Learn a bit about Australian culture in this Aussie English episode where I answer the question, “what beer do you drink Down Under?”.
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About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
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By pete — 10 months ago
AE 421 – Expression: To Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth
In 1930, life in Australia was tough. Jobs were hard to get, money was scarce, but there was a guaranteed way to make some cash. If you could scrape together a shilling, a pound, or a fiver, you could put it on a horse. Not just any horse, but a horse that was bound to win. A sure thing. Phar Lap.
G’day you mob! How’s it going? (I) Decided to call you guys “you mob”, you know, come up with a name for the listeners. Get you guys a little bit more Australian culture. “You mob” is the kind of expression that people often use in Australia to refer to a group of people, and it comes from the idea that a mob of kangaroos is a group of kangaroos. And so, you use the collective noun “mob” to talk about a group of kangaroos. And so, a lot of Australians will say “you mob” instead of “you guys” or “you lot”. So, g’day you mob. How are you going?
Today’s intro scene is a snippet from a story by AnimalXTV on YouTube, and again, (the) link is in the transcript or on the website. It’s about Australia’s, and maybe the world’s, greatest ever racehorse Phar Lap. So, ask any Australian and they’ll know the name Phar Lap. It seemed like a good time to tell you guys about him considering today’s expression is related to horses. So, his death was nearly as mysterious as his career was successful, but we’ll get into that in today’s Aussie Fact.
So, as usual guys, get a welcome to The Aussie English Podcast. This is the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English. Whether you want to learn to understand Aussies or you want to learn to speak like an Australian, this is the podcast for you, and it’s brought to you by The Aussie English Classroom an online learning environment where you get all the bonus content for these expression episodes and the interview episodes on the podcast with courses, lessons, quizzes. You can meet other people. There are speaking challenges. There’s a whole bunch of extra content in there designed to help you learn Australian English even faster. So, don’t forget to sign up and give that a go if you haven’t already. It’s a dollar for your first month. (The) link’s in the description.
And also, don’t forget to get the free downloads for today’s episode as well. Make sure you go to the website and download the transcript and the MP3 if you want to study this anywhere, anytime.
So, today guys, let’s get into the Aussie joke. Today’s Aussie joke, again related to horses. You’ll remember in the last expression episode, to stab someone in the back, I told a joke about so-and-so walking into a bar. So, those ‘walking into a bar’ jokes are very popular in English, and today’s is another one, and it fits well with the horse theme for today’s episode. Okay. So, here’s the joke:
A horse walks into a bar one day and the bartender says, “Hey!”, and the horse says, “You read my mind!”. “You read my mind”. Do you get that guys? A horse walks into a bar one day and the bartender, the guy behind the bar, says, “Hey!”, and the horse says, “You read my mind!”, as in, “You knew exactly what I was thinking”, because horses like to eat “Hay”. Except “hay” the food the grass that horses eat is spelt H-A-Y, and the greeting “Hey”, which the bartender use there is H-E-Y. So, it’s another pun for you guys with the word “Hey!”.
Alright, today’s expression guys is “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. I wonder if you guys have heard this expression before. “Don’t look at gift horse in the mouth”. So, it’s a proverb, a short and expressive saying in common use recognised as conveying an accepted truth or useful advice.
So, I’m sure you’ve got two questions, though: What the hell is a gift horse? And, why should I not look it in the mouth?
So, this is one of those expressions I’ve heard and I learnt from a very young age, but I never really understood what it meant literally until I was much older, and I’m sure that happens to you guys in your native language too.
Anyway, before we go through the definition of the expression and its origin, let’s go through the definition of the words in the expression.
Okay. So, “to look”. The verb “to look” is to examine with the eyes to examine with the eyes. And if you “look something in the something”, say you can look something in the face, you could look something in the back, whatever it is, it’s to face something with your eyes and look at that thing. So, if you look something in the mouth, you’re examining it and looking into its mouth with your eyes. You’re looking something in the mouth.
“A horse”. I’m sure you guys know what “A horse” is. It’s a four-legged farm animal often ridden by people as a hobby or for farm work or in sports. It’s a mammal. “A horse”. It’s got a long neck they tend to be about, what, eight nine 10 feet high. They tend to be pretty tall.
“A gift horse” is a horse given to someone as a gift. “A gift horse”. A horse given as a gift, given as a present.
And the last word “a mouth”. I’m sure you guys know what “a mouth” is. “A mouth” is what I’m currently using to talk. It is the orifice on an animal’s head in which food is placed, chewed, or swallowed. Or in the case of me right now, it is the thing I am using to talk.
So, those are the different words in today’s expression. But let’s go through the expression itself and define that, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, and I should add, you are going to hear this in the negative most often. “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. You probably won’t ever hear, “Oh yeah, look a gift horse in the mouth” in the affirmative there.
Expression Definition & Origin:
Alright, so the definition. We’ve established that “A gift horse” is a horse given to someone as a gift or as a present. So, when purchasing horses, back in the day, you know, back in the past, it was a good idea, (it) probably still is a good idea, to check the horse’s health and age by examining the quality of its teeth. And in order to look at the teeth, you have to look the horse in the mouth. Longer teeth obviously mean the horse is older, because they have teeth that keep growing, and fewer teeth obviously suggests the horse might be in poor health, and you don’t want a horse that can’t eat.
So, the idea behind the expression, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, is that it’s bad manners to examine, to inspect, or to scrutinise a gift and wish for more than you’ve been given. It shows mistrust towards the giver, right? You don’t get something for free and then examined to see if it’s up to your standards. So, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, effectively just means, don’t be ungrateful when you receive a gift.
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So, the origin of this expression. This was another one of these cool English expressions that is quite old, and some of the sentences that I’m about to read to you in Middle English. So, I really recommend reading the transcript and checking out the spelling of some of these words. Okay?
So, anyway, as with most proverbs, the origin of “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” is pretty ancient and unknown. It’s at least 450-500 years old in the English language, and it appeared in print in English in 1546, in John Heywood’s A Dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue. And again, I recommend looking up how that spelt. So, you’ll see the old English spelling before it was standardised. So, it was written in this book. “No man ought to looke a geuen hors in the mouth.”
So, make sure you check out the spelling guys. There one thing you might notice is that there are lots of U’s where there should be V’s. And so, prior to the standardisation of English spelling, U was obviously used instead of a V.
So, Heywood likely obtain this phrase, though, from a Latin text from St. Jerome, The Letter to the Ephesians, and this is from 400 A.D., so 1,600 years old, which contains the text, “Noli equi dentes inspicere donate”, which is Latin that I have probably mispronounced, and it means, “Never inspect the teeth of a given horse”. So, where St. Jerome got it from who knows. But one thing for sure is that this is a very old expression.
