Wallabies V All Blacks

The last weekend in Australia kept me busy, because you realise that there’s still so much to see and not much time left. But after all, my priority was to get used to being down-under and get as much comfortable as possible and I think it’s been achieved.

OK, so first, what I did on Saturday.

I started with being very useful and practical. I leant how to make scones. My friend, S., who took me to his College a couple days earlier, had told me that his dad gives tutorials to foreigners from time to time on scone making, so I said that I’d love to learn. He was free on Saturday morning and they weren’t that difficult to make. The scones came out delicious, so yummy with strawberry jam and whipped cream and I hope you’ll get the chance of tasting my scones some time in the future.

After the scones we went to Chermside, left the car by the shopping centre there and went to Brisbane by bus (you could travel by bus on a rugby ticket on that day). Unfortunately, it was raining the whole day and it only stopped just before the match, so that meant spending most of the time inside. I visited Australia the Gift (a souvenir shop) in the city centre, then crossed the River and went to Queensland Museum (an interesting exhibition about Torres Strait Islanders) and Gallery of Modern Art partially, because it was getting late and we were getting hungry. We went to Myer Centre and I had my noodles from a box first time in my life, just like in films (no, we don’t have them in Poland, I think; we don’t even have a Chinese restaurant in my hometown!).

I was a bit tired, hot chocolate put me on my feet on the way to Suncorp Stadium. The closer we were to the Stadium the more excited I was. Then when I found my seat, it turned out that I was pretty close to the field. We were early enough to see the teams warming up and I was able to come down to row 1 and take some photos of Dan Carter practicing his kicks.


An indigenous artist playing didgeridoo

Anthems

The All Blacks supporters, that’s where I was sitting 😀

Haka! (watch)

The game. First half the All Blacks played rubbish and I was like, “Is this what I came for?!” They were loosing the ball (I know, it was slippery, but the Wallabies played with the same one) and lost so many chances to score some points. It was 20:6 for the Wallabies.

After the break they got better in the second half, two tries and for a little while there was a tie. It was great to cheer them on together with some Kiwis (I suspect there were a couple thousand there. The venue was sold out and there were about 52,000 people all together). Not for long after the AB’s second try, the Aussies scored another try. Even though Cooper missed two kicks, it was too late to wake up for the All Blacks and Australia won 25:20 and the 2011 Tri Nations.

Essential Aussie moment: someone on the bus back home started singing Waltzing Matilda.

I hope New Zealand will be in a better form for the Rugby World Cup starting in two weeks.

throw another shrimp on the barbie

Sorry for being quiet recently, but there hasn’t been much to write about and I think I’ve been a bit distracted by what’s been happening in the UK right now. Imagine the whole world going on like that. There are enough baddies out there to make it happen, so what stops them? OK, I’m not panicing, I’m just preparing myself for what’s about to come eventually.

On a lighter note, I was at an Australian barbie yesterday. There was no shrimps (have you seen this ad with Paul Hogan?), but we had steaks and sausages, salads and of course pavlova for dessert. That version of pavlova was a bit different. It was small round pieces of a plain meringue and you put some fruit and whipped cream by yourself. So the essence of pavlowa or what pavlova is, is this: meringue + fruit + whipped cream.

I forgot to mention in my previous post that I have been counted. Every 5 years on 9th August, there is a Census Night in Australia and every household has to complete a Census for the Australian Bureau and Statistics, either online or paper exactly on that day. I had to complete my column, even though I’m just a visitor staying here for less than one year.

And the last thing to “report” is that it finally came to me that I’m under a bit different sky and G. showed me today The Southern Cross, when it got dark. It looks pretty much like a kite. The sky wasn’t clear enough to admire it more, because it was cloudy today and rained, but I hope I’ll have more chances to watch the stars on our 5-day trip which starts this Saturday. I’m not taking my laptop, so, unless something happens, we’ll ‘see’ you next week.

Broncos V Warriors

I just got my first watching rugby live experience and the match was awesome! It was between two teams of the National Rugby League, Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. At first, when P. offered me going to see the match, I wasn’t so keen on it, because he was talking about watching a footie and I thought he was talking about football / soccer and I’m not a fan of this sport (Aussies have this funny way of creating new words like: brekky, cabbie or barbie). But when I discovered he meant rugby, then… yeah!

The atmosphere before, during and after the match was amazing. I couldn’t believe I could see so great variaty of supporters. There were whole families, parents with their small kids, even 3 year old boys and girls, women older than my mum (I’d say they were about 70 years old), men and of course the youth and people in my age. The whole event was like one big family festival, all well behaving and enjoying their time together. I loved it.

The game was keeping me on the edge of my seat. First half belonged to New Zealand (yay!), but during the second half Australia earned some points and there was a tie score for a while. I was supporting the Warriors, but I didn’t mind if the Broncos won, because the match was really special for the locals. The captain of the team from Brisbane, Darren Lockyer is going to retire soon and this was, I think his last match at the home stadium. And he did well. He scored the last point with a goal and the Broncos won 21:20. But New Zealand should blame themselves, because they missed three kicks. As a consolation, I know the All Blacks “shredded” the Wallabies tonight, and that game was more important.


These guys were just so cool and sweet. The one on the right asked me if I work ‘here’. Apparently, I looked very professional or they were very drunk. 😀 I’ll have to work on my live sport events shots a bit more. 😉

a bus driver

Yesterday I had this song in my head all day,

G. got a call from school, so he went to work. He’s a relief teacher. Sometimes he works one day a week, sometimes more often and he can choose the schools he wants to work at. He’s got a good life. For one day (6 classes) of his work he earns a half of my monthly salary. Imagine that! Poland is like a third world country.

P. is a bus driver and he works from Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a few hour break in between. Yesterday he came at about noon and took me to show me his work. I got a free bus tour around Brisbane and its suburbs.

The population of the city is 1.6 million and it’s located by the Brisbane River. Last year the financial centre of the city, which is just right by the river was closed for a couple days due to the floods. The city itself is pretty modern and still growing, great public transport, modern buildings and there’s a new bridge. The council house looks like a modern art gallery.


Town hall on the right

The suburbs are on the hills surrounding the city and riding through them is like riding in a rollercoaster in a theme park; the hills are that steep.

I liked the western suburbs the most. The houses are built on tall poles in the treetops. It’s as if the road was running through the hills and the houses were stuck to the sides of the hills and there was not enough ground to build a house on it, so they are on the poles.

After the tour P. took me to his friends for dinner. A group of more than 20 people who recently visited Israel got together to remember the trip and share with the stories and photos. The food was good. I had falafel and then halva. All in Israeli style, but there was one Australian accent. I tried pavlova. Yummm! It was a lemon meringue crusty outside, soft inside, very sweet and on top there was like thick vanilla custard and various fruit. There was also chocolate cake, but not as good as mine. 😉