Day 0: Arrival

America. The USA. The American Empire. What a country. In Australia, we think we know America. Decades of cultural hegemony have led to Australian TV being American TV plus Neighbors and Home and Away, more Australians can name the first President of the US than can name the first Prime Minister of Australia, and if it weren’t for aggressive pushing on the part of Triple J, I doubt there’d be any Australian music played on Australian radio. But seriously – you reckon this counts for anything? Because I don’t.

America is its own country, and its own dozen-or-so nations, and I’m coming into this country with the idea that the only thing I understand is the language. Expectations are going to be removed ahead of time so they don’t have to be shattered, either positively or negatively.

Lesson one in not expecting things: immigration officials at the US border were, contrary to expectations, about the friendliest and most helpful I’ve dealt with so far. Especially compared to the interrogation session at Heathrow. Now, admittedly, the Vancouver/Seattle route is probably one of the easier places to cross the border, and yeah, I am white as hell, but still – props to them for being good folk.

Lesson two:

“Americans admire beauty, but they are truly dazzled by bigness. Think of the Grand Canyon, the California redwoods, Grand Central Terminal, Disney World, SUVs, the American armed forces, General Electric, the Double Quarter Pounder (With Cheese) and the Venti Latte. Europeans prefer complexity and nuance, the Japanese revere minuteness and minimalism. But Americans like size, preferably supersize. ”
– from The Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria.

Okay this one was totally paid off. Staring out the windows of the bus as it goes down a road lined with rainbow-coloured autumn trees with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Rocky Mountains on the other, with the Space Needle

Day zero was a pleasant walk to the hostel, a gypsy guitar concert, some really mediocre burlesque, microbrew porter and a goth club. Today, the real trip begins.

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One Response to Day 0: Arrival

  1. Nikki Taylor says:

    It was nice to meet you! Hopefully I can show you some of fun things around the Seattle part of your trip. Noc Noc has goth nights but I don’t really consider it a goth bar. I should take you to the Mercury while you’re here. It’ll be an experience 🙂

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