Another shark attack in Sydney *yawn*. Way to be creative there, Sydney. Seriously. You're a beautiful city with a decent personality, so why are you being such an attention whore? (Note that anything found on Wiktionary is ok to publicly type - it means I'm hip with today's slang.) This is the third time in three weeks a shark has bitten a piece of an Aussie, and knowing Sydney it'll happen several more times in the months to come.
Tourism is already floundering here in Australia, and Sydney's weak desparation to get in the news is only hindering this country's ability to recruit international tourists. It doesn't help when the country's iconic airline to import tourists keeps crashing into itself and the country's international spokespeople are these guys. So while Australia may be doing a good job of recruiting accident-prone 41-47-year-old gay males, it hasn't exactly brought in the rest of the masses. Note that it also doesn't help when the international tourism song , "Come to Australia", explicitly confirms tourists may die here.
It's gotten so bad that the only tourists I've been meeting here in Melbourne are Canadians who either want to substitute teach or pick fruit: not exactly the cream of the international tourist crop.
In fact, it's so bad in Queensland that the government is actively targeting and recruiting unemployed people and giving them jobs to aesthetically improve tourist areas. The $57 million plan gives $10.4 million to Tourism Queensland, the same moneybags organization that's giving one lazy bum The Best Job in the World. I can't help but think the money might be better spent hiring a plane and flying 30,000 international tourists to Australia (30,000 people multiplied by $1,900AUS, the average cost of an international flight, equals $57 million).Tourism Australia did actually launch an expensive tourism campaign already - in conjunction with Baz Lurhmann's movie Australia. Unfortunately, the movie and campaign were released just as the recession started in Australia's key market: The U.S. of A. According to the 15 January edition of Media magazine, the cost of Tourism Australia's ad campaign was $40 million AUS and the cost to make the movie Australia was $130 million. The direct impact is hard to measure, as the impact of the economic downturn instead has resulted in a bleak forecast: In 2009, inbound tourists are expected to decline by 4.1 percent.
Regardless of the government's ineffeciencies at recruiting tourists, I am adamant on doing my part to bring foreigners to this hot, sparsely-populated and disaster-prone land. You see, I have now lived in Australia for 27 weeks and not a single friend, other than Frenchie, has come to visit. Really? How many record-breaking floods, third-world diseases and mass-murdering fires must this country endure before people realize this country has it all?! It's not like I live in Syracuse or Adelaide, the most boring cities in their respective hemispheres. I live in Melbourne. It's fun. Come visit.
And speaking of fires, authorities here are warning Tuesday might be worse than Black Saturday. I even got two text messages from the Victorian Police notifying me of the danger. While several of my friends have called with concern for the fires, several more are pressuring me to risk my life and go into the fires to save koalas. I suppose there are worse ways to die...
Red back, funnel web, blue ringed octopus, Taipan, Tigersnake and a Box Jellyfish; big shark, just waiting for you to go swimming at Bondi Beach; come to Australia: You might accidentally get killed. La la la
Twenty-seven weeks down, 25 to go.
Weather: So inconsistent. Warm, cold, warm, cold, hot, warm, hotter, cold c'mon!
New observation: American Express is a nice credit card to have, unless it's the only credit card you have. Not many places take Amex without charging a usage fee. :(
New activity(ies): Gay eco-friendly vegetarian bars
New food: Singapore stir-fry with crunched up Doritos. YUM :)
New word(s): Tucker (food)
New people: A girl who usually stands across from me on the city tram who looks EXACTLY like Chelsea Clinton, circa 1998.. Not cool.
What I miss: Uluru, my non-girly bed frame, my fluffy mattress pad, my photo albums, Flamin' Hot Cheetos, my mom's shag carpeting, Janet Reno, (any) Mexican food