Culture Shock, Cricket, and Christmas

CULTURE SHOCK

Travelling to a different country always yeilds some interest and bemusment and the different ways similar people do things. For example, here in Australia, one discovers very quickly that the newspapers are far more blunt and pointed in their editorial slant than North American papers. Secondly, nudity on TV is fairly commonplace… even during Prime Time. I guess people here have fewer inhibitions than back home. (Swanseagirl take note: you’d like it here… a lot)

CRICKET One thing about Australia is their national passtimes. Us Albertans know all about Aussie Rules football — that’s a fairly common knowledge. The only rule of course is that there aren’t any rules (my wife would disagree, but she’s not writing this blog, is she?) So I picked up the paper, and there was an article about their other sport — Cricket.

“Player X caught out four bowls in six overs after moving into the Silly-Mid-On position. The remaining wickets went to the bowler who was in top form, bowling out six runners in a row for no runs.”

If that makes any sense to you, then you’re not North American. In acutal fact, Cricket is a fairly simple sport, which one can see a distant — extremely distant — relationship to baseball — inasmuch as it involves whacking a little ball with a big stick and running from Point A to Point B and back to Point A while a bunch of other people attempt to stop you from getting back.

Personally, I find Cricket quite boring. The bowler becomes a flurry of arms and legs out of which emerges the ball, the ball goes careening down the pitch towards the batsman, who pickes up his bat and makes a mighty show of waving it around… and then goes “plip”. The ball dribbles down the pitch back towards the bowler, who retrieves the ball, and repeats the process.

This lasts five days.

CHRISTMAS

One major point of humour amongst my wife’s family and friends here in Australia is my constant forgetting that it is actually Christmas. From my point of view, Christmas belongs in the middle of winter, with extremely short days — the sun should set at about 5pm, and rise at about 8am for me.

Here, it’s a gorgeous 21 degrees celcius, the sun is shining away, the birds are singing, and the days are nice and long… and in a few days, we’ll be opening presents under the Christmas tree and singing carols. So much for what I’m used to.

I suggested we go shopping the other day, and my wife said, “oh God I hate shopping at this time of year.” I looked at her, puzzled, and she said “the shops will be packed with people!” I still looked at her, puzzled, and she said “Christmas rush!”

“Ohhhh yes,” I said, “I forgot it’s Christmas,” my wife’s mom nearly collapsed laughing at me.

I love it here… maybe I’ll move. This is the way December should be! You don’t have to shovel sunshine off your walk.

About Steven Britton

Steve is a freelance programmer, partial billionaire, dad, Recovering Atheist, Conservative, and occasionally prolific blogger.