Hacktreks in Australia
MAND IN LAND of OZ
...Half an hour of abuse would go on until someone somewhere would
remember that we were actually at a cricket match
As most of you probably
know - I'm now happily settled back in England, but, as its been two
months since I last wrote, I thought I'd wrap up this e-mail newsletter
thing which has been going on with a final report of Japan - well actually...it's
more about my month in Australia which I promised you and yes - I do
have way too much time on my hands!
So lets talk about OZ (will try to keep this as brief as poss as I know
most of you have work to be doing - but you should all know me by now
- keeping the point I just don't do!)
Well what can I say except Australia is a fantastic country and for
all my ickle Australian buddies - What the hell are you doing living
in Japan??!! Get yourselves back to the land of sunshine, sea and vegemite!
Admittedly, it was all a little scary when I first landed in Brisbane,
not only because they had managed to leave my suitcase behind in Korea,
but also because being bombarded with English is a bit of a rarity!
Needless to say I was a little spun out for the first week and found
it hard to communicate with people.
Shop assistants would come running up and force a thousand pair of pants
in my direction which resulted in me doing a speedy about turn and pegging
it out of the shop. I guess I was just used to the reverse in Japan
whereby it was the Japanese staff who did the running away!
I spent Christmas in Brisbane with my brother who's been happily living
out there for four years. Being in a sunny climate over the Xmas period
was just a tad bizarre to say the least!
For me Christmas has always been chestnuts roasting on a open fire,
copious amounts of sherry and Carol Singers freezing their poor little
noses off outside whilst screeching along in rather high tones 'we all
want Figgie pudding' when what they really wanted was a fiver, a plateful
of mince pies topped off with lashings and lashings of cherry brandy.
So although there were Christmas carols in abundance out in OZ, I guess
lying on a beach, decked out in a bikini and sunbathing on Christmas
Eve with Silent Night being blasted out through the tannoy around the
beach kind of made it all a little weird to get into the festive ho
ho ho spirit.
But its OK, as I reckon the Aussies must have known I was coming because
come Christmas Eve we were hit by torrential storms which resulted in
the loss of power for a good five hours where it then proceeded to bucket
it down with rain for the rest of my stay in Brisbane.
So whilst the Aussie folk were all happily smiling with glee and welcoming
in the rain because it was great for the grass, Mandy Mand, on the other
hand, I'm afraid to say, wasn't quite so enthused as it was destroying
all chances of me getting a tan - flaming British weather! ggrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!
Anyway, I digress, back to the trip.
One of the most memorable days in Brisbane was when we travelled to
Australia Zoo. Not only was I going to see my long lost and dearly missed
flatmate -in-Japan: Michelle, but I was also gonna finally see my hero.
The guy who I idolise so much there's even a piccie of him in my toilet.
I was finally going to see Mr 'By Crikey' himself - Steve Irwin aka
The Crocodile Hunter and ain't he a beau tee!
Not only were we lucky enough to see Steve, his wife Terry, daughter
Bindi, best mate Wez, dad and of course Graham the deadly and rather
unpleasant Croc - but the actor none other than Russell Crowe decided
to pay the Zoo a visit too!! Oh...and he nearly got eaten by a crocodile
when trying to feed the deadly brute. Luckily a tree managed to save
the gladiator tastic hero - phewwwwwwweeeeeeeeeee!
Steve put on a fantastic display for the 5000 that had turned up that
day in the pouring rain and it was amazing to see just how much of a
military operation it was for him to get from one end of the park to
the other. With a whole security crew in force, walky talkies and crowd
clearance control on standby it was amazing to think that just a few
years ago Steve would have been able to have walked quite freely around
his own park. But now, due to TV fame and the croc-tastic success of
his movie, taking a stroll is something he just can't do anymore.
Being the typical tourist I got to stroke a Kangaroo, see a Koala and
hold a gigantic python who was rather taken with my pink 'Barbie' T-shirt
It was sooo lovely to see Michelle and after a teary goodbye me and
me brov headed down (got it right mich!) to Sydney in time for New Year.
Two Brit chicks, Becci and Luci, flew over to join us for the New Year
along with another British lass, Debbie, who is currently living in
Singapore, and so we all stayed in this fabtastic old converted Toy
factory which was pink on the outside and completely kitsch tastic.
For New Year we hooked up with an old friend from Dorset called Tom
who was out living in Oz and had been joined by his own little gang
of Brits too. He took us to an unforgettable New Year's Eve bash at
a friend's place who lived in a penthouse complete with balcony that
overlooked Sydney Opera House.
What with full blown DJ and decks all rigged up, a bath full of booze
and blazing fireworks - New Year in Oz was set to go off with a bang.
And it did just that as a little old lady next door, fed up with the
noise, went and killed the power by attacking it with a sledge hammer.
It turns out she had been trying to get an early night (umm...hello?
its new years eve and your balcony overlooks the opera house?!!) so
was a little upset by the noise.
