Back in Australia

by - October 06, 2017

It took me a few weeks to get back into the swing of things. I had writer’s block… well, I had ideas but I didn’t want to sit down with a MacBook for the longest time because I’d gotten used to not hanging out with computers on account of I didn't take one to Europe. But now I am back in Australia and back on my laptop and back to reality.

Our welcome back wasn’t so nice. First, I come back to a plebiscite about a human rights issue that’s only an ‘issue’ because our politicians are cowards who won’t stand up for what’s right for all Australians. Of course, I voted yes but I’m disappointed that I had to, and I'm also irate that it's non-binding anyway. Why do we even need to do this?!

Second, a piece of trash at Brisbane International Airport mistook us for tourists and slagged us off in Boganese thinking we couldn’t understand her. Then, Dad Pham went and had himself some heart failure at our first Phamly Dinner back - thank goodness we had jet lag to make spending a night in Emergency less painful (though first day back at work that morning hurt quite a bit). I’m glad I was back in Australia in time to care for Dad but the culture (or lack thereof) shock left me with a bad case of the post-holiday blues.

Being overseas and meeting great people, then returning to that choice local twat, I realised I don’t really like Australians. The Europeans I encountered all had an inherent understanding or at least an awareness of other cultures and other languages that most Australians simply lack. I was so impressed with how nearly everyone we met could speak 2 or 3 languages. I’m only bi-lingual because of my heritage, otherwise, I’d only speak Australian like most folks here. I felt so uncultured, selfish and spoiled in Europe. I only learned enough to say hello, bye and thank you in the countries we visited - and expected (and did) find English speakers whenever I needed to communicate something important.

Australians tend to live in ignorance because of our isolated island. Sure, there’s racism everywhere in the world - not just Australia, but in Europe every country is bordered by many others so their racists know a bit about what they hate/fear about a different race or religion - doesn't make it OK but makes it different. In Australia, the racism is an ignorant and aggressive hate/fear - backed by a strong sense of entitlement to a land that we invaded, yet don't acknowledge or pay respects to its original owners to this day and still celebrate invasion day like it's something to be proud of. At least the conversation has started around that now - but it could be years before anything is done.

I miss Europe. I miss talking with strangers who know how to ask about my cultural background and history without making me feel like an alien or super-awkward. I also like not being petted on the head like a good doggo because some Aussie chick thinks I "look so cute" - I was so shocked when that happened I didn't say anything, but damn, bitch, treat me like a human being, please. I still love Australia, and I think we’re the luckiest country in the world. I just wish we’d stop promoting ourselves as a multicultural country and start to live it instead - we'd probably enjoy or at least learn a thing or two by opening our hearts and minds to people who don't live life exactly the same way we do.


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