I don’t get the lack of enthusiasm from the outside but Melbourne doesn’t gets its fair shake. This city is truly amazing; a must stop for anyone taking a trip over to the down under!!
Our first night was spent with a easy-going French couple. Tired of the stereotypical busy city life, they left Paris seeking better work-life balance. They took advantage of the timelines perfectly. Remember back in my original post where I mentioned that visa applications are super easy for foreigners prior to one’s 30th birthday. Turns out this lax period extends into the end of your 30th birthday. Well, this dude literally applied at 30 a couple of weeks before his 31st. Visa was granted and he and his wife took a trip over and have only good things to say about their 14 month journey thus far.
We’re staying in a neighborhood called Fitzroy. Area is brimming with restaurants, lounges and bars. The scene is artistically skewed and only about a 15 minute walk to their downtown aka CBD aka Central Business District. Overall to give more context to the city, it reminds me of San Francisco, New York’s east village and Buenos Aires all in one. Food is muy bueno with a large variety of asian pacific cuisines to choose from. The people seem much more outgoing that in Melbourne, then again it’s was s such a small sample size in terms of times that I may have to reserve judge until after a second visit.
Yesterday was my birthday. I grab my mobile for my dose of daily morning headlines.
Paris: Coordinated Terror Attacks
Information is still coming in but it seems that three coordinated attacks have been staged. Keywords: bomb, death, terror, live, hostage all come together to form various editorial cocktails; the message is clear. Real shit is going down in Paris.
The sad truth is that we’ve gone through different versions of these tragic events recently. The reaction is still always the same. Disbelief, denial, online research. Numb to such headlines I move past the disbelief and denial pretty quickly. I turn to twitter for live updates.
We leave for Melbourne and have a flight today at 3 pm. I still need to pack, eat breakfast and figure out transportation to the airport. Did I mention that Libby has a work call in 30 minutes and her MacBook Air decided to not turn on? Shit. How do you troubleshoot these stupid Macbooks!
Libby’s googling the closest Genius bar. I’m holding the power button for 30 seconds. She gets on her call. The Apple Genius Bar is 30 minutes away from here, so if she leaves now, spends 30 minutes at the store then comes back here, it’ll be right on time for us to leave to go to the airport. Did I mention the that you need need an appointment for the Genius Bar and that they are all booked for today? Fuck it. We’ll wing it since apparently Genius Bar options in Melbourne are even more complicated.
Call done. Libby walk outside the room; Macbook is powered on. Don’t ask me how? I guess these things “just work.” Yeah, right.
I just didn’t feel like writing this post.
A couple of days past. We’re in Melbourne.
Our first night there was, ironically enough, spent with a real cool French couple (Melbourne, by the way is really awesome!). As is the case with the French, we were greeted with wine and overall great conversation. The couple was fortunate to not have anyone they know be affected, aside for a friend of a fiend who was hit in the hand by a stray bullet.
I too am fortunate to not have had anyone I know be affected by these recent attacks.
Final death toll stands at 130. Scores other were admitted to the hospital.
The reaction is the same.
Did you know there was an attack in Beirut the day before that received no media coverage?
How come Facebook safe buttons were activated for Paris attacks and not the Beirut ones?
Speaking of Facebook… That blue white and red flag profile layer is pretty cool right?
Can most people actively engaged on the topic even point to France on a Map?
Did the Black Lives Matter movement use a #f**Paris hashtag?
Did you hear the latest headlines from Trump and Carson had to say?
These are some of the topics that made the round over the past couple of days
Meanwhile, I didn’t feel like saying anything for a while.
I did a bunch of reading from a wide range of sources and I think I’m in a good place to have an informed opinion at this point. But the truth is, I probably don’t know enough.
I don’t like quick empty judgment. I don’t like political posturing and social media bashing. I hate vague media quotes like the following that imply and condone policy rather than inform the reader.
Unnamed French police officials told The Associated Press that authorities have identified one of the suicide bombers as “a young Frenchman flagged in the past for links with an Islamic extremist activity.”
With limited transparency in agency “flagging” processes, quotes like these at face value give unchecked credence and validation to what from the outside seems like systemic profiling of those with Muslim backgrounds.
We are selfish in nature and have our own personal agendas. In moments like these we easily find ourselves consumed with the popular soundbites of the moment. Challenge the status quo, not simply for the sake of challenging it, but rather for the conclusions that come from that process.