Australia Day – Brazilian Style!

29 January, 2008

So Saturday was our first Australia day in Brazil. Having been in London for the last six Aussie Days we are used to a pretty simple formula of the following ingredients:

  • a rainy day (always),
  • gathering in a herd of 100-1000 Australians (and hangers on),
  • heading to a local pub with an Australia Day Party on,
  • drinking loads of beer (anything but fosters),
  • spending the day debating important Australian cultural issues such as the relative merits of Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 3 versus Volume 4, Neighbours versus Home and Away and how much longer it may be until John Howard is swept from power in a surge of anti crusty-old-man sentiment…..

Well at least one of things is no longer an issue!

So we were invited to an Australia Day party by our resident Aussie expats Zoe and Ruth – Zoe is an ex Aiesec QLDer and lives in Sao Paulo working for one of the large banks and Ruth is here to organise the Aiesec International Congress which is on in SP in August. So we knew we were in for a good partying afternoon.

The party was held in a nice park near the centre of town and there were about 30 attendees – 3 of which were even Australian! Luckily the Brazilians like a good party – or were aparently tempted along with the promise of free Tim Tams.

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The Australia Day Gang

A veritable feast of indigenous Australian foods were available for the locals to try including, Tim Tams, vegemite and Jatz crackers, freddo frogs, sarsaparilla cordial, ginger beer cordial, weetbix with peanut butter on top, Lamingtons (made by us) and pavlova (made by Zoe and Ruth). Now I think that collection makes our party more Australian than almost any other Aussie party held that day – even if there were only three aussies there!

As Tim Tams are famous around the world, Ruth and Zoe organised an Australian Obstacle course challenge with the chance to win Tim Tams, the challenge involved the following challenges:

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  • Boat races with undiluted saspirlla cordial,
  • Putting on an aussie cork hat and apron,
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  • Eating a whole weetbix with peanut butter spread on it – washed down with nip of undiluted ginger beer cordial,
  • Throwing a boomerang through a hoop
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  • Crash tackling skippy the inflatable kangaroo

The winner then got a single Tim Tam – lucky beggars

In Brazil there is a large chain of restaurants called “Outback Steakhouse” they are apparently a fair dinkum reproduction of a typical Australian restaurant – well according to their own marketing at least.

The locals really love these places and one of the first things Brazilians asked us is if we have been, now it being Australia day we felt we had no option to visit this cultural homage to Australia, so in the evening we headed with our hosts Zoe and Lucas to one of the restaurants in the grandly named “Shopping Eldorado”, the restaurant was done out in aussie paraphernalia, the first thing I saw was a large stuffed Kiwi?!?!?, and the usual array of number plates, cricket bats, AFL jumpers and the other stuff you always find on the walls of restaurant in Australia. The place though was massive and packed, unfortunately we missed the “Billabong Happy Hour” – two hours of two for one drinks every evening, but we did make it time to enjoy a fine feast including – and I hope all our aussie readers recognise these important national dishes:

  • Blooming Onion (as in a fungal bloom perhaps)?
  • Kookaburra Wings (obviously not a protected species over here)
  • Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie (of course, aussies are always eating these)
  • Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp (a short pacific islander who lives on the gold coast I presume)?
  • Aussie Cheese Fries (delivered to your table by Rove – the cheesiest aussie I know)
  • Walkabout Soup (sorry, you have to go find it yourself – start walking now)
  • The outback Special (a night in bed with your sister perhaps)?
  • Rockhampton Blue Rib-eye (sounds like a police report of injuries on a typical Saturday night in Rockie)
  • Victorias Filet (a not so tender slice of Queen Vics thigh – I think I will pass)
  • The Melbourne (for those few of you who have never been to Melbourne, this is apparently a typical 500gm T-Bone steak, a favourite in Melbourne)
  • Outback Rack (my favourite)!
  • Alice Springs Chicken (I am not sure they got if they intended the “spring chicken” bit here or not)
  • Botany Bay Fish O’ the day (hmm have been to Botany bay)?
  • Tilapia Filet J. Woodhouse style (sorry none of us had any idea who he is/was – but I am a kiwi – answers in the comments section please)
  • Aussie Tassie Kid (which is a pasta for kids – not sure how you can have a Tasmanian who isn’t an Aussie, but this question was lost on our waitress)
  • Grilled Cheese-A-Roo (never worked out how much Roo was in this kids meal sandwich probably not much though)
  • For desert you could also have these Australian dining classics:
  • Sydney’s Sinful Sunday (a veiled reference to Mardi Gras perhaps)
  • Cheesecake Olivia (Newton-John)?
  • Chocolate Thunder from Down Under (need I say anymore)?

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