Being married to an Aussie, I love the difference in what Australians and Canadians (specifically me) perceive to be a threat, aka something that can kill me. I hate snakes, even the harmless ones that reside here in Alberta. They are un-natural to me, they have no legs and yet they can move at an alarming rate. Gives me the heebee-jeebees.
When I visit Australia, I am always on the look-out for snakes. I don’t want to see them, but if I’m going to then I want some lead time to (quietly, calmly, nonchalantly) get the heck out of the way! Lachlan has consistently regaled me with stories about finding carpet snakes (harmless) in the living room, or pythons (harmless) in the rafters of the barn, or brown snakes (poisonous and can kill you!) in the garden. Eek! I am petrified of having to get up in the night to go to the bathroom and stepping on a snake taking a siesta in the hallway. Or walking into the barn and a python in the rafters dropping on me. Or walking through the grass and a brown snake that I can’t see, biting me and I’m going to die. Irrational – probably a little, but I didn’t grow up with snakes around like Lachlan did. There are certain precautions that Aussies take, like never flip over rocks or logs with your hands and always shake out your boots before you put your foot in. Why would you leave your boots outside so a snake (or poisonous spider – yes, they have those too) can take up residence over night??? Ugh!
(I can't even post a picture of a real snake...like I said, gives me the heebee-jeebees)
Aussies, on the other hand, have a fear of bears. Now to me this is just silly. In my lifetime, I have maybe seen 5 bears and I even live in the Foothills of Alberta where there is a greater chance of a sighting. Heck, in elementary school we had a little black bear that took up residence in the woods above our school for a short time. I was practicing for our cross country run and had to pass right by him in a clearing (at a walk of course, didn’t want him to think of me as lunch). But it was no harm, no foul. I wasn’t even scared.
My rational, you can see a bear coming and plan an escape route accordingly. A snake, however, can sneak right up on you unawares – or you forget to shake out your boots and willingly allow yourself to be bitten. I just know one is to bite me, that’s why I’m wearing my cowboy boots at all times when visiting, less chance they can poison me through the tough leather.
Lachlan keeps trying to tell me that they are more scared of me then I am of them...but I doubt it.