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Why did I become a banana bender?


Tomster

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Some time ago our plans were to live alternately in Europe and Australia.
Since I don't remember if I mentioned it before: My hubby and I have changed this idea. Our centre of life will be in Australia. It is for the most part already the case.

There are always a few incidents that make me smile. If you are married to a computer freak, who has been practising and recommending digital detox for years, it should be clear that you have certain technical resources available. For example, we are connected to our house in Germany via the Internet. Apart from the fact that we can stream European satellite television from there, the telephone systems are also connected. Do I dial a German telephone number, the call is delegated to the system in Germany. I also kept my German mobile plan, because WiFi calls are covered by the plan. When I call someone in the old country, there is often some confusion because the German number is displayed. They are particularly confused if it is the landline number.

"You are back from Australia. How was it?" is something I heard often. The confusion continues when I tell that we are still there. By the way, this does not prevent being asked about the weather.

Sometimes, however, I get the feeling that they are not really listening. We spoke to my husband's uncle on the phone several times in May and June. Most of the conversation was about the fact that we will only be visiting Germany in the future, as we are now living here in Australia. The following month he called us to invite us to his wedding anniversary. "I thought you were just spending your vacation there." he said.

We are often asked for the reason. We are asked why we give up so much in Germany to live far away in an unknown country. While we are not afraid of the unknown, Australia is not an unknown country for us either. There is indeed much that we have not yet seen. But I could not say that I have seen everything in or know everything about Germany. It's a fact that I can explain the Australian flag, but I cannot tell you much about its German counterpart. Some people even think that we want to save income tax. Interesting approach, but our contributions here are about the same or a tad higher, the cost of living is also higher than in Germany. 

Fraser Island

So why?

The real reasons are manifold. I hope that my words can convey my feelings and impressions.

Australia offers such a wide and unique variety of landscapes. Most of the fauna and flora cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Germany has an area of 357,000 square kilometres and a population of 82 millions. Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres and a population of 25.6 millions. Australia is the planet's sixth largest country after Russia, Canada, China, the USA, and Brazil. I had to redefine distances for myself. Germany's north-south extension is 879 kilometres (east-west 641 kilometres). It is 892 kilometres linear distance from our location in Queensland to Queensland's capital Brisbane and 1,300 kilometres from here to the northern tip of Cape York in the north of Queensland. Do I set off to the west, I have still not left Queensland after 1,000 kilometres. The mainland area of the State of Queensland is 1,723,030 square kilometres. It's the second-largest and third-most populous (5,1m) Australian state. 

There is so much to discover in Queensland alone that you could spend years on it.Dingos

I'd like to mention a few examples. 

Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island. It is spanning 123 kilometres. The Seventy-Five Mile Beach runs the length of Fraser Island. Its main function is as the highway on Fraser Island and runs along the East Coast. 

Whitehaven Beach stretches over seven kilometres and boasts brilliant white silica sand that is among the purest in the world. Whitehaven Beach is located on Whitsunday Island which is the largest island Whitehaven Beachin the Whitsunday group of islands. Since you are already here, welcome to Australia's great natural wonder - the Great Barrier Reef. It is the world largest coral reef, covering an area of more than 344,000 square kilometres. (Almost the size of Germany!)

Daintree RainforestHave you had enough of beaches and sea? How about a tour to the rainforest? Let's head to Cape Tribulation, where the Great Barrier Reef meets the rainforest. The Daintree Rainforest is a region on the northeast coast of Queensland. The Wet Tropics Rainforest of Queensland (that the Daintree is a part of) is the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest in the world. The Daintree Rainforest is estimated to be 180 million years old. The Amazon rainforest - estimated to be 55 million years old - is a kid by comparison. The landscape is one of striking diversity including magnificent scenery, mountain ranges, fast flowing streams and waterfalls, deep gorges and dense rainforest. Did you know that its ancient ferns, emerald green vines and lush canopy provided inspiration for the film Avatar? The idiot fruit has the scientific name of Idiospermum australiense and occurs nowhere else in the world but the World Heritage-listed rainforests of North Queensland, with its biggest remaining population in the Daintree. However, it’s the common name that reveal a lot about this unusual tree - the idiot fruit tree for its idiosyncratic nature, and the green dinosaur in recognition of its ancient lineage. And one more odd fact: it bears the largest single seed of any tree in Australia, about the same size as a human fist. 

