Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day - Wow

So, I was lucky enough to be in South Perth, Australia for "Australia Day" - along with 100,000 of my closest (new) friends.'

Australia Day is like 4th of July, Thanksgiving and New Year's day all rolled into one.

NOTHING is open (except McDonalds - and SORRY about that) - but it's really amazing how people were lining up at 3:30PM (the time I checked into the apartment) to get a view over the harbor for the fireworks extravaganza that was to come at 8:00pm.

Luckily, I asked at reception (which closed 15 minutes after I checked in) what time the festivities would begin. Having only cereal, bread and fruit in the fridge (and two bottles of wine from the airport) - I went in search of food.

I was a total American SLACKER. I got there at 7:50pm. The shores of the South Perth harbor were packed with families, kids, drunks (not necessarily in that order) - and a strict "no alcohol" policy in place.

I didn't care about the booze - I was there for the food.

I noticed some kind of BBQ - behind the temporary fence that was erected around the "park" area. I found the entrance (no easy task in the dark - without lights or signs), and RAN to the place (the ONLY place) that had food.

It turns out it was the Rotary of Perth with BBQ'd hot dogs and fresh, soft buns (and an optional pile of roasted onions) - and they were literally GIVING them away. After I had scarfed my first one, I asked for a second and also asked if I could give them a small donation.

Their reaction shocked me.

They were in shock. They stammered something as I shoved some Aussie money into the hand of a gentleman who was 70 if he was a day - and he stammered about some general "fund" - but was actually shocked that someone would be willing to pay for a "free" hot dog.

That's so cute.

They're like the English - only the "lite" version ("....those damn Pommies... tea?)

Anyway - the fireworks were fabulous - it was like seeing the Disneyland fireworks (on a Tuesday) but only 2.9715 better! I think they said on the news - it was the biggest fireworks display in Australian history.

At any rate, it was COOL - and very "worth" the 5 minute walk down to the shoreline.

To all my Aussie friends all I can say is Good Onya Mates! And, Happy Australia Day!
Web Analytics