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I love Australia

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posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 07:00 PM
I know I've shared this Australia story as a reply to a thread on this forum at some point. But I wanted to share it again, in a thread by itself, because of how significant it was to me.

So I was at a bar today with a co-worker. It was our usual Friday night drink-beer-and-talk-about-the-week event.

At some point the subject came up of the trip I took to Australia this March (I live in Florida). I visited a friend in Melbourne for a wedding.

He and his fiance took me and my girl for a tour on the Great Ocean Road. And while this was supposed to be a tour of some of Earth's natural beauty, there was something that I noticed that was much more mundane and human.

It is a two-lane winding road. Meaning there was plenty of opportunity to get stuck behind a car going slow.

But this road had these "slow vehicle turnoffs", little gravel areas where slow cars are supposed to pull off and let the people behind them pass.

And people used them.

But what was more remarkable, was how the people reacted to each other. Melissa (the fiance in the passenger seat) would open the window and give a thumbs-up out the window. And the person who pulled off to the side would return with his own thumbs-up.

A couple times we were the slower ones; Angus (the driver) would pull off into the turnoff, and again would exchange a thumbs-up with the people passing him.

I was so incredibly dumbfounded by this. There is no thumbs-up on the roads here in Gainesville. The only finger one ever sees when driving around here is the middle one.

The fact that there are some places in this world were people respect each other and don't let their egos get in the way of goodwill, gives me hope for humanity.

Aussies, I'd love to hear your responses as to whether or not this is normal where you live.

And Americans (and others), I'd love to hear any comments.

edit on 19-11-2010 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 07:23 PM
Now it has of course occurred to me that my experiences driving at home may be related to my living in a college town. After all, the average age here is probably 20. But still, I've never heard of anything like what I experienced in Australia happening on roads in the USA.

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 08:04 PM
Great to hear that you had a good time on your holidays, they definitely took you to an amazing part of Australia.

Drivers here, even in peak hour in the city, are mostly nice. You generally get a wave if you let someone into your lane, you'll generally get a wave if someone has cut you off and they didn't intend to be so rude. In my opinion you weren't travelling on the road on any special day, that is normal behaviour.

Having said that, we have our share of hoons on the roads that are prolific with the middle finger. They end up being the dead teenagers that are in the news with their cars wrapped around telephone poles or trees because they travel too fast and think they know how to handle the speed.

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 08:14 PM
A gesture of appreciation is almost the norm over here in Oz. Just a short time ago this morning, a driver gave me a "thanks" wave for allowing him into the lane directly infront of me when it became obvious that his lane was about to end due to roadworks in progress. Courtesy CAN be contagious.

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 08:41 PM
reply to post by NewlyAwakened

This kind of practice is relatively standard OP, and is particularly so in the rural areas in my opinion. I have done a lot of driving in country areas in Aus; once you are on a stretch of road that is relatively remote, cars and trucks passing in the opposite direction typically give a wave, usually just lifting their fingers of the wheel acknowledging you.

I guess it stems historically from the fact that in days gone by when travelling in rural areas, coming across people in the outback was relatively remote and would have been normal to say hello and check everything is ok.

I once blew a tyre and skewed off to the side of the road; I didn't check the spare beforehand which was also flat so a passenger had to hitch about 100kms to the next roadhouse. I waited at the car, but by the time my friend had returned, a tourist bus full of passengers, a truck, and several cars had stopped by asking if everything was ok. I think it's good people still have this attitude, but seems more applicable in country areas as opposed to city areas.

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 08:43 PM
Well,you need to get out and "discover" America.

When you get away from those liberal slums they call cities that are full of foreigners,you will find people just like in Australia.

A friend of mine is a black man from the inter-city of Philadelphia.

He decided to drive from California back to Philly,through the heartland of the country.

He told of the friendly white Americans he met along the way.

His vehicle broke down and they towed it to a shop and took him home while it was repaired.

He told me it completely changed his attitude about those "redneck" people that comedians love to make fun of.

Get out and discover America,you'll be pleasantly surprised.

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 08:53 PM
Same where i am in the islands on Georgian Bay in Ontario.
There are no roads, so every one travels by boat.
30 thousand isalnds, thirty million shoals.
Short 14 foot waves on occasion.
Few nav aids among the rocks.
Small craftusually 14' and up.

The old time tourists and locals wave in passing to say "all OK"
it used to be that if there was no wave you stopped to check.