So, as usual guys, let’s go through some examples of how I would use the expression, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. We’ll go through a little listen and repeat exercise, and then we’ll go through today’s Aussie fact.
So, examples. Example number one. Imagine you’re a young kid. You’re 18 years old in Australia. You’ve finally gotten your license. So, you’ve gotten your P-plates, your probationary plates, once you’ve completed your license test to drive. You got your license. Your dad and your mum have scraped together all this money. They’ve scraped together some savings to buy you your first car. This is something that I didn’t have the luxury of. My parents helped me. They gave me a little bit of money, but they didn’t buy me the car outright just for me. So, your parents tell you it’s out the front of the house, and that you guys should walk outside and check it out, and the first thing that you do, once they take you out there, is look under the hood of the car to see if there’s an oil leak, to see if there’s anything wrong with the engine, and maybe you noticed something, and then you complain about it, and you say, “Oh, there’s an issue with the car that you’ve given me!”. Your folks might tell you, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, mate. It’s a free car. Why are you complaining? Don’t be ungrateful. Don’t question what you’ve received as a gift. Just take it and be happy. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”.
Example number two. Imagine that you’ve gone on a road trip through the Aussie Outback. Maybe you’ve gone to see Uluru or maybe you’ve gone to see… I don’t know, any of these other places out in the Australian outback. You’ve gone with your mates, and the car that you’ve had has broken down. You’ve waited for a few days and you’ve run out of food and water. So, now you guys decide together that you’ll have to set off on a hike back down the road, which is incredibly long, maybe it’s a hundred kilometres, and you know that it’s dangerous, but you need water and food. Just as you guys get ready to set off, someone happens to drive down the road and find you. You turn to your mate and you say, “What are the chances of this? Why on earth is someone here? Why would they be driving down this road? It’s so desolate.”, and your friend might say, “Dude! Don’t question it! Be happy that someone saved us from dehydration, from an unpleasant death in the desert. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”. Don’t be ungrateful. Don’t question what you’ve received. Just take it and be happy. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth Michael Jackson.
Alright last example. Example number three. You and your friends are getting ready to go out on the town. So, maybe some girls, you’re some sheilas, you’re putting on your makeup, you’re doing your… you’re tarting yourself up a little bit, making yourself look nice, so that when you go out on the town, you know, you can have a good time with your friends. So, you call up an Uber or you call a taxi, and it’s really busy that night. You know, it’s a Saturday night. The busiest night of the week for people going out. And they say they’re going to take an hour to come and pick you up. So, you guys reconcile yourselves to waiting, but one of you decides, your mate decides, “Ah, screw this! I’m going to message one of my friends and see if they can give us a lift so they can come and pick us up and drive us to this place.”. So, this person calls their mate who says, “No dramas! All good! I’ll come get you now”. And you say that you don’t actually like that person. So, your friend’s friend you don’t like, and you’d rather not get a lift with them and just wait instead, and your friend turns to you and says, “Dude! Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Don’t complain. Let’s just get this lift it’s a short trip. We’ll be there in no time and we can start partying. Don’t be ungrateful. Don’t question what you’ve received. Just take it and be happy. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”.
So, I hope you guys understand now what the expression, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” can mean. It can mean: Don’t be ungrateful when you receive a gift, don’t be critical of that gift, don’t refuse something you’ve been given, or don’t be unappreciative of or question a gift that you’ve received.
So, as usual, let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise, guys. So, this is your chance to practice your pronunciation, your Australian or your English intonation, the rhythm of speaking. Imitate me exactly as I speak in order to practice your pronunciation, guys. This is your chance to do so. Let’s go.
Listen & Repeat Exercise:
To look a
To look a gift
To look a gift horse
To look a gift horse in
To look a gift horse in the
To look a gift horse in the mouth
I’d never look a gift-horse in the mouth
You’d never look a gift-horse in the mouth
He’d never look a gift-horse in the mouth
she’d never look a gift-horse in the mouth
we’d never look a gift-horse in the mouth
they’d never look a gift-horse in the mouth
it’d never look a gift-horse in the mouth
Great job, guys. Great job. Remember if you want to practice your pronunciation and focus on the connected speech in more depth from today’s episode, from today’s listen and repeat exercise, make sure that you join up to the Aussie English Classroom where we go through this in detail. This is the place where I try to really teach you guys how to speak with an Australian English accent, and you can focus on all the nitty gritty detailed stuff. So, remember you can try that for a dollar for the first month when you sign up. Just head over to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com.
So, today guys we’re going to go through Phar Lap, we’re going to talk about Phar Lap, in the Aussie English fact.
So, Phar Lap was a champion thoroughbred racehorse, and he was born on the 4th of October in 1926, so about 90 years ago. He died at the age of 5 on the 5th of April 1932 under very mysterious circumstances, which we’ll get on to in a bit.
So, the name Phar Lap derives from a Zhuang and Thai word for lightning, and literally means “Sky flash”.
He had other nicknames too, including, “Wonder Horse”, “Red Terror”, “Bobby”, and “Big Red”. He was foaled in New Zealand and trained and raced in Australia by Harry Telford, and Phar Lap was a chestnut gelding and was sired by a horse named ‘Night Raid’ from a black New Zealand bred thoroughbred mare called ‘Entreaty’.
He was purchased at auction for a mere 160 guineas in 1928 by an American businessman named David J. Davis who had been persuaded to buy the horse by a Sydney trainer named Harry Telford. Initially, thinking it was an amazing bargain, Davis became pretty angry once he received the colt and it arrived with a face covered in warts, a very gangly figure, and a very awkward gait when it was walking. In order to placate Davis Telford agreed to train the horse for free in exchange for a two thirds share of any winnings, which was a good choice as you guys will find out.
Although standing a winning racehorse at stud can be quite lucrative, Telford gelded Phar Lap, meaning that he castrated the horse, so that it couldn’t have babies in the future, hoping that the colt would then concentrate on racing instead of obviously concentrating on female horses.
Phar Lap lived up to the saying, “Looks can be deceiving” and “Don’t judge a book by its cover” as he received training from Telford and began to win races. His achievements captured the public’s imagination in Australia during the early years of the Great Depression, and he had a very distinguished career and dominated Australian racing winning a Melbourne Cup, two Cox Plates, and an AJC Derby, as well as 19 other weight for age races.
So, he won 34 out of 38 races that he was entered into, including 14 of these in a row. He won 14 in a row. He was the only horse to have been favourite for the Melbourne Cup three times in a row, and as a result of his success, bookmakers started to lose a lot of money, and the Mafia and other groups were not happy about this, especially when he headed over to the U.S..
