Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Cyclone Larry and the Aussie spirit

Thanks to all those who have sent in emails and expressions of concern—we are fine down here in Brisbane, but Cyclone Larry has given a real pummelling to some of the towns further north. In the lovely farming town of Innisfail (near where I used to live), about half of all buildings have been damaged, and our farmers have suffered a terrible blow, with $300 million worth of bananas destroyed. Over 120,000 homes are without electricity, and some of them might be without power for a week.

Through it all, what has impressed me most is the laconic “Aussie spirit.” When news reporters go around interviewing the battered farmers and residents, they naturally hope for emotional or sensational remarks. But instead, here are some of the humorous comments I’ve heard on the news:

When asked what it was like to endure the fierce storm, one man said: Well, there’s nothing much you can do really, except sit back and wait—and have a couple of beers.

Another man said: We have no power but grog on ice, which is the important thing.

Someone else said: The power’s gone, but we’ve got gas at home. So we’re gonna go home and cook up a nice meal of bacon and eggs—and then we’ll start the clean-up.

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