Ten years ago I arrived in Australia. A bit like Columbus I was looking for China, but drifted south. A job in Brisbane, I thought, was just down the road from Shanghai, where I was spending a lot of time. Well, it is, kind of. Ten hours flight, but then again, no jet lag. I did not know anything about Australia, other than accumulated images and ideas, trapped like the shreds of grey plastic on the barbed wire of my inattention. Cricket commentary around the Ashes. Tennis players from old. Some vague notion of right-on surfer conservationism. A sense of tough independent guys, who did not take wimpy poms seriously. Some frontier mentality mutated into hard-assed social democracy?
Australia did not wake me up, but I woke up in Australia. Many people never went to sleep, and others still dream on. I think of the opening of Man with a Movie Camera.
Open your Eyes!