An audio and video podcast of my trip hitchhiking around the world by sea.
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The Beginning of Oz

Aussie Word of the Day:
Cuppa (n.):  Australian for drink (usually hot in nature). Most likely rooted in English term “Cup of (something)” Can be used at any time of the day, but is most often heard in after a meal when the host asks, “Would anyone like a cuppa?”

Concerning the above:
I realized while writing my previous two blogs there are lots of tidbits that would be terribly useful when visiting Australia, especially in the area of language. Imagine, for instance, if one night after “tea” (dinner) with your “mates” (friends) you were offered a “cuppa”, but not knowing what it was you respectfully decline. Moments later, all your friends are sitting around sipping tea and coffee, gleefully enjoying each other’s company all the while you linger on the outskirts fighting off your meal-coma. Then for the next several weeks you’re greeted with smirks of pity, and hear people refer to you as “the yobbo who fell asleep at the party.” We’re talking social suicide, simply because you didn’t know what a “cuppa” was!

Not on my watch. No sir. That’s why I’ve decided to start every Australian blog with a helpful word, phrase, or fun fact of the day. You’ve been plenty entertained, and a little education never hurt nobody.

Now let’s get back to bloggin.

When I arrived Australia, I arrived in Cairns and as usual I had no idea what my plan was. I de-planed around 11:00 pm, a bit groggy from my whirlwind 15-hour tour of Tokyo, flight to Guam, 3-hour layover and walk to the beach, then final leg to Australia. Myself and the other international zombies file down terminal to customs. The lovely customs officer then takes my passport and flips through the pages. Naturally she is admiring my impressive resume of travel. I humbly lean forward and watch. She looks back.

“Do you know you don’t have any space in your passport?” Bloodshot, I return her stare… blink. “You have no space to stamp your passport.” She repeats. “Huh?” I reply-blink, blink. “We can’t stamp on top of another stamp,” she raises her voice slightly in irritation. It was probably obvious that I spoke English based on the American passport, but I’ll be honest, I had no intent of returning to America for some fresh passport pages for her to stamp, so I did what I could: Blink, blink…blink…“Huh?” She rolled her eyes, stamped my passport, and called for the next in line.

Mission accomplished. There was some resistance, but I made it. Now I just needed to figure out what to do.


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