Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SLANG (05/14/20)
- TITLE: Earbashed
By Ellen Carr
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She pulled out out her cell phone and checked the address of the place she planned to stay. Central Backpackers' Hostel. A bit of self-indulgence was surely in order after the long flight. She'd get a taxi instead of taking the bus.
Walking out through the airport doors she took a deep breath of Australian air. Warm. Clean.
“Excuse me.” She spoke to a woman standing near the door. “Where can I catch a taxi around here?”
“Just go to the zebra crossing and cross to the middle section of the road. The cabbies all have their taxies lined up there.”
“Zebras? Are there zebras around here?”
The woman laughed. “No, the zebra crossing is those lines on the road over there. If you cross there the cars have to stop for you.'
These Australians have some funny expressions! She loved the Australian accent but she had to listen really hard to understand what people were saying. Delia headed to the first cab in the line of taxies.
“G'day. Where are you off to? Want your bags to go in the boot?” The lanky taxi driver already had her bags in his hands.
“The boot? Oh, the trunk. Yes please.” Another strange word.
As the taxi headed off towards the city the driver turned out to be quite talkative.
“This your first time in Oz?”
“Yes, I've never been here before.”
“Well, good on ya. It's a ripper place. I reckon you'll have a great time?” The taxi sped down the freeway and in the distance Delia could see the ocean.
“Is that a beach down there, right near the city?”
“Yes, you're deadset right there. It's St Kilda Beach. And I'm heading there right after I drop you off. I've got the arvo off so I'm off to the beach. I've been flat out since five this morning so I'm looking forward to some time off. This driving is hard yakka! So I'll grab my bathers and sunnies, and something to keep the mozzies off, then I'll be set.”
“Right.” Delia wondered what the guy had just said but she got it that he was going to the beach.
By the time they got to the hostel she was wanting a break from his chatter. Her head was spinning from jet-lag and all the strange words she'd just heard. It was English but not English as she knew it.
The taxi driver got her bags from the trunk and gave her a lopsided smile.
“Look, I'm sorry I've earbashed you. My mates reckon I could talk the legs off an iron pot. But anyway, this is the place. I hope you have a great time here. And, look, I'm not trying to chat you up, but here's the address of the church I go to. I don't know if you're religious but if you're looking for some friendly people we'd welcome you there.” He handed her a card.
“Thank you. I might even come. Enjoy your trip to the beach.”
“Defo. Will do. Nice to meet you. Take care.”
Delia lugged her bag up the steps to the door of the hostel. So far so good. Friendly people, even if she only understood half what they said. She'd have to get out that little book she's brought, 'Australian Slang Explained.' And she might even go to that church.
Glossary of Australian Slang and Idioms:
zebra crossing = pedestrian crossing (white stripes on road)
cabbies = taxi drivers
boot (car) = trunk
Oz = Australia
ripper = very good
reckon = think
deadset = true or truly
arvo = afternoon
flat out = extremely busy
hard yakka = hard work
bathers = swimming costume
sunnies = sunglasses
mozzies = mosquitos
earbashed = talked a lot
mates = friends
talk the legs off an iron pot = talk a lot
defo = definitely
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