‘Well, it depends of the wives!’
Oz! Wonderful Wonderful Oz!
Oz was for us one of the coolest places to visit. It wasn’t just cool because it was winter when it was our summer, which it was. It was cool because it is such a beautiful place, except if you live there, which we didn’t. Oh, there are beautiful places that you would want to live, but there are beautiful places, sometimes, that you wouldn’t, because of the other times. It’s like the ‘Outback’. I think that if you go there, you will kinda get the idea of what I am saying. The thing that you wouldn’t want to do in Oz, or for that matter, anyplace, is just move there and buy the first place you saw because you thought that it was beautiful. Get a full perspective of Oz. All the seasons.
We were in Oz, alllll over Oz for 6 months and then for another 2 months after we Fijied it out in Fiji.
The places that Natalia and I would live in Oz would be along the coastal range just inland of Surfers Paradise, anywhere from like Balina to Maryborough. In this area of OZ because we like the ocean and enjoy getting in it. You start going north of this area you can run into box jellies (Jelly fish). You run into one of these guys just once and that is probably the last time. Yeah, Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast. But! I’ll explain later. Another story.
Margaret River on the West Coast. Beautiful area. Beaches, Quite. Peaceful. Wineries.
I had learned Oz from my good high school buddy, Mike Henrietta who had moved to Kailua on Oahu. I was a quick learner, cause I got on to much of what he was saying fairly quickly.
Without a doubt, one of the greatest expressions of Roos is ‘No worries mate!’ I mean I heard this in Hawaii from Roos and even as an occasional expression from others that liked it. But in Oz, you will hear this all the time. I think it is reflective of most of their dispositions. Of course you have to warrant this expression. You walk into a place and have a sour puss face, ain’t no way you will hear this directed at you. But, on the other hand, you smile, be friendly and you will be the joyful recipient of this instant friendly gesture. No worries mate!
We heard this everywhere! Literally!
Go into a shop and order your food – No worries mate.
Can I have another schooner? No worries mate.
How about some more chips? No worries mate.
I mean it wore on you. In a good way. I have to admit that even to this day, I can not say, ‘No worries mate!’, out loud, without it making me feel good. Really. Try it. Say: No worries Mate, out loud. Tell me you don’t have a smile on your face. Unless, of course, if you’re an ol sour puss!
Anyways, as I was saying, One day we are in Perth. We are buying air tickets from Sydney to Suva. We are sitting in this fairly busy travel agency and all the agents are busy with their customers. So, we are buying our tickets and seat reservations, surfboard allowances and of course we hear: No worries mate!.
I smiled and said to our agent, you know, I love this expression. This is the coolest expression in the world. No other people in the world have such a happy cool expression like this purely Australian expression, ‘No Worries mate.’
Our agent smiled.
I then, for some reason, silly me , asked her, ‘Hey! I have a question. What is, you know, the opposite of, ‘No Worries Mate?’. You must occasionally have a situation were, you know, something doesn’t go, or goes wrong or you can’t do something. Is there an Oz expression for that kind of situation?’
Now, like I say, up to this point, all the agents and their customers are busy and all, talking, but suddenly it is like that EF Hutton commercial. Now for those of you who do not live in the USA and have not been subject to our wonderful commercials on TV you will not know what I am talking about. But, for times sake, the Travel Agency Ticket Office is suddenly dead quiet. Dead pan quiet.
The Manager of the office who was walking to get another cup of coffee is like frozen in mid step.
Our agent looks around the room, leans forward and says, ‘Yes. ‘Oh Shit!’
And just like that, the noise resumes the manager nodes and continues on his way.
Oh, oh oh, one other thing. One day we are surfing. This is soo funny. Now to understand this situation you got to know this. Natalia, this wonderful genius person who is a language wiz, she speaks everything. English, Spanish, Korean, Japanese (she got her Architecture degree in Japan), Arabic, and of course Russian, hell, we were in Indo and after a couple of weeks she is telling me what they are saying… Sheee!
So one day we are surfing. I think it was at one of the spots in the Margaret River area. Great waves. It is me, Nat and this one Oz guy. Early that morning till mid day. Surfing, surfing, surfing. Like perfect conditions. Just the three of us.
Nat asks this Oz guy: ‘How long are you staying?
The oz guy responds: ‘Well, it depends on the wives!’
Nat (this brilliant linguist) : ‘The wives! How many wives do you have?’
The poor roo guy is off his board. Almost dieing laughing. Nearly drowning. He manages a, ‘Not wives! Not wives! The wives!!!!’
Nat: ‘I don’t understand!’
I stop laughing long enough to tell her, ‘He means waves.’ It depends on the waves!’
I got the next ‘wive’ cause they were laughing to hard.