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Are You a Melburnian?

6 Aug

Today the Herald Sun has an article up called, “You’re not a Melburnian until…

There are 18 items on the list and I have to say, pathetically few apply to me. Like maybe about five? Perhaps that’s because so many of them have to do with coffee (which I don’t drink) or sports (which I don’t follow). Melburnians do seem obsessed with coffee and sports. That’s probably why I have a hard time making friends here. :-p

But I have acclimated to the bad traffic and the crazy weather. And in my very first week here, when I ventured out by tram to the CBD by myself for the first time, I did in fact look just like this guy:

“But it was sunny when I left!”

So how many items on the list can you check off? Anything you would add?

Edit: And now I bring you Part 2, which, in my opinion is a slightly better list: “Part 2: You’re not a Melburnian until…

Disgusted By Humanity

15 Jun

Last night, H had just come home and I was standing in the kitchen writing a shopping list when I see a young Asian fellow out on the sidewalk shouting and waving to get my attention. Kind of odd as there aren’t any Asians on our street and certainly no one has ever waved to me before. (I’ve noticed that smiling and waving at strangers just for the sake of being neighbourly is looked upon as being weird here.

I couldn’t understand what he was trying to say, so I said I’d send H out to see what he wanted, since he still had his shoes and coat on.

Apparently, this guy was an international student from out of town and had been down in South Melbourne doing touristy things where someone pickpocketed him. Since the thief took all his money, he had no way to get back home (some few hours north of the city by train- I forget where exactly), so he had made his way to our neighbourhood looking for some relatives he thought lived here, but it turned out they weren’t here after all.

He was crying and just wanted to know if we could give him enough money for a train fare to get back home. I felt so bad for him. It’s not nice being stranded in a strange city as it’s getting dark and not having any money or anyone to help you.

We gave him what he needed plus a little extra (fortunately, thanks to me, the swear jar always has plenty of reserve cash in it), but I wonder if we shouldn’t have offered to drive him to the train station or made him a sandwich to take with him or something. It’s not far to the station and it wasn’t that cold out yet, but he didn’t have a jacket and he had probably been walking a long time already. I hope he got home okay and that no one pickpocketed him again.

It really disgusts me that there are people in the world who, while not being serial killers or bank robbers or anything like that, are still just as morally depraved. A petty thief who pickpockets someone has the same disregard for another person’s life or safety that a more hardcore criminal does.

I mean, suppose that boy hadn’t found anyone to help him and just wandered through the city all night. Any number of bad things could have happened to him. He could have been the victim of another crime or froze to death or come down with pneumonia or something. All because some selfish pickpocket wanted what little cash he might have been carrying. The person who pickpocketed him obviously thought that his getting a few free dollars was worth more than another human being’s safety and well-being.

It also upsets me that this boy had clearly been out walking around for a long time, visibly distressed, and no one else had helped him. It was about 5pm, and between 3pm and 7pm, there are always a lot of people out and about in our neighbourhood, as kids get picked up from school and people come home from work. No doubt dozens of other people saw him, but didn’t offer to help.

I know if it were me in that situation, I’d have to be feeling pretty desperate to go and starting shouting into a stranger’s window for help. Not only is that a bit dangerous (you never know who lives there- I’m hoping it was my polka-dot apron that put him at ease), but it’s a very humiliating thing to have to start begging for help and I think most people would first try to avoid having to do that. I’m disappointed in all of my neighbours that must have surely seen this boy walking through the streets crying and just chose to look the other way. No fewer than half a dozen other people passed by my window in the ten minutes preceding. Is it that much of an inconvenience to approach someone in distress and try to help them?

I often say that I hate people, that humanity disgusts me. The usual reaction I get to making statements like that is disbelief or a “you don’t really mean that” mini-lecture. But I do mean it. Most people, when given the choice between doing what is right and doing what is easy, will always choose the easy path, thinking only of their own conveniences and comforts. Sad.

Hello world!

31 Jan

Hi there! Thanks for dropping by! I hope you’ll enjoy this blog from me, an ex-pat housewife in Australia.

Let me tell you a little about myself and this blog.

I’m Nina and I’m 26 years old and from America. I met my Australian fiance on holiday in Europe last year.

As we began discussing our future, it was clear that it made the most sense for me to be the one to move. A month ago, I quit my job and I packed up everything and made the trip to Australia to be with my fiance (who is referred to in this blog as H).

Making the switch from workaholic to housewife, as well as moving to a new country, has so far been both stressful and enjoyable.

I’m sure this blog will end up being a mish-mash of different topics, but among the posts you can expect to find here will be ones on what I think of Australia, what I think of being a housewife, random experiences I have along the way, and my opinions on women and family issues.

I definitely encourage questions, comments, and discussion. I don’t censor comments unless they are abusive, so please feel free to speak your mind here. Thanks for reading!