30 March 2015

Huh? translation please...

We all speak the same language or do we? Over the past few years I have put together some uniquely American words with the Australian equivalent or if we don't have one, with the meaning of what they are talking about. I have also included just some differences between the countries that you might find interesting, you really can turn against a red light!

Some time I might do a list of Australian words that Americans find completely foreign. People often smile but have a blank look on their face, so you know, they either can't understand our accent or have no idea about what we are talking about, but are too polite to say anything. We have a terrible habit of shortening things - arvo just means afternoon.

Can you add to my list?

# is called a pound key
# is called a hash key
4 way stop signs, first person at intersection goes first, then second etc
Stop signs on only one road of cross road or T intersection
Air dryer
Clothes horse
Antique car
Vintage car
Back country
Bagged it (expression)
Canned it
The way food is cooked
Bell Pepper
Push Bike/bicycle
Free camping
Borough, County?
Municipality (group of suburbs),Shire(group of country towns) 
Grill (the top of the oven, not a BBQ)
Bunch of people
Group of people
Car Wreck
Car Accident 
Cell phone: both parties pay for call & text
Mobile: only initiator pays for call & text  
Double adapter
Counter top (kitchen)
Bench top
Knives (paring, bread, cooks)
(Policy) Excess
Dining group
Dining suite
Drive on the right hand side of the road
Drive on the left hand side of the road
Dry camping
No water or power
Dry Wall
Plaster Board, gyprock
Main course
Settlement (of a property)
Except in the cities, postal boxes are grouped together on the side of the road, sometimes a few streets away from the property address. Often all on one side of the road. Canada is currently moving this way too, probably the way of the future to cut down costs
Every house has its own postal box on the property it relates to even in country towns. Some country properties away from town will have them on the side of the road grouped together
Fillet Mignon (no bacon)
Eye Fillet (filet Mignon when wrapped in bacon)
Fixer Uperer
Renovator's delight
Flat wear
Flip flops
Flip key
means turning over a property
French Fries - (if you order chips with food you will get a pkt of chips)
Chips (normal size), French fries (matchstick sized chips)
Gas, gas station
Petrol, petrol station
A Barbecue 
Grocery Store loyalty cards: some give you points for discounts, some points for fuel, some you need to get the discount on advertised prices
Supermarket stores loyatly cards - points for fuel discounts. Everyone gets the advertised price
Have to sign up for separate service for trash collection, not everyone does
Rubbish collection is automatic and paid for in rates in cities, just the size of the bin alters the fee
Highways are numbered and some have mulitple numbers being a state number and a federal number or denoting North or South, East or West. The federal highways are call the interstate eg: i5.
All highways have names as well as numbers but we only use the names on signs
Ketchup, catsup
Tomato Sauce
Lay Away
Lay By
Left hand drive
Right hand drive
License renewal (of the vehicles)
Vehicle registration (Rego)
Light switch: up is on down is off
Light switch: up is off down is on
Marinara - Tomato based sauce
Marinara - Seafood in tomato sauce
Ceiling Rose
Move in ready
move in, nothing to do
No Outlet
No Through Road
one of the few countries in the world still not fully converted to chip technology, which means our credit card details have been compromised 3 times in 1 year, we still had the card and never let it out of our sight.
Still use a lot of checks
Australia has been using chip technology for years, the last time our credit card was compromised was 20 years ago

Cheques are rarely used
One time
One off (situation)
Parking Lot
Car park 
Pocket Door
Sliding Door
(something that affects my) Back Pocket
Pot luck
Bring a plate to share
Potty - "have to go potty"
Loo, toilet
Primitive camping
Bush camping
LPG (liquid petroleum gas)
Station or Farm depending on size
Rent (eg: a drill or a car)
Hire (but we rent houses)
Row Home
Terrace House
RV Park
Caravan Park
Shopping Cart
Shopping Trolley
Side Job
Soda, Pop
Soft Drink
Solar panels face south
Solar panels face north
Streets often have S, N, E or W denoting the south, east, north or west portion of the street, the other end will have the opposite. Many streets are just numbers making it easy to find your way around without a map.
No north, south, east or west on streets. Numbered streets are not the norm.
Sweat pants
Tracksuit, Tracky Daks
Take out, To go 
Take away
The property numbering system is boyond me. Something to do with the number of blocks from the centre of town, then the house lot. Nothing is sequential.
Addresses are sequential, with the first being 1 on one side with all the odd numbers, then 2 and the even numbers on the other side
Tires, color, license, travelerliter, organize, check, blond
Tyres, colour, licence, traveller, litre, organise, cheque, blonde
Trade Out
Trade In
Trash (US), garbage (Ca)
Travel trailer
Turn key
walk in walk out, furniture etc included
Turn right at red lights when safe
Will get fined if we turned left at red lights
Wash room or laundry room
White gas
Timber (for a fire)
Give Way
You have to sign up for a separate service for trash collection; not everyone does
Rubbish collection is automatic and paid for in rates, just the size of the bin alters the fee
Zip code
Post Code

