Sunday, August 26, 2007

PART ONE in our new five part series, “Better Know a Brisbane Home Team!”

Tonight’s Home Team: The Brisbane Roar!

Brisbane’s very own soccer team, the Brisbane Roar, plays at the brand new Suncorp Stadium right outside the downtown area. A short walk from the West End, we headed over Saturday night to see the opening game of the soccer league’s third season. Tickets were only $15, and the beer literally came out of a conveyor belt – it felt like a Ford assembly line. Brisbane was playing the team from Adelaide, and ultimately tied with a final score of 2-2. It was great fun for the whole family (lots of kids there), and I took some poor video of the event.

The video includes a number of disappointing moments, a few missed goals, angry comments from British/Australian fans, and then finally the celebration for a Brisbane goal not captured on camera. Stay tuned for PARTS TWO, THREE, FOUR, AND FIVE...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vote Jorge!

I apologize for the non-Australia related post, but this is important. Jorge Vega (a friend of mine from Creative Arts at Park) is one of the THREE FINALISTS in the 2007 Comic Book Challenge. It’s like the American Idol of comic book creators, and the winner gets his idea made into a comic book/Hollywood movie. You can go check out his pitch here, and vote for Jorge!! Voting is quick and easy, and his idea is very original – think vampire story in the Wild West…with no vampires. Vote Jorge!

VOTING ENDS AUGUST 25TH! (aka August 26th in Australia)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My neighbor has disappeared and is wanted by the police

24 hours after inviting Ben (my British roommate) and I over for a drink, our neighbor was apparently admitted to a hospital (for unknown reasons), escaped, and is now wanted by the police. No further details.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I survived Ekka!

For the past few weeks Brisbane has been hosting Ekka! - the annual Queensland Exhibition/Agricultural Fair/Carnival. Farmers bring all their prize-winning animals and vegetables down to the city for judging, and there are fireworks and fashion shows! Lots of meat on display.

Everyone who mentions Ekka warns against the “Ekka Flu,” the “Ekka Cough,” or the “Ekka Death Virus.” I assumed this was just a running joke among the city dwellers, but upon arriving at Ekka I was immediately handed a package of sanitizer wipes and reminded to “wash my hands with soap and water” before leaving. Turns out people have actually died at Ekka due to unsanitary conditions.

My first stop: A fashion runway showcasing the wonders of Queensland wool and leather. My favorite quote is, "she's just made the most perfect use of the swimsuit design."

Then: Watch a sheep being sheared! (Fittingly on the same stage that just hosted the wool parade. How Memento-ish.)

I actually haven’t eaten meat since arriving in Australia. It’s been about a month, and I’ll try to keep it going all year. Here's a nice picture from the “MEATing Centre” that sums up my vegetarian motivations…

Afterwards I made it over to the Woolworth’s Fresh Food Market and watched a demonstration on “fun wth semi-dried tomatoes” and “the secrets of bee keeping.” On my way back I checked out the animals, and took this video of a man standing atop two horses and cracking whips.

Then the Big Fashion Show Extravaganza that was AMAZING – a legitimate Australian project runway in a big theater – but they didn’t allow photography. I got yelled at for trying to take a video.

All in all, it was a great day at the Ekka (and so far no need to dip into my secret stash of American antibiotics).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Cereal was “Seized and Destroyed” by the Australian Government

My favorite cereal is Banana Nut Crunch, and last spring when I stopped being able to find it in supermarkets, I did some investigating and found they were discontinuing the product in California. I panicked and immediately ordered a case of Banana Nut Crunch from (pack of 8). Soon I left for Australia, and most of the boxes remained at home in Boston.

Mom loves to send packages. I received her first one (since being in Australia) last week, and inside was this note:

"The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) has determined that items addressed to you, send by mail from The United States, were imported or introduced into Australia in contravention of the Quarantine Act 1908 and, in the Authorized Quarantine Officer’s opinion, the items are likely to introduce exotic pests or diseases into Australia.

“This is a notice to inform you that the items, 2 x pkt of Banana Nut Crunch with dried banana, will be seized and destroyed. Where possible, AQIS offers clients the opportunity to have items treated to remove quarantine risks. However, due to the specific risks presented by the items sent to you, treatment is not possible.”

The most amazing part is that the package (with the remaining items) was completely unopened when I received it, with no visible signs of tampering. Keep in mind my mother taped every edge of the box shut, wrapped the box with brown paper bags from Whole Foods, taped those shut, and then taped the address labels on top of that. To inspect the package and seize the BNC without any sign of disturbance the Authorized Quarantine Officer must have employed David Blaine street magic because that was freaking impossible. Amazing.

How will they destroy the Banana Nut Crunch? I hope they eat it – don’t let it go to waste! It may be the last of its kind!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Shire

Man this was good. Walk outside the house, what do I hear? It's music. It's a soul jam band coming from hwere/? Coming from a blcok away. I walk over there and they're jamming! I took some video which came out black, but you can hear the music@ it was great. literally, the best chai tea i've ever had. people dancing, eating, drinking, all sorts of gooide times. and the band was smoking! take a listen. my man take a listen. who's horton hears a who? my friends this place is great!@ i'm so glad to have it so nearBy - uyou can hear it from the house! listen to the music...

love josh

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Roommate Pictures

Chris from Germany

Ben from England

And with the cat, who bizarrely comes with the name "titty"

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sexist Australian Ads

In bwhaley’s famous blog, “A White Boy in Japan,” he often posted photos of Japanese advertisements that didn’t quite make sense in English. This has inspired me to begin an advertising segment of my own, in which I showcase the many chauvinistic Australian ads I’ve been encountering. They’re kind of amazing in their overtness. These first few ads are copies from the Internet – I didn’t have my camera with me when I saw them. I will be more vigilant in the future.

STA Travel
Originally an Australian company; it used to stand for “Student Travel Australia.” These ads are everywhere in Brisbane. And it really speaks for itself… (click to enlarge)

Australian Army
There’s a whole series of these Angelina Jolie recruitment ads – kind of a sexy take-off of Uncle Sam’s “I want you.” My question: what is she holding, and, more importantly, whose shoes are those?? Are they stepping on her?

Today I saw an ad for Boost Juice (an Australian smoothie bar) where a girl was holding a banana to her face, and the caption read, “It was good for me, was it good for you?” It didn’t make sense to me at all, and the banana was disturbingly phallic.