We’re a few days in now, and as I’ve begun to adjust one of the most amusing differences that’s come sharply in to focus has been Australian TV. First of all, apparently “The Simpsons” can be found on at any hour of the day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good show, but I get sick of it after half an hour. The husband, on the other hand, LOVES the Simpsons and could watch it forever. I’d say that any given hour maybe 75% of the stuff that’s on TV here is American. And most of it’s not that sweet: “According to Jim,” “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody,” “Mythbusters.” Yeah I know a lot of people like those shows, but none of them are really in my wheelhouse. I’ve seen ads for “Gossip Girl,” and “How I Met Your Mother,” but have no idea when they’re on because they only flash that info on the screen for like two seconds, no joke (on the bright side, they show a lot fewer commercials here). I guess I’ll just have to wait until we get Foxtel in our own apartment when I can thankfully have DVR and a channel guide again.
The other thing about TV here is that it totally makes me question Aussie tastes. On Friday morning we were watching what I think is their version of the Today Show, and every few minutes they were cutting live to a line of people waiting to buy tickets for a Simon and Garfunkle reunion show. Really, that warrants live national coverage? I had no idea they were so popular here.
On Friday night we watched a countdown show reminiscent of VH1 called “20 to 1: Aussie Parties and Pastimes.” I can’t decide if it’s rad or ridiculous that they have that many institutionalized national moments for getting drunk, but I was amused that they went so far as to make a countdown show about it (and of course as a new immigrant I also found it immensely instructive). Included were the Bachelors & Spinsters Ball, where young people apparently get super dressed up and like retardedly drunk in a farm field in hopes of meeting their future spouse; The Desperate & Dateless Ball (again, this is a national pastime apparently!); and the Easter Farm Show which is something like a county fair, but is special because people try to get lots of fancy plastic bags (called “show bags”) filled with schwag. Seriously, it’s a national pastime because you get special plastic bags. WTF? Anyway, I fell asleep so I never saw what the #1 was.
The husband (who got up earlier than me) also watched a special report on the national morning news showabout the panic surrounding stores importing American children’s books to save money, because that’s somehow cheaper than printing Australian books here. Apparently there is a major freakout because the books will say “Mom” instead of “Mum,” and “Americans just don’t get our sense of humor.” Both may be true, but that this has risen to a level of national outrage – apparently centered around the use of the word “Mum” – is pretty funny.
I suppose I should be pleased that there are three sports channels here, but unfortunately they all show variations on rugby (because they have three different leagues here with varying rules). I can’t really tell the difference between them, other than the outfits. Aussie Rules Football – which is is NOT like our football at all – has sleeveless uniform shirts, while the other two rugby leagues seem to have sleeves. All three wear short shorts, though. Yesterday we met up with my old high school friend Katie over in Paddington at a pub near the AFL stadium. A game had just let out, so all these people were streaming in. What was really funny is that lots of guys were wearing tight, sleveless jerseys that look like this
on top of polo shirts and long-sleeved oxford shirts. It wasn’t that different from if someone wore a Celtics jersey out and about over their work clothes. Kind of odd. Anyway, hopefully at some point I’ll pick up the rules and it won’t all look the same (and BORING) to me.
Tomorrow the husband starts work at his new office, so I’ll be on my own. I think that’s where the time difference will REALLY start to hurt, since I can generally only IM with my friends early in the morning and late at night. Whatever shall I do with myself?