April 05, 2008

Lucky Country

Almost all the photos in this entry are courtesy by Sean who stopped by for a few days on his way to NZ (but really, Sean, couldn't you visit NZ when we were there?!?!)

This is the ultimate proof that photography is about the skill and not about the gear. Sean has exactly the same camera as ours (the one that doesn't take good pictures as you might have heard me complain). But look at these photos. I was blown away!!!

He managed to find those angles and subjects that I plainly failed to notice myself!!! So yeah, I guess it is not really about the camera, huh?

We rented a car and went on a road trip to the South, all the way past Wollogong. The scenery was stunning, the coast was lined with beautiful white sand beaches, we saw dramatic cliffs everywhere, but somehow the landscape didn't really touch our hearts the way NZ did. I'm not quite sure why, but the bush here is quite dry, not really lush and mossy at all (as it was in NZ). The landscape around Sydney has somewhat horizontal character, the hills aren't quite as green and they don't roll they way they did in NZ. Give me NZ landscape anytime (but, I guess, I'm not that keen on the rain that keeps those hills green...)!!!

We talked with Kaj, that people are really lucky to be born here. Life is generally quite good here, imagine if you would have spent your childhood by the beach, swimming all year round, running around barefoot, instead of being wrapped in a big coat, wearing heavy shoes and staying indoors half of the year... People do appear to be confident and happy here, and why wouldn't you, if it is almost certain that tomorrow the sun will shine, it will be Tshirt weather again, and you won't have to fight against the elements to secure your existence. You'd start to expect that good things will happen to you in the future too, wouldn't you? So yes, from what we can see so far, it looks like Australia is " a lucky country" indeed.

NZ seemed to be quite different. I think people were much more self-conscious, humble and humane. Australia does appear somewhat brash and loud compared to its poor cousin. It is not unlike Finland and Sweden rivalry: for some reason Sweden always wins Eurovision (except in 2006, of course!) and ice-hockey. However, my aussie colleagues commented that because of that cultural/art-life is not all that lively in Sydney. It is pretty hard to compete with the surf culture, apparently. To which I commented that "surf culture is also a culture"... :)

This reminded me about OZ/NZ art exhibition that I saw in Vilnius in summer 2006: 70% of art pieces were about surfing. Two pieces stuck in my mind, one of them was a video of a guy cutting surfboards with a chainsaw (I struggled to interpret it...) and the other lovely piece was about surfers changing clothes at their cars (I was really fascinated by the range of different strategies that people employed to wrap themselves in a towel, take off the pants and get into a wetsuit!) So yes, surfing can inspire art too!

It was great to have Sean here and we're hoping that Sydney will be more of a crossroad rather than a destination (as NZ was) and that it will bring more visitors!

Sean obviously enjoyed some aspects of the surf culture!..

Since having a rental car we realised how much easier it would be to get to places (and do the shopping!) if we'd have one. And would you believe that we already managed to get a car last week! Pics on that later! We both never really owned a car before going to NZ, so it is incredible to see how it completely changed our perception. We wouldn't really need a car in Sydney, public transport is great, but dragging milk and juice bottles from the shops is daunting! We also have been very city-focused for the last few months, just because we couldn't get out of here. Hopefully we'll be making heaps more of road trips very soon!

Autumn is slowly coming along (we'll be switching to winter time this weekend) and the mornings are already quite chilly, but we're counting on that long Indian Summer that everyone promises us! There are more sunny afternoons to be had this year!

Posted by gkligyte at April 5, 2008 02:27 PM
Yep Sean, anytime! Your Austraaaiian accent still lingers in our ears! We had a grait toime too! Choooise... Awesome mate awsome! Posted by: Giedre on April 11, 2008 04:47 PM
Choice! Glad you guys like the pics! Seriously.. I had a fantastic time hanging out with you guys in Sydney! Thanks so much for being such great hosts! Good times to remember! Sweet as! Hope to see yall again soon! Kipis! Posted by: Sean on April 11, 2008 04:42 PM
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