I'm sitting by my desk and slowly fading like a Kariba sunset. It's nearly 3pm, however, my jet-lagged body is me that it's 11pm and i should start winding down. Crossing multiple time zones is only for the strong at heart, lol.
Just over 24hrs ago, i was waltzing into OR Tambo after having spent a glorious week in Sydney, Australia. Just over 24hrs ago, my sleep-deprived self was almost reduced to tears on learning that my luggage didn't make it back with me. Just over 24hrs ago i was mentally calculating my next trip back to that side of the world (these calculations involved selling my living room furniture and living off chicken noodles for the next few months).
I wish i had kept a travel journal or something, but that's pushing it really, hahaha. So instead, i will share with you some rather random observations i made while on holiday....i'm sure if i miss vital points Kookie can refresh my memory, she was my Australian hotline counsellor who had to put up with wide-eyed-tourist-type observations (God bless you hun, you were a sport):
1. The men are super tall, like dude-are-you-gonna-fit-in-the-elevator type tall. I’m surprised the Australians don’t have a booming basketball culture, they’d be reaping in that cash!
2. There is no such thing as Australian local cuisine, instead they borrow on everyone else’s culinary influences, with Asian food be the primary dominator in the food market and good ole fashioned English favourites, coming in a close second. I was happy to note that I saw many a Nandos franchise within various suburbs (mmmmmh, yum), but was super sad to see that my all-time favourite Nandos meal, "strips and spicy" rice didn’t feature on their menus (boo!).
3. The city populous is kitted out, from head-to-toe, in fashionable threads, so much so, that you’d think you were living out an ad campaign. Imi ka, they aren't playing around! Sadly, the general price of clothing was enough to give those of us, who live in 12 months of the year in Rand (R) currency, palpitations.
4. I have a distinct feeling that the general Aborigine population within Australia is on the extinction list. On my previous trip to The Land of Oz, a few years back, i did manage to spot them, but in the greater metropolis areas i guess they don’t even feature. They are truly a marginalised people.
The upside is that there’s been a lot of press lately around a new Aussie supermodel of Aborigine origin, by the name of Samantha Harris (not that E! Hollywood presenter). Hopefully, she can raise the profile of her people, for the better.
5. The Aussie accent is definitely NOT contagious, even for an accent slut like myself. You're not going to catch me suddenly proclaiming "how’s you's" anytime soon :-)
6. Coming from a continent where cross racial relationships and interactions always seem to be steeped 300 years of underlying discourse, no matter which way you look at it, it was a breath of fresh air to interact with Australians, less complicated.
7. Australia has a soccer team playing in the World Cup (WC). How did this little piece of information escape me until i got there (don’t judge me..or touch me on my studio, lol). Good news is they're hyping the WC over there and are super excited!
8. Aussie television makes the SABC look good...yup, that bad.
9. Lots of cash, but not so much flash: Not the most materialistic of nations, Aussies prefer to downplay their wealth and play it cool. Spotting any automobile fancier than an Audi was a rarity in itself, it’s very much Honda and Toyota country, people.
10. Rumour has it Aussies pay 50% income tax (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), which is steep... real steep. However, you can really see that all that tax money is being used for something. They say you can’t put a price on “peace of mind”, i think the Aussies have come close...real close.
Other trip highlights included:
Family Reunion: My family was in one place and guess what, it wasn’t Christmas, lol. Geez i miss my people man. This diaspora living business is getting OLD!
John Mayer concert: What that man can do with a guitar is illegal, and that voice *sigh* Sadly, my love affair with this particular character is over. I love his music, but i’m a bit over his persona (you can gloat now Shona!)
Hotel living: If only breakfast everyday was a full-on buffet and room service was a call away, i would be a very happy lady...a very overweight one too, but happy nonetheless. Don’t even get me started on great smelling soap they had in the rooms and the fluffy bathrobes...bliss man, utter bliss.
Partying like a Rock star: Sampled the night life (and many a beverage) in some hiphop clubs in the city, one of which was interestingly located in the middle of the Red District.
Note to everyone: When standing outside of a club...in a red district...and upon hearing Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” blaring from said-club, do NOT start dancing in a suggestive manner and sing-a-long loudly, “Take it, take it.” You’re just asking for trouble ;-)
Tourist stuff: I will never get sick of the Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House however, that i may be a tad bit warried/indifferent about. I frolicked in Hyde Park (why is Hyde Park a posh area, no matter where you are in the world) where the fam and i checked out St Mary’s cathedral and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Bondi beach was lovely, reminded me of Clifton beach (Cape Town) in the summer.
The Friends: These are the troopers that put up with my calls during work hours or after hours, when they were trying to wind down from a crazy work day. Whether it was arranging our entertainment, feeding us or just making sure my siblings and I experiences the full benefits of Sydney sans parents, these guys pulled through.
That all said and done, it’s good to be home!
There is really nothing like having an entire bedroom and bathroom to yourself. Not to mention, i don’t think i could take another turbulent flight without being tranquilised first.
Chickens, have a safe Phuza Thursday and holla in the comments y’all!