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My wife is a proud sheila, and her family are proud Aussies – they all have made Australia an incredible home-in-law.
What more shall I say? You have Aussie rules football (footy), which is one of the greatest sporting spectacles ever imagined, rugby, cricket, netball, basketball, and soccer.
Australian rules football, or the AFL, is a blistering rampage of running, jumping, and tackling within the confines of a massive oval playing field. The players can kick or “bump” the ball to their teammates to advance it down the field.
Take a gander: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMZYZcoAcU0&t=173s
The perfect blend of American can-do-ism and Britishness, whatever those two terms mean
Having spent time in the U.K. and being a native of western U.S.A., and I am certain that I am the only such person with such a narrow and unique experience, I can confidently assess that Australia has a best of both worlds when it comes to blending American and British cultures.
Americans, especially those in Idaho, pride themselves in the rugged individualism. The Brits are known for their reserved nature, but Americans fawn over British because they, and at times, I, hold that their culture has a certain level of sophistication.
Australia was populated by British folk (few were of the legendary “convict” status) who had to explore and survive in a new and harsh, very harsh, landscape. Thus, I posit, the refined British man had to evolve into a can-do American while battling the elements.
Because of this, Australian culture, for me as an American, feels familiar but exotic at the same time.
Australians make up words.
Many people know that Australia was partly founded as a convict nation. While you won’t find Australia today to be a land of bandits and no-good-doers, they still retain a bit of anarchy and sleight-of-hand in their blood. They do this by causing grief and despair to the English dictionary and to fellow English speakers.
What’s more, Australians are collectively in on the joke on other English speakers. They can cobble together nonsensical words and phrases that befuddle non-Australians but which other Australians understand immediately despite, I argue, the word or phrase being completely made up on the spot!
I’ve coined a term to describe this phenomenon: Aussopathy: “the innate ability of all Australian people to create Aussie slang and a definition for that slang on the spot and which is immediately understood and known by and only all other Australian people.”
My wife will pull Aussopathy on me quite frequently. She will slide in some “Australian slang” into a conversation and claim that it is an established word in the English language. Through Aussopathy, or witchcraft, her family or other fellow Australians will confirm the existence and meaning of the word she used several months prior.
Bretagne – this is a region of France that my wife and I can recommend.
Ashleigh lived in Saint-Brieuc, France for nearly two years while playing professional basketball for Tregueux Basket Club. When we think of “quaint France” and not the “Parisian France”, this is exactly what we think about. Brittany houses, gallettes, cidre, and numerous little harbour villages looking out towards the chilly North Sea all make Bretagne our preferred destination in France.