Australia - Submissions

Introduction

Well, it looks like we're going to learn a tiny bit today about all different kinds of countries. Starting with the "A" (from the A-team), it's Australie that will be leading the ranks. Funny enough, it's most likely the most far away from here. More interesting than funny is that it appeared that it was first discovered by Dutch explorers in the 17th century (of course the locals discovered it earlier). It was our own Willem Janszoon who was the first European to discover the Australian mainland in 1606. Many years later it was colonized by the British, who initially used it to dump their prisoners. I've just discovered that there will be a fireworks demonstration tonight right in front of my house (it's the 5th of October today). They started setting up shop just this morning, so I don't expect too much of it. A few hours later I have to say they put up quite a show, Fireworks timed with music (including the the A-team theme) , the smell of gunpowder, the noise, flashes of light; they all bring back good memories. They for damn sure kicked "Baghdad's 2001 air defence show"'s ass. It's still misty outside. Is Australia the country where the day begins?
Ahw, I completely forgot about all the fluffy animals living there; like the koala and kangaroo. Not so strange to forget about them, after all I'm a giraffe-man myself (not that I'm married to one); It just seems that giraffes are better equipped for survival than a koala. They've got the long legs and neck which allow them to be able to cross deep rivers without drowning, and they make a better pet if you're living on the second floor.

Without wanting to be too much of a show-off, but I was looking at my two (!) atlases (the book with maps and data about countries and areas; those two), one from 1967 and the other from 1997 (the good old shit. They don't make stuff like that any more) to look at the differences. As far as geography concerned; little to no change. Everything still seems to be there. Annual rainfall hasn't changed that much either; dry in the center, wet around the edges. I would say that the average is around 500 mm annually (as compared to *drumroll* around 800mm here in the Netherlands) for the whole country. Lot's of trees around Sidney, some industry, a lot of coal mining (back then and way back then). Only the population changed with what seems to be a factor of 5, yeah I think that's safe to say. Five cities with 1 to 5 million citizens.
Another fun fact is the notion of sheep. In 1967, there were about 170 million sheep. This whole fondness of sheep reminds of a story my dentist used to tell me about two of his New Zealandonian friends who were transporting a flock of sheep from NZ to Australia by plane (hence the flock). About an hour out, they suffered massive engine failure. Franticly, they tried to save the plane, and the sheep, but they were going down. While they were putting on the parachutes, one of the guys asked the other what to do about the sheep. "Fuck the sheep" was the reply. After thinking for a short amount of time he countered "Do you think we still have time for that?". (see note 1 below for a comprehensive explanation)

At this moment we've got one submission: Sydney:

Map of Australia

Map of Australia with the rough locations of the cities concerned.

Sidney

Even though it's the biggest city of Australia with over four million people, it's not the capital city (unlike popular believe). Our friend Marcel was there for another business trip. This website is a great way for his wife to verify what he is really doing. Thank god, we've got multiple roundabouts in this city. But let's start with a picture to set the mood. He was there in our summer, their winter, but the weather was pleasant enough to go for a ride on a bike. The 10th of June is a national holiday, on which they celebrate the Queens birthday (this goes back to their British roots).

Impression of Sidney, Australia

Impression of Sidney, Australia. Picture taken by Marcel on 10 June 2013.

The roundabouts can all be found on his bicycleroute, so let's start with one and see where it goes. Oh, and if you're looking for a nice hotel, try the Raddison Blue hotel (yes, please give me your endorsements).

Roundabout in Sidney, Australia

First roundabout in Sidney on this website, Australia. Picture taken by Marcel on 10 June 2013. Crossroads of Bay street and William street.

My god, it took a good fifteen minutes to find the location of the roundabout above. But I've got in on google streetview now. It shows an ever older version of it, where the center island has not been painted white yet and behind the picture is a school zone. It's a very simple roundabout on what I guess to be a quiet crossing. To be honest, this type just pisses me of. Going left and straight is fairly easy, so it has no use whatsoever on that part. It will be difficult to guess if someone coming from the right will slow down (because in two out of three cases he doesn't have to). If you have to turn right yourself, will you take the turn tight and ridiculously, or will you cut over the center island? Stupid thing. But nevertheless I like the picture. There is as grocery store on the crossing and most houses have an antenna on the roof (no cable yet?). And if you haven't noticed, they drive on the wrong side of the road. Marcel says it's not that hard to adjust to it.

Roundabout in Sidney, Australia

Second roundabout in Sidney, Australia. Picture taken by Marcel on 10 June 2013. Crossroads of Ocean avenue and Greenoaks avenue.

Finding the right crossings is a bit tricky, because it seems that they like the street names enough to use them over and over again. Thank god all roundabouts are close to each other. The second one is located in a nice area with trees and stuff. I'm done.

Roundabout in Sidney, Australia

Construction near a roundabout in Sidney, Australia. Picture taken by Marcel on 10 June 2013. Crossroads of Guilfoyle avenue and Ocean avenue.

Note 1. The joke is that it takes a massive amount of time to "work" your way through a complete herd of sheep (if you're going after both male, female, and have no issues with age). The average herd consists out of a lot of sheep. This makes it a massive undertaking. And then I'm not even thinking about all the struggling. The plane was going down, so I guess the sheep will be a bit panicky (maybe it's their first flight), so I don't think they at least will not be more cooperative than normal. But it's not all grim and dark; you've got help. This will effectively cut the herd (and the time) in half. No wait, it doesn't matter how much sheep there are in a herd. Your average sheep will way 100 kg. The loading capacity of a plane I can imagine them using (an Indiana Jones plane) has a carrying capacity of around 3000kg, so that makes 30 sheep. Hmm, that's not so hard. I guess it is possible, but I think it's a bit silly to charter a plane for that small amount of sheep.

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