Tiana around the world

Tiana has written about her studies and travels in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Nazi death camps, The Czech Republic, Arizona, and Australia.

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How does Australia compare with America?

Australia and America are the bastard sons of the U.K. America is the older brother, so Australia looks to it for its decision making… America left the house sooner, and calls home less. America has had more privileges and had more time to make more mistakes… that’s the best way I can describe the differences anyway. And I get asked for a comparison all the time. In fact that’s how most conversations start off. I’ve taken a lot of abuse because of my citizenship, but when I think of this relationship it makes things easier. I hear Aussies talk about how America does this or that wrong, and in the same breath talk about a Simpson’s episode.

As far as race relations goes I hope that Australia looks to someone other than it’s big brother. We are not to be admired… we’ve come a long way, but we have so long to go. At first I was super defensive of America… we are less racist. Which I still believe to be true, but then I start thinking about how privileged I am just because of my borderline albino complexion… I can look like a hobo (or be one), talk like a sailor, and do a number of things without people saying the reason for my behavior is my skin color. If I go to a hairdresser the stylist will know how to cut my hair, and if I buy “flesh” colored make up it will match my skin tone. If I walk past a car at a stoplight it is doubtful that the driver will lock the doors or feel nervous. If I am in my car and a cop pulls me over I can be sure that I have not been targeted because of my race.

Today I went to the Egyptian exhibit at the museum. I could not find a single item in the exhibit that was not related to death. It seems to me that the Egyptians spent their whole life preparing for the next one. It kind of reminds me of all the people that I know who worry all the time about their pension plans. Not that planning for retirement isn’t important, but I feel like being so consumed about the future prevents one from concentrating on and enjoying the present. That and who would want to bury all that neat stuff? I’d want to look at those items all the time. But I guess I can now that my culture “acquired” such sacred items that are intended to stay in one place forever, and if moved can set the owners soul at rest. Oh, culture, the cause and solution to all problems… or is that beer? Homer Simpson thinks its beer, or at least that’s what the Aussies tell me.

The Perth Royal show is like a smaller version of the Texas state fair with a less impressive fried food selection. While there I saw a flower arranging competition, a wood chopping competition, sheep shearing, and dog and cat competitions. I’m not quite sure how dog shows work, but the canines look so funny. I definitely wouldn’t want to be the one who has to shave giant poufs in a poodles hindquarters. The fair also included an entire barn filled with llamas and alpacas, which was so great because I had never seen either before. The highlight of the afternoon was watching traditional Indonesian dancing accompanied by live music. It was kind of like the opposite of river dancing- the emphasis was on hand and arm motions.

Here is a link to my pictures from the Perth Royal Show.

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