The outback of Queensland is a region rich in awe-inspiring scenery, rugged roads, cultural heritage of the pioneering history and fair dinkum (that's Australian English) friendly locals. The landscape offers Outback of Queenslanda wide range of wetlands, rocky mountains, desert sand dunes and gushing rivers set between country towns, old-fashioned pubs, farms, cattle ranches and mining communities. The outback is not a defined area, it is only a term used to refer to locations that are far away from big cities. The fertile parts are known as Rangelands and have been traditionally used for sheep or cattle farming.

There are a number of opal fossicking sites throughout Outback Queensland, particularly Opalton, Quilpie and Yowah. If your luck is in, you might find some boulder opal at Quilpie or Opalton or one of the famous Yowah Nuts. You may want to use hand tools, picks, shovels and sieves to help you dig. For those with less time, you can walk around "specking" for colour on top of the ground – locals call this "emu bopping".Opal 

The Atherton Tablelands:   in the Outback - The word "Undara" in the Aboriginal language means "long way". I think that this is somehow fitting, because in the Undara Volcanic National Park you can explore, among other things, the longest lava flow on earth, with a length of 160 kilometres, as well as the longest lava tube in the world, with a length of 100 kilometres. In 1862 the Collins family became the first white cattle breeding family in the Atherton Tablelands. When Bram Collins discovered his first lava tunnel on the family property while playing as a child, the fascination for the Undara Lava Tubes was born in him. In 1990 Bram committed himself to protecting this special place of earth and nature - The Undara Volcanic National Park was founded. Several historic railway carriages have been lavishly and beautifully restored by Bram and his family. They are now picturesquely placed in the middle of the AUndura Lava Tubesustralian bush, between old, shady trees. They are just waiting to offer you a comfortable and extraordinary sleeping place. 

Did you notice that I have been writing about Queensland? Australia - Commonwealth of Australia - consists of six states: Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia, three internal territories: the Australian Capital Territory, the Jervis Bay Territory, and the Northern Territory, and seven external territories: Ashmore and Cartier Islands, the Australian Antarctic Territory, Christmas Island, the Cocos Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and Norfolk Island.

Can you imagine how many places I can discover and visit here? 

 

Already during our first journey through Australia we were invited many times. Be it for a beer (even though it was obviously more than one) or for a barbecue. You get to know a lot of people very quickly. What you'll realise is that they're a fairly casual lot and don't take themselves too seriously. This is part of the laid-back Australian lifestyle. Deeply rooted in Australians' lifestyle and values is a strong sense of egalitarianism. It doesn't matter where you're from or if you're the postie or the boss of a big company. Australians have an implicit preference for those who seem down-to-earth and straightforward. They often perceive simplicity as an endearing personal quality. It is a compliment among friends to be called a classic. Australians are often very modest about their accomplishments and commonly self-deprecate to avoid seeming pretentious. 

Seriously, though. Life is more fun with a sense of humour and the ability to have a laugh at yourself - Australians are famed for embracing their flaws and joining in the teasing. You might find yourself in the centre of a light-hearted joke quickly. Laconic, irreverent and self-deprecating - or as Aussies so delicately put it, taking the piss, either out of yourself or each other. And nothing puts you at ease with your mates like a good old piss-take. Be warned, Australian humour is as dry as a dead Dingo's donger. Our directness and our sense of humour has made us drop a brick or embarrass ourselves in Germany and some other countries. Here is acceptance the result. But of course you have to know and respect the limits. Humour should never be offensive. Jokes about people who are not present are always considered impolite.

