Category: Strine

What To Do?

When Kangaeroo started back in 2010, the aim was probably to help students understand that American was not the only form of English and that Australians speak Strine.

What the aim intended to accomplish remains unknown.

At some point, the blog became an area to examine lesser-known aspects of the Japan-Australia relationship.

For the first five years of its existence, Kangaeroo.com was updated almost daily.

It’s initial aim was not accomplished because I couldn’t get enough people to read it.

Same goes for its subsequent purpose, I guess.

That probably goes some way to explaining why updates have been sporadic at best over the past several years. But I am paying a lot of money to keep this blog in existence and I have no idea why.

When I ride my bike in the mornings, I have weird and wonderful ideas about how to use the blog, but most don’t come to fruition as reality prevails.

So, I still don’t know what to do. I guess I would like to pursue the unknown side of Japan-Australian relations more. I used to have a huge cache of information and tidbits, but it is mostly gone now. My memory, too.

Reflective

More and more is going on to inspire reflection on life.

It’s a constructive development. Life is good when life exists. Realizing it’s good is another matter. Fortunately, for various reasons, it’s becoming easier to find elements of all things to contain the pleasant.

It’s not my nature to do this, yet I am finding myself doing it more often.

What luck!

Spinning Out Near the Sacred

Mount Fuji is glorious!
For better or worse, like much of the rest of the world, Kangaeroo has been confined to home for the past year due to the covid pandemic.
It has not been all woe, though. One benefit is an almost daily opportunity to cycle along the Tama River.
There’s a cycling road about 50 kilometers long running for most of the way on both banks of the river, which once served as the Japanese capital’s main water supply.
Mount Fuji is notoriously shy and only shows its face with great clarity for a few months each year, unfortunately those times being the colder months. But the majestic mountain overlooks the Tama, creating a spectacular backdrop when it can be viewed. It’s not hard to see why Mount Fuji has been regarded as sacred in Japan for centuries. It is still a breathtaking sight with every view.

Aussie Kit Maker Perfuro Storming Onto the Scene

Perfuro certainly blew a storm for me!

And so it should have, considering the Latin word for storm is the name given to a great line of Aussie cycling gear from the Gold Coast that Kangaeroo.com was lucky enough to get to try out after being picked as a contest winner.

Kangaeroo.com doesn’t win too much, so wanted to treat the kit with the reverence it deserved.

Perfuro founder Martin Coleman contacted Kangaeroo.com in early June to notify him of the win. Then, 2020 hit again.

Japan Post has halted air mail to Australia because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t deter Martin and he found a way to get the kit to arrive in Japan within a month (at a time when Japan Post was saying that deliveries between the two countries could take anywhere up to six months).

Perfuro’s Synoptic Series Coldfront jersey and shorts, which Kangaeroo.com had won, were well-packed in individual plastic, sealable bags.

Sizes had been selected using the size charts on the company’s website. Being a lumpy old man with a funny-shaped dad bod, Kangaeroo.com always opens cycling kit with a bit of trepidation. But the measurements were spot on, and consequently, so was the fit.

Kangaeroo.com was worried. He doesn’t look the best in body-hugging lycra, and is highly insecure about wearing it because of this. But Perfuro’s Martin assured him that “nobody looks bad in my gear.” We reckon Martin might be right, too, and the photos in the gallery below give a lot of credence to the founder’s assertions. Kangaeroo.com is certainly not scared to show off the results to the world, which says something.

Having received the gear in early July, the urge to put it on and get out on the bike to try to it was immense. But, once again seeking the best possible conditions to do so, waited for a sunny day. And waited. And waited. And waited. The Tokyo area was hit by rain every single day for the month of July, the last few days of June and into the start of August.

Finally, though, the day dawned when it was time to get the gear on and take some shots.

And what a delight! Perfuro is made using Italian fabric and its’s very gentle on the skin. Also gentle is the lack of protruding seams, which means there’s no skin abrasions. Tokyo in early August is fiercely hot and the humidity is suffocating; perfect conditions for generating a sweat in anyone. The kit absorbed the perspiration well and stayed dry, avoiding chafing and keeping the body cool. The sponge chamois was a great fit and made for a comfortable ride. The designs and colors are also fabulous, with Coldfront’s red hue with white and black tinges one of the options.

Perfuro offers four men’s stylish product lines. There’s an equivalent number of women’s gear lines and the company also sells cycling tech accessories. You can also read Martin’s novel through the website.

All of this for half the price about half of what you’d expect to pay for equivalent quality cycling kit. And Perfuro has loads of different payment options, including partial payments, making all of its offerings highly accessible for even trifling sums.

