Tuesday, May 3, 2011


My primary fear about coming to Australia was/is getting hit by a car or tram because I looked the wrong direction before crossing the street. My good friends know how much I love to jaywalk, so this is not an idle fear. I recently learned from a poster that a tram weighs as much as 30 rhinoceros, true fact, but that image is not any more terrifying than the large metal machines running down the middle of the streets. So I guess the comparison is lost on me.

And so it is with great care that I cross streets. Rarely jaywalking and always taking that extra moment to consider a head turn to the right before stepping off the curb. So far this has been a successful strategy. Wish me luck as I get more comfortable here, and eventually more inebriated.

The unexpected side effect of the left handed driving has cropped up in the oddest way for me: when navigating corridors at work. I, of course, move to the right to get out of their way. They move to their left, and so we are at an impasse until the polite Aussie moves out of my way before I realize I'm in the wrong.

Today I was bumped into in the CBD (which is like midtown) by a young man and he literally turned around and came back to take my hand and practically groveled for my forgiveness. Once I realized he wasn't going for my purse I was stunned by the effusiveness. I would be lucky to get even a brief apology in New York after such an encounter.

Another fun fact : Southern exposure just isn't the same down here, since that is the cold side and the North facing apartments get all the light.

So the question is, does all this backwardness lead to the politeness or does all the backwardness in the Northern hemisphere lead to the lack thereof?

1 comment:

  1. Are you saying we aren't polite?? How rude! I hope all goes well this week with the apartment hunting. And thanks for sharing your insights! I love arm chair traveling!