@Antedeluvian....I didn't know that "Down Under" was not used much in North America, so that probably explains it. (although I would have thought that the Men at Work song would have changed that :-) The "sunburnt country" reference is indeed from "My Country" by Dorothea Mackellar:
I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains. I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea, Her beauty and her terror - The wide brown land for me!
Do you know why the name change? (I can think of one reason but I'd probably best not expound
Like you, I can only guess. It seems that the publishers must have decided that "down under" is an unknown expression in North America given that geographically it doesn't even approximate to actuality. They probably went with P.T. Barnum's maxim that no one ever went bankrupt underestimating the intelligence of the American population and dumbed the title down (although it was taken from a famous Austalian poem according to Wikipedia).
Having just alienated most of EE Times readers, I must add that I cannot think of one American who would not know where "Down Under" was especially one who would be erudite enough to be reading Bill Bryson.
Thinking about it, Oz should refer to the Britain as "Up Above", but that would imply certain airs and graces which I am sure wouldn't sit well with the Aussies.
@Antedeluvian - I was aware of that, but not sure why, googling did not help. Do you know why the name change? (I can think of one reason but I'd probably best not expound on that in a family site like this.... :-)
@Betajet... "Oh, but your 5 cent coins are adorable!"
Why, particularly? The echidna (bit like a hedgehog) depicted on the 5c coin is very cute - my second favourite Aussie animal (next to the wombat which has only made brief appearances on some 50c coins!). Australia some time ago stopped using 1c and 2c coins and the 5c is close to extinction I think. But at least they are small.
Re the 50c. This is the same size as the British 50p piece. Years ago I was in Ghana and (being an ex-British colony) it had 50 pesewa pieces which were the same size, but worth almost nothing. So I got my Taxi driver to save all his 50 pesewa pieces for me, and I'd give him notes for them. When I got back to UK - with about 50 of them - I found they would work in chocolate and stamp machines with no problem. They would not work in Tube (underground railway) ticket machines - probably the wrong weight or colour - Crusty probably had something to do with that :-)
Hi Karen. Wallet bloat is a real problem. As above, the money is a minor issue (though Australian 50 cent pieces are both big and heavy and ought to be banned). You have to carry your driver's licence and you really need to carry your bank cards lest you get caught short when you need to buy something. Store (and especially Coffee) loyalty cards are the killer. Why stores can't work off your bank card I don't know - they are just as unique. I went thru my wallet as well some time ago and chucked out all the cards I hadn't used in a while. Of course I just happened to visit all those stores in the next week... :-) And then there is a shop called Priceline which my wife loves. I often buy her presents there, but I can't borrow her card because I lose out on the surprise, but I don't go oftern enough to warrant carrying a card....you can't win.
Most store cards here work on barcodes, so what I ought to do is copy all the barcodes onto a fanfold piece of paper which would take the space of only one or two plastic cards. but that wouldn't work with Coffee cards which usually get a stamp or a hole punched in them when you buy. Like I said, you can't win!
@Betajet thanks for that....I wonder where I got it from then (I also was not born THAT long ago.... :-) I have seen clutch used here- just in the past few days in fact - but then I have just read Bill Bryson's Down Under and one of the reasons he liked Australia was because it seemed to be permanently stuck in 1958.....
@David I highly recommend the skinny. Though I've taken to carrying much less stuff altogether since I lost a wallet a few years ago. And gosh forbid if I use the word "billfold" and get branded as a dinosaur!
All this discussion about Saddleback Leather reminds me of a funny story that most engineers have probably heard already. There are many variations of this on the net, but if you are not familiar with the 'llama dung' story a version can be seen here: