12 de julho de 2008

Back from Oz

Fifteen hours sleeping to fight that damned jet lag and Blonde is back in business, listening to the latest Darren Hayes album (a Brisbanite, by the way) she got in Brisbane.

It's indeed an amazing country, caught between the loyalty to the British Empire and an European identity, seduced by the American way of life and unavoidingly accepting its Asian belonging. In fact, in the next generation or two, the Australian racial profile will be Asian, they are millions already in a country that, in population terms, is only twice that of Portugal.

For many moments I felt like I was in Britain: the same politeness of the people, the driving on the left, the same sense of fashion, but then there is this "no worries" attitude that makes Australians so cordial and relaxed. I was there for a conference in which I was presenting a paper myself on that most exciting of matters which is Political Science, and, as a Portuguese-German European I was taking it quite the professional way. But then, I saw them so informal, so "take it easy mate" sort of way that suddenly I was the odd one out. I tell you, it was a challenging situation! Luckily, I had the time to adjust but even so it was a bit awkward. In the end, it went quite well, but clearly I was not in Europe! I think we European academics are not accustomed to such informality, quite the opposite, we are used to being grilled and expect the antagonism of our peers. And, for that part, it was all very congenial.

I was also amazed that there were so few of us from Europe. The direct reason, I believe, is the sheer distance and I think also the fact that we do not really know what sort of academe is there in Australia, a country so depopulated and with so few cities and universities. On the other hand, the conference was crowded with Asian academics from Singapore, Malaysia, the Phillipines, Thailand (curiously there were no Chinese, I wonder why) and it was an opportunity to confront what scholars in that corner of the world are doing. And, man, are they working! The Asian Tigers are not just economic emporiums, we should watch them out at the intellectual level too!

All in all, it was a great experience and a marvellous opportunity to represent Portuguese academe, even if so modestly. I come back with a couple of ideas to develop scientifically, a lesson in the Australian way of life and the reiterated knowledge that ours is a world displaying an incredible rainbow of cultures.

11 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

Well, Miss Dorothy (back from Oz) this here hald afrikaans, half portuguese bloke is really happy you are back!

After all it's my Blonde and what would I do without her and her ideas?

Loved a hell to learn ttha you have now seen what down under life is ... oh yes, they do have that "no worries, mate" kind of living and let me tell you I miss it a hell lot ... that's why if I ever got the chance again I would fly to one of those countries down under to live there ... not all, mind you because I would try to avoid those full of flies! :)

Reading you I also now know that some of them asians fellow of yours got their eyes even smaller ... not everyday they got to see a pretty face full of brains!

Glad you back ...

Oh, by the way, while you were away I didn´t let nobody sit on the Bosses's chair except myself :)

Anónimo disse...

Darn, there must be a mistake or two 'cause I only woke up moments ago and am writting without my glasses!


Carol disse...

Glad you're back.

Joaninha disse...

How many pairs of shoes did you bring?

Seriously, glad to have you back in our little corner of the world.

Blondewithaphd disse...

Oh shocks, soooooo nice to see ya all answering back in English!:) Verdade, até fico meia sem jeito de vos ver virem ao meu encontro linguístico, OBRIGADAS meu people!!!

Gosh mate, what kinda mistakes d'ya have?! Are ya crazy mate? And yes, they're every bit as relaxed as you might expect!
So you impudent you, how dare you seat om MY chair?:)

After the endless trip, sure is good to be back!!!!

Only one pair of shoes but could have bought a lot more. Amiguita, nem te conto o preço dos sapatos down under, porque, primeiro, nem ias acreditar, segundo, era a nossa desgraça total;)

nuno boavida disse...

good to have u back to homeland!
we need u around

Anónimo disse...

There is a nasty "ttha" ...
As for the chair ... hey, I could get used to it!

Joaninha disse...


Conta, vá lá, conta que é para eu ter um ataque de nervos :)

joshua disse...

No need to go there to find out in what world we live in. There's a rainbow of blogs too, did you forget?!

Must put Jesus on your pose, not donughts. (Homer Simpson).


Blondewithaphd disse...

No Josh, I did not forget, contrary to what you might suspect or even expect. And also contrary to what you may think, this is not the banality of indifference for there is hurt in it. The hurt caused by powerless watching of self-inflicted pain.
Don't know whether you understand or not. Don't expect you to and can't blame you if you don't.
Missed you all the while.

joshua disse...

Well, Blonde, sei still, mein Wort sei dir genug: I'm back for good, good old josh in Christ the most I can and naturaly am. Hope, need!!!, to share it with you with all my Heart.

Away from all that you know. You puted it very well there: «... this is not the banality of indifference for there is hurt in it. The hurt caused by powerless watching of self-inflicted pain.»

Missed you a lot all the time too!