So, soon after doing really well in Australia, he went to a race in the Americas Agua Caliente Handicap in Tijuana, Mexico, and he won this in record time in his final race.
At the time, he was the third highest stakes winner in the world. He had been bought for only 160 guineas, which was USD$130 at the time, and he’d won nearly £67,000, which is AUD$6.3 million dollars in today’s money. So, he was bought for the equivalent of about AUD$13,000 dollars and ended up earning his owners AUD$6.3 million. Not a bad return on investment, hey guys?
So, Phar Lap suffered a sudden and mysterious illness in 1932 in Atherton, California. Phar Lap’s strapper, Tommy Woodcock, found Phar Lap in severe pain with a high temperature early on the 5th of April 1932. Within a few hours, Phar Lap had haemorrhaged to death. An autopsy revealed the horse’s stomach and intestines were inflamed leading many to believe that the horse had been deliberately poisoned.
Later research found evidence suggesting other possible causes though including: an acute bacterial gastroenteritis, so an infection of the stomach and intestines; or that it could have been poisoning by a single dose of arsenic.
On top of this, anecdotal evidence from a friend of the late strapper for the horse, though, Tommy Woodcock, suggests the horse was allowed to graze on pasture covered in a poisonous plant the night before his death.
It was also thought that the Mafia at the time were getting frustrated with him winning all of these different races, and they may have played a part in the horse’s death as well.
So, it’s uncertain whether or not we will ever know how the horse Phar Lap died, but one thing for sure is that he lives on in the imagination of many Australians and had an amazing career.
And if you would like to check out lap. You can see his taxidermied body at Museum Victoria in Victoria, in Melbourne, or you can check out his huge heart, a massive 6.2 kilos, nearly twice the size of a regular horse’s heart, at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
So, that’s it for today guys. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you enjoyed learning about Phar Lap. And just remember, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth next time someone gives you something, and I’ll chat to you mob later.
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By pete — 2 years ago
In this episode of Walking With Pete I chat to you guys about the importance of learning YOUR most common phrases in the language you’re learning.
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Walking With Pete: Learn YOUR Most Common Phrases In The Language You’re Learning
G’day guys. Welcome to this impromptu episode of Walking With Pete. I’m just out going to get a coke from the servo, and a servo is an Australian slang term for “Service station” or “Petrol station”. Obviously, you can tell the word “Servo” comes from “Service” in “Service station”, and we’ve just put an “O” on the end of “Serve”. So, “Servo”. So, you’ll have a lot of Australian slang terms like that quite often with the “O” at the end like “Arvo”, “Peto” instead of “Petrol”, etc. And I just thought I had a few… a few thoughts just now as I left the house. It’s probably about 8 O’clock at night, [it’s] nice and warm. I’m actually out in a t-shirt for the first time in months because it’s been so cold because of winter. I think too the clouds are over tonight so it’s keeping all of the warm air around the city blanketed down close to… close to the ground. So, it’s actually quite nice outside. Um… what was I going to talk about today? So, just as I left the house I had an idea that I wanted to talk to you guys about with regards to learning not just vocabulary in a language that you’re interested in, but learning phrases that you’re interested in. And I’m sure some of you, maybe all of you, may know this with regards to learning English but it’s something that I had to sort of spend a little time working on and I think it was one of those things where when I first started learning French and Portuguese I always saw it as such a mountain, you know, like this huge task that I had to try and ah… surmount or overcome or master, and that it was almost impossible because I saw, you know, look at all these possible words that I could learn or need to learn to be able to use, and it’s just going to take so much time in order to do so. Maybe it’s nearly impossible to actually ever accomplish, but it was interesting when I realised that you get to that point of learning enough vocab that you recognise a lot more than you can say yourself or that you think of when speaking. So, you get a really really large passive vocabulary but your active vocabulary is a lot smaller obviously because you don’t use every single word you know. And, I guess after a short period of time, especially learning how to use websites like Reverso and I think Tatoeba I think it’s called, where you can search for phrases or for words and then you get example phrases of how they’ve been used, I really really love these websites because I don’t just look up the definition of the word. I can also find it in examples sentences that give you context, but most importantly, and this is the point of me making this episode, was to mention that try to look up phrases that you use on a daily basis, common common phrases that you use all the time in your native language and try to find the equivalent way to say those things in English. So, a lot of the time you’re not going to be able to do this by directly translating things, and I can’t… I probably can’t think of any examples off the top of my head at the moment for French or Portuguese. Oh, here’s one for Portuguese. Ok, so, I always want to say “Absolutely”, “Absolutely”, and it’s something that you can say in English quite a bit but even though there’s a word in Portuguese, “Absolutamente” it sounds weird to Portuguese speakers for someone to say that when in English I would say “Absolutely”. Instead, in Portuguese you would say something like “Claro” or “Com certeza”, which means “of course”, “of course” or it is the direct translation, or not direct, the indirect translation of saying “absolutely” in English. So, something really important to have in mind when you’re learning English is to try and find ways to say phrases that you always find yourself saying in your native language and find the equivalent way of doing that in… in English. Don’t literally translate all of the… all of the words or all of the phrases that you would otherwise potentially do, and I found myself doing that quite a bit, and a lot of the time native speakers of the language you’re translating into will get pretty confused and quite often it doesn’t mean exactly what you think it means. And I mean we all do this, there’s not really much you can do when you don’t know how to say something, but to try and guess or to try and translate it from how you would say it in your native language. And another example, another funny example of me doing this in French, and I think Portuguese’s the same, Portuguese is the… I think Portuguese is the same as well, is when I try and say “I’m excited” and in English “I’m excited” is just to say that you’re pumped up, you’re anticipating something. So, like “Today I’m going to the football and I’m excited to go to the football” or “Today it’s my birthday and I’m excited to see my family and to get presents”, “I’m excited” it’s kind of to anticipate something, to be happy, to be amped up. But if you’re to say this directly translated in French or in Portuguese, I think in French it’s… If I were to directly translate it it would be “Je suis excité” and in Portuguese it would be “Estou exitando [exitado*]”, I think. And, um… I think in both those cases it means something like “turned on” or “horny”. So, like sexually excited and not just excited in general. So, you can’t directly translate it like that. Anyway, these are the kinds of things I love using the websites to look up these kinds of phrases because websites like Reverso don’t directly translate these phrases. I think they’ve had people translate books or translate huge swathes of text and it’s not directly translated. So, a lot of the time you get the equivalent phrases in English and in Portuguese or in English and in French. And so, you can learn the different ways to say the same things that you say in your native language, and that’s the most important thing. Don’t learn things that you’re not going to say with regards to building your active vocab. You want to be able to say and express the thoughts that you have in your native language all the time, you effectively want to learn exactly the same thing but in any other language that you’re learning because you’re quite often going to be using those exact same thoughts all the time in conversations, and the same kinds of phrases. And so, yeah, there’s many many different ways of skinning a cat we say in English, but you just need one that works. So, that’s probably it for this episode guys. So, just remember try and find equivalent translations to things that you already say in your native language that you can say in a language you’re learning. ‘Til next time guys, all the best!
