May 27, 2011

Summer Skin

The towel floats in the wind as I force my tired arms to spread it evenly over the grass. As I lay down, prickling shivers run down my back and I can feel the tenderness of my sunburnt skin.

The sand at the foot of my towel, leading to the gentle river, sticks between my toes, and I begin to think I'd like to be in the saltwater. Pushing it away with my outstretched palm. Lazily propelling myself with a kick of my feet.

Then, the stubborn grass sticking against my forehead, I think of the cool water rushing past my body. Of the beach earlier that day, waves slamming against my feeble limbs. Standing and tumbling. Resurfacing and falling once again. Finally, my toes nudge a sandbank, and I stand with the midday sun warming my shoulders. Beads of water fall from my hair. I breathe deeply, and smile, unaware of my burning skin.

Back in reality, my back prickles with pain once again.

I pull myself up, heading for the soothing river. Dogs and their owners walk idly along the path. Kids with sunbleached hair bombie off the jetty. My Dad's snorkel juts out of the water, a fluro green and silver beacon.

I wade into the river and dive. Gliding through the water just as I'd imagined. I roll over, blowing a stream of bubbles through my nose and marvel at the sun, it's edges blurred innocently by the saltwater.

The ache in my back subsides, and I think perhaps I'd like to stand with the sun behind me, letting its rays warm my shoulders. Beads of water falling from my hair. I resurface, breathe deeply, and smile, momentarily unaware of my sunburnt skin.

So, it's not the best thing I've ever written, but it's from a place I'd rather be, sunburn and all! Which I know is a terrible thing to say, but man I'm missing summer, and seriously craving a trip to the beach. Anyone up for a swim in some bloody freezing saltwater? :P

May 20, 2011

On a more serious note...

Yesterday I was sitting on the train, going to a friends after work, and it was hard to know where to look. An aboriginal woman was walking up and down the carriage yelling at everyone.

"Julia Gillard! What's she gonna do for this country? Hey? She only cares about the stupid boat people! What about us aboriginals? And the carbon tax, what's that? That ain't gonna feed my family! That ain't gonna feed the starving aboriginal kids!" Over and over and over. "And she doesn't even belong here! Bloody white people! What are you? You're not Australian! What are you? You're not Australian!" She walked over to a guy wearing a turban, "and you! What are you even doing here? You're not a bloody Australian! Go back to your own country!" and started poking his turban.

It was pretty shocking. I felt so sorry for the guy. Later on, when some transperth guards got on the train to try and calm her down, they asked him if he was ok, and I swear he had the thickest Aussie accent. It was kinda bizarre.

Then at the same time, I felt really sorry for her and the people she was with. They were all visibly embarrassed, but didn't know what to do. And I can't imagine the experiences she's had to make her feel that way.

In Australian society, from what I can tell, there's masses of racism, and it really sucks. People on the train were visibly judging her because she was an aboriginal, and odds are a lot of people have probably treated her differently because of her race. Not that any of this is an excuse for the way she was acting, and what she did, but I'd like to think people wouldn't act that way just because.

It made me think about the level of racism we experience, though. I know that half the time, if I walk past a group of aboriginals, my usual response is to try not to look at them out of a pervasive feeling of concern. I try not to feel that way, but I can't seem to shake the feeling. I try to advocate for aboriginal rights, whatever that means, and would love to learn more about their culture, but there's just this gap ingrained into our society where they seem to be an entirely separate group of people. As part of that, generally speaking, we fear them, and I think we should be hanging our heads in shame because of it, myself included.

But how in the world do we rectify the situation we've created for ourselves?

May 15, 2011

"So, where are you from?"

"Yeah, but where are you from from?"
"Uh, Australia?"
"What, are you aboriginal or something?"

It's an awkward question for me, where are you from. The amount of times I've had this conversation with people is actually ridiculous, and it always ends up with me being aboriginal. I guess I could solve this by starting with, "Well, if you go back 5 or 6 (or maybe more) generations on my Dad's side you'll find a few random European countries? I might even be Swiss!" But seriously, why can't I just be Australian?

