As I was strolling around the town in which my beautiful lady Ash lives, I saw a man with a moustache, in a red plaid shirt, dirty jeans, and big boots, carrying wood on his shoulder. It then hit me that I was quite obviously in Australia.
It feels great to be back with Ashlee. I have not been able to hug her when she’s had a bad day, or make her a cup of tea in bed, or go places with her, for almost 6 months and that has been horrible. We have both struggled with it. But seeing her again, at the airport, for the first time in over 5 months, made it all worthwhile. It re-affirmed my previous conclusion that I want to spend my life with this girl. I feel tremendously lucky.
The very first thing you notice in Australia, is the vast open spaces. The cities like Melbourne are modern and rather big. But within seconds of leaving the city, you’re presented with free space as far as your eye can see. It contrasts hugely to the densely populated cities and towns in England. Within seconds of leaving Leicester, you are in a new city or a new town, and the only open spaces are parks or farms.
Excuse the horrendous generalisations i’m about to make, because whether they are true or not, we English certainly perceive them to be true of everyone else, other than us. England has a bit of a North/South divide. Those in the North are never too keen on those in the South and vice versa. And I personally find Northerners far friendlier and willing to talk to you than Southerners. Aussies seem happy and friendly and willing to talk to a stranger, far more than we are. If you ask a Londoner where the nearest Tube station is, he’s likely to look at you as if you’d asked if you could lick his face. Aussies seem far friendlier than us Englanders. That’s not to say that we’re all miserable unhelpful bastards!
I have noticed just how different mentalities are in Australia in comparison to what i’m accustomed to in England. England is far too American. We are always in a rush. We are made to believe that the object of our lives is to have more stuff. Our cars have to be perfect. Our homes must be modern and filled with huge TVs and Xbox’s. Our entire economy is based on promoting useless wants. It’s a very flimsy system. Australia seems different from first glance. Cars have scratches and dents, they’re old and have torn seats. They do not seem to care if they get a tiny scratch that would essentially drive an Englishman crazy demanding compensation. Australian houses, from what i’ve seen are old miner’s homes from the gold rushes. The outside of the homes are very old looking and quite eerie in nature. I walked past one that had an old torn sofa on the front porch, a rocking chair, and a broken swing in the front yard blowing gently in the wind, with a whisper of a creaking sound. If that isn’t the mark of a house owned by a serial killer, I don’t know what is. And yet, inside these seemingly run down old miners homes, are beautifully renovated modern interiors. We in England find it difficult to get our heads around this idea. Seeing cheerful friendly people come out of eerie looking homes, not even carrying a bloodied axe or a black bin bag in the shape of a corpse, is not something we understand.
So far, I am loving Australia. I arrived on Tuesday. After all the jetlag, and waking up at 4am ready for my day, tired by 6pm ready for sleep, and other odd sleeping patterns, I am left not really knowing what day it is today. I presume it’s Monday. The flight was okay. I hate flying anyway. The slightest hint of turbulence and i’m convinced we’re going down. Over Afghanistan, the plane began to rock quite violently, we’d hit bad turbulence. A woman a couple of rows in front of me screamed. So naturally I was convinced the wings were about to come off. I am not a good flyer at all. If I hear a noise that sounds like the engines are slowing down, I think “Does the pilot know that the engines have stopped working? Shouldn’t somebody tell him that the only thing keeping this tin can unnaturally in the air, have just stopped? ……Shouldn……..oh wait, they’re making noise again.” I over think the entire flight all the time.
Kuala Lumpur airport has a forest in the centre of it. You go through a door to get into it. The sign on the door reads “This airport and its affiliated airlines cannot take responsibility for any lost luggage or deaths that may occur.” When there’s a disclaimer telling me that I might die if I go through the door, I am pretty sure that isn’t a door I ever want to go through.
I have had a pretty fantastic first week. First and foremost, I got my Ash back! I have explored towns that all remind me of Hill Valley in Back to the Future III. Old Western style towns, that I adore. They have such character. I have seen some beautiful scenery. I have not got used to everything being in Kilometres as opposed to miles. I have met Ash’s friends, who were all very friendly, very welcoming, and made a beautiful dinner and breakfast for me. Which is massively appreciated. I have driven and got confused by the idea that if the green man is showing, and there is no one directly crossing in front of your car, you can drive on. I have explored Melbourne, and walked along the south bank at night. I have joined together with Ash’s friend and beat two Aussies at pool. I have been in an Aussie pub, with very welcoming Aussie locals, and was fed the worst toast spread in the history of the World. I have learnt that the phrase “What’s going on?” is pronounced “s-carnon?” I have met Ash’s dad and brother, who are both great company, and whom bought me a pizza and wine, and whom we are seeing again next week in Tasmania, and…………… I HAVE SEEN KANGAROOS!!!!!!!!
If Australia beat Serbia and make it through to the next round of the World Cup, and England don’t…………… I’m going to change my accent, never go home, dress in plaid shirts, and call myself “Bruce“.