Sam Bowker: The Grand Tour Diary (2005 - 2006)

This is the archived journal of a 2005-2006 'Grand Tour' around the Eastern Mediterranean and along East Africa, written by Sam Bowker, whilst in search of his PhD topic.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Australia - Sydney

Dedicated to those nice people at Customs

Finally, I'm back in Australia. The cleanness of the air is conspicuous - I find myself taking deeper breaths than I'm used to, because it seems like they just aren't filling my lungs the same way as Cairo's air does. I've decided that Sydney's air is perfumed with the scent of glossy magazines. It's only a tint, but if you were to distill Sydney in a small bottle, it would smell like a fresh Vogue opened for the first time on a beach. You can see it in the forms of consumption plugged here from the moment you leave Passport control - trendy bars, stylish places, elegant home interiors, designer clothing, all totally vacuous but made to look so utterly desirable.

Also conspicuous, much more so than the air, is the number of western teenagers dressed up to party in Sydney's nightlife. That's something I really haven't seen for a very long time. You wouldn't be caught dead dressed like that in most of the nations I've been travelling through for the last few months. It's a refreshing reminder of how Australian cultures are so curiously different to those of the Middle East and Africa.

Everything in my luggage seems to have arrived intact, and the Customs people didn't have any issues with my stuff. Indeed, some of it they found intriguing (in that positive way which means they'll let you actually keep it). It's a bloody pain to lug around, but only a few minutes of lugging lies between getting it out of the hostel and into my home.

I'll be arriving at the Jolimont Centre in Canberra around 11.30am Sunday. Might just see you there!


Post a Comment

<< Home