The Daily Jerk

Surviving Australia – Everything you need to know

by on Jul.26, 2010, under Hello, how are you today?, TRUTH

Whether you are a tourist or a recent immigrant, Australia can be a difficult place to understand. The rules are complex, confusing, and even if you follow them, someone might still beat you up for looking funny. Luckily, there’s only a few things that you need to know to survive in this country. Even better, I’m willing to tell you those few things. I’ll start with the country itself, and work up to the people who call it home.

The land

Australia is a large place. We have more land per capita than most other developed countries. The reason that it is this way is because the land is mostly unusable, murderous, wasteland. Most of our tourism is based around the idea of escaping from this vast, brown, death hole. The two major experiences you will get while visiting Australia for recreation will be either: survive the outback (if you can, but you probably can’t), or try to swim away (before the ocean kills you, which it probably will). The local population usually tries to avoid doing either of these things, because they consider them indescribably dangerous, and pretty stupid to boot.

The water

Australia is an island nation. As our national anthem proudly proclaims, we are girt by sea. There is no way to get to any other country without somehow facing the water. Like most things to do with Australia, the surrounding sea is a desolate wasteland teeming with interesting ways to die. If you head north, there are jellyfish, sting rays, sharks, more jelly fish, blue ringed octopus, stone fish, even more jelly fish, and even some sharks. To the south, there’s mostly sharks, but they are bigger and angrier sharks. There’s little reason to go south, though, because the only places you could get are Antarctica, New Zealand, or Tasmania. Some astute observers may point out that Tasmania is officially part of Australia, but we only keep it around so that politicians have a testing ground that the general population doesn’t care about. There are also many rivers and lakes in Australia, which largely serve the purpose of harboring crocodiles. The best advice about water that a tourist can receive is “Stay away from it, it’s trying to kill you.”

The plants

After hearing about the general inhospitable nature of both the land and the sea, most people assume that all the plants in Australia are poisonous. This is largely not the case. Just being poisonous would be far too easy for any self-respecting plant, so instead, Australian plants have developed a way to survive on very little water. This may not seem like a bad trait until you consider every other country in the world, where plant life usually implies that water is close by. If you happen to get lost in the bush, most people would be tempted to seek out a grove of trees, hoping to find something to drink. In Australia, you will soon find that doing this will just result in you finding disappointment. As you lie, dying of thirst on the rocks by the roots of a large grey gum, you will hear the leaves stirred by a gentle breeze. Your last, dying thought, is how much it sounds like laughter. If you do happen to find water, there is a very good chance that there is a crocodile watching you, waiting for you to get close.

The animals

The only thing you need to know about the native animals in Australia is this: they can all kill you, and probably will, just for the fun of it. Not only do we have most of the world’s most venomous snakes and spiders, but even the cute fury animals are dangerous. A kangaroo can tear open your stomach with it’s hind legs; a platypus has poison sacks, and a bad attitude; and let’s just hope that you never meet a pissed off wombat. In fact, the least dangerous creature is the super intelligent echidna, which happens to be covered in spines that are so sharp that they can pierce your skin by looking at them. As mentioned earlier, the water-bound animals are just as deadly, and probably twice as angry. In a cruel twist of government, most of the native animals in Australia are protected species, meaning that you couldn’t kill them even if they were eating your family. The only animals which you can legally hunt are the ones which, since being introduced, learned that the only way to survive is to breed faster than they can be killed off.

The people

The people of Australia are generally trusting and friendly. The majority of them work hard, love to drink, and will lend a hand whenever someone is in trouble. The rest of them just love to drink. The second group, largely known variously as bogans, bevans, westies, or yobbos, are prone to violent outbursts, and should be largely avoided by the wary traveler. They are distrustful of anyone different from themselves, which is only amplified by the consumption of alcohol. If you find yourself surrounded by an angry group of these bogans, your best defense is to try to distract them. A little known fact is that the only thing bogans hate more than foreigners, is a bogan from another state. For example, if you are in Queensland, the bogans will likely stop beating you if you can make them think that either a Victorian, or better yet, someone from New South Wales is nearby. For New South Wales, try Victorian, or Queenslander. If you are in Victora, then try Queensland or New South Wales. If you aren’t sure where the bogans are from, then the safe bet is always to try to convince them that there is a Tasmanian nearby.

The language

Speaking to an Australian involves some creativity. Full words are rarely, if ever, used in conversation. There is a simple pattern to follow, though, so that what you say can be understood.

  • Names longer than three letters should be shortened, then add an ‘o’ or a ‘zza’ onto the end. e.g. Steven should become Stevo, Wally should become Wazza.
  • Names that are three letters or less should be extended with an ‘o’. e.g. Ben should become Benno, Tim should become Timmo.
  • Anyone with red hair should be called “Blue”
  • Vowels are important, but most consonants are optional. e.g. “Australia” should be pronounced “Austraaaya”
  • The majority of the vocabulary is a mixture of rhyming slang, shortenings, and in-jokes. e.g. Tommo hit the frog and toad, then chucked a mainy back to the bottlo. (Tom left by road, before doing a u-turn and proceeding back to the alcohol store.)

That is about all you need to know to be able to survive in Australia. The one last tip to remember, if you ever find yourself cornered by bogans in a pub; the way to turn the entire situation around is a simple phrase: “My shout”.

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