Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

You can contact us at werkingwells (at) gmail . com

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Sydney Australia: The Bloody Idiots Club

We haven't seen much of Sydney. Not the zoo, the harbor (actually Andy got to go there), or any of the great sights because the day after arriving, Dylan and I got pretty sick. While my body was wracked with fever and aches, Dylan spent an uncomfortable night praying to the porcelain god. But all is not lost. We headed out to Brisbane today on a 14 hour train ride and will spend about 10 days there and on the Gold Coast before flying to Melbourne and driving a rental car back to Sydney, just in time for Christmas (or Chrissy as the Aussies call it) and hopefully some sightseeing.

So, the other night we were watching the national Australian news, which interestingly enough has the same theme music as NBC Nightly News, when the announcer started going on about the Bloody Idiots Club. Apparently, the Australians don't mince words, because this was a club filled by people dumb enough to drink alcohol and drive, hence the name, bloody idiots. She not only talked about recent statistics, but named the recently busted as well as a photo montage of the more famous Australians initiated into the club. There were quite a few that should have known better. Well, Andy and I were totally cracking up, because we couldn't imagine Tom Brokaw going on about the latest drunk drivers while featuring some of the more famous on national news, let alone call them bloody idiots. It reminded us how very far from home we are.

That's the really interesting thing about travel, is that you can immerse yourself in the local news and get a real feel for the people and culture. While in China, we read the English-written Chinese papers and it was an education to see their perspective on the world. In almost every newspaper there would be small bits of news from the provinces: a mother who killed herself because she couldn't pay for her child's school tuition, some guy with an unusual foot disease, the price of tea. Tidbits never heard outside of the country. In Thailand we were privy not only to some inane TV shows (they have a real fondness for crossdressing men), but reports on every person who contracted bird flu and the increasingly unstable southern part of the country where Muslim extremists were clashing with local officials over the creation of a separate state. I'm not sure if the story of Burma moving its nations capitol from Rangoon to the jungle in the middle of the night was reported in the US, but it got a lot of press in Thailand. It was the equivalent of George Bush saying one day, "Hey I think Washington DC is a bit too much on the beaten path, lets move the capitol to some swamp in South Carolina!"

It's a refreshing reminder that we, and in conjunction the United States, are not the Center of the Universe. While our country has managed to export McDonald's, KFC and that horrible Whitney Huston song from the movie The Bodyguard (oh I I I I will alwayssss love you) to all reaches of the galaxy, Tom Delay, recent storms, and even George Bush can be pushed out of the limelight. Although Bush's visit to China did garner a few headlines in the Thai papers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will be pleasantly surprised (except Dylan) or the super-low key fanfare with which Crissy is celebrated! We were thrilled to see only one or two Santas (in shorts, of course) and very little in the way of lights and decorations. It was a refreshing change from over-consumption/everything here. ALL the Aussies head to the beach on Christmas Day so pick a good one (not a bad one in the lot, really) and plan a picnic, swim, and a brewskie or two. Laura C

December 04, 2005 10:42 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home