In what’s been a bleak year for pretty much everyone worldwide, Perfuro has blown in with a fresh breeze offering at least a little delight.

May It Always Be May

May is gorgeous in Japan, even this year when the world is confronting the bleak tragedy of the covid-19 outbreak.

The warm, dry, mostly sunny month brings some much-needed delight.

You Know You’re Australian If…

A decade or so ago, Sydney comedian Richard Glover wrote a fairly comprehensive list of typical Australian behaviors that is usually reprinted around this time of year, heading into Australia Day on January 26.

Kangaeroo joints the throng of reprinters by adding the list here.

You know you’re Australian if:

You know the meaning of the word “girt”.

You believe that stubbies can be either drunk or worn.

A bloke wearing Stubbies

You understand that, should an Australian prime minister attempt to invent a nickname for himself, the nation would respond by choosing its own moniker, somewhat less flattering.

You believe the best-looking people in the world are those wearing the uniform of the Rural Fire Service, or its equivalent in other states.

Returning home from overseas, you expect to be brutally strip-searched by Customs just in case you’re trying to sneak in fruit.

You make a bong out of your garden hose rather than use it for something illegal such as watering a lawn.

You are alive to the debate over Australia Day, but accept the public holiday without question.

You’re secretly proud of our killer wildlife.

You understand that tough times create strong, resilient, loving communities but would now like a break from the constant fire, flood, drought and hail.

You believe that any DIY purchase must be accompanied by a sausage in a bun.

A Bunnings sausage

You were taught on your grandparents’ knee that “all the banks are bastards” and now have the proof.

You believe the best tourist attractions are housed within giant fibreglass prawns, bananas and sheep.

You bitterly criticise the media for its constant and intrusive stories about the British royal family, then find yourself reading every word about Harry and Meghan.

You believe the most patriotic way to vote at election time is while wearing a swimming costume.

You know the British feel superior to us – but find yourself increasingly perplexed as to why.

You pronounce Melbourne as “Mel-bin”.

You pronounce Penrith as “Pen-riff”.

You wonder when it was, exactly, that Australia’s politicians lost their sense of shame.

You can translate: “Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas.”

You understand that “Wagga Wagga” can be abbreviated to “Wagga” but “Woy Woy” can’t be called “Woy”.

You are welcoming of foreign visitors – but can’t wait to tell them about the Drop Bears.

You are staunch in your defence of Australian-owned enterprises but can’t resist buying truckloads of imported crap.

Maccas

You call your best friend “a total bastard” but someone you really, truly despise is merely “a bit of a bastard”.

You wonder why, given the amount of cash thrown around at election time, none of it ever hits you.

When you hear that an American “roots for his team”, you wonder how often and with whom.

You believe it is appropriate to put a rubber in your son’s pencil case when he first attends school.

You believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that’s twice as big as its $2 coin.

Whatever your linguistic skills, you find yourself able to order takeaway food in every Asian language.

You believe that cooked-down axle-grease makes a good breakfast spread.

You believe all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up, at which point they revert to being Kiwis.

Hamburger. Beetroot. Of course.

You know that certain vulgar words must, by law, be shouted during any rendition of the Angels’ song Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again.

You believe that the more you shorten someone’s name, the more you like them.

You get choked up with emotion by the first verse of the national anthem, then have trouble remembering the second.

When you retire, your aim is to enjoy some “lifestyle” – an Australian word which roughly translates as “chardonnay”.

You understand that the phrase “a group of women wearing black thongs” refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds.

A $1 coin is double the size of a $2 coin

You know, whatever the tourist books say, that no one says “cobber”.

You believe, as an article of faith, that every important discovery in the world was made by an Australian then sold off to the Yanks for a pittance.

You know that “you” has a plural and that it’s “youse”.

You’re proud of your country, but understand it can do a whole lot better.

You know what it’s like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose.

You will immediately forward this list to other Australians, here and overseas, realising that only they will understand.

Picking Up From Where We Left Off

First sunrise of 2020

As sticklers will point out, 2020 doesn’t really count as the start of the Twenty-Twenties, but Kangaeroo reckons it does, so that’s how we’ll view it on the site.

And the ’20s got off in pretty much the same way that 2019 left off–on the saddle, pushing the pedals.

Once again, the pace was about 100 km/day.

Visited sites included a loop of the Yamanote Line circling central Tokyo, the Tama River (again!), Takahata Fudosan temple and plenty of views of Mount Fuji.

Yamanote Line Loop

Tama River

Mount Fuji