Saturday, January 28, 2006

Happy Australia Day - 26th January 2006

There's something to be said about National Pride, its magic. As we gathered at Sydney's Harbourside Play-town, Darling Harbour, we knew that something special was in the air. We arrived at three in the afternoon and made our way to ‘I Thai’ restaurant on Cockle Bay Wharf (Lime Street side). The walk there was a visual feast of Patriotism and Nationalism, dancing with colour, and sound, designed to unite all attendees.

We ate our Coconut infused prawn entrée’s followed by curried vegetables and topped with sticky rice pudding for dessert. It was exciting now for my four year old, aware of the significance of this day, to partake in a form of controlled hooliganism. Later we strolled through a sea of Aussies and made our way to the paddle boats. There, as a young family, we revitalized our thighs by peddling our way around the manmade Darling Harbour Lake. “I want to climb” he yells, as we all grab an eye-full of the climbing rock. $6 later and the four year old, now 10 feet above me, is stuck, petrified, about the descent back down to street level. “Grab the rope with two hands”, she chastises, and he slowly descends back to us.

It’s now 8 O’clock in the evening and we’ve nestled ourselves amongst our brethren. “Come-on Aussie”, belts out the Irish chap in front of me, “G’day Buddy”, mumbles the Indian grandfather next to me – Australia, you see, is still a land loved by all and inhabited by many. It doesn’t really matter where you're from to the Citizens of this Nation. What matters is your soul, and whether or not “a fair go” means a lot more to you than simply equality; as an Aussie ‘a fair go’ means a level of acceptance and safety known to us as a state of mind.

8:50pm and this huddle of 100,000 plus nationalists are delighted by bursts of colour created by $1,000,000 worth of fireworks. We cheer, we cry and somehow we bond - not by touch, smell or even language, but by merely participating. All our favourite theme songs of our childhood are played back to us, accompanied by this feast of redden above us.

Now 2 hours have passed and my son, Leon, remains on my shoulders. He high-fives those willing and makes whistle-like noises with high pitched screams. The car park is cluttered yet we all implausibly wave and smile while idly waiting our turn to exit. I must admit that on most given opportunities I’m neither too parochial or too evangelistic about my chosen Nationality, however, on this occasion I unconsciously dial my brother and wish him an Happy Australia Day, followed by my Mum & Dad, an Auntie, several friends and a Buddy now based in Tokyo.

Happy Australia Day and may you all be blessed in your country of choice as we are here.

  • Where do you come from?
  • How do you celebrate your Nations Day?


digitaldion said...

Hi Hugo,

Thanks for your reviews. I found you via youtube.

My wife has a tablet PC (Compaq PC1000 - I think). I am a bit of a Mac man (I am currently using a Macbook Pro tri booting OSX, Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux).

I do however have an iMate Jasjar (and an iMate Jam).

I was also fortunate to visit Australia for the first time this year (in fact I spent a few lovely evenings at Darling Harbour - I was staying at World Square in Sydney. What an incredible city! I particularly loved Manley - now there I could live! Oh, and Bondi was great too.)

Last month I was in Korea and saw the Samsung Q1 firsthand. It was somehow a bit larger than I imagined. I also have a Toshiba Libretto 100CT, which is the perfect form factor (amazingly I did almost all of my Doctoral Thesis on that little baby!)

Well, thanks for the great blogs and reviews! I'll be sure to check back !

Hugo Ortega said...

Hey Dion (DigitalDion),

Thanks for stopping by and having a say. The irony is that while you were in Australia, Manly in particular, you were only 5 minutes away from my home!

The Samsung Q1 is an awesome device. The only thing I can think of regarding the size is that perhaps all the photo's you saw, before actually seeing one in Korea, were probably of the Q1 in the hands of big people! LOL.

I run a PowerMac Dual Processor G5 at home and it still is my favourite for editing movies and for viewing photos. I think your wife is lucky as the TC series of HP Tablets will always go down in history as one of the best.

Once again thanks for popping by and being so supportive of my efforts. The Tablet PC community mean a lot to me and the effort I put in always feels compensated by all the complements I receive.

Thanks and best of luck on your ventures. Pop in again soon.

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