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February 26, 2018

I love ‘Straya!

Written by: Pauline Malijan

Pauline's account of her Australia trip was first published in The Beep, Beepo's internal physical newsletter. You can read it online here

When I was a child, I read in a book that giant tarantulas‒bigger than a man’s hand, are found in Australia. Being arachnophobic and can’t even look at pictures of spiders (especially the hairy ones), the word Australia always reminded me of these creepy crawlers. Thanks to the movie Finding Nemo, I started reading again about the land Down Under, this time about coral reefs and many other interesting facts.

Following this trip of mine, I have had questions in my mind even before I set my foot on the Aussie grounds, to which I was able to retrieve the answers after the journey.

Question: If you will go back to AU, what would you like to see or experience again?

Pauline Malijan: I love ‘Straya! I would definitely come back for the place, the people, the culture.

  • More Shopping. Too bad I didn’t stay long enough to find a souvenir shirt that says P Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.
  • More Tours. I also would like to see the different states:
  1. Australian Outback in Westraya (Western Australia): Australia has such a massive open space, though at the back of my head I’m wishing that I won’t see any form of arachnids.
  2. Melbourne, Victoria: They say Victoria could have three different weather in one day. You can wake up with a rainy morning, get lots of sun at noon and feel really cold at night.
  3. Sydney, New South Wales: I read that Sydney is a totally different city. Cost of living could be higher, but Sydneysiders’ still can enjoy the chicness and personality of the city without really spending much by taking a walk along the coastlines to Sydney’s most iconic beaches like Bondi, or going to art galleries and museums, picnics, or watch a New Year's Fireworks display.
  4. Gold Coast, Queensland: This place is a piece of heaven. Imagine the lavish shopping area of Greenbelt, Makati and the pristine white beach of Boracay combined.
  • More Wagyu beef.

Q: What is the best food that you have tasted on this trip?

PM: Black Angus Fillet, smoked bacon, fondant potato, Swiss brown mushrooms, charred broccolini and dijon mustard.
At Jetty’s South Bank http://thejettysouthbank.com.au/wp/

Gold Band Snapper

Steamed boneless fillets finished with a lemon butter cream sauce served with asparagus, cherry tomatoes and lotus potato

Q: An Aussie word that you have picked up and started using?

PM: I like to blend in, so I’ve been using these words:

  • Morning tea and afternoon tea―which we call here snacks or merienda
  • Mobile instead of saying cellphone
  • Straight away, in Filipino, “todo na!”
  • “Are you happy to….”, instead of saying, “Is it ok to…”

Q: What pasalubong or presents did you bring home to your family?

PM: Sippah - straws with little beads inside so your plain milk tastes better. I also got a box of Tim Tams; souvenir items like fridge magnets; little koalas with a shirt that says Australia; and a kangaroo with a “piggybacking” koala stuffed toy for my son. I bought some Moccona’s (brand) too, their coffee is really good!

Q: How would you define the Aussie people?

PM: The people that I have met in Australia work really hard during work hours. They are very focussed and very competent; they don’t waste time, but they are also fun to be with. They are fond of drinking a lot of beer and wine at the time they call beer o’clock. Aussies also have strong adherence to their values and take very good care of their families, which I really admire.

Q: What was the weirdest thing you’ve learned about Australia?

PM: There are 4 things that I didn’t know about Australia until I actually visited.

  • Summer Christmas - It’s not weird, but it’s still quite different to be warm during Christmas time and go to the beach.
  • Sun comes out too early, and stays on too late - On different states, the sunrise could be 4:30 in the morning, and sunset at 9:00 in the evening.
  • Tipping in restaurants - They don’t give tips, not required, because they are paid well enough.
  • Truck drivers with trailers drive as fast as regular cars. I really hold my breath sometimes and pray it doesn’t tip over on a curve.

Q: What misconception of yours about Australia had changed after the trip?

PM: That there is to more to see other than arachnids and the reefs.

Q: What struck you most about travelling Australia?

PM: Their culture is awesome. Need I say more?

Australia is indeed in my bucket list, and little did I know that this trip will happen after a year and a half of working for Beepo and its client. Def’ rocked my world!

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