Australia Day Four – A Day Off

My hosts mercifully gave me a day off on Friday.  I needed it, since I was honestly tired of hearing myself talk.  Duncan, who has now blogged about my visit, and his wife, Ennis, drove me to Broadbeach on the Gold Coast.  From there, we walked north along the gorgeous beach to Surfers Paradise and had a leisurely breakfast as we watched “nippers” being trained.

We arrived back at Duncan’s in time to hear Sarah Palin ramble incoherently about various topics and watch Gwen Ifill like a deer-in-headlights refuse to ask any follow-up questions.  Biden, I thought, was his usual knowledgeable self, if a bit dry.

(BTW, I think this is interesting to note: People in the States, and here in Australia, often talk to me about how the dominance of the U.S. is waning, how India and China are already the ascendant global powers, etc.  But, here in Australia, at 11 o’clock in the morning, the U.S. vice presidential debate was played in its entirety, both on television and radio.  And I imagine that also happened in most Western countries yesterday.  Do the Australians cover the Chinese financial markets with the same eye as the U.S. financial markets?  No.  Do they broadcast the parliament of India like they do the U.S. Congress?  No.

Globalization has surely relativized the dominance of the U.S. in world affairs, but from where I sit on the other side of the globe, the U.S. still captures the imagination of the world in a way that no other country does.  And, of course, the transparency of our political machinery aids in this.)

Duncan drove me to the airport and I had an eventless flight back to Sydney.  Fuzz retrieved me, and we made our way through rush hour traffic back to his place in The Hills.  Along the way, he told me many stories about his consulting work with youth ministry in Egypt, which sounds fascinating.

Carolyn and Fuzz then took me to dinner at their favorite seafood place and, as you can see below, ordered the seafood platter which means that we ate far too much food, complemented by a fine Australian white wine.

Like I said, it was good to have a day off.

Carolyn and Fuzz Kitto with the Seafood Platter

Carolyn and Fuzz Kitto with the Seafood Platter

  • ellie

    I think it needs to be acknowledged that you were in Australia at a time when the US news was dominating the world. The same tv station that broadcast the US vice-presidential debate does indeed broadcast debates from Asian countries when they are having elections. SBS is a government funded broadcaster with the specific remit to focus on world issues. It has a requirement to fill a certain number of hours each week with input from a number of countries – the US being one of them, China, India, Taiwan being others.

    And in any normal week the US financial markets would get the same treatment as the Japanese and UK financial markets. The only other time i’ve seen the US congress broadcast in Australia before was when decisions were made about the war in Iraq. You were in Australia in an extraordinary week. And, quite probably, your hosts were turning off SBS when it came to the Japanese news hour…

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org/index.asp Jeff Goins

    Sounds like a great trip. I have a friend moving to Australia soon for some backpacking to do his own pilgrimage. Any thoughts or advice I can share with him?


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