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AE 417 – Interview: Hipster Coffee, Craft Beers, & the Holden-Ford Rivalry in Australia with James BuchanBy pete — 10 months ago
AE 417 – Interview: Hipster Coffee, Craft Beers, & the Holden-Ford Rivalry in Australia with James Buchan
G’day, guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English! Today’s an interview episode. I have some company today, because… you might be able to hear him in the background. I am currently living in Canberra and we managed to find a place to live with some friends for the first month or so, because they were going overseas. They needed someone to take care of their dogs. So, we’re in their house at the moment, but man, their dogs… They’re beautiful animals, but Jack, one of them, is really neurotic. He needs a lot of attention. He does not like to be on his own. So, any time I try and go and do anything on my own, such as record the introduction to a podcast, Jack comes with me, and he’s currently sitting on the couch, pressed up against me, resting. So, hopefully he doesn’t make too much noise, I guess, we’ll see, but yeah this is the first podcast I’ve done with a small dog next to me.
So, anyway, guys! Welcome to The Aussie English podcast, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone learning Australian English. It also obviously helps with English in general, but Australian English is the main focus here.
Today, I have a really good episode for you, guys. I sit down again with my mate James, James Buchan. He has been on the podcast at least two other times chatting about cars, which is probably… yeah, it would be his biggest hobby. He’s a massive rev head. Loves his cars. And today we talk about a few different things before we get onto cars, including coffee culture in Australia and how that has changed over recent years, I guess, maybe the last decade or two that we’ve at least experienced it as people in our 30s. We chat a little bit about beer and craft beers as well and these microbreweries that are popping up all over the place. There’s loads of different microbrewery beers that you can buy now that are sort of made in small batches in very sort of localised places that you won’t find everywhere in Australia, let alone overseas. So, we talk about that. And then, we get on to the rivalry between Ford and Holden. So, this is one of the biggest rivalries that doesn’t involve, I guess, a ball sport in Australia, and this one, unlike AFL and rugby, this one tends to be nation-wide. So, everyone in Australia in all locations tends to have a preference for either Ford or Holden, ok? So, we’ll get into that, guys, and talk a bit about the racing of V8s that is common in Australia and a bit of a pastime that lots of Australians like, and… yeah! We just shoot the shit, guys. We have a chat, pretty informal, sit back, guys, it’s about half an hour, and I hope you enjoy it.
So, anyway without any further ado, let’s get into it, guys! James, take it away!
Alright. Welcome back to the Aussie English Podcast, Jimmy.
Thanks, Pete! Good to be back.
Got a beer here for each of us. Open those puppies up.
Love a beer. Thank you.
So, you wanted the IPA.
I’ll have the IPA.
I’ll have the Summer Ale. Cheers!
Alright. So, I got you back today to chat about selling cars in Australia, and I guess we can chat about a few other things as well. ‘Cause you’ve been…You love driving around, don’t you?
Yeah, yeah. I’ve done a fair bit of it the other day. So… it’s good fun.
Maybe we can start with that. So, you live down in Geelong. I’m about to live down in Geelong. So, we live down in Geelong. We grew up here. Down this side of the coast, which I guess is the south west side of the… of Port Phillip Bay, what are the interesting tourist attractions down here, the sites that you can go to that are within, you know, a day’s drive or are a day’s trip?
Not so much locally within the center of Geelong itself, but out from Geelong you’ve got….you’ve got the You Yangs or I guess if you head down the coast, you’ve got Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, Queenscliff. You take the ferry over, you can get over to Sorento.
And that’s on the other side of the bay.
That’s on the other side of the bay. Or you can go down The Great Ocean Road. You can go down as far as Apollo Bay or keep on going see the Twelve Apostles if you wanted.
How would you describe the towns down here? Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Point Lonsdale, Torquay. What do you like about them?
They’re funny because in winter they’re pretty quiet. They’re just little seaside towns and you just got the people who live there year-round. But as soon as it gets to summertime it just… the tourists, they come from everywhere.
It freaking explodes.
It freaking explodes, yeah.
And it’s really busy. It seems like there’s a lot of rental houses and the population doubles. But it’s good, though. A lot of people around.
We grew up here. I think Dad used to tell me he was like, “We used to holiday down here”, when it was probably the 60s maybe the 70s that they were coming down to Ocean Grove and it was a swamp.
Which is what I can look over my parents’ house currently and there’s a wetlands down there, and I think that the wetlands is probably a few acres of fenced off lake and surrounding bush that’s probably all that’s left of the swamp.
And if it wasn’t there, there’d be houses.
Exactly, well that’s it. And at the time when dad was coming down he was saying there were only a handful of houses on the terrace, the main strip, of Ocean Grove here.
That seems hard to believe.
And nowadays, it’s probably what, 20-30,000 full time inhabitants?
And then in summer it probably goes to maybe now upwards of 70,000.
Yeah, that would not be a joke.
It’d double or triple.
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And even on the way down you’re seeing all of these new housing estates being built. That’s the same when you head down to say Torquay, you’re seeing like Warralilly and all of these different subdivisions and estates being built. I guess, my issue with them is they don’t have a heap of trees and a lot of greenness. And I like that. So, yeah and that’s one of the good things about getting out of Geelong and, I guess, going for a walk or drive is that you get to see some of that.
So, what would you suggest people do? If they come to this seaside towns. What’s a nice day out? If you come to Ocean Grove or Barwon Heads.
What I would do is probably park the car somewhere. I’d find…
It’s free parking, by the way. Free parking, guys. We are out of the city.
So, I’d pick a good day, make sure the weather’s alright, and then I’d find a good park somewhere and either go for a walk or get fish and chips, grab an ice cream. If the weather’s good enough you could go for a swim or if you’ve got like sort of like a boogie board, I don’t know what another term for those are, but like, you know.
These are those thin foam or rubber boards that are kind of rectangular in shape, but the tip would taper in, right?
Almost pointy, but not really.
And you can ride waves on your belly.
Yeah. It’s like surfing, but not quite as…
It’s a little easier.
It’s a little easier.
You don’t have to worry about standing up.
Exactly. Yeah, no that’s a good… They’re generally pretty good things to do. It’s just a pretty cruisy kind of atmosphere you just sort of wander around, chill out, get food, relax.
I know, that’s it. And the coffee culture is really coming down here now and the last 5 or 10 years from Melbourne.
