Tag archive for "nsw"

A bloody return home for State of Origin

Australia, Destinations

A bloody return home for State of Origin

8 Comments 30 May 2010

Friends will become enemies, punches will be thrown and blood will be shed. Australian Rugby League‘s State of Origin returns for its 30th year, giving hardcore fans three more matches to drink, yell and show support for their state and its homegrown players.

During the Aussie sporting tradition, Rugby League players ditch the team colors they usually play with throughout the season to play for the state where they were born, their state of origin. But only two of five Australian states, Queensland and New South Wales, are included in the competition as these are the states where most players in the league hail from and the sport is most popular in there.

(In case any Americans are confused, it be like all the NFL players that are originally from California and Texas, returning to those states and playing each other for three games. Teammates against teammates. Enemies on the same side.)

Only the best of Rugby League players are included in this event and its an honor to be on the two teams. The two states play the best of three matches and the fans go crazy for every second of it. While it would make sense for fans to follow suit and also support their state of origins, some instead support the state they currently live in or have resided in for the longest.

26/5/10-Fans watch State of Origin on a jumbo screen at Calypso Backpackers Resort in Cairns, QLD. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

26/5/10-Fans watch State of Origin on a jumbo screen at Calypso Backpackers Resort in Cairns, QLD. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Queensland wears maroon and gold uniforms and are called the Maroons. They flaunt XXXX beer as it’s brewed in the state and is the drink of choice for almost everyone in the state. Queensland has more of a rough and tough reputation. So it makes sense that the team has gone undefeated in this competition since 2006. They continue to be the top pick this year with players like Sam Thaiday and Darren Lockyer.

26/5/10-Fans watch State of Origin on a jumbo screen at Calypso Backpackers Resort in Cairns, QLD. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

26/5/10-Fans watch State of Origin on a jumbo screen at Calypso Backpackers Resort in Cairns, QLD. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

New South Wales flaunts baby blue and are known as, you guessed it, the Blues. Home to Sydney, NSW likes to flaunt big business and big money. They prefer Tooheys as their drink of choice. While NSW is definitely the underdog again this year, prospects like Jarryd Hayne help give the state a much better chance.

The matches are a huge deal in Australia. People come out in colored curly, afro wigs. They sport their team’s colors to work on match days. Newscasters visit local schools where the children are doing the same and fans of the losing team will have to hear about it for a good month.

26/5/10-Fans watch State of Origin on a jumbo screen at Calypso Backpackers Resort in Cairns, QLD. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

26/5/10-Fans watch State of Origin on a jumbo screen at Calypso Backpackers Resort in Cairns, QLD. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Since the sport is so brutal, and trust me, it’s brutal, the three matches are spread out over three months. The first match took place May 26, resulting in another Queensland win. The score (24-28) made it look as though this was a close match, but a friend of mine from Queensland says that’s only cause the Maroons didn’t press as hard in this first match. I take his opinion with a grain of salt, but it would make sense considering the teams play two more times on Wednesday, June 16 and Wednesday, July 7.

The first match took place at ANZ Stadium, which is in Sydney, NSW, making the loss burn a little bit more. But the Blues have a chance to sting back at Sucorp Stadium in Brisbane, QLD next match or be disgraced on their home turf again as the two teams return to ANZ for match three.

Back to the blood. Last year the two teams brawled after Steve Price of QLD and Brett White of NSW traded punches. I know it’s never right to support conflict, but these fights are so much fun to watch as is the sport in general. Due to salary caps, these guys play more for love of sport rather than money, because they definitely could be paid much more playing abroad. But they stay here and they play their hearts out. So when they step on another player or start screaming to the ref about a play, it’s intriguing.

While they were extremely rough during the first game this year, it was nothing out of the ordinary.

There’s certain things about a country or culture that are important to be apart of. Sight-seeing and reading about places can only show visitors so much. People can actually feel apart of a culture by taking part in traditions and hanging out with the locals. State of Origin gives people that opportunity. It’s easy to get into it and hard to stop watching.

So chose your team wisely and sport the colors. Some people may give you flack, but it’s all in good fun.

Sunset at Yoga in Daily Life, Dungog

Australia, Destinations, Dispatches from Down Under, Photography

Sunset at Yoga in Daily Life, Dungog

1 Comment 17 March 2010

Every sight at Yoga in Daily Life retreat in Dungog, NSW is incredible. Even the view from the compost toilets is beautiful. People can watch the sunrise from their caravan or tent and look out to the Blue Mountains from the kitchen window throughout the day. But the best view on the property is a little more difficult to access, the sunset. A view of the sunset requires guests walk up the mountain and down through an uncleared bush area. But reaching this lookout point is worth it. Plus it’s an ideal place to meditate.

Lakshmana, Veronica, Lise and I trekked to the lookout point at Yoga in Daily Life in Dungog on the perfect day for a sunset. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Lakshmana, Veronica, Lise and I trekked to the lookout point at Yoga in Daily Life in Dungog on the perfect day for a sunset. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Chapati rising

Australia, Destinations

Chapati rising

3 Comments 15 March 2010

From the moment I arrived at Yoga in Daily Life in Dungog, I was obsessed with the kitchen. It featured a tin roof, rustic wood decor, heaps of spices and fun equipment. One of my favorite things in the kitchen is this old stove hooked up to a propane tank. It’s just a normal stove, but has these neat iron dishes on it.

Lise, who visited India before, told me the dishes were used to make chapatis. Similar to naan, this flat, soft-baked dough item is sold on the street all around the country. While its common in India, it’s quite hard to find and hard to make everywhere else.

First, people need a chapati plate to make chapatis. The plates are not easy to find outside India and not easy to carry around for those who want to take them home from the country. Further, the recipe also calls for Atta, a specific kind of flour, which can be found with a bit of searching. Finally, chapati-making is an art. People who try the recipe may not get it the first time, or the second, or even the third. It takes practice to figure out the proper measurements, consistency and timing.

Luckily, Suphduvmuni, a yogi that lived near to retreat, was somewhat of an expert. Living in India for nine years, he picked up the craft steadily. He let me and the other WWOOFers try making chapatis, but it was more fun to watch him.

Veronica cooking chapatis the Yoga in Daily Life retreat in Dungog, NSW. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Veronica cooking chapatis the Yoga in Daily Life retreat in Dungog, NSW. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

These are directions I picked up from watching him. Everything is give or take, so those that have a chapati plate floating around, try it out and have fun, but don’t get too discouraged. This is ancient baking usually performed by professionals.

Ingredients

Atta wheat flour (as much as you need according how many people)

salt (add according to taste, but don’t overdue it)

water at room temperature (add slowly according to dough consistency)

Directions

Mix dry ingredients. Add a little water. Knead dough while slowly adding water as needed until dough is moist without sticking to your fingers.

S pours water slowly while making dough for chapatis. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Suphduvmuni pours water slowly while making dough for chapatis. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Once dough is of proper consistency, let it sit for 20 minutes. Pour flour onto a plate, a rolling board or table and rolling pin. Roll a piece of dough into a palm-sized ball.

Roll dough ball in the plate of flour then use the rolling pin to roll the into a circle.

S rolls out a but of dough before cooking it on chapati plates. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Suphduvmuni rolls out a but of dough before cooking it on chapati plates. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Place the rolled dough onto the chapati plate and leave cook until is starts to bubble. Flip it and leave cook until it turns brown. Remove chapati plate and place chapati directly on fire (traditionally done on wood fire, but can be done on gas). The chapati will start to blow up like a ballon (look at video). Lightly tap, then flip it until it releases steam.

Place under a towel to keep warm and continue.



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