First and foremost, a big thank you to Arlee Bird from Wrote by Rote who started the A to Z challenges in 2010. Thanks Arlee for giving us more opportunities to make new blogging friends. You’re a star!
A is for ALICE SPRINGS
Alice Springs has its own particular status in Australia. It’s famous for being the town roughly in the centre of Australia and many miles from the coast. Known as the Red Centre, Alice comes with beautiful ranges and desert scenery which lends a very different outlook. As soon as you disembark from the aircraft the change in plants and trees is immediately noticeable.
The bulk of Australia’s population crowds together along the coastal fringe, and the east coast at that. To live somewhere like Alice where the ocean is a minimum 1500kms away is definitely counter-cultural. However the Centre’s residents are generally die-hard devotees of the place looking on others as rather wimpish (Darwinites are reserved for special disregard).
Those who have read A Town Like Alice might imagine the town as some sort of oasis and I think would be sadly disappointed by the reality. Today it has a vexed reputation for racial tension and high crime rates. This is counterbalanced by the amazing Indigenous Arts and Crafts which are readily available and also the varied historic sites. As with most desert places Alice’s temperatures soar up to the 40s (Celsius) and down to around zero mid-year: heating and air conditioning are not really optional extras.
There is a local tradition that if you see the Todd (River) flood three times you’ll be in Alice Springs for good. At this point I’m pleased to tell you that I have only seen it flowing twice. Still it’s interesting to see the town and surrounds in rain as it gives such a different perspective.
Why Visit: For the Indigenous arts and crafts, the historical sites like the Overland Telegraph, the Alice Springs Wildlife Park, the wonderful National Parks nearby, and if you’re keen the Camel Cup and the Henley on Todd Regatta .
A is for Aussie-isms and today we’ll kick start some of Australia’s quirky colloquialisms. Some have been outdated by the influences of television but Australian adults of a certain era will certainly remember some or all of them. I’ll asterisk the ones which are not heard as often these days. In many cases, the significance or meaning is determined by the tone of voice or the context of the sentence.
Arvo*: short for afternoon. eg I’ll come over tomorrow arvo. May be added to, eg arvo tea, for afternoon tea.
Arse: This is the Aussie version, not the American “ass” which we think is a donkey. While vulgar this word is used in all sorts of ways other than to describe someone’s rear end: “He’s being a bit of an arse” might mean he’s being a pain or alternatively an “idiot” (in which case donkey would be a substitute rather than ass). “Head over turkey” or “arse over tit”. Arsey on the other hand, means lucky.
Arrogant: while this is a perfectly normal word, you really don’t want to be called this as it’s generally used as a definite insult eg he’s an arrogant bastard. Australians don’t like tall poppies!
Aggro: aggressive (stirring for a fight).
‘Ave: in lieu of “have” eg “’ave a go ya mug” (note, this is not “Ave!” in the church sense).
Apples: used in “she’s apples” ie it’s alright or it’s “all good“.
Ankle biter: child often used disparagingly eg “will someone get those ankle biters outside”.
Join me tomorrow for a day trip out of Darwin and some more dinkum Aussie colloquialisms for which the letter “B” is very popular!