In the two weeks I just spent in Australia, I read only one book (poor effort I know, please forgive me), but it was a book of real interest and high importance; Songlines, written by Bruce Chatwin, discusses the ancient Aboriginal traditions that created a form of dialogue and communication beyond the comprehension of any Western- and Eastern, for that matter- observers. It also explores the Aboriginal tragedy, the demise of their culture and the fight to keep archaic landmarks standing and out of the hands of corporations who want to build railways or dig for oil and minerals.
Chatwin also intersperses his book with some of his own musings on the nature of humanity; he is particularly interested in how the ambitions and means of life change in humans who live in static locales compared to the few nomadic people left on this planet. He clearly believes that city-dwelling corrupts the human spirit and that a nomad is more pure in heart. Chatwin’s layout is unlike any other I have seen in a book, and he combines humour, sincerity, empathy and anger in his writing in effortless fashion. He also shares some humourous tidbits from meetings on his own travels, being a nomad of type himself.
Inspired by Chatwin, I thought that maybe, rather than tell people about my activities in Melbourne, I could curate my own list of interesting facts and thoughts I had during my time there. As part of this blog I want to try and bring a different angle to the typical gap year blog, and hopefully people back home will enjoy reading about some of the finer aspects of society I observe out here. I certainly met a lot of interesting people in Melbourne and the numerous art galleries there were very interesting. So, without further fluff, here is my list- Bruce Chatwin style:
- Wondering down a Melbourne alleway, I came across an Indian restaurant called ‘Gaylord’.
Will probably post an update about Bangkok/Chiang Mai next week.