Let there be light. Lumiere.

Guys, this is not for you, not for me either. 
I'm more me than ever here. I love it to bits. 
This is a bit of Australia. But this is not Australia for me. 
Just a university assignment. That's all it is. And it's not even it. 

I'm in the future and upside down.

Where the monsters and overgrown fields used to nest
Walking upside down, on the bottom of the world, is my new favourite thing,
and people are always smiling, so it goes.

My intense and exciting summer break came to an end and after 8 border-crossings I enter the Southern hemisphere for some winterness. Coldness embraces me and I feel like the winter is haunting me down and settling in, even in my new bedroom. I sleep with gloves the first few nights and I realise how much Australians ignore winter. It's windy and cold, even for my Scandinavian veins and limbs. And no one decides to buy jackets, or turn up the heating in the houses. Because they all ignore winter. Assuming that summer will come soon. Optimists.



Someone has peeled the trees, like upside down bananas. Poor trees, it looks too painful. Especially in the You Yangs, where the trees look like they're conciously placed like a chess board, all peeled and all in a greyscale, still they say that this is the greenest it can be.

The parrots are copying sounds in the sky and sometimes they keep me company just outside of my window on the 12th floor. I've always loved birds, and they all sound different to where I'm from. I can't name any of them, nor any of the plants here. I keep asking my new Australian friends about what they're all called, but they don't even know. Home-blindness. It exists everywhere. Even in an idyllic Australia. We visit a sanctuary and I see all the Australian animals for the first time. The zoo's at home never take them in. Maybe it's the distance. The koala's wake up to say hi and eat some more eucalyptus. People here care a lot about toilet paper, I've noticed. "Don't kill our koala's, buy organic toilet paper". Sweden is a very environmentally concious country, but yet I've never seen this excessive care for toilet paper. I guess Europe is too far away to care. Some women berates me about how to handle caged budgies, when she herself keeps budgies in a cage right in front of me. Arrogance? Besserwissers? I thought I got rid of them when I left Germany. 

G'day mate.

Uni starts and in my units I read both about mateship and gender theory. It's interesting to see what the "majority men"-culture has done to Australia. Everyday I walk past the sports field and everyday there are only guys playing. Or when St. Kilda vs Melbourne played in AFL and the men have to educate the women in whatever they want to explain. And especially in the footie games, where the men's voices are always louder than the female ones. Beer, chips and loud talking, that's their community and they're all mates. I used to love the male culture, the chuckles, the tap on the shoulder, the playfulness - Until I realised that my sex excludes me from it. The whole football stadium is a playground for mates. Where women are outsiders, in a much wider spectrum than they are in my country. I feel like sexism has become a vital part of Australian life, mainly because the lack of women in the past made men stick together. How great for them, one might say. But no. I'm from the most feminist country in the world, so sorry, I notice everything. 

Facepaint, spirits and the no-mans-land. 

Racism. Another ism on the footie court when Mr Jetta proves his point. He throws an imaginary spear towards the booing crowd. It's a huge problem in this country, the racism towards Aboriginals. I was on a footie game that day in another place. How frustrated would I've been if I would've seen the booing. Another day I go on an art tour in the CBD. There's an Aboriginal women leading us, telling us (or screaming for justice) about the history of Melbourne and Australia. She's angry and I can hear it in her voice. She talks about how they we're considered un-human until the '60ies. That's only a generation ago. She talks about how the Europeans stole the land, and how they distroyed the flora and fauna around Melbourne. The Yarra, the waterfall is gone and it's all industrialisms fault. They didn't listen, did they. I hope that the Aboriginal spirits and the eagle still circulates around in the mountains. 

9th of August: 

The artsy and infamous.

We take a look at the aboriginal art, and it's all colourful and has a lot of meaning. Some photographs remind us about how it all would look like if every white man was aboriginal. How you would crave for diversity, but you never see it whilst your in it. The mustard-coloured men prove a point to me, where they represent all the white history. We live like machines and we're all profit-programmed. Sad times, sad paintings. I wonder how life would've been here, if the Europeans realised how unempty Australia was when they found it. How colourful and spiritual our dear Melbourne would've been. Not that it isn't. But it would've been more. And less westernised, less Kylie Minoque weddings to represent Australia.

Australia is too westernised for its own good. And it had so much potential. This negative side is also what all the European schools left out. No one, and I mean no one knows about the aboriginals, or any type of Australian history. To us it's all an empty surfing paradise, a treasure island, as the British saw it. But it really isn't. All these interpretations of Australia poison us. To me Australia is like the film Australia, sexist and racist with exceptions, beautiful and emotional. And Melbourne is an exception to almost all of that.

