The other brother in Australia!
Look! In the car. It’s the other brother in Australia. What luck! I have noticed this serious lack of diversity in Sydney and thought that perhaps I was just imagining it.
This morning, I was waiting to cross the street and get to my ‘usual’ morning haunt. I start the day at Starbucks because it is here that I can connect to The Internet for free using a nearby free public WiFi connection. Though I’ve only been there 3 mornings in a row, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the people there already know me. Let’s just say that it’s not hard. I stand out! Also, I get the same thing: Venti (564 ml) hot Chai tea and sit in the same seat each time.
As I waited to cross the street, I noticed this taxi driver. He saw me, I saw him, and we both broke into a large grin at the same time, exchanged head nods as I walked in front of his vehicle, had a moment of connection I think.
Later, this afternoon, as I walked through Hyde Park, I met a guy who actually stopped and had a conversation with me. He was carrying a camera, noticed mine, and stopped to talk. As it turns out, he was an expatriated American, originally from Seattle, WA. He said that he’d been here since December of last year. We talked about all manner of things, with him giving the me the inside information about Sydney and Australia, in general, as he had come to discover it.
I eventually got to a point where I mentioned the lack of friendliness here and lack of diversity. He agreed on both points. He said that Sydney people, in general, are very similar to New Yorkers and “You just get used to it”, but he did allow that where he came from, the pacific northwest, is not known for its friendly people. When I told him that I was from North Carolina, he said that he could understand why it would be tough for me as people in the south are generally very friendly.
When talking about diversity, he said that since he had been here, he’s only seen two black people from America: Me and another guy that he saw some time ago. He said it is indeed rare. He said that there are a very few from Africa, but on the whole, it’s very rare. Then he went on to mention that he’s not seen a single Mexican person here and that there are no Mexican restaurants anywhere and he misses that.
All in all, we talked for about 30 minutes while standing in Hyde Park. As we departed, he gave me his card, he does photography on the side, told me that he lived nearby, and asked me to call on him. I’ll probably give him a call on Tuesday or Wednesday and see if he wants to grab a bite to eat.
It was cool finally getting to chat with someone for a bit, even though it wasn’t a Australian.