It has. Yeah. It’s sort of slowly started to seep down from Melbourne, hasn’t it? It’s almost impossible now to get a bad coffee within Melbourne, Geelong, Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Queenscliff.
Yeah, you almost have to go out of your way and hunt down the worst coffee.
You do. That sounds like something I should try at some point.
Where can we get the worst coffee in Ocean Grove or down the coast here? Yeah, that’s it. It’s really funny how that’s become such a cultural thing of café culture all over Australia, not just in Melbourne CBD, but out in the surf coast here. I’m sure it’s bleeding or seeping into the average as well.
Have Australians become coffee snobs?
The standards have just been raised.
The standards have been raised. Well, that’s it. I was in Europe a couple of years ago, driving through Austria, and we stopped at this little roadside, you know, restaurant kind of little thing, and they had the waitresses and the waiters, and they were dressed in the typical kind of German-Austrian kind of outfits, and they brought us these cups of coffee, and they were just awful. And my hopes were really quite high and the expectation was… and I thought, has Australian coffee ruined me? I think it has.
I think is one of those things, though, where…there must’ve been, you know, one café or a small group of cafés that popped up all of a sudden, that just that combination of whatever it is that makes a good coffee nailed. They got it right. And then all of a sudden, people went there and were like, “I can do this!”.
This is really good.
“It’s awesome and I can do this!”. And they’ve just slowly just migrated out and it’s just spread everywhere. And it’s happening before our eyes. I’m sure you could still go into some pretty rural areas in Outback Australia.
And still get a decent coffee.
Or a bad one.
As well as maybe a good one, but I think you’d still be able to find average ones, where there’s just not the consumer culture. But the funny thing is the tourist attractions probably a really good coffee now too.
Like Uluru, in the middle of the… smack bang in the middle of Australia probably has good coffee.
They built an airport there. It makes sense that they have good coffee there too.
I know, that’s just amazing. It’s so funny that Australia has become such a coffee cultured nation. It’s really bizarre, isn’t it? When you think about out of all the world…
You don’t associate Australia with being, you know, amazing with coffee.
I guess another thing to talk about is the beer.
Yeah, I mean, that’s something that…
That’s only come up recently too, hasn’t it?
Only really come up recently.
All of these… what do you call them? Microbreweries.
Microbreweries, craft beers. I mean, if I want to sort of put them down a bit, you’d call them “hipster beers”. But there just seemed to be several years ago not much choice. You had VB, Carlton Draught. If you were in Queensland it might have been XXXX. And then all of a sudden, people started to, much like the coffee, think, “Hang on a tick!”, you know, “We can make our own!”, or… and again it’s just exploded. There’s just so much more choice. It’s not just beers it’s ciders as well.
I think it’s the hipster culture too that just bled into the entire nation with regards to these kind of small products that are home-grown home-made, you know, it was literally one man and his dog who found this thing and it turned it into something that could be consumed, that people almost never stray away from the really mainstream.
Yeah that’s it!
The big products no one wants the common stuff that everyone has.
It’s seen as untrendy.
They all want to be hipsters who bring the beer that no one’s heard of.
Or have the coffee that no one’s ever tasted. It’s so true!
I’ve went to a friend’s house recently and we were sort of joking about the beer a little bit, and it’s really weird. His brother loves VB, loves it.
They are a dying breed, aren’t they?
They are a dying breed.
People who stand by VB.
And I went to his house, and I said to him, “Oh, so what would you do if I brought VB?” And he said, “well it would probably sit in my fridge for a long time and not actually get drunk”. He said “I would actually prefer to turn up to someone’s house empty handed and than come round bearing VB as a gift for them.”.
It is an insult!
It was an insult!
That’d be like bringing ground, free ground coffee to a coffee connoisseur’s house.
Nescafé Blend 43.
Yeah that’s it. My grandfather was like that at Christmas he drinks a beer every now and then mainly wine, but he had all those VBs and he didn’t know where they’d come from and he was like, “They’re out because I want you guys to drink and get rid of them. I’m not going to have them”.
I was like well, I guess, I’ll have it. bBut it’s… Yeah, VB and Carlton Draught and XXXX, how would you explain them? They’re the most popular beers. Probably just ’cause they’re the most banal, like just really lacking in any kind of complexity or taste. You can drink them like water.
You can, they’re not a high strength alcohol. So, you won’t really get hammered off them, unless you drink a lot. They don’t have a huge amount of flavour. They’re not really light like a Corona. So, they’re just sort of in no man’s land. They do almost nothing for me. I’d rather have a glass of water or lemonade. And I guess, why a lot of people don’t like them as well is they’re owned by, you know, these big corporations like Carlton Draught, and I think that’s owned by like SAB Miller or something. So, a big multinational (company).
It is so funny that just that culture, I guess, too of Australia are just going towards the small guys, you know, wanting to support locals. I mean, I don’t know where this is… What’s this? John Boston beer, Australia’s first brewer 1796. Holy Moly.
But there’s some other beer that I’ve seen recently, and we went out to a pub in Queenscliff, you, me, Quel recently, and the beers we got were were made in Queenscliff.
Yeah, that’s right.
And I think I saw them when I was like, “Oh, yeah! Hell yeah! I’ll get those.”
One, I’d never had them. Two, they were made in this small town.
Exactly. It’s a good thing to support, like, a local business. I think especially in Geelong too, because over the last say 15, 20 years Geelong’s, I guess, manufacturing or employment scene has changed a lot. We had Qantas. They serviced the jumbo jets here. We had Shell, the refinery. We had Ford. They built cars here. And that’s all just disappeared. So, for someone to sort of set up their own brewery and Queenscliff and, you know, do something that’s, you know, is sort of handcrafted, that’s pretty cool
We need to start waiting for people to start making their own cars in their garage and selling them, you know, making one a year and selling their own cars.
I’ve always thought that would be pretty cool.
So, talk a little bit about what happened with Ford? Well, in Geelong. So, Ford was one of the biggest employers…
…Of people down here in Geelong. And Ford is probably Australia’s equal most or most popular brand company, brand of car. And so, what happened recently with that?
Well. I guess there were a lot of things. You could talk about the politics. The Australian Government not really wanting to put funding into Ford and Holden. So, you have local car manufacturers.
So, they saw that they were sinking? At least locally.
Yeah and I think from a really, really, really long-term perspective, we had a huge amount of car manufacturers or cars that were locally made in Australia. We had Mercedes.
Oh, really? They were made here?
We had Mercedes made here. We had Leylands, like Rovers and all of that kind of stuff.
Where they British?
They were British. We had Nissan, used to make the skyline here.
