Our time here is quickly drawing to a close: today’s our last business day in Canberra, and we leave on Monday afternoon to head home. I (TP) celebrated the last day with a final presentation (which you can watch online if you have a spare 40 minutes). JMP and I celebrated last night with a very nice dinner at a very good bistro-style restaurant. (I had the calves liver, JMP the ocean trout special). Now, a reflection on our impressions of Australia and Australians.
- Australians are what JMP calls “aggressively friendly.” Not in a bad way, in a “stop in the middle of the street to volunteer helpful information to two dazed tourists and their toddler about how to catch the tourist bus” way.
- The lifestyle of an ANU researcher studying Asia has got to be the best thing ever. 9:30–roll into work. 10:00–morning tea with colleagues. 11:00–research presentation by visitor. 12:30–lunch. 1:30–coffee with colleague. 2:30–get awarded an ARC research grant to do research you would have done anyway. 3:30–afternoon tea. 4:30–seminar. 6:00–drinks at University House. (Aussie friends, I kid because I’m jealous.)
- We were trying to describe to our babysitter last night where I grew up. I said “you might have heard of Philadelphia?” She responded “Oh! Like the Cheese!”
- The Australian word for a crash (like a car accident) is “smash.” “There’s a smash on the Sydney Harbour Bridge,” stuff like that. The Australian way to say “how are you?” is “how ya’ goin’?”