Tag Archives: Aussie

Farmville on Facebook


A cousin's virtual farm.

I signed up for Facebook a few years ago to see what my children were doing at college.  Yes, that sounds like spying…. Instant Messenger, MySpace, Facebook.  They signed up, I signed up.  (They weren’t sneaky enough to keep it a secret.) As soon as they moved on — it took me a while to catch on — I trailed after. (The latest is LinkedIn.) I wanted to reassure myself that my children were still alive, since they weren’t big on calling home or answering their cell phones, which never seemed to be charged — or so they said.   When my daughter was very sick with mononucleosis, I saw it first on her status update. She had dragged herself to her computer, typed in that she had never been more sick in her life, and then collapsed.

Both children are graduated now, and although my anxiety is no less, I have found that I’ve been sucked into some of these sites without giving much thought to my children’s online activities. (They seldom post anyway…)  A recent Time Magazine article reported that Facebook  isn’t even for young people anymore, even though it was started for college students.  Too many parents have invaded it.  Middle-agers are the ones who seem to use Facebook the most.  I’ve re-connected with far-flung relatives and friends.

A friend, also on Facebook, recently urged me to sign up for the Farmville game on Facebook. I’d never seen much from her on Facebook, but she is very active on Farmville.  She claimed it was addictive.  I signed up as a favor, since you need neighbors on Farmville.  But you can’t sign up and forget it.  Immediately, my strawberry crop withered because I forgot all about harvesting it.  Farmville is a very interactive game, because you help out your neighbors, rescue their crops, give them livestock and other gifts, etc., a very idealized version of the real world.  You can’t rise in the Farmville world without helping out your neighbors or getting help from them.

It’s only been a week since I’ve joined, so I don’t know how long I’ll last. I’m not a video or computer game player. I’ve accepted other invitations for other Facebook games and never played them.  I waste too much time already in the “real” world.  However, I already feel responsible to my neighbors in this virtual world.  I was amazed to see how many Facebook friends were playing this game. You can publish your results on Facebook, but most don’t, so it’s not until you join that you see the “closet” players.   It’s fun to see what different “neighbors” have chosen to plant or raise. Masses of daffodils, vast herds of cows, avocado trees, acres of corn….An Aussie Facebook friend playing Farmville has a lot of leisure equipment, a pool, many topiaries and a lovely banana grove on her farm, which looks more like a resort. Those Aussies know how to live!

P.S. on Nov. 8, 2009.  On Farmville, a popup informed me that I needed to buy more coins.  I said ok, but it asked for real money!  I could pay with a credit, paypal, whatever.  Pay real money, no way!  I feel I’ve logged enough hours that I should get paid! 

Here’s the Time Magazine article.  Oh Crap. My Parents Joined Facebook.


Filed under Entertainment, Humor, Internet, Life

Aussie Speak

It's the Bar of Babel as speakers from all nations attempt conversation at the Sydney Opera House Bar.

It's the Bar of Babel as speakers from all nations attempt conversation at the Sydney Opera House Bar.

I laughed when I read my friend Anita’s recent facebook status report: “having fun using words like kerfluffle, bungle (as a noun), shambolic (as in shambles), rectitudiness, verballing, and of course tradies, unis, bikies, footies. . .”

Anita, an American, moved to Australia last summer. As a journalist, part of her job is communicating with government officials and other journalists, so she is an interpreter of the various kinds of English, too. In her last position, she spoke Spanish, so she’s up to the challenge.
When we arrived to visit them, Anita and her husband began translating for us.  For example, they advised that “You don’t root for teams, you barrack for them.”  Rooting means something quite different from our definition and is probably not mentioned in polite society…….But we’re all friends here. Most Aussie words and phrases do make sense (sometimes you have to think about it), even if they aren’t the words we normally use.  Sometimes it’s the pronunciation that throws me.
We in the U.S.A. yield, but the Australians give way.  Their signs needs more letters, but it's easier to spell.  Also, not the one lane bridge. We found a lot of those.

We in the U.S.A. yield, but the Australians give way. Their signs require more letters to get their message across, but it's easier to spell. (Don't we just look at the shape anyway?) Also, note the one lane bridge. We found a lot of those.

I’ve been reading letters and later emails from Aussies for years and thought I knew what they were saying, but hearing it in person I found myself saying or at least thinking “What?”  I need a hearing aid of a different kind.
The people I most easily understood were transplanted English people.  Maybe it’s from my years of watching Masterpiece Theater.
Two of my favorite words are “brilliant” for everything wonderful and “shocking” for terrible, which I heard from my friend Monica when we were stopped in a massive traffic jam in Sydney.  Another good word is “chuffed,” which seems to mean excited, proud or happy, which I’ve heard Down Under and even from fellow English blogger Paula who writes beautiful posts.  She’s on my blogroll as Locks Park Farm.
A “good on you!” to Janelle of What Makes Me Laugh for her funny post on Aussie-isms.  Click here: It’s Not Weird, It’s Not Wrong, It’s Just Different.  She wrote several funny, insightful posts on her recent trip to Australia.  Don’t miss them!
Here's an Aussie mailman on a motorbike with mail saddlebags. Love the orange!

Here's an Aussie mailman on a motorbike with mail saddlebags. Love the orange!

Jan of Planetjan had fun with the language and other differences when her English friends came to visit her in Los Angeles.  Here’s one of her funny posts on the subject: Back to Reality.

In New Zealand…well, let’s not go there right now, except to say that egg is pronounced eeg, as in eek, and left as leeft.  Instead, I’ll hand you over to native New Zealander Kiwi Bloke, who has lived in Australia, Canada and even Texas, for all things Kiwi.  He’s Kiwi Bloke on my blogroll and is multi-lingual in the English language.  
Why don’t you tell me your favorite language choices?  Cheers!


Filed under Australia, Friendship, Humor, Language, Life, New Zealand, Personal, Travel