We had… we had all sorts of stuff that was made here. You know? You had the Mitsubishi Sigma, which then turned into the Magna. That was made here as well. You had all of these Chrysler products. And I guess, the writing was on the wall for a really, really long time, because…
During this time too, sorry to interrupt you, was probably that we had a larger part of our population working in factories, right? And doing labor jobs like that, because it was still affordable to purchase products that were made in Australia.
That’s right. And due to economics, due to politics… I guess… and I guess the more manufacturers that start pulling out, because they just don’t find it profitable, a lot of like the small supply chains that support these manufacturers they can’t sustain only producing for maybe one or two brands, and it just becomes unsustainable, and I guess, that’s really what sort of happened with Ford. There’s so many different little pieces to the puzzle, but effectively the writing was on the wall.
That was not sustainable. I think also with couple of the Ford engines they had emissions regulations that they needed to meet, and if they wanted to meet these new stringent emissions regulations, they would’ve had to have redesigned the engine. And I guess, for a company that only was producing for Australia the Australian market and not a worldwide market, it was really hard to justify, and perhaps when they were initially developing the certain car platforms, perhaps they should have developed it to be left hand drive as well, so it could have been exported. I know Holden did with some of their cars. Hindsight, the benefit of hindsight, should’ve, would’ve, could’ve. Anyway, that’s yeah, Ford finished up.
So, they were the last two big ones, right?
Ford with the last two factories or brands in Australia of car to be made here, manufactured here in Australia.
When did they close?
So, Holden produced their last car in October, 2017, or thereabouts.
So, that was this year, yeah?
That was this year. And Ford finished up, I think it was like a year or so before. Toyota finished also in October this year. So, I’ve got a colleague at work and her husband had just finished up at Toyota. So, I think he’s trying to switch his career to being an electrician, and have put a lot of people out of work, but then, I guess, if we switch it back to beers, you know, there’s a lot of people that have been… that did have other skills, that moved into perhaps one of their hobbies and were able to make a job out of it. So…
I guess, that’s one of the really good things about microbreweries or just that culture of, you know, people at home making something small time and getting it out there is a small-time business. It is really cool that they can do that as a living, and it is good that you don’t rely on companies like Ford or Holden that could go bust and leave you in the dark.
That’s right. And I guess, I mean, not that I… I don’t really blame some of these workers that have suddenly found themselves out of jobs, but I guess, the writing was on the wall for a long time with all of these manufacturers slowly over the years that were starting to finish up, and it slowly started to dry up. You probably could see what was going to happen. And the government was less and less interested to providing assistance for these car manufacturers. And as Australians I guess we also got a lot of choice with the cars that we have. I think we have almost more than any other country in the world in terms of new cars for sale.
Tell us about that. Did we talk about that in the last podcast? What are the different brands that are in Australia?
We might have done. We’ve got like 66 different brands. And so, I think as a country, we’ve just pretty much switched to an all importing country now, because such a small population of just didn’t really make financial sense to have car manufacturing located here.
For a population of only 22 million or so. So, yeah. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I guess. We’ve got a lot of choice.
Too, does the fact that we have such big distances between cities and tourist attractions, has that affected the kinds of cars that you find in Australia, compared to places that are smaller countries like Britain?
I would say it certainly has. I mean, that’s what the Holden Commodores and the Ford Falcons have sort of marketed as. You know, they were developed here in Australia to cover big long distances. And I know when you go into the centre of Melbourne these days, if you go to the centre of Melbourne or Sydney, you will find a lot of small little cars. But I do know that, you know, when you go into the Outback, for instance, or you go to rural regional towns, we went to this little town called Hay, which is sort of in the centre of New South Wales a year or two ago.
And there was always that joke of “Hey, it’s Hay.”.
Exactly. And it was just full of Land Cruisers.
Literally, every second car was a Land cCruiser, and you can’t really blame them.
So yeah, like… That was the thing that, I guess, I came to be aware of, maybe in my teens, once I was thinking about cars and thinking about purchasing cars, was that Holden and Ford were uniquely in Australia, and that the cars that Holden and Ford made, or least Holden and Ford that were in Australia, the cars they made were uniquely here and you didn’t see them overseas or at least when they were exporting overseas they were kind of rebadged and sold in a different manner. Why were they so unique in Australia the way that they were? Why was that cultural difference with those cars and the requirements so different from say America?
We just… we have a big country. We liked a big roomy car. We like to drive… we still do, we like to drive long distances. And we had, at the time, I guess, you were talking about, you know, the labour force as well. So, it was economical to build and design a car here. And I guess, the Commodore, at least, originally started as a German car. I think it was like an Opel.
An Opel of some sort. And they brought it to Australia. They did some testing with it and it broke in half.
How did it break in half?
Our country just broke it. The Australian Outback. The roads, they were too rough. They were… There were too many stone, sand, dirt. You got in the car, it just broke in half. So, Holden, which I think was owned by General Motors at the time, economically it was viable at that point and they decided to redesign the Commodore for Australian conditions.
Can you talk about the Commodore and the Falcon? What exactly are those two and how are they rivals? Why did they become rivals?
They became rivals, I guess…
So, and, to put that in context, the Commodore is a type of car that is made by Holden, and the Falcon is effectively the equivalent type of car made by Ford.
This is this like entrenched competitive team, right? You’re in… you’re on one or the other. There don’t tend to be many people who care about cars and like them both.
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I was one of those people once.
So was I. I always went Holden. Love Holdens.
Me too. And now, I’m completely indifferent. I can see the merits of both of them.
The funniest thing is that for me, I guess, before we get into the nitty gritty, is that they were the same… it was the same shit. Like, it looked exactly the same effectively, but just had different badges.
The features were all the same. They were literally rip offs of one another, or you know, the same, twin brothers, that were non-identical twin brother.
Yeah, right, exactly. They drove the same. They looked the same. They had roughly the same size engines. But I guess, it’s like a football team, to put it as a British reference, for Arsenal and Manchester United, you know. You’re either one or the other. You can’t support them both. And you know every year, I think it was around October, you’d get Holden and Ford supporters, they’d go up to Bathurst, which is in New South Wales, and they’d drink a huge amount of beer or wine, they’d get absolutely messed up, they’d possibly start a fight and they’d be…
And what was Bathurst, though, for the context of listeners?
It’s a car race. So, much that the Grand Final or anything like that.
Is like Australia’s Formula One, right? But it’s in these bogan mobiles.
These taxis that were never really designed for out and out racing.
Souped up taxis.
And I can talk a little bit about that in a moment, but they would go up there they would drink an enormous amount of beer and they would these cars around and around and around for about seven hours. And so, it was a real endurance race and…
It was just like Australia’s… just, yeah, I guess, it’s our version of car racing was just Bathurst, right? Like, we didn’t really focus too much on rallying or the Formula 1 stuff. It was at least for the average battler working-class Australian…
They… it was something that they could relate to, despite the fact that if we gloss over in these later years these cars they were nothing like the cars you could go into a showroom and buy. They were tubular frames. They had hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, and they were nothing like what you…
So, what, they just had to look like it?
