If it’s not on social media, Kevin doesn’t know about it. And if it is on social media, he probably knows the wrong thing.

This is how I came to learn that, early last year, the US entertainment media got all worked up over a rumor Matt Damon was moving to Byron Bay, New South Wales, in an effort to escape Donald Trump. The rumor turned out to be wrong, (those rumors are always wrong) but Kevin hadn’t heard. That part of the story didn’t make it to social media.

Still, he was curious. “Why would he even think about moving to Byron Bay? I looked it up. There’s nothing there. Just nine thousand people and a beach. That’s it.”

“You just answered your own question,” I responded. “Byron has a gorgeous beach with great surfing and it’s not too crowded.”

”Who cares? We have beaches here.”

”You’re right. There are good beaches in some parts of the US. But, there are great beaches all over Australia. Remember how I told you few people live in the center of the country and almost everyone lives around the edge? Most places around the edge have a beach that rivals Miami or Myrtle beach in quality.”

“Hold on.” I heard Kevin pecking at keys. “Going to Wikipedia now.”

”You don’t believe me?”

“Believe but verify. Isn’t that what what’s-his-face said?”

”Here,” I pressed send on my phone. “Let me send you a link.”

“I can do an internet search.”

”Here is another. A certain beach culture has evolved here over the years. You think it’s all about crocodiles and dingo babies, but the beach is a much larger part of most people’s lives.”

“I’ve heard about this one,” Kevin said excitedly. “Bondi Beach, is that the best beach down there?”

“You might as well ask if Central Park is the best park in the United States. If you live in Manhattan you might think so, because it’s the only bit of nature on the island. Bondi is the closest beach to the center of Sydney. Lots of people, and more importantly, lots of film crews go there on a regular basis. That’s why you know about it. If you ask me it’s a fairly average beach. It gets all the press because of its proximity to the press.”

”Wait a second, are your beaches topless?”

I didn’t want to know what Kevin was looking at, so I ignored him. ”I’ve been to better beaches in Tasmania or Queensland. It really all depends on what you’re looking for. If you have a great job in Sydney and have to live there, Bondi is a great beach. If you have the means to get out of the city, somewhere like Byron or even farther north is a better bet. The beaches are nicer. You don’t have to deal with Sydney traffic. You can live a beach culture life.”

”I have a confession.” Kevin sounded not at all remorseful. “I wasn’t listening to anything you just said.”

“Tell you what, next time we’re going to play a little game. Since you’re into celebrities and social media, we’re going to play Name That Australian Celebrity.”

”Sweet. That’ll be a snap.”

”Crocodile Dundee won’t be on the list. Neither will any of the Hemsworth brothers.”

”Maybe I should study a little bit.”

Next up: Name That Australian Celebrity


Part 1: I Would Like to Acknowledge…

Part 2: Educating Kevin About Australia

Part 3: Which Way Do Australian Toilets Flush?

Part 4: What is Macca’s and Why Does Everyone Go There?

Part 5: Where Is Australia on the Map?

Part 6: What is a Democracy Sausage?

Part 7: What’s it Like to Drive on the Other Side of the Road?

Part 8: Let’s Talk About What Can Kill You in Australia


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