Monday, 11 August 2008

Fri 8th Aug: Let the Games begin

Today was the start of Olympics season, which is big news here because of course, the Aussies are actually in with a decent shout of doing well. Also, the free channel that has the rights for the Games is dying in the ratings so is milking the opportunity of a captive market as much as humanly possible.

As there's only a few hours time difference between here and Beijing, we ended up watching the opening ceremony - or at least, a significant chunk of the 4 hours it went on for! I faded once I'd seen the British team come out - nothing like being away from home to give you illusions of patriotism! K has clearly assimilated more than I have and stayed till the bitter end to see the Aussie team (they were third last).

Anyway, in an occasional series of "good and bad things about Oz", here are some observations so far...

Good things:

* "Washable" money - it's all plastic so survives the machine!
* BYO @ restaurants - loads and loads of places do this, it's great!
* Full-on sports culture - the public 50m pool is PACKED after work with hundreds of people pelting up and down the lanes (or laps as they call them). Not to everyone's liking but I love the fact that people don't look at you like you've got 2 heads when you say you've been for a run!

Not-so-good things:

* The price of books - about double the UK - I miss Waterstones 3 for 2!
* The average height of Australians which means I cannot find a pair of black trousers that fits me for love nor money - and no petite sections!
* "Oz blinkers" on TV, in the news, everywhere - there has been more coverage of Nicole Kidman's baby doing nothing than of the Georgia/Russia crisis. Seriously considering a subscription to some kind of international news journal to alleviate the drought!

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