Anyway, all sorted in the end (we managed to gag her to a chair.........I'm
kidding!!) and a fab fireworks display to finish off the night.
Just one small confession...um...I had to watch the fireworks on the
telly the next day as poor old Mandy Mand was just a wee bit intoxicated
and found passed out in five different places as well as crawling along
the walls for support!! Oh well - at least I was there in body!
The third and (I promise!) final favourite day would have to have been
a day at Sydney Cricket Ground to watch The Ashes. England v Australia
which was fantastic!
'Our man' Tom had managed to get hold of 30 tickets to the match and
where did we sit? Right in the middle of the Barmy Army of course! Hooligan
tastic at its finest! Forget World Cup hooligans in Japan - this beat
it by millions!
The atmosphere was incredible and from what I thought would be a pretty
dull day was pretty much the loudest and liveliest. Things started off
pretty quiet with the exception of 'our Tom' who managed to turf two
dear, sweet, lovely, ickle, old grannies out of their seats because
they were sitting in the wrong ones - the rotter! Probably a good thing
as after lunch the lads (and lasses) came to life!
With all the different chants being bombarded at each another by a somewhat
over excited crowd you couldn't help yourself getting caught up with
catchy little tunes such as 'We all live in a convict colony' (sung
to the tune of yellow submarine), We've got three dollars to the pound
(He's got the whole world in his hands), Stand up for your Engerrland,
Stand up for your Engerrland...' and 'Get your shit stars off our flag'
(whole world in his hands again).
So if any poor Ozzie dared to bravely stand up against the mob then
it didn't last long as he got completely flattened with 'Who are ya?
Who are ya? 'Shut up, sit down' (big ben tune), 'Your on your own, your
on your own' and 'You're so ugly its unbelievable' - nice!
Not that the atmosphere was at all nasty! On the contrary, peeps - both
Ozzies and Brits - were having a great time so much so that on Ozzie
bloke switched sides half way through and ended up joining the brits!
(for all my Aussie friends - there were some ace chants back at the
brits too - I just can't remember them and I promise I didn't get involved
that much!! - love ya -.
Half an hour of abuse would go on until someone somewhere would remember
that we were actually at a cricket match and so, consequently, check
the scores. It was easy to get lost in the moment and I was amazed by
how quickly the day flew by!
We didn't actually get to see the final score, although England actually
beat Australia this time round, because Tom and gang kind of got asked
to leave - oops! This actually turned out to be a good thing though
as we managed to get a head start before everyone left the stadium,
thus avoiding the stampede for the nearest pub!
After the cricket - the rest of the holiday in Sydney was pretty chilled
Favourite places were Darling Harbour, The Rocks, Manly beach and Shelly
Bay, seeing the Opera House especially with the big light show they
put on to mark the beginning of the Sydney festival! The show was made
entirely out of sticky tape, fireworks and a girl dressed up as a canary/fairy
suspended from a crane - I'll leave that one to your imaginations!
I also got to visit Palm beach, other wise known as Summer bay from
top tastic Aussie soap Home and Away - no sightings of flathead but
the waves were lush!
Sadly whilst in Oz, I was unable to catch a single episode of Neighbours
or Home and Away as both soaps were off on their hols -(Visiting the
beach made up for it though - hurray!! and Becci popped down to Melbourne
so was able to go check out Ramsay Street. Debbie got to eat a lot of
Pie in this really famous Pie shop in Sydney and Luci loo will never
ever forget woolloomoollooooooo!
For me - many many fantastic memories and so it came as a bit of a shock
when I returned to Japan for the final chapter. Not only because, once
again, I was trapped in a country devoid of the English language, but
also because it was flippin freezing!
There will be one more news report from me - Reasons for leaving
Japan - a Mandy Mand expose of Japan shocker- but, this time round
I won't be emailing it to you.
Instead - if your interested - it'll be posted on the hackwriters website
from 1st Feb, where, all my previous e-mail reports have been stored
with big big big thanks to Sam!! (for those with no time - let me know
and I'll print you out a copy).
Future plans could possibly entail writing a book about this past year
of bizarreness so watch this space and if you have any suggestions then
please get in touch - though - please - no more requests for help finding
a Japanese girlfriend!
love and cuddles
Mandy Mand xx
Mand quits Japan shocker
Previously on Hacks
MAND IN JAPAN
you MUST have at least one Louis Vuitton bag, a Tiffany's necklace and
of course that essential pink phone!
Mand in Japan
Hols in Okinawa and Tokyo
On Japanese Men
...cute little Japanese girls running around in high heeled shoes and
a pair of bat wings
Mand in Japan Pt 2
Wearing a black and white polka dot lace thong was not the best move!
for the Stars
Many Mand in Japan - Part 3
folk looked on in horror
Mand in Japan part 5
Okinawa and Tokyo
Let's Go Bowling
Mandy Mand in Osaka
Travel in Hacktreks and
Hacktreks part Two
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