By now it is no secret about the devastating bushfires and subsequent flooding that has ravaged Australia. At last count, millions of acres have been torched, entire homes have been swallowed by flames, and half a billion animals have lost their lives - all in the state of New South Wales alone. Moreover, poor air quality and scorching temperatures in affected communities has made near it impossible in recent weeks to do things we take for granted. Things like walking to school, frequenting parks and beaches, or opening a window to get some air.
To make matters worse, fundraising efforts for Australia are being thwarted by a few fraudulent organizations masquerading as legitimate charities. This makes it difficult to know what to give, where, and deliver relief to the people and animals that desperately need it. When I recently discussed this situation with a contact in Australia, he agreed it was a mess, or in Australia speak “a casserole.”
A “casserole” is short form in Australia speak for “a casserole of nonsense”- when things are upside down, not right side up, and just don’t make sense. I first heard this expression from my son’s roommate Danny, who is a terrific guy, and also happens to be Australian. Danny and “some of the lads” were part of our 2018 Christmas Dinner celebration in Banff Alberta catered by WestJet. I introduced Danny to stuffing, and he introduced me to “a casserole of nonsense”, plus a host of wonderful Australian phrases that have enriched my vocabulary.
Australian’s are great at getting your attention with strine- short form for slang. One of their signature features as a culture is skillfully abbreviating so they can call a spade a shovel, and still get their point across. Moreover, their lovely play on words brings a light-heartedness and brevity to even the darkest of situations.
Whilst I have your attention, ( BTW: Australian’s say whilst a lot too), I’d like to share a few other thoughts.
First, put Australia on your bucket list as a destination. Although it will take time for them to recover from this catastrophic change, it does not mean that you still can’t go there and enjoy the country. My sons spent almost a year working and traveling in Australia and loved it. They surfed, golfed, hiked, snorkeled, skydived, and met amazing people from all over the world.
Second, for goodness sake if you go, put the Great Barrier Reef on your Bucket List. The Great Barrier Reef is the temple of fish- and thankfully still there. While you scuba and snorkel, you will not only find Nemo, but Dory, Clive, Crush, Gill, Coral, and Jacques too! This place is magical and is a must see.
Third, despite this “casserole of nonsense” in the charity department, there are still some very legitimate organizations, namely the Red Cross, doing some very legitimate work to help both Australian residents, and animals, recover from this catastrophic change.
This Valentine’s Day, instead of buying chocolates, I am sending some LOVE to Australia. I am sending a donation to the red cross at redcross.org.au and if you can, I encourage others to do the same.
Finally, in the spirit of celebrating Australia, and sending them some good karma, here is some super awesome Australian strine from the intrepidguide.com to help make your day super awesome!
Thanks for hanging in there with me and stay tuned for more ideas about where to Play, Stay, Dine and Shop in Australia.
Until then…stay super awesome!