Having grown up in Africa with its history of different loyalties, ethnicities, languages and monarchs, it is refreshing to experience the casual pride and almost universal pleasure of Australians on the national holiday.
The weather is invariably hot, so outdoor visits to bodies of water are mandatory. Beaches, rivers and pools are soon surrounded by near naked flesh and flimsy gazebos.
Children frolic and squirm away from suncream lotions and sun hats; adults expose their tattoos and drink beer from as soon as the tent is up.
Even the roads are relaxed and festive with a number of cars festooned with national flags, fluttering in the slipstream.
XXXX, Jimmy Barnes and iced prawns are the iconic choices of the majority.
The day is probably the best part of Straylya!