Archive for January, 2010

Today is Sunday. I am sitting in the office. Yeah, I am sitting in the office. Seems to have become a habit ever since I came back to the old continent.
Because it’s Sunday and because I should really relax I am trying to think of a continuity for this blog. Now that I am back from Down-Under it seems to be a bit pointless, doesn’t it? Obviously it can’t be about kangaroos anymore..neither can it be about SCRamjets..even though I am determined to persevere in this field until people will be calling me Dr. (SCRamjet) Petrache. 🙂
Leaving that aside, I was thinking about making it a journey blog. Because I have the intention of discovering some more parts of our beautiful Earth.
That being settled I wanted to write some sort of a bottom line thing about what this Australia trip meant to me.

Before I left I imagined going there like suddenly stepping into a movie. Now, that I came back I feel like I stepped out of a movie. It’s very difficult to explain. Even though everything there is functioning after the same parameters as here, it’s just different. Is like a double-sided puzzle: put the pieces in one order you get a ..something, rearrange them and you get a something else.
The general cliché about this country is that the people are nice and welcoming and very tolerant, due to the large flux of emigrants. That is totally true. And their “relaxation” is translated in a very pleasant working environment – I am talking here about the atmosphere at the University of Queensland, where I spent lot of time. The professor – PhD student relationship is much more different than anything I heard of so far. It’s closer to my taste, I would say.
Another observation would be that people, at least in Brisbane, where I spent most of my time, have absolutely no clue about what energy-saving means. In public buildings as the university or malls or even busses the air-conditioning is always running in the warm season, even when outside are just 25°C. When it gets really hot outside (around 30-35°C), inside is freezing cold (20-25°). The houses which don’t have this new supercool air-conditioning technology use ceiling-fans to get a small breeze. I think lot of the energy required for any of these cooling-techniques could be saved if they would just build their houses in a more reasonable way. Which brings me to the next point: houses / buildings construction. The traditional Brisbane house is made of some sort of thin wooden-panels, has at the ground level a parking space and rooms at the upper level. The concept behind the “empty” space from under the house allows the air to circulate. That is good for summer, but bad deal for winter when the average temperature goes to 10°C. The average Brisbane house also doesn’t have any kind of wall- or windows -isolation.
Being in Australia gave me the feeling of eternal holiday. The 2 months I spent there were among the most relaxing times I ever had. Even if heat can be a pain in the *** sometimes. I was really wondering if I could live in such a place for longer. Because being born in Europe, having lived in Constanta, Bucharest and Munich – which are relatively large cities – I was adapted to stress, I am always looking for something to do, somewhere to be.. Australia is a great place for a one year vacation, but is not where I would like to spend my young-adult life. Maybe except for Sydney..With this city was love at first sight: it has the beaches, it has the cultural life, it has the marvelous landscapes, tiny original cafes, the breathtaking skyscrapers, the diversity – to put it in one word – my soul would need to feed on.

In a nutshell, going to such a far away place is very educative. It gives you the chance to see that everything what you’ve been used to so far, even the smallest things like waking up hour or working habits, is not what “normal people do”. It’s just a consequence of geography and history. We are all a sum of what our ancestors chose to do. Even if you have learned this in school, maybe you haven’t really processed it, or even if you did process it, you haven’t fully understood it. And experiencing it opens a totally new perspective.
We have so much to lean from our own kind, that the human kind’s desire to reach other outer-space civilizations seems kind of ridiculous in this light.

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New Year and forever after

I am a bit left behind with all the posts, that is because of my jet-lag..or just laziness.
Well, the passing in 2010 we spent at A. and M.’s place, with delicious food and just a few people. This was the time when I discovered the goose liver pate, from the French guy which is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted in my life. One has to combine it with the right white wine to make the most of it. Thanks to this nice French guy (or, maybe correctly said, to his parents), we also had that. I had never tried this kind of pate before and…mmmmmmmm…yummy!
At 12 we made our way to the streets and admired the crowd and the firework.. nothing really special.
Actually the entire evening was a bit short for be. My suspicion goes with the Gin some nice thoughtful German fellow brought, which seemed a very constructive solution to the “getting drunk” problem, but not as appropriate to the “stay awake” issue. So I was awaked by S. insisting that we go home. We walked home. 3-4km seems a good approximation of the distance. But, of course..I couldn’t really feel them. Damn that gin! Amazingly enough, didn’t really have any head aches or something the next morning.

So..the 1st of January was more like a resting and packing day, because on the 2nd at 2:45 am was our take off.
This was my adventure in Australia. Before I take a bow and go backstage in your applause, I will take some more time and space to put down some conclusions or other things worth remembering from this trip at the end of the world.

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Trip to Redcliffe

We arrived from Sydney on the 29th and felt that wasting the 2 days until New Year’s Eve, wouldn’t be so nice. So, on the 30th, we caught the bus to Redcliffe, which is a holiday area notrh of Brisbane. I wanted to see the jetty. In the movies it is around jetties that all the important stuff is happening (like a meeting between two heads of mafia clans, deciding the future of a certain X person, two lovers making “for ever”-like promises to one another, son and father seeing each other after a decade and other similar things). What we saw, were a bunch of 60 year olds having their share of sunshine and another bunch of 15-18 year olds jumping for fun off the jetty in the area where it said “jumping forbidden”. Ah..youth! 🙂 Brings back old memories…
It was relaxing, except fo rthe fact the we took the longest way home, following the indications of an almost impossible to understand bus driver.
Oh and some time ago was saying something about being attacked by 2 butterflies. Well it happened again. But this time I got them on tape. Revenge! Muahahhaa!

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