When Australians create an instant nickname for you, it is a way of showing acceptance. To be given a nickname is quite an honour and should make you feel part of the group. David becomes Davo, Thomas becomes Tom,... While a friendly nickname can express familiarity and help build relationships, an ironic nickname like "little Donny" applied to an adult you don’t respect can carry the weight of contempt. Be attentive if your workmates call you "Opium" - you might work slow as dope.

Apart from this, a name must be abbreviated if it consists of too many syllables. "Every second word in Australian English is 'mate', every third is abbreviated.". Australian slang is like another whole language in itself! If English is your second language (and even if it is your first) those English lessons were a complete waste of your time.

Australian slang is teeming with diminutives, abbreviations, and idioms. (Little of this will be found in non-verbal communication.) But it is absolutely no problem to ask if you do not understand something. Everyone will do their best to explain or express it differently. I have often noticed that Australians also switch to precise, easy-to-understand English when they realise you're a foreigner. Yes, they are polite and courteous.

Even if Australians enjoy a chat, there is no point in wasting (other people's) time. If words are too long, if they contain too many syllables, they are changed for everyday use. The easier a word can be pronounced, the better. I like that. "afternoon" becomes "arvo", a "service station" becomes "servo", "petrol" becomes "petty",... gasoline doesn't exist - everything is called petrol... unless it's diesel.

A conversation in British English might sound like this:
Thomas: Hello Patrick, how are you?
Patrick: Hello Thomas. I’m fine. How are you?
Thomas: Very good. Thanks. I was just calling to see if you would like to come over for a cup of tea?
Patrick: That sounds great. I’ll be there in 20 minutes.

That's too formal to Australians. You'd rather talk like this:
Thomas: G’day mate!
Patrick: G’day.
Thomas: Would ya like to pop around for a cuppa?Joey - a baby kangaroo in Australian slang
Patrick: Sure, mate. See ya in 20.

As you have noticed, a "cup of tea" became "cuppa". Isn't it extremely efficient to abbreviate three words into one? Defo!

Thanks to Joey aka Ben for his help.

Even though I'd need a non-existent dictionary quite often, it is a rich and colourful language that simply lifts the spirits. If you then try to use some words at a barbie (barbecue) and confuse "defo" with "devo" for agreement, you have certainly caused a good laugh. I am not a linguist, but I suspect that "devastated" (devo) does not have the same meaning as "definitely" (defo).

 

Does it need any further explanation as to why we feel extraordinarily comfortable here? 
Living in a country with varying landscapes, beautiful beaches, and heavenly islands... surrounded by friendly, open-hearted, and honest people with a great sense of humour... spending your time and life with wonderful friends... 

Do you know now, why I became a banana bender?

 

 

Edited by Tomster

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Guest lev_igor33

Posted

Sounds like a unique nice place to live.; If Trump wins or steals the election I will get n touch with you to find  a place in Australia . 

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JoelR

Posted

I find it fascinating that someone from a German background would choose to live in Australia. Don't you find them culturally different (or is that part of the appeal)?  Germans tend to be very efficient, to the point, and direct.  Their society is also high-performant and a world power.  Australians are laid back.   

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majikthis

Posted (edited)

I totally understand your reasons for moving to Oz. Europe does feel  a bit stuffy sometimes.

It is interesting how a penal colony  where the dregs of Britain were shipped off to has become one of the most livable countries in the world. (Not that everything is sunshine and blue skies down there - the oppression of aboriginal peoples, or Australia's treatment of refugees certainly mar the image.)

The Australians I have met are certainly among the most laid back people. At one point I had the impression every second bartender in London was Australian.

And the accent is cute (and a bit funny). Australian English is not that different from colloquial British English, though.    it is heavily influenced by the accents of the early settlers who were primarily from England and Ireland. Many slang words like "mate" were taken from the slang of these original populations, but the meaning of many of these words have changed a bit. The first English colony was set up in 1788, and by the 1820s the accents and vernacular of the colonists were said to have been distinguishable from the "homeland" accents.

