"AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE!"
Australia Good: It is the only nation that started as a prison, it is the home of the largest living thing on the planet (The Great Barrier Reef) and of the largest monolith (Ayers Rock or Uluru), azure blue water (not too warm, not too cold), the people are super-friendly and take year-long vacations, the environment and climate lend itself to a year-round glow, Australia's greatest heroes are its biggest failures, Aussies will feed and clothe any stranger with a backpack and a few good stories, get out of the water - here we come: Australians have proven themselves time and time again to be the best swimmers and surfers, Sydney is abundant with the Frangipani: a white (or pink) six petaled flower which grows on a tree and takes seven years to bloom. The Frangipani has a scent that will make you maim and steal just to smell it again. The country (also an island, also a continent) is surrounded by one giant world class beach, the 'ownership' of sacred land is finally being relinquished to the rightful owners: the native people of Australia, the animals are the most unique found anywhere in the world, mangoes: twenty-five cents and as big as your head, the original drawings for the Sydney Opera House (designed by a Dane, Jorn Utzon) were saved from a rejected pile at the last minute in an attempt to do something ground breaking. (Taking five years to build, it is one of the most instantly recognizable structures in the world. Due to a disputes, conflicts and illness, Utzon never saw his project realised.) Olivia Newton-John.
Australia Bad: Home to some of the deadliest creatures to ever be imagined; five of its creatures (funnel web spider, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, paralysis tick and stonefish) are the most lethal of their type in the world. The World's Ten Deadliest Snakes are all from Australia, you can be eaten by sharks, attacked by saltwater crocs and left to rot half-alive in a mangrove (until they decide you're tasty enough to eat a few weeks later), the sun is a killer, certain innocent looking shells carry venom and can pack a punch, the Red Centre is barren and a deathtrap, everything is beyond expensive, Australians (usually a friendly sort) resent any successes of other Aussies in the States. Skin cancer, unforgiving riptides and all that rape and killing that happened on this day 219 years ago.
Through the good and bad, Australia is the most fascinating and magical place in the world. I am a child of an Aussie dad and Canadian mother and I proudly still call Australia home.
Happy Aussie Day,