I was born here, and my parents and grandparents were born here. I've never been out of the country, I grew up on meat & 3 veg. and I think Perth winters are bloody freezing! Also, I don't think kangaroo's are weird. They're awesome! And when Santa comes to Australia, he chooses them over Rudolph, because let's face it, Prancer wouldn't be able to stand Australian summers.

In fact, I actually had an identity crisis after my year 8 Society & Environment teacher told me off for saying I was Australian, and forced me to tell her where I "originated". I wish my 12-year old self had had the wit to say "the Garden of Eden", but alas. I went on to explain that at least 6, maybe 7 or 8 or more, generations back on my maternal Grandmother's side, you'll find an English woman who refused to marry the Lord of the Manor because she was in love with a man who had to work hard for his minimal wage, and so was disowned. And that 4 generations ago on my maternal Grandpa's side you'll find a drunken German sailor who was afraid of tall trees.

But I digress, I love the abundance of nationalities in Australia. The fact that you can ask, "where are you from?", and get a thousand different answers is seriously cool! But when will I be able to say I'm Australian and then tell people all the cool stories about my Australian ancestors who scrubbed the seat for the drop toilet out back because James Mitchell**, Governor of Western Australia (who eventually became Premier of WA), was coming to shoot birds with his good friend my great-great-great-grandfather? Because my 12-year old self would really like to know.

Note: To Grandma, if Mum thinks it'd be nice to tell you I wrote this blog, I'm sorry if I've butchered some of the stories in your book. From what I can remember they were scrubbing the toilet because John Forrest was coming, but he might have come to visit on another occasion... I promise when I've finished my philosophy essay, I shall find your book and make sure I got it right :)

**Note Number 2: So, Grandma corrected my grammar and told me that it wasn't John Forrest, although I'm sure someone related to me knew him, it was in fact James Mitchell. Whaddya know?

May 05, 2011

Baby Cauliflowers

Last night, my little brother was being a very typical male, and talking about poop, literally. His poo, other peoples poo, pictures of poo. It was really quite disturbing. Really, I wish I never knew that websites like "ratemypoo" existed, but now I do, and so do you :P

Anyways, eventually I said "You're so disgusting child!" And so Scott says to me, "You're the one wearing a dress shorter than a baby cauliflower!"  (Or something along those lines).

Oh man, it was so freaking hilarious. I'm not exactly sure where 'baby cauliflower' came from, but I thought I'd share the strangeness of my family with you all. Enjoy! :P

May 04, 2011

Rad (Disambiguation)

So, I realised at the beginning of this blog, I wrote that I would tell you about the word 'rad' and all it's wonderful variations. As of yet, this hasn't happened, and for that I am sorry. But now! Now, I shall reconcile this :)

Rad. It is a wonderful word. Used to express joy, happiness and generally of all things good. Coming from 'radical', and being shortened by cool surfer dudes to 'rad', I first came upon it when the phrase 'wiksickrad!' became cool momentarily when I was about 14 years old. I didn't use this phrase, because I didn't want to conform to the masses. Then, a few years later, I realised how much I was missing out on and began to say 'rad' quite frequently. By that stage, saying 'rad' was fairly odd, and people tend to laugh at me even now, but it will prevail!

It's making a comeback, actually. Opinions on the topic do vary, but this is bound to happen with everything in life. Anyways, moving on! Since beginning to say 'rad', I have been known to come up with variations of the word. Usage of these variations is often met with strange stares or laughing, but this is ok. Laughter is a good thing! I can't remember exactly in what way, but it does make people healthier and happier, even if it is at my expense... Again though, I digress!

The variations of rad I have created thus far are as follows:


And there are more, but you'll just have to read on to find mention of them in my future blogs...which will hopefully not be as strange as this one has been :P