Saturday, April 3, 2010

Stay Cool

So far Australia has been pretty amazing. We spent a couple days in Toowoomba, where Easterfest is located. The weather, the food, the people.... were all incredible. The show went great (even though my dear MIRA didn't much care for the humidity, and gave me tuning troubles all show long!)....

Yesterday we drove back to Brisbane, and explored the downtown area. We walked through the Queen Street Mall... I love the fact that so much is walkable in this area. I must have walked 6-7 miles yesterday. It feels so good.

"Stay Cool" written in the sky in Brisbane. So cool!As we were walking through town yesterday afternoon, I noticed all of a sudden that quite a few people were looking up at the sky.... I looked up, and someone had written "Stay Cool" in the sky. How cool is that?

That phrase seems to be something of a mantra here. Everyone seems pretty relaxed.... as if they haven't a care in the world. It's amazing how that just puts me at ease. I don't see people rushing to get anywhere... I don't see people having business meetings in coffee shops.... People just seem so much less stressed here!

I've been surprised to notice some incredible similarities between Australia and Canada. I'd venture so far as to say that in many ways Australia and Canada have more in common than Canada and the USA do.

Sure, there are the obvious correlations... the multi-coloured money, the way I just spelled "multi-coloured", the queen on the back of all the coins, the fact that we have prime ministers instead of presidents, and a parliament instead of a senate. But when you look at the culture, there are many more similarities. There's an inherent sort of hippie-culture, a pluralism, and a multiculturalism that runs deep in both countries.

Aussie Aussie Aussie!For instance, walking through the Queen Street Mall yesterday.... I saw coffee shops, irish pubs, felafel and kebab shops, asian tea shops, and so much more... all on the same streets and blocks. Nowhere did I see a "chinatown" or "italian district". I just saw everyone mingling. Black, white, asian, indian.... It was pretty inspiring. Canada is similar in this respect, although Toronto does have a few ethnic-based districts.

Sure, I haven't seen that much of Australia yet, so I'm not exactly an expert... these are just my first impressions. The general sense of community and good-will is refreshing, and definitely reminds me of Canada. It's nice to experience a culture somewhat less based on "every man for himself".

It's interesting that all this comes on the heels of me finally getting my green card in the United States. I'm definitely SUPER grateful to be able to live and work in the states... It's really one of the only places in which I can seriously pursue the line of work I'm in... and most of my friends are American.

For now, the United States is my home.... but the more I travel abroad, the more I am inspired to see and learn more about the world. I appreciate the differences in culture. There is always something to learn from another culture. I like to be reminded of that.

Today we're flying to Melbourne. I've heard the food there is incredible. Can't wait to check out another great Australian city!



Ida Lou said...

This is like the 3rd blog you've written about Australia, it must really be awesome!
I can understand what you mean about the totally different culture than the US. Sometimes, it's very nice to get a break from here.

OneColoradoGirl said...

Hey, Can you guys bring back some of those Tim Tam Crush chocolate mint bars that were in KJ-52's 1st video from Easterfest? I really want to try one and I think the bars would probably last till we see you guys in July. =)
Thanks! Have a blessed Easter!


Christine said...

yeah, the U.S. is too "all about me" in my opinion >_<

or maybe that's just humans in general

seeing as i havent been outside the U.S. xD lol