Winter is December, January, February
Summer is December, January, February
Spring is March, April, May
Autumn is March, April, May
Summer is June, July, August
Winter is June, July, August
Fall is September, October, November
Spring is September, October, November

28 March 2015

How to wreck your plans with 500ml of DEF

Mexico - Take 2

Since I had my teeth cleaned in Mexico a few weeks ago, I’ve been having doubts. What I didn’t say in my previous post is that they told me I needed 5 fillings. Five! I only have one that I got in 1977, how could I possibly have gotten five in 12 months? My first reaction was that they were wrong, just trying to make money on unsuspecting tourists, so I did nothing. Then the more I thought about it, the more I started to worry. I know there is more sugar in food in the USA, you can really taste it in bread. Is this the price I’ve had to pay for wanting to travel? We had planned to come back in January but I didn’t want to spend the whole of next year worrying about it, so I made an appointment with the dentist we had been referred to by Bill and Michele, who hadn’t been available the first time we went. 220 miles back to Yuma we went. One of the assistants took 5-6 x-rays, then Erika came and checked my teeth. No cavities! And no bill, come again? no bill. Even though it wasn’t her practice that had told me the lie, I guess she felt she needed to restore faith in the Los Algodones dental business. I was very happy I didn’t have any cavities and so glad I went back instead of worrying about it. I was very happy with Erika and we will book ahead so that we can go back to her next year.

If you want to book Erika Medina, send an email to her girls and they will get back to you straight away.

For Eagles fans - Take it easy....

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everything went to plan, nothing went wrong, plans never got disrupted? It would be nice but fairyland doesn’t exist! On our way to Canyon de Chelly, our truck informed us that it needed DEF – diesel exhaust fluid. If you don’t put it in, the engine will stop! This is what the new “I can’t believe it’s a diesel” trucks need – a small price to pay for having an extremely quiet diesel engine.

Having a blonde moment, Lindsay starting pouring the DEF into the diesel tank. You see for some stupid reason Ford has put both tank fill ports right next to each other, sure they have different caps and are different sizes but it would have been more sensible to put the DEF fill port under the bonnet. When he realised what he was doing, he stopped and put the rest in the correct tank. He added more diesel hoping that would dilute it a bit and off we went. Big mistake. 

A couple of hundred miles later when we were parking at the campground in Canyon de Chelly I noticed that the truck was making an odd sound. Then the engine warning light came on. So we rang our Ford dealer in Yucca Valley and all he said was "oh no" then silence. "Have you started it? Yes, Don’t drive it anymore, you need to have it towed". If we hadn’t started the engine and had drained the fuel tank straight away, we may have saved it. The DEF crystallises in the lines and ruins everything.

Cottonwood Campground
We knew that we couldn’t have it towed to California so we rang the nearest large town which was Flagstaff. He couldn’t fit us in for another three weeks, so try Holbrook. We hadn't thought of Holbrook, even though it was closer, we didn't think there was anything there. "Oh no", said Ford Holbrook, it will cost about $18,000 to fix! So we rang the insurance company and told them the bad news. Then Good Sam to get us towed, letting them know that we also needed our 5th Wheel towing. "But you’re in a campground, aren’t you". Yes, but there’s nothing here, no water, no power, no food. "But you’re in a campground, aren’t you". Yes you stupid woman, but you aren’t listening - there is nothing here! We finally managed to convince her that we needed our trailer towed too. The tow truck man brought his own F250 so that Lindsay could tow the trailer back the 106 miles to Holbrook, it was an older model which was very noisy and had difficulty getting up the hills; he felt like he had driven 300 miles. It made us appreciate our truck even more.

The Ford dealer had fixed the same thing in another brand a few weeks ago with the repair bill costing $22k. It turns out that Ford have put together a kit (it must be happening a lot) so that you don’t have to buy all the pieces individually, reducing the price by half of the original estimate.

Apparently we are entitled to a hire car but as the nearest one is 60 miles away and we have no way of getting there other than hitch hiking, we are making do without one and getting lots of exercise walking 4 miles return to Safeway every couple of days, not because we need to but because it's better to have a destination to go to.

The insurance company denied our claim, saying it was a mechanical breakdown. Ouch.

Holbrook is a sleepy little town that died after the Interstate by passed it. We never noticed the wall art when we drove through, sometimes you need to walk to notice the little things. I think they must have done the wall art to help revive the place. And our original thought of thinking there was nothing here was about right!

Holbrook street art

The historic Wigwam Motel 

27 March 2015

RV Campground Review: Holbrook AZ

OK RV Park
1576 Roadrunner Road, Holbrook AZ

Site 15 yellow is under a tree
Why we chose here? Closest RV park to the Ford dealer in Holbrook

Location: East of Flagstaff, 5 mins east of Holbrook

Sites: 79 long pull throughs, you need to park either at the end or front of your site (they will tell you) so that you are not alongside your neighbour

Facilities: Restrooms with showers, laundry: $1.50 wash, $1.50 dry, free coffee and muffins every morning between 8-10am

Groceries: Safeway is 2 miles away in town

Reservations: Yes, but we didn't. They do get very busy in the snowbird migration season.

