[FoRK] Australia / New Zealand?
meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Thu Jun 13 12:04:57 PDT 2013
If you're in Australia or NZ, you should definitely check out Melbourne
several times. Sydney was fun, but it's kind of the Manhattan to
Melbourne's San Francisco. The Gold Coast appears to be the Jacksonville
The other surprise was how much I liked Singapore. I'm definitely a pinko
bleeding heart liberal, but Singaporeans are so staunchly proud of their
country that they won me over.  Besides, I'm a sucker for an Anglophone
country with a wide range of Asian food, from cheap street food to haute
cuisine, and there's a strong foodie sub-culture there as well. Of course,
I'm also addicted to "teh tarik" -- "stretched" tea cooled by pouring it
from a height. The eponymous Mr. Teh Tarik chain has many variations on
this -- Singapore's British heritage comes out as they dump things like HP
sauce and Horlick's into all sorts of odd concoctions.
Malaysia was good as well, but quite chaotic, and not Anglophone for the
most part -- more English speakers than Japan, fewer than Singapore. (In
Singapore, almost everyone speaks something they think is English.)
 A local explained that Singapore was a young country, so they had to be
strict with fines, etc. like a father is with an unruly child. Not loving
that metaphor, to be honest, but much of the rationale for the fines is to
get recent immigrants to act more civilized.
Surprisingly, there are relatively few long-haul Southern Hemisphere to
Southern Hemisphere flights. I was surprised there were no
Australia-Brazil flights, for example (although that may have changed). If
you have a choice of where to change planes, I disliked Hong Kong (and
expect I would dislike the mainland Chinese airports more). Incheon
Airport near Seoul was quite nice, though
Ken Meltsner (the accidental world traveler).
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