States Bound

It is with trepidation that I write this post, as this is the last day of my annual leave before I board three jets that will take me in to the homeland of American holidays – Las Vegas.


Paradoxically I am going there for work, and though this is my first trip I am fairly sure that it will not be my last. The United State’s economy may be in trouble, but it is still a pretty big spender.

Putting it as tenderly as I could, I could never really find a reason to go to the US. Culturally we’re not all that different, and if i had to spend my own money I would prefer to go somewhere that would fill me with wonder every second. I have always feared that the differences between Aus and the US would be so trivial that I would be bored. Sure, there might be some cool sightseeing, but nothing that would challenge me on every level, making me want to come back. I suppose, in some ways, that is how I feel about Germany as well.


Now that I’ve become a little more secure about my online persona etc I’m not going to mention where I’m going. But, considering that a good third of the viewers of this blog (thanks, new WordPress maps!) are in the USA, I imagine that there is an actual chance of meeting someone in the dreaded IRL.

If you do, somehow, manage to find me, then please say hi. Just don’t be too obvious. I will, in fact, be working.

(NB: I honestly don’t expect anyone to actually find me, and I doubt you will, but I thought I’d put the challenge out there anyway).



Anyway, this pondering got me thinking about the travel blog I’ve never written. I’m also going to attempt a poll, but I am not sure that I have the answers right. There should be an “other” one in there as well for you to make your own answers.


Go nuts.



11 thoughts on “States Bound

  1. If you ever need to know anything about us(The US), I will gladly be your internet liaison to American ways. Anything from where to get the most beautiful views, to why some guy called you what he did. Please don’t hesitate to ask.

    1. For some reason now you appear in my mind’s eye as some creppy, 8-bit female stalker. You’re sitting outside my house, watching me with your monochrome-monitor green eyes, wishing for my safety and calling me “babby”…

      1. If you are going to Vegas and that is the picture you get from being referred to as “babby” then prepare to feel like hundreds of people are stalking you.

  2. US cities are not worth coming across the world for since you live in a highly similar British based western culture. Our national parks and natural land marks however are some of the best in the world. I think everyone should get to see Yellowstone at least once in their lives for example.

    1. Unfortunately I will be confined to The Strip for the duration. There are a number of things that I would see were I to come here on holidays, however there are much closer destinations that beckon me for mynlesiure time.

      Maybe I’ll have the chance to extend one of my future stays, but not with a microhuman to care for at home…

  3. If you’re very Sociology-oriented, I would suggest observing the streets at night. Somehow, I get the feeling you don’t see too many neon glitter-covered transvestite prostitutes walking the streets of good old Aussie-land 😛 if you’re feeling particularly gutsy, make sure to walk around with tons of $1’s and/or quarters, then periodically “shower” the sidewalks with them. The hobos can get especially brutal trying to claim dominance over such wealth!

    1. It is interesting in the number of different forms that the Oldest Profession takes, isn’t it?

      But you forget that my home port is Sydney; home of Priscilla the Desert Queen, the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and probably one of the highest gay/straight ratios in the world.

      But it is interesting watching different culture’s take on the humble lay of the night…

  4. I’m a Kiwi (New Zealander). But I’ve never really identified with the culture: I don’t play rugby or any other sport, never liked beer or getting wasted, and I loathe the type of people who use the words “bro” and “cunt” to punctuate every sentence.

    And I visited the USA, in October. Los Angeles, San Francisco. New York, Washington DC, Boston, Niagara.

    Amazing. People love to say America has no culture, but it was wonderful, and very different from New Zealand. It’s still Western, but I think it was the sheer scope of it compared to quiet New Zealand that had me sold. The cities there are so huge (sometimes scarily so, LA) and never sleep (Manhattan). And, as the wealthiest and most powerful nation on Earth, it’s very interesting to see displays of that extreme wealth and power: the ultra-rich in LA, prestigious universities in Boston, motorcades – complete with sirens and police motorbikes – travelling across Washington, just for a diplomat. (Compare in New Zealand, where you might meet the Prime Minister at your local supermarket.)

    Funny story – while visiting San Franscisco, I sat down on a park bench next to an elderly white man. And he got PISSED off. Yelled, asked if I could speak English, told me to get out of his country (literally), and stormed off. (More than a few people who were walking by actually stopped and intervened on my side, calling them out on their discrimination, for which I’m very grateful.)

    It’s a land of extremes. Really (and I mean really) fat people, huge serving sizes. Yet at the same time, there’s always demand for a “healthy” alternative (even if it is a Caesar salad with more croutons/bacon/dressing than actual greenery). Poor and rich. Very warm and friendly people, but of course there are huge assholes like I just described too. And it’s fucking awesome.

    To me, at least, it seemed like my experience actually did live up to the stereotyped image I had. I might move there someday. Don’t really want to stay in NZ, and Australia is bigger but really not that different.

    Interesting thought – although the Falls were spectacular, the actual town of Niagara is a dump. On a dreary morning, I looked out of my hotel window and was actually reminded of the city of Pripyat, Chernobyl. (Thanks STALKER.)

    1. One thing that I would like to clear up; I never implied that there is no culture in the US, only that it doesn’t differ all that much from the culture of my home soil.

      Sure, there are great things to see and do here, but there are similarly wonderful experiences that would also stimulate my deisre to see life lived in differing ways. Thus, travelling to South East Asia or China would be more appealing to myself then a touring trip of the US of A.

      1. Oh, I didn’t think you said that. I was just talking about how it’s a commonly thrown around phrase, at least on the internet.

        It’s just personal opinion as to exactly how wonderful the experience is for any given country, of course. I’ve been to China… well, Beijing, where many of my relatives live – many times, and that’s a fantastic experience too.

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