So anyway Echuca was nice, if a bit hot. And the Murray river is no substitute for being along the coast, but I guess that’s just the way I’ve been brought up. It seems like a lot of inland dwellers must feel like the river /is/ a substitute for the beach because there’s something like fifty motels in the town. Whenever I look at rivers in Australia now I’m frustrated by how small and piddly they look. I wouldn’t mind betting that’s how the first whiteys saw them too, although they were also probably glad to be getting a drink of water, even if it was muddy.
I’d been up that way before but it was good to put names to faces, so to speak, with all these little name dots on the map that were once real towns. Rokewood, Enfield, Guildford, Elmore—to name a few.
We got a little of the Australia day feeling happening on Thursday by going to Ballarat and watching the sheepdog trials at Eureaka stadium. It was pretty good but somehow I’d built it up in my mind to be something really big. Maybe I thought I’d be able to mind-meld with these dogs or something. There’s nothing more admirable than seeing a dog that has a purpose and works for a living. I’m not entirely sure how much real sheep herding these dogs do though, possibly they spend most of their time practicing pushing three sheep thru a gate and so on. A little strange.
In any case I was surprised there were so few people there. I also found out that not all border collies are black and white. If only they could breed a dog that had mind-control over sheep…
Also went down to Johanna beach and I have to say (probably thanks to the sea spray) that was the only place where I didn’t feel the sun biting into my skin. I did look a bit out of place wearing jeans, sneakers and a long-sleeved shirt though.
Things I’m noticing this time being here: lots more people with tattoos, particularly writing. I often used to internally scorn Koreans for wearing t-shirts decorated with meaningless writing but it seems Australians are going one further and getting meaningless writing etched into their napes, arms etc.
Also the craze for messed up hair that young guys had going a year or two ago seems to have spread to long-haired young women.
Young people: I don’t know…
Toasties, toasties, toasties. What is this? Y and ies are added to the end of too many words. I noticed this particular example a year ago but thought it perhaps an aberration. What’s wrong with calling it a toasted sandwich? Is this somehow boring or old-fashioned? No.
ps Tennis Australia: I object, I bloody damn well object to you moving the aus open tennis finals matches to 7:30pm. It’s too late. They finish too late. This tournament is held in australia and the australian audience should be your first priority.