Friday, January 8, 2010

Do you like Havaianas?

A friend of ours is Currently visiting South America and was recently in Buenos Aires. Where he reported, “Havaianas for as low as $15AUD. Not bad huh.” To which I thought, “How would I know if that was good or bad, as I don’t even Know what a Havaiana is”.
At first, I thought it might have been a Cuban Cigar, but as I don’t think this person smokes, I didn’t think that was it though. So l looked it up on the Net and found out that the exotic sounding ’Havaiana was simply a brand or trade name for a simple product that, although supposedly introduced to us by the Kiwis, is a quintessential piece of Australian footwear. Yes! That exotic sounding Havaiana, is simply a brand of the Humble thong, or as it is known in South Africa, the Flip-flop!
Thus, Havaianas are a Brazilian brand of thongs/flip-flops that gained world recognition in 1998 after the company developed a style of the sandals for the World Cup that featured the Brazilian flag. Although Havaiana flip-flops have only become wildly popular in the United States in the last five years after many celebrities were seen wearing them, the brand has been around since 1962. The brand's famous slogan "Havaianas. The Real Ones." originated in the 1970s as a response to other companies making knock-off versions of the flip-flops. The shoes are known for their comfortable soles and straps. The name Havaianas means Hawaiians (in Portuguese), which is where they obviously come from via Japan where all thongs/ flip-flops apparently originate from.
All in all, all the above doesn’t really mean all that much to me, but it was surprising to learn that a product that many Australians would think was synonymous with Australia, both has other names and originated elsewhere far from Australia.
All of which made me wonder how many other things we proudly claim as our own that we should actually be giving credit and recognition to? And I guess the same thing should be asked of my own life too? What things am I currently taking or being given credit for that I should be giving or directing to the correct source? Maybe you too need to ask that same question too? Over to you now for your reflection.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What is your current prejudice?

When we came back from South Africa in 2002 and brought a car here, we started using the local Mechanic in Ringwood that our oldest daughter used, who in fact was technically an Auto electrician who worked out of a small factory next door to a Brake and Clutch mechanic. And between the two there wasn’t too much that they couldn’t fix when it came to car problems. Then our youngest daughter also took her car there and all was happy for many years, but then late in 2008, the oldest daughter bought a late model Mazda and we, a new Mazda and we both took them to the Mazda dealer. At around the same time our youngest bought a late model Holden and our Mechanic/auto electrician decided to give up his business and go and work for wages next door at the Brake and Clutch place. At the same time our Youngest independently decided that she wanted to take her Holden to a Holden specialist. So that is how, although we all used the same mechanic, we all left him but not because of any fault or weakness of his.
Well the youngest took her Holden to the Local Holden specialist a couple of times and wasn't very happy with them or their service and so when a sudden problem occurred after Christmas with the ignition, 5 days before she was planning to drive up to Townsville, some 36 hours driving time away, she decided to go to another Holden dealer, but they couldn’t do it for four days, (a little over 24 hours before she wanted to leave) and that it would cost her $300.
So I suggested that she go back to this other mechanic, where our mechanic now works and just get their opinion on the matter. So we did and they were open first day back after the Christmas break, and although our Mechanic wasn’t there, the Boss of the place worked out what the problem was, and said that whilst he could do it, they were really busy and it really was a locksmiths job anyway. So he checked that the locksmith he used was open and we went around there.
But all the way there the youngest was saying, “BUT IT IS NOT RIGHT TAKING A CAR TO A LOCKSMITH! A CAR NEEDS A MECHANIC. “
Anyway as her options were rather limited, she went. However after speaking with the people there, who immediately knew that her Holden was an Astra around the year 2000 model and that they had a stack of Ignition cylinders for most makes and models of Cars, she was much happier about them “fixing” her car. And less than an hour’s work and only $135.00 later, she was one very relieved and happy young lady.
I think that left to her own devices she would not have gone to the locksmiths but waited till the last minute for the $300 fix. A decision that not only would have cost more for no better a job but left her stressed for those extra 4 days.
All of which made me wonder what prejudices I might have, that are also irrational and illogical when you really think about them. After all where else would you go for help with a problem with a lock and key, but a locksmiths, even if the key and lock belong to a Car?
So I just thought I would start the New Year with the thought that perhaps all of us should re-evaluate our current prejudices anew and see if perhaps they too are irrational and need changing. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When do you take your Christmas decorations down?

Well I finally finished taking the Christmas Decorations down yesterday. I had wanted to start on Boxing Day but was told that I should leave them up till Jan. 1st at first. And then someone else said, no Jan 6th is the day they stay up to.
Well I compromised and the Cards and the outside lights came down on Jan 3 and the Tree yesterday.
But am still wondering what is the normal day to remove the Christmas Decorations and the reason for why that particular day?
To me, once Christmas Day is past, there is no point in them staying up! What are your thoughts please?