Your dialogue would probaly go more like this in England:

Thomas: Oi Patrick, Y'all right?
Patrick: Hey mate. I’m fine. Y'all right?
Thomas: Peachy. Wanna pop over for a cuppa?
Patrick: Sure, mate. See ya in 20.

And I have a question: Please forgive my ignorance but what on earth is digital detox? Treating alcoholic computers? Smartphones on crack? If so, could your husband please treat my computer? I think it is a porn addict. :tiny-smileys-yesemoticons-023:

PS. It is always a pleasure to read your blog, mate. :t2034:

PS2: Banana bending is an  important job and a service to the gay community, as a bent banana helps you learn how to deal with a curved dick. 🍌

 

Edited by majikthis
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Tomster

Posted

@lev_igor33 I didn't think in this direction when I mentioned "lil' Donny". 😁

@Solemandd67 Thank you for sharing your experiences in Sydney with us. ♥️ I hope you like this photo. 

DSC_1318.thumb.jpg.c6ec79dd326afe92f60f03d52a158f35.jpg

A few years ago we attended a spectacular New Year's Eve gala at the Sydney Opera House. The fireworks were even more spectacular. In Sydney I sat at the steering wheel of a right-hand drive car for the first time. Indicating the change of direction with the windscreen wiper is not much appreciated. 🤭

20 hours ago, JoelR said:

I find it fascinating that someone from a German background would choose to live in Australia. Don't you find them culturally different (or is that part of the appeal)?  Germans tend to be very efficient, to the point, and direct.  Their society is also high-performant and a world power.  Australians are laid back.   

Majikthis has already given a hint. 

There are less cultural differences than one would expect. The few significant differences actually are appealing. Germans actually tend to be efficient, to the point and direct. Germans also tend to be cold and distant, biased, and arrogant. Australians are also efficient, to the point, and direct. They just tend to wrap the latter in politeness with a ribbon of diplomacy - or irony. The laid-back attitude should in no way be confused with laziness. Australians work hard, but they also relax hard. The approach of doing it right instead of fast is simply better. Punctuality has the same importance in Australia as in Germany. The same applies to compliance with regulations and laws. 

The weather is much better here than it is in Germany. 😉

17 hours ago, majikthis said:

Europe does feel  a bit stuffy sometimes.

More than just a bit in a particular country with a hierarchical structure at many levels of society.  😉

17 hours ago, majikthis said:

what on earth is digital detox

Turn off your computer, tablet, smartphone and you'll understand the meaning of digital detox. 

18 hours ago, majikthis said:

PS. It is always a pleasure to read your blog, mate.

Ta, mate. 

@KawikaThank you. Do you think we should tell what the meaning of being a banana bender is?

 

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Kawika

Posted

3 hours ago, Tomster said:

@lev_igor33 I didn't think in this direction when I mentioned "lil' Donny". 😁

@Solemandd67 Thank you for sharing your experiences in Sydney with us. ♥️ I hope you like this photo. 

DSC_1318.thumb.jpg.c6ec79dd326afe92f60f03d52a158f35.jpg

A few years ago we attended a spectacular New Year's Eve gala at the Sydney Opera House. The fireworks were even more spectacular. In Sydney I sat at the steering wheel of a right-hand drive car for the first time. Indicating the change of direction with the windscreen wiper is not much appreciated. 🤭

Majikthis has already given a hint. 

There are less cultural differences than one would expect. The few significant differences actually are appealing. Germans actually tend to be efficient, to the point and direct. Germans also tend to be cold and distant, biased, and arrogant. Australians are also efficient, to the point, and direct. They just tend to wrap the latter in politeness with a ribbon of diplomacy - or irony. The laid-back attitude should in no way be confused with laziness. Australians work hard, but they also relax hard. The approach of doing it right instead of fast is simply better. Punctuality has the same importance in Australia as in Germany. The same applies to compliance with regulations and laws. 

