believe it or not i am in australia. You can call this a research trip – i am visiting friends in various australian states and asking them how oz life is like. The response was very positive but they say it takes one three years to adapt to the australian way of life. Asians may find it disorienting, for one, that they close their shops at 5pm. But Aussies love their family time and I admire their respect for work life balance, something many Malaysians just don have. We work like army ants.
Now my friends sleep and wake up earlier and have a slower life. They spend more time in parks or at home with family. Its a better quality of life, theysay. And most of all they beam with pride and relief that their children will be free of Malaysia’s institutionalised racism, which is getting more rampant and dangerous since March 2008.
My friends also made me realise why many migrants end up in ethnic enclaves of sorts. Due to cultural differences, asians find it difficult to penetrate their social circles. I founf that true myself; when i was studying here i had friends from all around the world but very few aussie friends because they were aloof and seem to go no further from being aquiantances. the only aussies i knew were in church. I think thats the best way for me to know aussies.
How is Adelaide? I love it! I love the old buildings at Northern terrace, its beautiful parks and sprawling shopping district at Rundell Mall. At first i was quite worried as my hotel was a few streets from the city centre and Adelaide then seemed so devoid of people and interesting things to see. Amazing how things change when u walk a few streets away!
I like it better than Sydney. Although gorgeous, Sydney reminded me of what I want to leave behind in Malaysia – the long commute, the busy, hectic mega city life. Adelaide can provide me with the lifestyle I want – a quieter life, easier to travel to the city by public transport and most of all easy and close access to parks, beaches and old buildings.
I was worried when i first landed in Adelaide if I have made a mistake. Now I am certain I want it to be my new home.