Posts Tagged ‘reflections’

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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