Flavor Of Australia
So, sadly, my time here is drawing to a close. In nine days I’ll be leaving for a vacation in New Zealand, then I will be back on American soil once again. In that time, I’ll try to squeeze in at least two more blog posts, not including this one, just to give you all a final taste of the Australian way of life.
But before I get all choked up with goodbyes, I thought I’d treat you all to my favorite pictures from my time here, and tell you why they’re my favorites. A collection of the “flavors of Australia”, if you will.
I took this one a couple days ago, on the walk home from the train station. It illustrates how incredibly *lush* this city is. Everywhere you look, there’s color, green, vibrancy. Half the time, I forget I’m in a city, simply because of how green it is. This picture illustrates how people here let nature take its course in their city, rather than fighting it.
The important thing here is the graffiti. I took this at the train station as a reminder that all countries have poverty. All countries have unemployment, trouble with vandals, crime, etc. While Brisbane and Australia have a very low crime rate, it doesn’t mean it’s nonexistent. It’s just a rather poignant message, I think.
These two pictures were taken in Chinatown, when I went there on Monday for the Lantern Festival. If nothing else, Brisbane is a multicultural city. The statistic I heard was that 1 in 4 Brisbane inhabitants are immigrants, which, when you think about it, is absolutely mind-blowing. The wonderful ethnic diversity (especially in the food- yum!) is incredible here, especially the richness of Asian and European cultures. My homestay family, for example, is Brazilian, British, and German.
Another great thing about Australia is the wildlife. This parrot, for example, I saw on my way to work one day. You see these guys all the time, as well as bright green parrots, white and black magpies, little scurrying lizards on the sidewalks, geckos on the back porch, and kangaroos in the countryside. (Oh, and let’s not forget three foot long snakes in the bathroom). If you’re afraid of any kind of animal, Australia is not the place to be. But if you love wildlife and nature, it’s paradise! (Just don’t get bitten!)
(Not my photos, save for the tractor one. I did take that, simply because I thought that that antique was awesome. Kudos to my homestay mother, Christiane, for taking the rest of these)
This are some snapshots of the harsh Australian outback, as well as a farm in the middle of the outback. Basically, as soon as you leave the city, you’re in the country. The contrast of the greenness of the coast and cities to the dry, rugged terrain of the outback is striking. But at the same time, I can see how it breeds hardy, resourceful people who can survive on almost nothing, and have a wonderful, dry sense of humor about life in general.
First off, I apologize for the fairly bad quality of this picture. I had the zoom in all the way, but I was still trying to take a picture of something on the telephone lines. And, to be perfectly honest, I had absolutely zero interest in going any closer to that thing. To give you a sense of perspective, those are telephone wires, which are probably a good 3/4 of an inch thick, maybe a little less. Now look at the size of that spider. As I was saying, there is a lot of wildlife in Australia. Most of it wants to eat you, poison you, bite you, or steal your babies.
And, finally, here’s just a few other photos, sans descriptions, that I’ve taken over the time I’ve been here.They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will be quiet and let you enjoy the beauties of Brisbane.