Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Underthinking Australian Coins

As an unemployed person living in Australia, but working from a NZ bank account for the time being. I find myself living in a world that I thought died out years ago alongside Chatter rings.

Yeah, I didn't get the point of them either, Fan of early Mike Myers films.
And no I am not talking about a world without Internet, how do you think I am writing this if that were the case?

And no I am not writing it as text messages on phone with no SIM and flying them out on a Pigeon. Because I know that's what you were thinking.
No I am talking about a world of cash, living back home I would be lucky if I had more than $20 in my pocket, everything was done electronically since there were no fees, and I wasn't a drug dealer so I wasn't being paid in cash.

I may have been a drug baron, but I wasn't a drug dealer.
Since over here, it costs me like $4 a withdrawal, I am living in a world of cash and it is strange and foreign to me, for starters I had to relearn how to use an ATM.

According to the internet I need to be female between 20-35, and not look at the machine at any point.
Once I had successfully retrieved my money from the machine I went to put it in my wallet. However having lived in a cash-free society my wallet doesn't really have receptacles for notes anymore.

Yeah you can get your 50 in there smart guy, show me how you get it out.
When I spent my first note on something, the situation became even more dire. It is exasperated by the fact in Australia they seem to be going for some sort of world record for the world's largest coin.

I can barely move it across our coffee table, how am I meant to transport it?
The best part is it isn't even there most valuable coin, it's the third most valuable coin. So I got worried, if this was only their third most valuable coin, how much bigger do they get, what sort of belt am I going to have to get to keep my pants up carrying all these coins?

Even one with metal reinforcing would be no match for these behemoths. 
But it turns out I didn't need to worry the Australian's have built their coins in some sort of pyramid formation with apex, at the 50 cent piece, then they descend in size.

I think they realised they got too big with the 50 and had to make some sort of logical pattern.
Their $2 coin is the same size as their 5 cent piece?! To be fair it is fatter but still. And why do they still have a 5 cent piece? Seriously as an unemployed person I want to know because if there are things in Australia I can buy for 5 cents I want to know what they are.

To be fair there was a time I could probably put a deposit on a house in NZ for Australian 5 cents. But not anymore go NZD!
 There is an upside to this tiny $2 coin though, a couple of weeks ago I went out with $100 in my pocket and after buying a few beers and dinner I only had like $30 in notes in my pocket. I thought to myself I knew this country was expensive but $70? I then put my hand in my other pocket and pulled out a handful of coins expecting them to add to maybe $4.50 (obviously with no 50 cent pieces, I can't even get one of them in my hand). Turns out I had about $20 in $2 dollar coins just in my pocket, so I can imagine cleaning out one's couch or backseat of a car could mean you can pay off the power bill.

Or go swimming. (Allegedly)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Underthinking Melbourne Zoo

Being an unemployed person affords one a lot of spare time, and I think I finished the internet ( I won't spoil it for you, but let's just say Rick Astley plays a very important part), so I needed to find some new activities.

Unfortunately we don't have bunks YET, so there is not much room for activities
One of the reasons Melbourne seemed like a good destination to move to, was the fact it had a Zoo. I figured going midweek would mean we would have the Zoo to ourselves save for some old people, mothers & homeless people seeking shelter in the butterfly enclosure. 

I am going to need more butterflies if I am going to hide overnight.
But turns out I picked the day every school in Victoria decided to do a field trip to the Zoo.There were so many school kids there that when we had lunch, we thought we had accidentally taken a wrong turn and were eating at a school canteen.

Each of the cliques wore a different school uniform.
While I am talking about the lunch you would have thought that people at the Zoo would be able to recognise animals.

Because whatever animal they killed to make these nuggets, it sure as hell wasn't a chicken.
Some of the parental behavior at the Zoo, also left a lot to be desired, more then one parent stood idly by while their small child screamed at small animals (and I mean directly at them). I wasn't expecting them to yell or tell the child off, but maybe just explain to them its quite scary when something larger then you makes a lot of noise for no reason.

"What the hell man!"
My personal favourite parent though, was the lady who decided to dangle her small baby into a deadly animal's cage, and didn't seem to blink an eyelid as the animal within paws reach eyed up the child with great interest. Admittedly this deadly creature was a wombat but still have you seen the claws on those things. 

Artists Rendition of aforementioned event.
While I spent over 6 hours at the Zoo, I was able to walk everywhere, whereas the animals are confined to a much smaller area, so I did wonder what they spend the day doing? The Gorillas seemed to be plotting something evil?
"First I will steal that ladies bag, then I will try and take over the World, Muhahaha"

The other Primates on display were given tools to play with, to keep there minds active....

