Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tales from The Land of Oz

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 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!


V x


Jaycee said...

I'm surprised that they don't have their own local cuisine...that's something I usually look forward to when I'm traveling (not that I've traveled much anyways).

Okay, so their TV sucks? Surprise, surprise. lol.

Why didn't I ever envision Aussie men as huge and tall?

Deedza said...

Vim travel more its good for the soul the body all of that
Im feeling ur 3pm drain its only 1249 here and ive got so much time left
Im jelusy u went to see John Mayer, im over him too love his music but over the whole messy tortured artist thing

Vimbai said...

@Jaycee Sampling local cuisine is a travelling must and crowd puller, so i was as surprised when i realised they don't have a national dish!

If you're in the market for strapping lads, head Down Under sister!

@Deedza: It's awesome for the soul and broadens the mind! I'm trying to push "culture shock" boundaries, i think exploring the rest of Africa will provide that, lol.

bhudhiJohn is a personal mess, i guess that's why he's a genius when it comes to music/song writing!

PS Don't jealous me, lol.

kookie said...

I'm kind of back...yay! I have so many blogs to read, check out that my comment might not be up to its usual standard lol

You didn't try Kangaroo meat?

and 2 you are pretty perceptive because I know Australians who have travelled and couldn't list anything this comprehensive about what they noticed.

As for Rude boy...smh and lol still "Take it Take it" on Kings cross? lmao

Shona Vixen said...

LOL @ 'Take it Take It' ooh Vimbai finish the story ka..LOL!!
Yeah I've never met a short Aussie guy ever!!!
LOL @ don't touch me on my studio..

Ka-danger said...

Ummm Did you really say strappping lads in the land down under?? I must be blind, because I feel like we are so deficient of those I am seriously considering moving countiries... yes you read right, countries! because of this here situation... mmm maybe I need to open up my eyes a bit more. Strange when I was down in Msanzi (thats what the cool kids are calling it right?) a month ago, I was like, you lucky fishes, there was hot strapping men everywhere,my neck was seriously sore from turning too much staring at people! Lol!
Glad you enjoyed the Aussie life!!


Teshyah said...

Wow you had fun. Did you by any chance go the beach? Cant wait to save and travel. I'm thinking Australia will be my first stop after reading this, just wont switch on the TV (Please tell me its better than ZBC??)

Vimbai said...

@Kooks: Kangaroo meat!!! I would NEVER eat Skippy :-)

I think you should make Rude Boy your theme song, its a very *ahem* assertive song!

@Shona: There's no more to the story iwe! We then hopped into the club for all of 15 mins (trance beats took over) and headed home. The End (True Story)

@Ka-danger: How about you tell me where you saw all these fine specimen in Mzansi and i will tell you where i saw eye candy in Sydney, cause shamwari, talent is scarce on this side...or maybe social circles have shrunk, either way, i would like to know where you were on this side. I need to build a talent database for my girls :-)

PS I LOVE the look and feel of your blog, very nice :-)

Teshyah: I saw the beach, didn't make it down to the beach (very long story about that).

Aus is a lovely place, but if it's beach you're looking for Moz, Mauritius, Kwazulu Natal/Durban etc have just as lovely beaches :-)

You and i both will be saving our pennies!

Ka-danger said...

I can't believe you saying talent is scarce, where you not in the land of AUS where you realise what 'scarcity' really means? lol. Nah seriously though I'm gonna open my eyes more, maybe they are there, actually on looking deeper, there actually are good looking men I guess but whether they go for the 'chocolate' ne sais pas, one nighter yes... see you as gf material no, so maybe thats my issue, I've blocked them out coz of above reason with exceptions ofcourse, lol... eish I could go on, on this topic, (blog for another day)... Back to the hot boys in Msanzi >> they were EVERYWHERE...well thats what it felt like, but I do remember going to Moloko (I hope thats what its called) and there were some pretty good guys in there (I'm hoping Moloko is seen as a good club, otherwise any points you may have had for me have prob gone down the drain, lol kinda like someone telling u they went to some hip place when its really some dodge ass place ), we went to another place also in that Sandton area, and I got a crick in my neck... but bear in mind I hadn't seen soooooo many men of the chocolate variations in about 8 years so maybe thats why I was so impressed

Anyway I tend to go on for too long, so plz excuse! I'm chuffed u like my blog, thanks hun! I'm trying this blog thing out,key word "trying" but quite nice to know there's a place where you can just vent or just share them random though.

ok best cut this off before I go on again (I'm at work ende kuri kubhohwa hence kutaurisa) :-)


Super star! said...

Shamwari i agree with a lot of your observations but am i missing something in terms of OZ sartorial exploits...cmon now. And Kings cross Sydney is a marvel sha. I remember some years back during the rugby world cup iwe- those girls made a lot of money. get into one of the joints and the girls are on display , like fish in a fish tank ready for dinner, even better than Geylang- Singapore. Just saying
@ka danger; if Moloko is your fav, then i think i have an idea of the sort of men you like.

Vimbai said...

@Ka-danger: True, chocolate brothers are scarce on your side of the world, but the one's i saw where yummy!

8 years in the diaspora...oh no honey, you were DEPRIVED of eye candy, no wonder everything in Mzansi looked good, asikana.

Sad to say, but Moloko is a very dodge place to hang out. Lots of people love it, but eish, nix man. In the past year or two, it's become the playing ground for working women and dodgy, handsy brotha's.

@Super: You are missing absolutely nothing! I was very well behaved on Kings Cross and in Sydney-at-large. That's my story and i'm sticking to it!

Iwe, don't be so mean to @Ka-danger, she didn't know better, lol.

Ka-danger said...

Shaaa Superstar, shaa! Lol Like Vimbai said I was deprived...majorly deprived, 8 years is a looong ass time, I won't even lie, when I walking down the streets of Harare and those wack-shillez men trying to hound you with the "sisi, sister, sister" even gave me a boost of confidence coz I was like wow, I don't get this in the diaspora...sad but true. lol.
In all honesty though,I cannot actually remember what the guys at that Moloko place looked like coz the alcamahol had taken over, bt just remember being chuffed being surrounded by all kinds of chocolateness. lol. Well next time I head down there, please fill me in on the hot spots!
Back to the deprivation I go!

zimchic said...

It sounds like you had a really good time out there! I am just drooling over the warm weather etc. 50% income tax hurts, but is it any better in South Africa. Ever since I started working, I feel like I work for the UK government. I would also love to live in a non-materialisting culture. I do not care about the latest car. P.S ML just said to let you know that when he lived in Oz- he was astounded by the booming basketball culture (he reads your blog vicariously through me)

Vimbai said...

@ka-danger: Honey, i think its time you moved back home! No good can come of this chocolate deprivation, no good at all :-)

Let me know when you're next dropping in town and we'll draft up a kosher clubbing itinerary for you, lol.

@zimchic: Income tax here is sitting at about 25% - 40%, depending on where you sit in the income bracket, however, WHERE is most of that going?

Probably World Cup stadiums at this point, but like in most African nations, lets just say, it's not going where it should...look at all the ministers with the flashy cars. Heck, we're paying for the upkeep of Zuma and his harem of peace of mind here.

Non-materialistic cultures are the way forward.

Thank ML for me for shedding some light on the Aussie basketball culture, at least they're putting all that height to some use!

zimchic said...

LOL- I realised I wrote materialisting culture- wtf, I should be ashamed. Zuma and his wives make me feel sad and empty, that man's success is salt in the wound of Africa.