These Aussies are just to damn nice! We spent a good portion of the day acting like we are 25 years deep into a faulty marriage and not making a decision on our upcoming stay in Oz. The vibe lifted and we decided that we would catch a greyhound ticket up to frasier island for a safari tour.
Justin worked on his financials and I picked up a few essentials before we finally enjoyed Brisbane. We headed out to the "valley", the brisbane home of nightlife and stayed at a sweet hostel - Bunk. Of course, like everything, check in came with free drinks, so we immediately did a full survey on the bar. Three hours later we were still playing a massive game of Jengi that we turned into a team sport with the entire bar.
With our superior dexeterity we wooeed(is that a word) the bar company which essentially was a United Nations microcosim. We had a little bit of everything out there. Time for some serious and informative commentary.
The world hates America. More percisely, the world hates the US government. More specifically the world hates George Bush. We have consistently and constantly been met with anti america sentiments while we travel. People are quick to lay down there perceptions once you engage them in a conversation, but we are semi-ambassadors out here. You will be proud to know you picked the team to safe the US. While we have fun, we are not the loud obnoxious American that represent the states in most places. Unfortunately the sad fact of backpacking is that most countries, the US no exception, is represented by the bottom 10% of the population. So we encounter some really terrible US "diplomats" out here. At the same time, backpackers can also be some of the most informed and likable people you are going to meet. It is a little hit of miss, with most American travels being extremely loud and offending.
Folks if i can encourage one thing, let it be this. When you finally grow up and accidentally have your third child, make him or her travel. Every other country has a culture encouraging travel. In fact many countries consider travel experience as one of the most important parts of the resume when their denizens return. Americans are probably the least traveled people in the world (at least the people that you would think could travel if desired). I think this has a direct reflection on our warped perception of the world and our flat out lack of knowledge of any other country. Did you know that 7 out of 10 people from other countries know when US independence day is? Almost everyone know any single state and most know more about America politics than you do.
We do have one chance are salvation. Bush is definitely a scapegoat. The whole world seems to think that he got into office as a fluke and that 50% of the US population didn't vote for him. That said, many people are willing to pin everything on him and we can try to fix the damage done to our image. This is purely perception and has nothing to do with whether or not Justin or I support or disagree with what the government does or has done, but it appears the only way we can win people back on our side of things. We had one guy tell us he wished Sept 11th happened on the 12th, and 13th , and 14th. Granted it was hard not to become very angry, but we remained composed. I told him we should either start talking about sports, or perhaps we should stop talking. Granted the same guy was massively ill-informed, but the point is that sort of notion (of hate America) is being ingrained all over the place. All of this really difficult to encounter, because Justin and i are incredible patriotic and always willing to voice the other side of the story, but overall it is disheartening because people do not want to travel the states or meet americans because of what they heard second hand.
Thought you might find this interesting...hope it resonates of what actually needs to be done. Get informed, travel, and rep the US well. Sorry to bring down the laugh count, but that Hump's department with his whismical recollections of our days on the road.
Oh, and Aussie women find the American accent really hot.
God bless America.