As we leave Australia for the next part of our trip in Asia, we thought we’d leave you with these interesting, little-known facts that we’ve learnt during our time here…
- It is illegal to have a washing machine in your kitchen. It must be kept elsewhere in the house and it MUST have a sink next to it. This would explain why everyone we’ve stayed with has a separate laundry room. I am not quite sure the rationale for this. Somebody mentioned hygiene reasons? Maybe a pair of dirty pants could somehow ‘infect’ your food. Or perhaps put you off your dinner?
- When parallel parking on a 2-way street, you must park your car on the left boundary of the street, facing the direction of onward travel. It must not be facing the ‘wrong’ direction. If caught doing so, you will fined by police. This is tricky when trying to get into one of the last coveted free spaces close to a good beach – in the UK, you would just cross the street (when safe to do so!) and reverse parallel park. In Australia, you have to drive to end of the road or somehow find somewhere to do a quick U-turn, and hope to hell that no-one else comes along in the meantime to take your space. Very annoying.
- As long as it is safe to do so, you can turn left on an intersection, even if the traffic light is red. This is a good rule.
- You cannot buy créme fraiche in the supermarkets here. Delia says you can substitute this for plain fromage frais. But you can’t buy that either. This is a bit of a problem if you have planned to cook the Famous Brooks fish pie and a lot of people are coming to dinner. (I subsequently learnt that you can also try blending Greek yoghurt with a small tub of double cream- this works well, as long as you don’t overheat it…)
- Despite the fact that everyone thinks Australia is boiling hot and pretty arid, it actually rains quite a lot. In fact, Sydney gets twice as much rain as London. Thats a fact! For us, the odd rain shower has been lovely – usually at night or in the evenings, so it hasn’t interfered with any of our plans when we’ve been out and about.