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.

Goings On

It’s been a strange old start to the year, really, mainly because Kangaeroo is strange and old.

Tokyo has been experiencing a mild winter.

So far there has been no snow and daytime temperatures have been closer to what you’d expect in March than the opening month of the year.

That’s been perfect for walking, which allowed for the capture of the shots in this post.

Kangaeroo was helped deeply by being able to use cameras and photography to seek out the beautiful things around us.

Though he didn’t really do a great job of it, sometimes he would snare a good shot.

But all good things come to pass and now the camera has been passed on to someone else to see if that can help them to find the same everyday blessings.

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

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2020, the Year of the Rat, according to the Chinese zodiac.

A rat is as close as you’ll get to a kangaroo in the Far East, so Kangaeroo is looking forward to this year.

And if that’s not good enough, Kangaeroo’s track record suggests a rat is not too far away.

Either way, we hope that all and sundry have a wonderful year, whatever happens.

Cranking Out the Clicks

For Kangaeroo, 2019 was a year in which cycling played an influential role.

This was the first year for Kangaeroo to commute daily by bike.

Apart from a week overseas and a couple of weeks recovering from an injury incurred while slipping off the bike, the yearlong commuting mission was accomplished.

It was only fitting, then, that the year ended with a concentration of cycling.

And that’s exactly how it panned out, averaging more than 100 km/day for the nine days from the end of work on December 27 to the end of the year four days later.

These are photos from the Shiraishi Pass in Saitama Prefecture, the Tama River in Tokyo, which is still showing some of the effects of the October typhoon, and trendy Odaiba, an artificial island in central Tokyo.

Shiraishi Ride

Tama River Ride

Odaiba

Sayonara Stories

Mobile phones were starting to become a reality when Kangaeroo left Australia around this time of the year back in 1988, a year when the bicentennial of British colonization was marked.

It was supposed to be a six-week holiday in Japan.

Some 32 years later, that trip effectively hasn’t ended.

Japan was in the news in Australia at the time of departure.

Then Emperor Hirohito was in a critical condition (he would die shortly into the new year).

The Japanese economy was booming and Japan seemed poised to take over leadership of the global business world.

But, the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.

Like now, the Liberal Democratic Party governed Japan and it was as rotten to the core as it has always been.

Kiichi Miyazawa had just resigned as Finance Minister after being embroiled in the Recruit Scandal, a case that would rock Japanese politics with dozens of politicians greedily accepting bribes for stocks in the then-skyrocketing stock market.

There was no consumption tax, but a 3% levy on all goods and services was due to be implemented from the following April and 1 yen coins were being produced to meet the expect demand the tax would bring for them.

Miyazawa would make a comeback and eventually rose to become prime minister. American reporters loved him because he could speak English and had a fawning affinity for the United States, but he was corrupt and inept. He would be at the helm when the LDP lost government for the first time in its existence in 1993.

Sydney Morning Herald Tokyo Correspondent Peter Hartcher, then a young, almost cub reporter in his first posting as a correspondent, would let Australian readers know of the situation in Japan at the time. Hartcher would go on to an illustrious career as a political commentator.

Kiichi Miyazawa resigns as Finance Minister for accepting bribes in 1988

Lots has changed over the ensuing decades, but not prices, which have remained amazingly stable in that time, rising, but not to an unrecognizable extent as has been the case with Oz.

Mobile phones were non-existent in Japan then. Even car phones, which were not common but hardly rarities in Australia in the late ’80s, were unseen in late Hirohito-era Japan.

No worries about finding a mobile phone for a bit less than $4,000 nowadays, though.