Sofico's blog, tuesday : The Land of Dreams
USA: the land where dreams come true. Or is that Australia these days? For many, Australia offers a chance of a better life. See the news with the boat people who have sold everything they possess to get to Australia. Luckily my journey Down Under was rather more comfortable.
The cultural difference with Europe was clear on arrival in Sydney: when you step into a taxi at the airport, you don't sit in the back and just let the driver take you where you want to go. You sit in the front, and have a chat with your new 'mate' for the next half hour. For a reserved Belgian, that makes a pleasant change.
On arrival in the centre of Sydney, you don't have to wait long for the next surprise. It seems that I took a flight to the wrong destination and landed in Tokyo or Beijing rather than Sydney: a vast throng of matcha green tea guzzling Asian fellow citizens were making their way through the busy streets. Wiki fact: almost 20% of the population in Sydney consists of Asian Australians. Since this population love high-rise, ‘city convenience' and bustle, that 20% are all concentrated around Town Hall, i.e. the centre of the CBD (central business district).
Sydney could be compared to a mini version of New York. High-rise towers on the waterfront, wide busy streets full of coffee or tea-drinking people, art deco remnants throughout the city, plenty of shops, fast (Asian) food, Starbucks and shopping malls. Except that here you have ABCs or Australian Born Chinese instead of African Americans. It was love at first sight: Sydney is simply a fantastic city! The variety of people and influences creates the most diverse culinary, cultural, artistic and architectural experiences you could wish for. I would never have thought that I, from a small East Flemish rural village would be living and working in the big city. Unfortunately, my first stay in Australia for Sofico was limited to 3 months. But the feeling that "I want to come back here" had been planted in my mind.