Hello from Gleeson!
Do you see anything that looks out of place in this picture?
Please take a closer look at the markers on this scale ...
That's right! The direction of the needle on this scale goes opposite (counter-clockwise) to that of a typical scale in Japan. Interesting, isn't it?
I saw this scale at a supermarket near my homestay, and I couldn't help but be perplexed about the leftward direction of the needle, so I immediately looked it up after returning home.
At first, I thought that most people in Australia were left-handed, which would explain the direction in which the needle turns, but I was wrong. Simply put, it was because Australia, unlike Japan, is a southern hemisphere country.
The reason why clocks turn “clockwise” is related to the sundial that was used in olden days. A sundial is a wooden stick or stone placed vertically on the ground, using the shadow it makes to find out what time it is. The shadow of the sundial moves clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere.
Since the world's first mechanical clocks were made in the northern hemisphere, right-handed clocks and scales have been used to this day.
However, when I went to the same chain supermarket in a different location later that day, I found that they have right-handed scales.
I had thought that all scales and clocks in Australia were left-handed, but I was wrong.
However, if I had just stayed and lived an ordinary life in Japan and never gone to Australia, I probably would not have seen such "left-handed" scales. It was a good experience for me to come to Australia and learn such things.
Now, to make up for my long talk about clocks, I would like to conclude by mentioning the key differences between my image of Adelaide and what it is actually like there.
This 3-month study abroad program is divided into two regions, Brisbane and Adelaide. I came to Adelaide with information that it was hot in Australia from the people who were in the first group (going to Brisbane) and from information on the Internet.
However, when I actually arrived in Adelaide, the temperature was as high as 20 degrees Celsius, but the wind was strong and I felt very cold. Not only that, but the next day (the day I found the scale that turns counter-clockwise) it was around 26°C during the day and despite there being almost no wind, I still felt quite cold. I was wearing a long-sleeved cotton jacket at that time, but it was still cold.
Another surprise was the length of the day.
In Japan, it is usually dark outside by 7 or 8 pm at the latest, even in summer. However, in Australia (Adelaide), it is still bright outside even at 8 pm, which just seemed crazy to me.
Well then, thank you for reading to the end!
I didn't take many pictures this time, and it was mostly text, so I'll make sure to take lots of pictures before the next blog...!
My next blog entry will be on Monday, March 27, so please look forward to it!