They just had to look like it
So, they had the casing, the shell, of a Commodore or Falcon.
But effectively, they were nothing like it at all.
And how did the rules work? Because, that race only had those two cars, right? Just had sedan Commodores or it just had sedan Falcons, and it was just those two cars.
And I guess it worked for a long period of time.
Was that the rule, though? There were no other cars allowed?
Initially, it wasn’t. We used to have the Minis, we used to have some Jaguars, we had BMW. Ford brought out this year a Cosworth from the UK. And then this and decided to bring out their Skyline GTR. And that was already, you know, that was dominating in Japan with their touring car kind of scene over there, and they brought it to Australia. It was sort of developed, I guess, in Adelaide, and I think they called it… Gibson Motorsport was the company that developed it, and they gave it a weight penalty to try and make sure that it would be somewhat competitive with all the other cars.
So, what’s a weight penalty exactly?
So, what they did was they added weight to the car to make it heavier so that it would be viewed as comparable as the other cars that were racing around Bathrust at the time.
So, how has that done exactly?
They would put… I don’t know whether it was lead or quite what they would do. I don’t think it was concrete, but they would add ballast to the car, and they would put it in certain areas hoping that that would slow the car down, because it was more momentum that it had to carry around.
Just to handicap it to make it even.
But the Skyline was twin turbo. It was all wheel drive, and…
It was just… it was not an even race, it’s going to like having you know camels vs. horses and maybe putting weight on the horses to make it even in it’s like, they’re just different animals.
Exactly. And I mean, when you think about it, one of the cars… the Commodores and the Falcons, at that point, they were still sort of loosely based on a road car, you know, designed for touring around the country with a family and a big boot full of, you know, gear and…
Do you think that was the appeal, then? The fact that that people who were just everyday Australian battlers, like…
Absolutely, that was the appeal.
…working collar dudes, just blue-collar workers, would be able to go to the race track and see their car.
Racing Holden and Ford
That they thought “Yeah, that’s me! That’s me!”. And there was this mantra that was called “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.”. So, what would happen, they used to sell a lot of them, if the companies, Holden or Ford, won, they would sell a lot of them.
The Skylon GTR, it came in and decimated. They added more weight to it. It still beat them. They tried to get to turn the turbochargers boost down. It still beat them. And there was one race at Bathurst where the Skylone GTR won. It was kind of controversial in terms of how it finished, and when the two winners got up onto the podium they were booed.
You can’t have a Japanese car winning an Australian race, mate.
Especially, over a Commodore or Falcon, like…
And the driver of the Skyline GTR, Jim Richards, he said… he was in New Zealander, I think. And he said to the audience on the podium “yYou’re all a pack of arseholes”, and after that, they couldn’t handle their beloved Commodores and Falcons had been beaten. So, instead of, you know, adding more weight to the Skyline, they just decided to ban them.
So, instead of making it competitive, just outlaw it. So, not all…
This is probably the easiest way.
So, no all-wheel drive, no turbos. It’s like alcohol prohibition or anything else, if you don’t want something, just make it illegal.
It just fixes it.
And so then they had only the Falcons or the Commodores. And, for me, like, that kind of ruined the racing, because you’ve got to see all of these different cars, and they all had different… their strengths and weaknesses. And by effectively having it as a two-horse race, you know, the two sides of the same shit, it lost a lot of the appeal for me, but for a lot of people, it didn’t. But then I guess, you could see the writing on the wall, because when Holden and Ford… the writing was on the wall for them that they were shutting up, finishing up production. The category V8 Supercars had to change, so they called it supercars. I tried to invite more brands. So, Nissan. They had Mercedes as well, at one point, and Mercedes is in it now.
Because of what, the AMGs or something?
That’s right. It didn’t really align with their brand strategy, because the consumer of a Mercedes Benz, an AMG, does not really align with someone who watches V8 supercars. They’re a completely different…
Someone who buys those really nice European cars doesn’t tend to go to Bathurst and sink VB whilst screaming at the Holdens and the Fords.
No, they’re in a slightly different income bracket. So, Mercedes, they partook for a while, but they’re out of it now. And as of the end of 2017, there will be no more V8s. So, they had to really readjust their sort of their marketing or their brand strategy. And I think we’re starting to see a swing back to what it was with all of these different types of engines. So, effectively, at least in my opinion, at least, the blanket ban on, you know, turbo charged, all-wheel drive, or different types of cars, just because their favorite cars were being beaten was the wrong thing to do and it was a knee jerk reaction and we sort of slowly seeing a swing back to, you know, a bit more of an open diverse field.
So, have you been to Bathurst before to watch it?
I’ve never been. No, it… Look… It’s something, I guess, if I was on holidays at the time, and I was in the area, yeah, I might go past, and maybe it might be on the cards for me in my future at some point. But, yeah.
Anyway, so that’s Australian car racing and in a nutshell.
So, do you think the fact that Holden and Ford have gone offshore, at least in their manufacturing and you just said, what, V8s are about to be no longer made, are they?
Not, not for this category for V8 Supercars.
Ah, ok. So, it’s not that the factories are stopped making them, it’s just that they’re just killing it for this this race.
So, they’re… effectively they’ve killed it for this race, and Holden and Ford will be importers only of the cars. So, if you want to buy a V8 from Holden or Ford, with Ford you’ll be able to buy V8 Mustang, you can buy them. There are already a few of them being sold here.
Yeah, I saw lots of them, I was wondering where they were coming from.
They are popular car. There’s a lot of them. And Holden is bringing in the Camaro from America.
It’s so funny that they just constantly match one another with the different styles. They try and get the equivalent on either side.
I think Holden didn’t really expect that the Mustang would really sell and it sold like hotcakes, and I guess, they were just sitting there sort of watching being taken completely by surprise. And they were sort of sitting on their hands doing nothing and they realised that they needed to have a competitor and they needed to get a piece of that action. So…
Do you think that’s a wise decision buying five to seven litre V8 in today’s day and age, especially with petrol prices in Australia?
Not if you’re going to use it every day. If that’s really your thing then, by all means, go ahead and buy it. I’m guessing if you can afford it brand new, you can probably afford the fuel. But it’s… look, it’s certainly not for me. And the trend is to slowly… to get smaller engines. They’re more efficient, and they…
Do you think that’s partly related to the increase in fuel price here in Australia over the last 5 or 10 years?
