SYDNEY, Dec. 17 — It was once remarked that Brits and Americans are separated by a common language. The same is true for Australia and the U.S. Here are some helpful definitions if you’re contemplating a trip here:

Ankle biters: toddlers

Boot/bonnet: car trunk/hood

Bottle shop: liquor store

Capsicum: red pepper

Chemist: pharmacist

Fair dinkum: real, authentic 

Lead: leash

P-platers: teen, or probationary, drivers

Ute: car with open bed, like a truck

Strange, yes. The sports are odd too. But fun. Been watching a lot of cricket here in Sydney. Really getting into it. The Ashes are being played now and the country is on high alert as the Aussies lead England 2-0.

The third test is on in Perth and some history was made yesterday when Adam Gilchrist recorded the second-fastest century ever: in just 56 balls! Today Glenn McGrath gave Australia hope for a sweep when he notched a two-wicket maiden, including Matthew Hoggard’s duck, in his 94th over, right before play was halted for darkness. McGrath’s gem gave the Aussies five wickets after they’d spent much of the day struggling to get past one. A low point was Alistair Cook’s century for England.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed for five more wickets tomorrow before the Brits can notch the 292 runs they need to eke out a win. And then The Ashes return Down Under!

We go back to Melbourne for New Year’s and may have a chance to see some cricket live as The Ashes continue there. An all-day affair — Lisa will be in heaven.