I was going to start blogging about the Perth trip today, but I’m going to postpone that an extra day or two because I wanted to blog about something else first. It’s just the day for it.
Sydney is an international city. In my first year here, I’ve hardly met any Australians. I read somewhere that Sydney has a higher rate of foreign-born persons than any other city in the world, and I believe that 100%. Growing up in Florida, I met people from the United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic… and a few Jews from the South American countries. In Texas, we had a few international students at my university, and in Seattle, there were a smattering of Canadians, and I knew a person or two from India, Taiwan, the Philippines, Israel, etc. But in Sydney – it’s a whole different ballgame.
In my first year here, I met people from the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, United States, Canada (both Quebec and real Canada), Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Spain (including Catalonia, the Basque country, and normal Spain), Portugal, Italy, Malta (who the hell has ever met anyone from Malta?), Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Macau, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, and probably more countries that I can’t remember… That’s seriously a lot of representation. Just in my house alone we’ve had Australia, Brazil, Spain, United States (that’s me!), Russia, Malaysia, Canada, Vietnam, and France as the birthplaces of those who have lived here during my time. You don’t get this type of exposure to foreigners in the United States. There is seriously a lot of culture-mixing going on here.
Having friends from all over the world means free lodging in random places when you travel. Yay! But it also means that people often times go back to their home countries… and if I have to do another goodbye, I’m just going to lose it. In my original house, Oscar and Jim both went back to Spain in May and June, respectively, and Mayra left for Brazil in September. Kathryn went back to the United States in August, and Karen followed her today (which is why I’m in a funk and thought it would be good to get this blog out of the way now). Several of my Canadian girls have left – to three separate provinces in Canada, and even the Australians I’ve met here are starting to jump ship. Ross & Jonathon – two of my true blue Aussie friends – got a job opportunity too good to pass up… in Shanghai. They left in December. And even Tara & Simon – my token straight Aussie couple – have decided to head back to Adelaide. It’s only 17 hours away by car or a quick flight, but it still puts a damper on my social scene here.
But there is one thing that stands true with Sydney: when all of these people leave, a bunch more new ones pop up here in the city. Beware newbies: I’m out to make you my new circle of friends.
Me and my homeboy: Oscar.
And there’s me biting and fondling a cute Canadian girl: Meghan.
I’m biting Jim here as well. I’m probably fondling him too but you can’t see it in the photo.
Me and Mayra at her farewell party.
Me and Karen at someone else’s farewell party.
Me and Kathryn. We weren’t at a farewell party in this one, but I could say we were and you’d totally believe me.
Me and Ross. We don’t have Jonathon in any photos together. I think we were always too busy drinking to take photos. And I don’t have any photos with just Tara & Simon either. We’re going to have to fix that when I visit them in Adelaide in April.