You are in for a real treat today – just came down to Sydney exclusively to be with the family for Christmas and for some business (hi, Facebook friends and RTA) and the differences in living hit me like a warm hug, a bunch of mojitos and a tonne of ocean waves.
You dont need to go far to appreciate the humid, carefree atmosphere of the great southern land.
The humidity in Baggage Reclaim already makes you feel like youre swimming.
And worried about queues? Just squeeze past through when you see your bag coming out. Everyone will flock to the machinery because there are no rules.
Changing into thongs (for my international friends: flip flops) seems to be a necessity in the 30 degree heat.
Sense of space once you get out the city (can be a gigantic headache) is ginormous. Big cars. Big roads (width and length), big skies.
At the nearest supermarket like woolworths, its obvious to me that we have a real love of the outdoors. A whole section for bbq, picnics, “ready to go” food (NOT ready to eat like in some places) – is a breath of fresh air. No pun intended.
Big cultural notes: no need to care about anything because the beach is king here. Bra strap showing? No problem, make it look like a bikini. Thong looks can be worn anywhere.
Sunglasses on top? Sure, the sun is strong outside. Fashion is a needs-basis and women dress feminine… boys, dress male. No neutrality here, just relaxed atmosphere.
Shop names? Be as quirky as you like. Ocean Master. Electric eyes. Basic Bananas. All so that some character can be seen. In switzerland? People have to be serious and look reliable. I guess that`s because of the competition up there.
But I would definitely love a milkshake at the ocean master and fish and chips to follow in the arvo.
Marketing is entertaining actually. So many brands come with affection, some rhymes and jingles. And these work because the songs stick in my head.
Australia, you`re doing something right!
Ah the colours. I can`t get over them. Granted winter isnt very interesting without the snow but when you’ve just come to the start of summer in Sydney, thats really impressive. Juicy greens meet your eyes. The endless blue sky meets your eyes in its beautiful perriwinkle hue: passionate, purple, free and juicy.
I woke up on second day with juicy green shrubs blazing at me in the 7am sun and it was almost too much, as beautiful as it was after all the grey up north.
Christmas: all the tinsel, decorations and lighting looks funny and cute. Christmas down south needs to be reinvented because the heat and humidity doesnt equal mulled wine, markets and snow like it does in the north. In fact this is one of the beauties of colonialism: it doesnt fit the country! It`s an adopted practice. One that gives time off and some meaning to living in the south but kind of wasted at the same time.
Everyone is so considerate – it does not stopping hitting you after the crazy demands of Europeans. Everyone wants a chat, lets you into the queue, serves you with care.
Something about the humbleness of people here comes from a couple of things. Value of mateship: helpful people, teamwork to get things done. Kindness.
Generally people aren`t up themselves or greedy. Unless they are above average looking.. thats not going to be an easy talk.
It comes down to the nature. They are very close to it.. the beach is there, the animals are everywhere, things are slow paced. Waves are the way to everything. People just manage their lifestyles which are mostly natural. Its a kind of flow. Nothing is rushed, like in the north where fun needs to be scheduled.
One of the top 5 things that hit me:
Privilege. No invasions, no bombings, no wars, deattached from intense politics and manipulations from crazy neighbours.
And you can feel it. It`s freedom, its easy friendships, easy business and getting what you set out to do. Its the ocean and enjoying all that it brings. One cannot buy this type of thing. There is privilege in wealth, privilege in status, and a privilege in being Aussie. And this is it…
No corruption, not having to worry your neighbour might be dead tomorrow because they couldn`t bribe the police enough: no gun shots or violence. In this time I deeply appreciate what this country offers because having that type of stress reduces your life longevity.
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