Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Countries

I have visited a few countries in my life time. I have lived in a few countries for a few years at a time also. People ask me which country is the best country in the world to live in. That is a good question. I have come to the conclusion that there is not any "best" country in the world. Every country I have lived in has good and bad things to offer. I have lived in Iceland, U.S.A., England and Australia. Each country has some good and not so good things about them. It all depends on what you want from life. I grew up in Iceland and was able to be a free spirited child without fear of being kidnapped and other such dangers we have today. As a child in Iceland I did not even know what fear was when it comes to playing in the streets or going down to the docks. This can be dangerous for children sometimes and I think parents should tell children about dangers in society. I got into some dire straits being a free spirited child. Perhaps later I can share that with the world.

I have spent some enjoyable times in other countries. I had some enjoyable time with my maternal grandparents in the Faeroe Islands. Those time have left fond memories with me. I took a day trip to Greenland when I was a teenager. My friend came over to my work one day and told me she was going over to Greenland with her mother for the day. I wanted to go too and off we went. That was a very good experience but cold and windy. I was fascinated by the icebergs floating around in the sea which were so close to the shore. The icebergs were just sitting or standing there however you say that.

As a child I wanted to see the USA especially a yellow sandy beach. Seeing all those movies I figured the people in America lived on the beach and that is all they did. Of course they ate ice cream and hot dogs. I figured I would go horseback riding like the cowboys. That did not look too difficult. I saw from the movies as a child that all people in America were happy people he he. I did also wonder where Roadrunner and Bugs Bunny lived. Those were the cartoons in my childhood days in Iceland.

I did get my chance to live in the U.S.A. later on but was disappointed that people in America did have problems like the rest of the world and huge problems.

During my childhood and teenage years I had friends who travelled to England and the Scandinavian countries. I did wonder what England was like. I was fascinated by the stories my friends told me of seeing colour television and bugs called ants crawling on the ground. I did imagine in my mind what they looked like. They told me too the people drank the sewer water. I did wonder why they did not just drink tap water. I found out later when I lived in England that the water was recycled water and that is what people drank.

I used to watch a show called Skippy in black and white on television. What a funny thing that was. An animal jumping around and it seemed Skippy understood what people were talking about. Well, I did get a chance to see where Skippy lived outside Sydney in Australia. I lived very close to the park Skippy was from in Sydney. Kangaroos are not very smart. They can be very arrogant. Some of them attack people especially the boxing kangaroo. Then again they are big animals. The wallabies are little and sweet. In Queensland just about every animal is protected. Snakes are protected and you can get into a lot of trouble killing one.

It is very easy dreaming of places to see. We make up a picture in our head of what they look like and how things are there. I have a few places more I would like to see in the world. I want to see China, Mongolia, Russia, Poland and many others. I like studying up on the histories of these places. I would have liked to see Iran before Khomeini. I did see Karachi Pakistan through a window in an airplane I was on. That is the first time I saw men walking around outside in what looked like pyjamas.

As I said perhaps later on I will tell more stories about my travels in life. I went to see my daughter in Guam not too long ago. Guam is a very relaxed place and is a great place to visit for beaches and just total relaxation. The locals in Guam are never in a hurry. They are very polite and nice. Even my teenage daughter who was with me mentioned that to me. I was amazed to see where Magellan the explorer went in Guam. I stood there thinking wow, he was here. I know the story of his travels in the world. Every place I go I ask about the history and wonder how it was when the people were there. We saw where the cave was where a Japanese soldier stayed until 1970's because he did not know WWII was over and no one knew he was there. He was found by accident by two men working in the bush. Guam is like a jungle. The vines and trees grow very fast. That is one beauty of Guam. All rubbish and unsightly things are covered by foliage very quickly.

I never gave myself a goal in life to see all these places. This just happened in my life due to whatever was going on in our family or even my research has taken me to these places. I do a lot of family history and have been researching my husband's British family. This has taken me to New Zealand. I love New Zealand. It kind of looks like Iceland with all the volcanic rock and geysers. I found the people in New Zealand very friendly and it did look to me like not too many had a chip on their shoulders. I feel that here in Australia too many people have a chip on their shoulder no matter where they are from. It seems to me also ,because of this they do not integrate very well. All the different ethnic groups more keep to themselves rather than just be Australian.
I lived in the same country town for six years in Australia. I came across some women that did not speak English. I figured they had just arrived there and had not learned English yet. I found out later that they had been there for 40-50 years. I asked myself how it was possible to live in a country that long and not learn the language. These women went into town and did the shopping etc. It was not like they lived in a dungeon and never came outside.

Australia has a derogatory name for just about any nationality that comes to live here. I don't think they have a name for Icelanders, then again, who knows. I feel when you go live in another country you need to adjust without loosing your identity. Keep the good leave the bad out. We need to find out what is appropriate and what is not. We need to respect their culture no matter what our opinion is of it. Like when we stopped in Dubai and Brunei there were signs everywhere about what can happen to you if you have drugs on you etc. Do not take it for granted that the people will accept your ideas or culture when you go to their country. If you are not willing to abide by their rules and culture just don't go there. Don't think because you are from such and such a country that you have the same rights there as you have in your own country.

My life has been far from boring. I see the future with bright eyes and I can not imagine living in the same place your whole life and not see anything else. I love reading and if I have not read for a day or two I feel that my brain is going to mush. I met some women a few weeks ago. These women came to Australia as refugees from war torn countries. These women can speak at least three languages including Arabic. I was amazed to hear that. Arabic sound so difficult to me. Then the sad thing was these women can not read or write. I thought to myself that I could not imagine how that is like. Missing out on reading about other people and places and just be fed by the television or radio for news. I am grateful for being able to read and that in many different languages. Well until next time.

2 comments:

MoBo said...

I love my mummy! you will be an excellent author one day, when you find home and write your memoirs, dont forget to dedicate some to me! hahahahah and send some free copies ;p hahah love you always!

Melanie

meleofa said...

Dedicate them to me too!!! hahahha. just kidding. Mamma, you are an excellent writer. I will seriously enjoy reading your memoirs someday. You are a bright spot in the universe, and I think everyone who reads what you write can benefit from it. I love this, and I'm excited to read more. :) I also loved your insights on other cultures and countries. I have to agree that you must adapt and accept when you go to another place. And if you cannot, leave or don't go in the first place. I am all about adaptation, though. I also like what you wrote about not being able to imagine what it's like to stay in one place your whole life, and not seeing anything else. I still want to see so much of the world, and all it has to offer. Dustin, having lived here in the same city his whole life, is content to stay here, and not go out of the country. I'm sure there's a little fear involved. But I am so greatful you guys have taken us all over the world and raised us with the ideals that you guys did. I am greatful.