Sunday, October 15, 2006

19 September: America Australia Relations

I had the unique opportunity to induldge in my "own culture" this weekend. Ok, not exactly unique, any aussie out there can find a few americans and spend the night talking sweet fa, but i haven't done it in a while. I got to hang out with a group of Americans and all of a sudden i felt really conspicuous. I was no longer cute when I approached the bar, I was in a pack of slightly obnoxious people about to descend and cause chaos. And, let's face it, I was no longer unique, a novelty, I was one of a few, all congregating around a table at the bar, and no one had any reason to single me out to talk.

Of course this made me ponder what my quest for Australia is all about. Is this to remove myself from people like them? In the beginning I thought it was. All these people, highly educated, like myself, but aroogant. Poppies growing wildly out of control and no one there to cut them, no one there to have taught them that arrogance is not endearing and the only people that everyone truly respects is those with every right to be arrogant and yet remain humble. But i'm more 'show-offy' than most australians so it couldn't have been their arrogance alone. Was it a desire to remove familiarity? It has been said that familiarity breeds contempt and perhaps I was too complacent, too comfortable, though ever seeking drama. Perhaps I need that feeling of ambiguity, the feeling that everything might be new today, could be new today. Was it to articulate my individuality? Like I said, there is great fun in going out and being noticed for nothing more than your 'accent.' Great fun in being something different, ubiquitous and yet somehow exotic.

For all these reasons I am seeking Australia. Its as much about me as it is about the place, though certainly, i love Australia for reasons i have not yet pinned down on the page. I love Australia in ways I have yet to discover, for reasons I have yet to know. But i love America too. I love America as my first love, a part of me I can't erase. I love America as my identification with it (or my being identified by it) influences everything i do in Australia, and perhaps, being something other than an American in Australian wouldn't be so much fun.


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