In the Land of Oz

For a while, we have been reassessing the items that we own, trimming down & decluttering. Sometimes the stuff that we hold onto is more of a weight than anything of real value & you don’t actually need to keep the physical item anymore. For example I came across my speech “In the Land of Oz” that I did at school in 1990/ 1991, just before my family moved to Australia from Canada. In reality, I don’t need to keep the physical speech anymore, a picture of the cue cards & transcription of it here, will more than suffice to look back at in future. It’s funny reading it & the stereotypes I had at the time. Enjoy….

In the land of Oz

In the Land of Oz Cue Cards
In the land of Oz, cue cards

Chairman, ladies & gentlemen, honorable judges, boys & girls, teachers

In the land of Oz, there’s no yellow brick road. There are bitumen roads, as paved roads are called in Oz, and a lot of dusty roads.

No Emerald City here, unless you’re in the tropical forests of Oz. From pineapples to apples, the fruit in Oz is delicious. Sugar cane & grapes deserve an honorable mention too. Plant life is varied from deserts to mountains. Animal life is unusual to say the least. Oz is most well known for it’s koalas, animals that carry their young in a pouch such as; kangaroo’s wombats & marsupial mice are found only in Oz. By now, you know Oz is Australia.

Some of the water dwellers of Oz can be dangerous & even deadly. For example the sea wasp as the box jellyfish is called. Salt & fresh water “crocs” or crocodiles are a protected species and they’ll eat just about anything, so, if you see the warning signs posted, heed them. Tourist’s and locals alike have been had by these “beasties”.

If you are one of those that hates snakes and spiders, Oz is not the place for you, because they have lots. For example the taipan snake, sea snake & tiger snake can all be deadly. Unless you have the bad fortune the stand on one it is unlikely that you’ll be bitten. There are also a couple of nasty spiders including the funnel web, the redback & the whitetail. So, don’t play with any of the spiders you see, pretty or not!

Well, enough of that, now for the people. The first settlers were natives who came from neighbouring islands. The British were the next the use Oz as a penal colony. They transported 160,000 British & Irish convicts to Oz in the 17 & 1800’s. Not to mention the officers & sailors who made sure that the “crims” or criminals served out their seven years for their petty crimes. Convicts were kept busy constructing government roads and buildings, many of which still stand.

As the colonies increased, so did multiculturalism, as you can see when you visit Australia. As you are thinking of this, you might ask “Will I meet a Mick or Crocodile Dundee? Yes, you might meet one or two, but he is strictly a country model. The real Paul Hogan was a Sydney Harbour Bridge painter, a job that I’ve heard that once you finish at one end, you start again at the other.

While girls here are playing with their barbie’s, grown men are playing with their barbie’s or BBQ’s in Oz. Here are some other words or phrases I found interesting & would like to share;
Donk – car engine
Duco – car paint
Don’t come the raw prawn – Don’t try & fool me
Floater – meat pie floating in (green) pea soup
Good on yer – this is a clipped way of saying Good on you OR Well done
Manchester – household linen
Lollies – sweets & candies
Lolly water – soft drink/ pop
Icy pole – popsicle (frozen lolly water or ice-cream on a stick)

Thank you for listening. I hope that you have learned more about Oz

There you have it, Australia in the eye of a Canadian kid at the age of 11 or 12, in the early 90’s.

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