A few weeks ago my Facebook friend from Germany came down under to Australia for a trip during his summer holidays.
I met him through my Father who works with his father on marketing and engineering packaging machines and as a result, we got talking over Facebook.
I can say without hesitation that meeting someone you know so much about but never face to face is a strange sensation.
My Pen Pal friend was great fun to be around and we understood each other enough to be able to speak English well - I understand a little German from my High School language class but was not keen to get talking in German straight away.
The only trouble we had with conversation was the infamous 'Aussie Slang' that us Aussie take for granted every day.
Examples include the occasion when we drove down a wrong street going to the Three Sisters in Katoomba. I said to my dad to - "chuck a u-ey" down this street. Well my friend had no idea what I said. We of course knew what it meant to make a U-turn but my German friend said aloud "Why would we chuck a female sheep?"
Another trouble he had was when we went fishing by the river. I told him casting a line is a "piece of cake" – yet another confused look as he said to me casting a fishing line is nowhere near a 'piece of cake'.
I had some great fun with my German friend as we took him to an
NRL match (tougher than his soccer)
Sydney Harbour (spectacular),
Three Sisters in Katoomba (astonishing),
Penrith Rowing Stadium used for the 2000 Olympics,
Aussie BBQ and a
Game of FIFA 12 for the XBOX where Australia versed Germany
It was at our place for the last two events!
Making international friends is great.
I have a few contacts in North America, but he is my first in Europe and I look forward to travelling over there to visit him and reverse the experience.
Christopher Archibald is currently an Undergraduate and lives in Sydney
Christopher Archibald's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-archibald.html