Cell Coverage / WiFi: Good wifi most of the time, occasionally it stops, especially late afternoon

Price Paid: $177 a week = $25.29 a night, normally $30 Good Sam park

Date of visit: April 2015

Other: a popular stop for snowbirder’s returning home, most people only stay one night

Would we come here again? Yes, but probably wouldn’t need to

Places to see in the area: Petrified Forest NP, Canyon de Chelly NM

Mass exodus in the mornings

Related posts:

23 March 2015

Quaint Arizona Towns

On Sunday we went up to an old mining town called Crown King for lunch, calling into the town of Cleator for a drink along the way. Blink and you would miss it. There is a general store, a pub with a Surf bar out the back, yes seriously. The rest of the town is a bit rundown with mobile homes, quaint but not somewhere I'd want to stay for very long. It's a long, narrow dusty drive about 10 miles off the bitumen.

Lindsay, Michele and Bill outside the General Store

The inside of the bar has dollar notes stapled all over the walls with comments from travellers from all around the world, a bit like the pub at William Creek in the South Australian outback.

Cleator Pub
Lindsay & Bill had to have a beer

Make sure you fill up well before hand
the road to Crown King
Quad bikes are the main form of transport up here
Up on the hill we had lunch at the Mill Bar & Grill, really the only place in town to eat. You can get some food at the Prospector, but ambiance is lacking.

Surprisingly the Mill is not an old building, it just looks it. They have built it out of recycled materials to be authentic and not be out of place up here amongst the pines. Inside you will find a huge huge stamp press that would have come out of one of the mines around here. Some of the decor, walls and floor are a bit too authentic and need fixing badly! It had quite an extensive menu, with of course the mandatory array of hamburgers - I don't think we have been to a restaurant that does not have them on the menu, would they go out of business if they don't offer them? Even the Mexican restaurant had them!

On the way back we stopped so that I could get some pictures of the pretty Pin Cushion Cacti. Spring is a great time to see the flowers everywhere.

Pin Cushion Cactus

20 March 2015

Parading around in Cave Creek, AZ

We meet quite a few people on our travels and try and keep in touch as much as we can. Catching up again can be difficult, especially if both of you are on the road, and with our plans forever changing, sometimes it's impossible. It's much easier if the friends we are trying to catch up with are stationary. Bill and Michele whom we met in Fairbanks in 2013 and caught up with again in Salinas last year have been asking us to join them in Arizona. They have an ideal set up. Friends they met while camp hosting decided to buy a house near Cave Creek (just north of Phoenix) and set up a private RV park in the back yard. They have 4 permanent spots that the same people return to each winter and one that is rented out to friends who drop by to catch up. All have full hook ups. It's ideal in that it's not out in the boonies, so you can actually do a lot of things.

We arrived on St Patrick's day and they had an Irish pot luck with neighbours and friends - the menu consisted of Irish Stew (my memories from Grade 7 Home Economics luckily were not the same!), a medley of cabbage and potatoes, corned beef and a variety of desserts. If you weren't wearing anything green, you got a green necklace, if you did, you got a gold one. Lynette gave us a fun quiz all to do with St Patrick who it seems was a rich Englishman who went to Ireland to spread religion. They all ate Irish stew, corned beef, cabbage and potatoes because it was cheap; The colour green comes from the shamrock or Ireland’s rolling hills; the first St P’s day was celebrated in Boston, while NY is the biggest; they dunked the shamrock in their Guinness at the end of the night; they drink on St P’s day because...? there were a few other tit-bits but as I was drinking champagne, they escape me!

On the Saturday, there was a parade in Cave Creek, so we took chairs and sat on the roadside to join in the fun. We never go to parades at home, too much of a hassle in a big city, but being in a small town was easy.

Sheriff Joe
60 Minutes in Australia did a story on Sheriff Joe a number of years ago. He's the one who doesn't put up with any nonsense in his jails. Pink underwear for both male and females, religion and documentaries are the only channels on the TV, he put some of them in tents telling them that if the soldiers in Afghanistan could handle it, so could they. He's reduced the cost of feeding the inmates by making them grow their own food, the list goes on. The world needs more people like him!

they love their horses here

After the parade we wandered around Cave Creek which pretty touristy....

the touristy bit

Balsamic and Olive Oil shop

Michele reluctantly having her picture taken

the touristy bit

Lindsay took the opportunity to have our trailer detailed. The detailers are going to get a number new jobs from all the other people in our RV park they were all so impressed by the job they did. It costs $8 per foot, they can only do one per day it is so labour intensive: SharpShine