Maybe because of modern nav aids, GPS, and cell phones, though lately,
there are many people who don't get the courtesy thing, and don't wave.
or wouldn't stop.
Of course if they ever get stuck and need help once,
they often change to the polite system after they learn.

edit on 19-11-2010 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 08:53 PM
Australians as poeple are generally beautiful people but as with any country some people decide to ruin it for the rest of us by being morons but yes if you ever have the chance to come to australia do it its the most greatest place on the outer world

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 10:08 PM
Another thing that gave me fleeting thoughts of moving there someday: the expression "No worries, mate." That one got me every time

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 10:22 PM

Originally posted by NewlyAwakened
Another thing that gave me fleeting thoughts of moving there someday: the expression "No worries, mate." That one got me every time

I'd like to think most people in Australia are courteous and friendly but I'm not naive enough to say that..
I do however think the majority are..I have traveled overseas on business many times and Australians rank right up there..
What I do note here, and I'm in no way racist, is that the "true blue" Australian of western decent are the most friendly...And another common saying, 'She'll be right mate"

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 11:51 PM
Gday OP and ATSers,

Good on ya mate for enjoying your time out here in Australia, it is true that people here will wave you into a lane in the city, crikey if ya crawling along at a snails pace, being courtious enough to allow the fella about to get stuck aint no hastle. Everyone appreciates it and will give ya a wave of thanks. Out here if your towing a van or ya truck is holding someone up, it is just normal ta give a bloke a break. Yes we do have our share of mongrels that will just be rude, sadly more common now, but most folk are decent. How's the Great Ocean Road hey, a fantastic drive, nice scenery and if you are like me and love a drive it is a lot of fun. I gotta laugh about the way foreigners speak of our lingo,(slang) No worries mate, she'll be right. Day to day living can be a hastle some times but when I hear of other places in the world, I remember and appreciate what a great place we have here. I love Australia too...Yeah we have a share of deadly snakes and spider and many more things that kill ya, such lovely creatures, just don't stir them up and you will probably right mate. If ya gonna stir up a bullants nest ya just might get bit.

posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 12:00 AM
It does seem to be a rural trend to me. I am still trying to get used to how nice people are here coming from NY lol. Walking down the road, 8 out of 10 cars the people just wave at me for no particular reason. People get treated like an old friend even if they don't know you. Instead of people assuming the worst until they know otherwise, they do the opposite here. The first few weeks I was really getting paranoid, like WTF is going on, what do they want?

posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 12:24 AM
I would like to repeat what a lot of fellow Aussies have said, and that yes a majority of us are most accepting and love a good chat and gossip, muck around - and occasionally chuck a sickie to do something stupid but fun like go surfing or play cricket (lol). We can also be very opinionated about issues as well, and are quite good at standing up for them (but sadly lack the balls of a Government that will stand up to certain countries on these issues) and voicing that we are disgusted.
We are know as larakins and also get into trouble over our views on a number of topics, the Hey Hey its Saturday debacle is a fine example! Or the KFC advertisement for our countries great love Cricket, which was completely misunderstood by particular nations

Mind you I also see, especially today, and after watching us grow as a nation over the last 25 years, that we continually struggle with moral issues - in regards to always wanting to help and please everyone. We want to do the right thing all the time - on many many these said issues, but find that we continually hurt ourselves by helping others, and sometimes can become quite divided on what to do. One good example is the debate on Boat people.
We, I feel also are one of the most culturally acceptable nations in the world - but we also still have to grow some more there
Just like everyone else in this World.

But that is what makes us whom we are. We still have our problems, we are a growing nation, and things may in the near future - look hard and difficult, but that is what we as Aussies are built from, that hard yakka and our bond with each other. Hopefully the current generation will grow this way as well

posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 12:47 AM
I like how the thai's drive, like maniacs, beeping, almost crashing, edging in on each other in horrible traffic conditions with no rules yet don't get angry and don't even change there face!!!

posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 01:13 AM
reply to post by NewlyAwakened

Back around 2002 I was driving with this dude from Adelaide to whyalla. Pretty sure it was a few hours this journey, but every truck/road train we'd pass he'd give them a wave and a toot, and they'd do the same back.

It was pretty cool to see that sort of understanding.

posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 01:30 AM
reply to post by NewlyAwakened

That behaviour is normal in country areas areas outside the cities.

Go into the cities, where the vibration is low, and it all changes...

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