Home » Australia » JEAN SHEPHERD–Travel–Australia, part 2

JEAN SHEPHERD–Travel–Australia, part 2


Australia is a Very Exciting Country

austraalia flag

You know, Australia is a very exciting country.  I’ve been to Australia, and I just want to say that of all the countries I’ve been in—now I’m not talking about beauty because that’s something else—probably the one that is physically exciting beyond any stretch of real estate I’ve seen in the world—is Australia.  Boy is that a wild place!  Oh, I’ll tell you!  Wild in more ways than one.  One of the things that I remember about Australia is the absolutely unbelievable women.

A lot of people wouldn’t like Australia and I’ll tell you why.  Because Australia—if you have intellectual pretensions, if you’re an intellectual type, you’d probably flip in Australia. It’s a totally physical country.  Yes it is, it really is a physical country—it’s one of the things I remember about it—the first impression I had.  Of course I read a lot about it when I went over there, but nothing you read about any place has anything to do with the actual reality when you encounter it.  It’s like living in Indianapolis or someplace, you can read all you want on New York but the reality of New York is very different from what you’ve read, because here it’s all hitting you.  It’s a very personal reaction.

In Australia, because of the climate, because of a lot of things, they’re practically all physically-oriented.  Well, it’s not a coincidence that the Prime Minister who was here a couple of years ago died skin diving in very dangerous waters.  As a matter of fact, in Australia the theory is not that he drowned but that the sharks got him.  The sharks, of course, are famous in Australia.


Oh boy!  That’s what I wanted to tell you about Australia that I remember.  I went to the beach there and of course their whole world, their beach-world, is very different from ours.  It’s a way of life there so they don’t make a big issue of being at the beach as people do here in America.  Here, you go to Jones Beach, it’s a two-and-a-half-hour trip, it’s a big holiday.  But it’s every day there.  It’s ten minutes from wherever you live there because everything’s right on the coast.  So the people are very different at the beach.  They’re really cool and really on top of it.  Nobody’s pushing to have a good time, they’re just—they’re like animals.

And you wouldn’t believe their bathing suits!  Did you see on television a couple of nights ago the movie The Endless Summer?  A big sequence of that beautiful movie—I love that movie—a big sequence was shot in Australia.  And the one thing, the very little sex in that movie showed these two guys who were supposed to be, well actually, they were just surfboarders, but the only time they mentioned sex was in Australia when they saw these women there.

australia swimsuit

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Now why it is—Because from the time they were little kids they’ve been swimming like five miles a day and they have tremendous physiques.  I mean really!  It’s obscene, I’ll tell ya!  That, that—Believe me, I was with a guy who had these thick glasses—a very nearsighted guy in Australia.  And it’s the only time I’ve ever seen—The temperature was eighty-five degrees that day—His glasses actually clouded up.  It was—was sickening.  One chick walked by and you saw a crack came in his glasses.  Just a—the dynamic kinetic heat just generated inside of him, see, just broke his bu—And why?  Because they’re so oriented to the outdoors, that their bathing suits—here’s the curious didactic quality about it and also it’s a paradox.  It’s also, simultaneously, a very prudish country.

They’re very prudish.  You know that Playboy is not even allowed in the country.  [It is now.]  Can you imagine what they would do with Times Square?  Playboy is not allowed in the country!  That’s considered unbelievably obscene.  Well, so, on the other hand you go on the beach and these girls are walking around—believe me, they have bathing suits that are made out of like Band-Aids!  I’m serious!  You never saw anything like it.  You don’t even see how they can stay on ‘em.

And they go past you and the men—I’m serious, the men have bathing suits that—you know what a very hip bikini would be here—they make that look Victorian.  So here you are out on the beach—eighteen thousand people that are totally naked—I mean really.  You can’t believe it.  And so I’m walking around digging the scene, see, and I’ve got my bathing suit on, which, of course, I bought at magnificent Alexanders before the trip.  And it was a very hip one by American standards and here in Australia I’m looking like grandpa Charlie.  so this Australian guy I’m with says to me, “Hey, mate, a very interesting swimsuit there, mate.”

And I say, “Yes.”

“Your grandfathers?”

So I say, “It’s a museum-piece, it’s camp all the way.”

So I bought myself one of those swimsuits.  I had to, just for self-protection.  It was a great moment.  I put this thing on, the breezes are blowing over me and I go out on the beach.  I’m holding newspapers up all around me.

Ever since I bought that thing I’m kind of afraid to take it out in the States.  I’m thinking of trying it once at Jones Beach.  I’d get arrested.

austraalia flag

End of Part 2

Stay tuned for Australian Sharks,

Sydney, Martinis, and ANZAC DAY



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