July 16, 2011


In the last two months, I've been to Los Angeles for vacation for 5 days, Kenya for work for 10 days, and NY over a weekend. I haven’t had time or the energy to update my blog, but here’s a little information on my trip to Australia.

6 hours from DC to LA.
14 hours from LA to Sydney and 1.5 hours from Sydney to Brisbane.

Brutal - makes me appreciate what my sister goes through to come visit us from Sydney twice a year.

Having finally collected our luggage in Brisbane, we arrive, exhausted, at the hotel at 10 am, only to be told that hotel check-in is at 2 pm. Sigh... The bunch of us (9 that arrived that day + 2 that had arrived a day before) pile our identical black suitcases and beige backpacks in a room and go to lunch at JoJo's, an Italian- inspired restaurant (but with curries and Thai food to boot). The inside is gaudy with modern, blue, neon, wire lighting and colored, life-sized status of Louis Armstrong and what looks to be Josephine Baker.

Then we split up and go on our merry way, some of us going to the water and other just strolling around the city. Brisbane is a bustling city with tall skyscrapers. Not terribly charming in terms of city landscape but the people seem diverse (in terms of nationalities, there's a good mix of Asians and Australians). It's really weird because I recognize at least 50 percent of the stores there - there seem to be a lot of chains, and most of them American: Target. (note the dot at the end, indicating that it's a little different from our Target), Starbucks, Body Shop (that one is British), 7/11, Ann Taylor Loft, Guess, etc... It's a little sad actually how chains seemed to be obliterating local businesses.

The next day, I go to the countryside for two days of preparation and briefing.  It looks remarkably like LA with its one-level cottage houses, palm trees, eccentric beach bums. But it's very hilly. There’s beautiful morning light.

That day, I learn Australian Military Slang:

Choco: part-time soldiers, reservists
Rockshow: a poorly managed group
Gumy and Goffers: junk food and soda
Have a durie: have a cigarette
Furphy: a tall story, a lie
Pouge (or POG): someone not involved in combat
Rat Pack: a ration pack, for 24 hours
Numpty: an individual who just doesn't get it


Anonymous said...

Yay, an update!
I'm glad you made it safe :)
Cool slang :)
So why do they call reservists choco? Sounds like chocolate to me.
Also, does POG stand for something?
Have fun!

FoggyDew said...

Funny, pogues are pogues the world around. That's what we used to call the same type of folks in the Marines.

Have fun down there, where it's winter. You're not missing much in D.C. where it's over 100 this week.