• Morgan Fagg

Good Day Mate

In honour of the annual Australia Day celebrations around the world that take place in January, The Madrid Metropolitan is looking to celebrate the event with our Australian amigos by looking at both Australia Day and also the typical stereotypical questions Australians get asked, here in Madrid.

Australia with deadly spiders, snakes, crocodiles and even sharks with freaking laser beems attached to their head, okay that last one isn't real but with so many large snakes and spiders, even J.K. Rowling couldn't imagine such a place.

The British government had clearly discovered the perfect prison colony and sent Irish convicts to surfers paradise where the only available food source for prisoners, was lobster. It would take the luck-of-the -Irish to survive in the new hostile land.

Many of the convicts were sent down under without as much as an umbrella but some invented their own way to survive the elements and transformed into Irish Iron Man, like the famous outlaw Ned Kelly.

The prison break became more of a Spring Break and early settlers probably had to survive on a strict diet of surfing and sun bathing, which of course was probably hell for Irish convicts.

Australia Day refers to the First Landing Day or Foundation Day when Captain Arthur Philip arrived in Sydney Cove. Commanding the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain and governor of New South Wales, Captain Philip landed on 26 January 1788 and the Union Jack was raised. This was nearly 20 years after Captain James Cook claimed the continent on 22 August 1770.

Loving their new land, some immigrants began to celebrate the anniversary and Governor Lachlan Macquarie made the thirtieth anniversary a public holiday.

Despite the event being first celebrated in 1818, Australia Day as we know it is much more recent.

It was 1935 before all states and territories used the name Australia Day and 1994 before Australia Day was celebrated consistently as a public holiday on 26 January.

Unlike most people arriving in Madrid, Australians are often asked some strange questions.

Before you ask what language they speak in Australia, think, what language are you are asking the question in? If you didn’t ask in Spanish then you have probably guessed that they speak English.

10 Questions Australians are asked when they arrive in Madrid

  1. What language do you speak in Australia?

  2. Does everyone in Australia drink Fosters?

  3. Can you say "throw another shrimp on the barbie”??

  4. Have you been on Home and Away?

  5. Have you been on Neighbours?

  6. What currency do you use in Australia?

  7. Do you know Crocodile Dundee?

  8. Are you from England?

  9. Do you hate New Zealanders?

  10. 10.Does everyone surf in Australia?

One Australian girl we talked to, had difficulty explaining that not all Australians surf and that she leant to snowboard down under. This confuses Spanish friends who didn't know that Australia had snow, let alone ski resorts. Her best friend is from New Zealand so she defends Australian hatred for their nearest neighbours but confesses that her opinion changes if there is rugby on.

Test your knowledge about the land down under.

Pop quiz

  1. When is Australia Day?

  2. What language do they speak in Australia?

  3. What is the capital of Australia?

  4. Are you sure the answer you gave is correct?

  5. Really, it´s not Sydney. Guess again

  6. Who played Crocodile Dundee?

  7. Who did he marry?

  8. What was the name of the Kangaroo from the TV series Skippy?

  9. Name three well known Australian animals beginning with the letter K?

  10. Name one famous Australian, not associated with crocodiles?

Clue: The Joker, Wolverine, Mad Max, Thor and the Gladiator.

Australian Answers

  1. 26th of January

  2. English

  3. Canberra

  4. Canberra

  5. Still Canberra

  6. Paul Hogan

  7. Linda Kozlowski his co-star in Crocodile Dundee

  8. Skippy

  9. The Koala, Kangaroo & we can’t think of a third animal either as the Kiwi is from New Zealand.

  10. Ned Kelly played by legendary Australian actor Heath Ledger, Hugh Jackman and his Misérable co-star Russell Crowe who was actually born in New Zealand, Chris Hemsworth from the TV series Home and Away and of course Mad Mel Gibson.

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