Yeah. And more globally as well, because it doesn’t make sense to make a car just for Australia even if our fuel prices are cheaper. So, if fuel prices are expensive everywhere else in the world, but the fuel price here is cheaper, it still makes sense to have, like, one global product, and, I guess, you can achieve similar kind of power levels these days with turbos or hybrids. So, it kind of makes sense to have, you know, a smaller engine that makes just as much power, and that’s sort of what we’re seeing here. So, yeah, it’s an interesting landscape.
So, can you talk, too, a bit about, I guess, how these two types of cars… what… how do they differ and what characterises them? How are they different from other brands? Can you describe Commodore and the Falcon?
Yeah, so they’re big and they’re comfortable. They don’t really handle all that well although they have made improvements over the last few years before their decline. So, big and comfortable. Good for covering long distance. The Ford had a… they had a straight six engine. The Commodores they had V6s. And then of course you had the V8 options from Ford and Holden. Holden had a couple of… They were using LS engines. So, the Chevrolet kind of crate engines. And then Ford, they were using a they used an engine called the Miami, which is a five litre supercharged V8, on their last Falcons before they sort of shut up shop. They were a pretty good engine. We had a friend that worked for Ford for a while doing some of the development for them. So, he was a test driver and, you know, he would bring out the cars and we would get to have a ride in them, and I guess, basically the goal was to just put kilometres on them.
Not thrash them… or both.
Or both, I guess just to see what…
As long as it was legal.
As long as it was legal. Just to see what would happen. If anything broke, if any issues cropped up, so that by the time these cars were put into production that they would have, I guess, sort out all all of these little bugs. So, yeah, I remember we went for a drive to Anarchy and, you know, we would just go drive around in these cars. Sometimes it was a little small Ford Focus or it could have been a Falcon, but primarily the Falcons were just really great for covering long distances. They were really comfortable. The interiors were quite nice on them towards the end with the leather interior. The engines had a lot of power. But they were a big car.
That’s the trade off, right? The turning circle.
The turning circle, the fuel economy.
They gonna be a bitch to reverse park.
Yeah and, you know, you might not want that. I guess, if you’re a single person or you’re a young couple, especially, if you’re in the city of Melbourne or Sydney. That’s not really… that’s not really all that great anymore, because I guess, you know, the cities have changed as well. Parking spaces in Melbourne, as well. That’s… There’s not so many spaces to park. These cars big. So, it makes sense to get something smaller, but if you’re out in the country, then I guess, if you were driving between Melbourne and Sydney, then that that’d be a great car.
Yeah, they’re tops.
We did that a couple of years ago. We went to Sydney to buy a car for a friend, and we took up my parents Commodore. We just put the cruise control on 110. That was a really easy drive. We switched drivers a couple of times just to make the trip a little bit easier, but you just put the cruise control on and the music, and the car was good for that. That’s what I maintain they were designed for.
And they can take insane amounts of kilometres, right?
That’s right. Provided they’re looked after, they can keep on going and going and going. We had an ex-taxi, so, an AU Falcon taxi, that we bought and that went for 750,000 kilometres.
I think it was like 800+, wasn’t it? I think your brother said, I was chatting to Dave the other day, James’s brother, and I think he was saying I was above 800.
It could well have been. It had a truly insane amount of kilometres on it.
It’s three quarters of the way to a million kilometres.
But the engine… it was still the same engine. It had just been looked after I guess the parts that needed to be replaced. So, let’s say the radiator might have failed at some point. You replace the radiator or you’d do general servicing on it, but just kept on going. And that’s the great thing about them. And I think there’s a real sort of stigma behind buying a car and seeing the numbers click up on it, thinking, “Okay, it’s got over 100,000 Ks, now. It’s time for me to get rid of it, because it’s going to break.”. I mean, if that was… you know, that might have been true 30 years ago if you had like an old British Leyland, where, I guess, manufacturing tolerances weren’t as good, but these days, you know, I guess, like, the cylinder wall clearance, the piston clearance, all of that kind of stuff, it’s a lot more tightly controlled. The engines are a lot better built.
And the good thing is, I guess, especially if you get Ford or Holden, is that they’re just cheap as chips.
They are. And they’re so easy to work on as well. And the other good thing is, because they did sell so many of them, there’s parts everywhere.
Yeah. So, it doesn’t really…
It’s the kind of thing that you could break down in the desert and the next mechanic you get to can repair it.
And that’s exactly what my brother and I did. We bought one… bought that are you fully aware that we were going out to remote New South Wales…
In the middle of butt fuck nowhere.
But if the car broke down, we were going to have parts in order to fix it, because I… we did a similar trip several years before that. My brother and I foolishly bought an Alfa Romeo. Ask me how that worked out!
It’s an Italian car?
The wrong kind of Italian car, though. James. It’s not a Ferrari.
It isn’t. You get none of the power and all of the unreliability.
So, you know, let’s say something broke on that and you’re in, I don’t know you… Good luck trying to find a radiator or, you know, some other part to keep it going, you’d be well and truly screwed.
Awesome, guys! Well I hope you enjoyed that interview episode with James. Once again, James, massive thank you for coming on the podcast. There’s quite a few interviews that I’ve done with him talking about a bunch of other things. So, I am sure that you will hear from him soon in the future. And I know that he has a pretty general accent that is easy to understand. So, hopefully you guys enjoy hearing from James.
Just a quick message, remember, if you would like to support the podcast and everything that I do, guys, don’t forget that you can sign up to be a patron via my Patreon on page. The link will be in the description or in the transcript here. You can choose to donate anything from a single dollar per month, upwards, it’s totally up to you, guys, you can cancel at any time, but it helps me do what I’d do. So, if you’d like to give back that is one way you can do so.
The second way is, obviously, by signing up to The Aussie English Classroom. This is an online classroom. It’s a website: theaussieenglishclassroom.com. This is where you get all the bonus content that goes with episodes from the podcast, whether it’s the expression episodes that you get on the weekends at the moment or whether it’s these interview episodes. And for today’s episode, you will get a 5 to 10-minute transcript. We’ll look at the vocab and the interesting expressions and slang that we use in that sort of 5 to 10-minute excerpt from today’s interview. You’ll then get a listening comprehension exercise where you can test your listening abilities on the website with a quiz, and you’ll get access to all the previous interviews as well. So, if you’re trying to really get your head around, wrap your head around, all the different Aussie accents, this is the best way to do so, guys.
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Anyway, guys! That’s enough for today. Jack says bye, even though he’s sort of just nodding off in the background here lying on the couch. It’s been a pleasure chatting to you as usual, guys. And I should mention, don’t forget to check out the videos on YouTube as I’ll be doing a little breakdown of the most interesting expressions for this episode on Youtube. So, keep an eye out for that. Anyway, guys, enjoy your week, chat to you soon!
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