Australia is well aware that in 1787 a fleet of eleven ships transporting 1473 convicts, men and women, and accompanied by two hundred marines, began a settlement at Botany Bay near Sydney. Altogether some six thousand prisoners were exiled to New South Wales. The beginnings may account for the Aussie’s distrust of authority and a driving desire to be his own man.
If the Australian worships anything, it is sports and the out-of-doors. They have plenty of the latter, and revel in it.
In the past a generalization about Australian eating habits was, They eat lots of meat, drink lots of beer and have little variety in their menu. This no longer holds because of the influx of Europeans Italians, Greeks, French, German, Yugoslavians as immigrants. The meat pie, minced meat with gravy in a pastry, comes as close as any food to being the national dish. Australia has fifteen principal wine-producing areas and some of the wines are outstanding.
Australians, like Italians, like to go on strike. The ostensible reasons usually deal with money, but observers report strikes are a way of getting a few additional days off.
Although the country advertises heavily to attract visitors, it does a few things to discourage them. A $20 departure fee at airports is one thing. Heavy landing fees for foreign planes is another. Cameras are not allowed to be passed manually around the X-ray machine unless the shutter is clicked, wasting a picture.
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