|Andrew captures a small Huntsman spider.|
It doesn't help that the average Australian also has a rather laid-back approach to the creatures and creepy-crawlies that make the rest of the world nervous, at best. (And that I truly believe they ham it up a bit for the tourists!)
''Aww. Those are the yellow-backs. Give ya a nasty sting, they will. But nothing that'll put you in the hospital.''
Australians are really big on things that'll put you in the hospital.
''Ya gotta watch out a bit for those red-backs. Not gonna kill you though. Unless....'' and here they pause to closely evaluate the size of the twins. ''Nah. They should be awright!''
Also really big on things that kill you.
And on ''should be awright.'' (We could make it the national motto!)
The presentations at the Alma Zoo were also informative.
''Naw. These little fellows wouldn't be able to kill you.'' About a small crocodile. ''Could take a nasty chunk outta you though.''
|Just a lizard. These really WON'T kill you, but we think they are cool anyway!|
Slight pause. ''I still wouldn't touch one though.''
I feel like I'm giving away a magician's secret here, but Aussies are actually quite safety conscious.
Think about it. Kids are taught to identify poisonous and dangerous animals and what to do if they spot one. (Stay away from it. Call an adult.) Kids are taught swimming and water safety at school. Signs on the train warn about crossing the rails. And there is a yellow safety zone next to the tracks, something I have not seen anywhere in the USA or Europe. (Stay off the yellow. Simple enough even for a three-year-old.) There is a national sun-safety campaign – SLIP, SLAP, SLOP – that encourages everyone to slip on sun-protective clothes, slap on some UV safe sunglasses and slop on the sunscreen.
The first time we went to the beach there was a warning on the blackboard about blue bottles. People read the sign, evaluated the risks and discussed their options. Some stayed and swam. Others left. We stayed, figuring that they wouldn't let you in the water at all if blue bottles were the ones that killed you. (It'll hurt a bit, but you'll be awright!) And we stayed well behind some other swimmers.
|I'll admit, our first view of the ocean was a bit scary. Stay between the flags? And what about THE REST of the ocean?|
Right now the news is informing us about mosquito control – in order to avoid Dengue and Ross River Fever. As well as about wearing wellies – gumboots- during the cleanup effort to prevent cuts and infection in dirty waters.
We got car seats over here now too. And something known as bike helmets.
It's more fun to remember Crocodile Dundee, though. lost and confused in New York City.
''What's all the fuss about, mate?'' he'd say.
Of course, Crocodile Dundee kicks ass. Without a fuss. And still smiling.
That mates is the Aussie way.
|T. Rex at the museum in Brisbane.|