Saturday, February 26, 2005


my wife grew up in Los Angeles. I can't remember the name of the area but the house she lived in was opposite that of Ronald Reagan when he was Governor of California so it can't have been too shabby. We visited that area about 3 years ago and she showed off the places where she'd lived. That was only fair; when she'd been in Melbourne with me a couple of years earlier I inflicted a visit on most of the places I'd lived in .

The area in which she'd lived has thousands of Eucalyptus trees. For that matter, here where I live right now there are thousands of em.

When she visited Australia for the first time she expressed surprise at just how many Eucalypts we had. Puzzled, I asked, why? It turns out she'd always thought the Eucalyptus was native to North America.

All of which goes to show that we often take things for granted as a result of early exposure. I knew perfectly well the Eucalyptus was an Australian native; we're brought up on that kinda stuff; and where she grew up as a small child there was Eucalyptus; therefore it had to be native.

One afternoon on that first visit to Australia I took her to Anglesea; a small seaside town maybe a hundred kilometres from Melbourne. Every evening from about an hour or so before sunset the Kangaroos come down from the hills and graze on the golf course there. There'll be hundreds of the buggers! The golfers just play around em. They're harmless if you don't scare them. I, of course, didn't let on what she was about to see; we just drove there, parked and walked out onto the green. She was enchanted. So enchanted in fact that she walked right up to a large male and started petting him. 'Uh', said I, 'that's not a good idea'. 'Why not?' she asked. 'Well,' said I, 'these are wild kangaroos - they're not domesticated.' She didn't get the idea. So I asked her if she'd walk up to a bear in the states. Nope she said emphatically. 'Well, you don't walk up to a wild Kangaroo either.' To this day I'm sure she's not convinced. They're so cute and they look so harmless but they can disembowel you if need be!

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