Okay so you’ve read the fallacies about my great country that I confirmed in Part One, I hope this means no more kangaroo riding questions fired at bemused backpackers at at least one local Walkabout in the world. I’d like to note the mixed reviews and mild racism and thank everyone for clearing my misconceptions about cucumber sandwiches and Cockney heel clicking. Phew. Back to clearing shit up, here are some of the true things about the Great Southern Land, and most of them bite! Any further questions, tweet a sheila (cringe) @BrodiSnook.
- We are racists. Now one of the world’s most multi-cultural countries, you’d think we would have warmed to the ‘tea towel heads’. You’d be surprised (or not) to see how many cars on the road are sporting We Grew Here, You Flew Here bumper stickers. That, or the ever eloquent Fuck Off We’re Full. Both are hideously offensive and incorrect, firstly at 7,617,930 square kilometres, there is plenty of room to move about, thus we are not full. Secondly, most of the asylum seekers come over by boat, not by plane. DUH. I’m not sure if it’s because of our isolation that we’re so unwelcoming or maybe we are just a bunch of small minded bastards. As a country bumpkin I used to go to the city for school holidays and hold my breath while passing people in shopping centres who didn’t look like me, scared that if I breathed in their air I would get cooties and die. That may sound like a twisted joke but I did have a genuine fear of ‘brown people air’ for a ridiculous portion of my primary years. Horrible ain’t it? You may have had some coverage over here of the Cronulla riots, the race riots that kicked off in Sydney in 2005 where a bunch of surfers went on a rampage to beat the hell out of anyone of ‘Middle Eastern appearance’ following a previous assault. It was essentially a bunch of yobbos with flags tied around their necks like capes gathering in the streets and chanting racist shit about ‘this is what our grandfathers fought for’. Here’s two clips that makes me want to punch lots of things.
- Wolf Creek happens. For anyone who hasn’t seen the gruesome low budget film where a bunch of backpackers literally get their asses handed to them by a psychotic outback warrior, it’s based on a true events and unfortunately isn’t all that uncommon. Wolf Creek is mainly based upon the case of British tourist Peter Falconio who went missing in the outback in 2005 and who’s body has never been discovered. The Backpacker Murders is the name given to a series of killings in the early 1990s whereby seven British and German backpackers were shot, stabbed and decapitated and buried in a forest north of Sydney by general loon Ivan Milat. Details of this case were also included in the plot of the film. Setting off into the heart of the Australian desert in a broken down ute armed with nothing but a sense of adventure might seem like what you’re meant to do but after watching this film you’ll confine yourself to the beach and the bars. What’s weird is that the dude who plays the serial killer also used to show me how to make finger puppets on Playschool when I was a kid.
- 99% of our wildlife can kill you. Lots of people I speak to are turned off travelling Oz by all the creepy crawlies and potentially deadly animals that are freely roaming about. I’d like to say it’s exaggerated but it’s bloody true, we drew the short straw when it came to cute and cuddlies – I filmed the first squirrel I ever saw in London for about twenty minutes and proceeded to email it to everyone at home. Nine out of ten of the most poisonous snakes live in Australia and not just in the desert, several times I have found a tiger snake or dugite curled up on the welcome mat as I’m stepping out the door; I never envied Dad’s job of smashing snakes over the head with a cricket bat, erggh. Spiders are another one to mention, redbacks and white tips are a fucker but the silver lining is knowing if one has bitten you cause of their red or white markings. Generally if it has eight legs and is big enough to pass for a crab, squash the hell out of it. Sharks are self explanatory, as are crocs, jellyfish and sting rays. I’d say avoid swimming in deep water altogether if you value your life and limbs but at ankle depth dwells the Stonefish, the most venomous fish in the world that of course looks exactly like a fucking rock. There’s too many killers to mention really, this video does a pretty decent job.