’s had to move out of their flat and in with another set. We are temporarily staying in their flat until another couple leaves next Tuesday. Needless to say, “it’s the PITS” (inside joke). The furnishings are VERY sparse, mostly second-hand (DI type), and no creature comforts. The first morning, we discovered THERE WAS NO HOT WATER! And the temperature in the flat is FREEZING! Australia has no central heating, just space heaters, which don’t heat up anything! Our bed consists of two twin beds pushed together with a queen mattress laid on top, and two heavy wool blankets, and we still sleep COLD. Because we were only going to be here just under two weeks, we haven’t really unpacked, just hung up enough clothes to get us by. The spare bedroom serves as “walk in closet” with suitcases laid out on tables, etc. The Mission President’s wife purchased a live bouquet of Australian flowers, a bowl full of Australian treats, place mats and towels, along with cereal, juice, and toiletries to get us started.

Australia, Perth Temple

The Australia, Perth Temple is located on the same grounds as the Mission Office, along with the Dianella Stake Center, which Rochelle’s grandfather helped build. It’s only a “hop, skip, and a jump” from the Mission Office to the Temple entrance.

Mission Office

After 28 ½ hours, ( UG ) we finally made it to Perth. President and Sister Maurer received our email from Brisbane about missing the plane, and met us at the airport. They drove us to the Mission Office and we met the staff. Part of their traditions include photographing new missionaries with them in front of the office (before we could even get cleaned up).

Australia, here we come!

All bagged up and ready to go! Repacked for the third time and still don’t know where anything is. It is now nearly 7 months since our mission call, and boy are we antsy to get on our way. PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE, Sister Nielsen!