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!

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