The weather is much better here than it is in Germany. 😉

More than just a bit in a particular country with a hierarchical structure at many levels of society.  😉

Turn off your computer, tablet, smartphone and you'll understand the meaning of digital detox. 

Ta, mate. 

@KawikaThank you. Do you think we should tell what the meaning of being a banana bender is?

 

No... it's too soon let them keep the image they have in their imaginations for now!

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Solemandd67

Posted (edited)

@Kawika;

Thank you so very much for posting this photo of the opera house. My heart leapt at the sight and sweet memories it evoked. It was so magical, I felt like I was in a movie. 

I love cars and fondly remember Denny's Ford Cortina. It resembled a four door Ford Maverick. I was amazed at how adept he was at driving.

He insisted I spend nights at his house. One of my first mornings there, I asked for a Vegemite sandwich. Why? Because Men At Work sang about them of course! I just knew they had to be scrumptious based on that entertaining endorsement.

He actually went to market and made me one upon his return. It was so bad I held my breath as I gulped it down. He laughed and so did I, rest his soul. 

Sweet Memories 

Edited by Solemandd67
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Kawika

Posted

1 hour ago, Solemandd67 said:

@Kawika;

Thank you so very much for posting this photo of the opera house. My heart leapt at the sight and sweet memories it evoked. It was so magical, I felt like I was in a movie. 

 

Tomster posted that photo... I think it just got captured in my quote. I have a photo of the Sydney Opera House but Tomster's is better!

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Solemandd67

Posted (edited)

My apologies and thank you Tomster. 😊

Edited by Solemandd67
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malelover

Posted (edited)

On 9/15/2020 at 6:58 PM, JoelR said:

I find it fascinating that someone from a German background would choose to live in Australia.

There are quite a few who wonder. Only those who know us personally well enough know what is important for us in life. Thomas has mentioned now and then that it is important for us to spend more time together. Another aspect was the complete de-stressing of our lives. Especially for the latter is the Australian lifestyle extremely helpful. It is important for us to absorb the positive influences of this culture and to get rid of some of our own habits. Would you like to live in a magnificent place by the sea? Would you like to enjoy pleasant weather almost all year round? We do! Combine all of this and you will find out why we feel at home.

On 9/15/2020 at 10:14 PM, majikthis said:

Please forgive my ignorance but what on earth is digital detox?

I call it Di-Tox. Among other things, it is about the self-determination of how I use the digital tools of our time. It has become for too many a normality: Responding to each email as quickly as it is received. In the evening you always check the latest e-mails on your smartphone or do some research. They are constantly beeping to alert you to the latest group chat. Is this really necessary? My recommendations were to read emails only at certain times at intervals of several hours. Replying, if necessary, only when there is actually time to do so and the response is qualified. Nobody needs to send me an e-mail announcing that they will reply to my e-mail. LOL Create space for yourself and deliberately disconnect for some hours and/or on weekends. During this time, which is free from these digital disturbances, you can wind down yourself and regain your energy.

By the way, I'm glad that Thomas didn't mention that we made Ben a banana bender.

Edited by malelover
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Tomster

Posted

On 9/17/2020 at 6:57 PM, Solemandd67 said:

My apologies and thank you Tomster. 😊

Thank you. Everything is fine. There's absolutely no reason to apologise. 🤗

@Kawika The photo was taken by my hubby. There are a few more, but I find this perspective appealing. 

@majikthis 😘 

5 hours ago, malelover said:

By the way, I'm glad that Thomas didn't mention that we made Ben a banana bender.

You did it! 😅 It would have been Ben's business to tell the world.

Ben is sitting next to me, laughing. He confirms that it was his decision and that he is happy on the other side. Since his brother has been a banana bender for a longer time, his family and friends have no reservations and support him in all respects.

 

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