It's amazing what they can do with simple tools
Other animals seemed upset they weren't given the same tools, despite lacking opposable thumbs..

"Where's MY boom lift?"

I also watched with interest as the Zookeepers cleaned the Elephant cage with great care removing the dung and the uneaten cabbages from the last feeding. They took forever to do this while the Elephants waited impatiently at the gate.

"Come on, Come on, no time to wait for the door to fully open."
My girlfriend said she would be annoyed if a restaurant took that long to let her in, just to do the final dusting, I pointed out she should be grateful the restaurant let her back in if she had shat all over the place last time she was there. But after all that cleaning, I then observed as the Elephants came in and stood on the new cabbages before eating them, I wondered if the Elephants were that bothered, or if perhaps dirt is to Elephants, what salt is to Humans.

And poop water is Elephant salad dressing.

##Disclaimer: While some of the captions and photos imply the Zoo is not taking care of the animals properly, they are intended for humour purposes only. The Zoo is doing a great job and I highly recommend a visit.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Underthinking it : The Great Australian Unemployment Tour

So you might have noticed that since my last entry the Earth has made a full rotation around the sun, and then some, and the question on many (estimations range wildly from 1-100000) people's lips is "Why?"

Due to the large size of Mick Jagger's lips, there are lots of things on them, so it is a safe assumption "Why hasn't there been an Underthinkingit blog in over a year?" is one of them.
 Well truth be told it was a culmination of many things, actually two things, it was a culmination of two things.
1/. I got a real job
2/. I had no access to internet at home

So because I love all of you so much I remedied the situation by becoming unemployed, and then moving to Australia. 

Thanks to great mobile competition, everyone is connected in Australia.
The other benefit of moving to Australia is, there is room for new material. So it is with great pleasure we announce the return of Underthinking it. 

If you missed the official announcement I apologise, the tickets sold out on the VISA presales.
So where to begin, well I have been here for a two weeks now, and I have made a few observations about how my life will be very different. Today I want to look at Beer Sales.

They call Australia the lucky country because of all their mineral wealth, and their ability to win Winter Olympics medals on the back of not falling down. But the thing is they need the wealth to afford to pay for booze, in fact the speed skater probably didn't fall down because he couldn't afford enough beer. I have picked up two errors in their sales of beer.

1/. The imported beer costs the same as the local beer.

I went to the local IGA....

The Supermarket, not this place they just wanted to send me to college in America.

...to purchase some beer, I surveyed my options. Just to give some context to this story I am in Melbourne, which is in Victoria, given this I figured that VB would be a cheap option, it was 14.99 for a 6 pack, so I continued to survey. I found Peroni (an Italian beer) was 13.50 a 6 pack, I am not sure what they don't understand about pricing, but surely transport would be a factor, and last time I checked Italy is further from Melbourne then Melbourne is. But just to be sure I ran some tests.

Just as I suspected.

So either Italy are in possession of some sort of teleporter, that the rest of us aren't, or VB is using some seriously expensive transport.

"Maybe we should send more then one can at a time, and stop buying the delivery guy lunch, and stop flying from Melbourne to Melbourne"

2/. The reluctance to sell me a 12 pack

The more astute readers will have noticed I was comparing 6 packs and would have said of course its expensive, you need should buy in bulk. The problem is in Australia the next multiple of beer after 6 is buttloads. 

It's an official unit, don't ask how it's measured.
They have skipped the 12 and went straight to the 24, which would be okay, except I live in a smallish apartment with 4 other people and we don't have storage space for 24 beers. Well I mean we could but then we would have to not eat.

"Eatings Cheating am I right?"
And if I am heading off to a party I don't want to take 24 beers, nor do I wish to take 6. If I take 24 I have to lug a huge carton around on the public transport, then when the party moves to town, realise I am leaving 11-15 beers behind and well that is just too high a flat tax. 

When I get close to 12 beers I start to feel like this guy looks.
If I take 6 beers, then I am going to have to take tiny sips to make those 6 beers last out the evening, because everyone else has brought 6 packs and no one has enough to share.

"Did you actually take a drink? or did you spit some of the last sip back into the bottle?"
I didn't realise until I left the shores of NZ but the 12 pack is literally the optimum purchasing amount of beer for a wide variety of situations, so for you lucky folk back in NZ cherish it.


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