Monday, October 30, 2006

First World Culture Shock

Sydney Opera House

It's been awhile since I've written. Partly because I've been on a sort of vacation within a vacation, I've been going through writer's cramp bordering on an aneurysm, and with Australia being so similar to the U.S. (Bondi Beach where I'm staying might as well be in Southern California), I haven't been as inspired or seen any mind shattering things. I've been staying with friends as well, so it feels more like staying at a friend's place down the coast an hour away from home, vs. being on the other side of the world. It's been really nice to take a break from backpacking. This is also the first English speaking/first world country I've been to on this trip, which makes life so much easier.....And you know what, it's sunny here. There's beach and surf, so let me think....
computers or waves?
computers or waves?
internet or beach..........(perfect example of writer's aneurysm).

But nonetheless, there are some interesting cultural observations to be had here in Sydney and Melbourne --- I've only been in the cities on the east coast. Supposedly the west coast and Outback are incredible and a bit more diverse. These observations do not constitute or stereotype all of Australia, just things I've noticed which may or many not have a profound affect on your life.

Sydney is in a harbor and to the east and north are beautiful gold sand beaches only 15 minutes from the city center. This area feels like Huntington Beach or Long Beach, California...but cleaner.....and whiter. Sydney has the largest amount of caucasians per capita that I've ever seen in my life. But I guess that makes sense since China had the most concentrated amount of Chinese, and Lao had the largest percentage of Laotians that I've ever seen.

Melbourne reminded me of Denver because of the scale and size of it. It has a more artsy feel and more ethnic diversity than Sydney. The music scene there is Australia's answer to Austin Texas.

General Observations:
- cities and towns are generally cleaner than the ones in the states.
- more 7-eleven's here than in the U.S.
- this place is expensive to travel in. Lucky to be staying at friend's vs. paying for accomodations (Thanks Alicia, Mel and Kate!)
- the country is going through the worst drought of all time.
- American culture is big here. All the television programs are American shows out here. Music is American pop. Surfing is life out here.
- the U.S. annihilated the Native American population, Australia did the same to the Aborigines.
- we've got rednecks, they've got Bogans, their mullet-headed, wife-beater wearing equivalent.
- people here seem a lot more friendlier and less on edge than in the states.
- the music in the clubs here are, how do i say, more 'happier' than the beats in the U.S.
- and in general, the're more open to do anything and everything at anytime. And they truly make you feel at home.
- the personal hygiene level here is astronomically greater than any country I've been to so far on this trip.
- the travellers/backpackers that come here seem to be more of the partying crowd than in other countries that I've been to.

When I first arrived here, it was a big culture shock since everyone speaks English, everyone observes traffic laws, no farm animals roaming the streets, and public transportation actually makes sense. It really threw me for a loop in the beginning. It has been nice taking a break from backpacking. Coming onto month 12 of my travels, you hit a wall from time to time, and get tired of travelling. I hit a wall when I got here, and it's been nice to take a break from moving around. It's been nice to have everything so easy here (no language barrier, no looking for accomodations, no worrying about your stuff being stolen, no fear in crossing the streets, etc.). Anyway that's enough Vitamin I for one day. I leave you with this proverb,

A rolling stone gathers no moss. TenRen's are better than one, and Dónde está Ché Pelotas?


At 11:21 AM, Blogger alex said...

boy, we´ve been missing those short blogs. please, write something longer next time. man, a need a new pack of pelota.
so far, ren ahead my 2 points. morgan, you better step up, or else...;)


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