A Vent

Warning: This is a negative post, but I need to write it to get it off my chest in order to move on.

So we’ve been in Australia for 10 days now, and OMG, I have never felt so uncomfortable traveling in a different country. Most Aussies seem OK, but several encounters I’ve had, especially older folks and men, have been unsettling. They glare in an unfriendly way, and a friendly nod at them begets no acknowledgment. Even a question netted no response. Are these people socially inept or is it something else? I am not naive to not think this has something to do with our race (we were warned that racism is bad down here), because everyone has said that Aussies are friendly, but I have felt chills. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been relatively insulated from racism while living in a liberal pocket in SoCal, but American racism is so transparent that I know what to expect and how to respond, which makes this form of hostility here truly unpleasant for me (if you want to be racist, I’d rather you be a mental basket and say it to my face, don’t be a wimp hiding behind a scowl). We’ll be moving on to Bali in a few days, and that’ll be a welcome change. Unfortunately, we still have two more weeks of Australia at the tail end of this trip. I still have yet to see the Great Barrier Reef, the wombats and Tasmanian devils, and I’m already debating whether to cut our losses and extend our time in SEA, and just return to Sydney for our flight back to the States. But, I’m determined to regroup while in Bali, and adjust my expectations as I will not let this small subset of people ruin my experience. And once I’ve seen what I want to see, I’ll never have to return to Australia ever again.

Off my chest, moving on…

4 thoughts on “A Vent

  1. Wow I’ve never read any other traveller who’s had these experiences, though we all know Aussies can be a bit…errr….straightforward to the point of brutal. I don’t know if you’ve been to the UK yet but I’m sorry to say you might have similar experiences, not through racism which, whilst occasionally present, is not rife, but more through downright rudeness. Compared to Californians you would find Brits in Britain very unfriendly. Hopefully Oz might give you some better experiences before you’re done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having lived in NYC for some time, we’ve had our share of rude people, and that was around the time we went to the UK. Nothing phased me back then. I guess over a decade of living in California has softened me, and now I expect everyone to be jolly like Californians. I have since reset my expectations, and it has worked out for now so I’m sure Australia will be much more enjoyable going forward.

      Liked by 1 person

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