To enter Melbourne is like entering a hipster, bisexual, vegan and multicultural home with many faces. It has never been this easy to be a vegetarian, and the beautiful people are walking around with the most amazing style. And I can't stop looking. To me, all of Melbourne is like a big Lentil As Anything, or a big Brunswick Street. And the music. There are buskers everywhere. And they're lovely, happy and they just express everything that is right in this city. This is the best of the westernised world cramped into a couple of streets, and the only thing that positively fits into my book of life, or my backpack. They just express everything that is right in this city.  
16th of August 

The right-wing business christians 
I am a christian person. Almost. And a stereotypical christian person in my country is as following: alternative, hipster, vegetarian, left-wing, socialist, spiritual, a bookworm, loving. But in this country, apparently, the right-wing business men are the likliest christians. WOT? I mean what the actual. And apparently every politician is considered to be christian until stated otherwise. Left-wing people are also the most atheist, like Marx. But still, it's such a big difference accross the continents. And my head just asks me how an extremely right-wing person can ever be a christian. The struggle is real. But the hippies and hipsters are at least spiritual. So I'm going to hold on to them. Tightly. 

Tony Abbotts and the boats

So, Tony Abbotts and the boats. I feel like this kind of an issue is a trend in the entire world and I do not know what it comes from. The racist parties are amongst the biggest parties in Sweden, France and England. And in every corner of the world, immigration is always the biggest issue. Rightly so. But still, Australia has 20 million habitants and tons of land. If the Brits could habitate it years ago, then why can the immigrants not come in now. It's all about the australian pride I guess. Nationalism. Mate's everywhere. And mate's just can't be black, aboriginal or women. Lovely. Great country.

Australia is obviously racist, and they treat our fellow cosmopolitanists on the boats like rats. Let's put them in cells on foreign island. Yes sure. Let's sexually harass them and beat them to death. OPEN your eyes, dear country. Things are about to get revealed and there's nothing mr. Abbott can do about it. Stopping the boats means that thousands will be trapped in the replacement camps around Australian waters. Better than death, they might say. But frankly, Australia are killing them. They are persons, why not accommodate them in this country instead of letting them die in the sea. It's a matter of justice, not charity.

Cosmopolitanists, let us please let them in. We're citizens of the world, or citizens of nowhere, why would we stop them from entering. Is it their fault that their country is letting them starve. No it isn't. Go and open the pearly gates to their imagined heaven or their lack of hell. The love for Europeans is easy to spot. Why am I hear if they cannot come in? That is the question. Injustice. Abbott. Abbott. Injustice. But it's a trend, and it's all over the world. From north to south, from France to Australia. It's all there, the "I'm not racist, but"-movements. 


23th of August
 Gaymarriage and wholefoods
 Wholefoods. For the people, not for the money. The most vital thing to hold on to, and they're just doing it. This is the best of Melbourne. The typical non-profit, vegetarian awareness raising principles are to die for. This is how every restaurant should be handled. I go here every single break. The colours and the piano. This is contemporary Melbournian culture for sure. No facades here. Only us. The awareness hipsters with colour in their hair. 

If gaymarriage would be legal in this country, then they would marry at wholefoods. Or maybe at lentil as anything, or on bunnswick street, in the alleys in Fitzroy. I don't know how the rest of Australia missed out on this beautiful notion of multinational and multisexualness. Or has it really? I haven't seen anything outside of this lovely bubble. A bubble can tell you so many prejudice about this controversial country. Gay marriage is a question that was current ages ago, in my home country. Every decent person agree's with it, with some exceptions. So, here we are, listening to Tony Abbotts rediculous speach about how public voting isn't going to happen. How weird. Because the majority of the people in Australia are going to vote for it. Tony Abbott, you don't know your country, or you know it far too well. Let them marry, for God's sake. Greetings, the controversial and the wicked (real). 

26th of August

The actual bush and wildlife
We are arriving at the most southern place of Australia. The mountains are surrounding us and we're camping amongst the bushes, trees. I see the real wildlife, and I wonder why Healesville amazed me so much. I'm not surprised about that the Aboriginals worshipped this place, it's the same with every indigenous culture, they adore  and appriciate. And we're just machines. Spiritless machines. We walk along the squeaky beach and I don't understand how the world works. Why is the sand squeaking, I don't know. I wonder if Tom Winton walked along beaches like this when he created his stories. My semi-australian friend envies him, adores him. He has all of his books, Australian life, he said, Winton has captured it all. It's a well-made choice Mr. Damien. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The womats are literally eating our victory cake and we can't stop laughing. We're hanging up porridge in the trees to save it from the wombats. Parrots. Everywhere. I love them and I have them all on my arms. So free, but so tame. I love this place. We're bouldering away on the rocks  we're reaching view after view. Australia is so different, it looks like a messy jungle with burt trees. Calming chaos, that's what it is. Well done Aboriginals. 

Mining and what it can destroy - profit seekers.
Wholefood's, my favourite workplace and social space gets criticised for being non-profit. For people. And the student organisation hates it. Why? Because profit is controlling this world. So are the decisions on mining. Controlled by profits and driven by money. Environmental damages will "only" damage future generations, and they all want profit now. Bye, bye great chorals of the barrier reef. The next generation will not encounter your beauty, such a shape. Since I saw Zeitgeist I've been all about sustainability. And it's so true. Sustainability is king. Not petrol, or natural gases. It's all gone in a hundred years. Humans all gone in a hundred years if we act like the capitalists, like the miners on the Australian coast line. Abbott and the government, all for present security, nothing for the future. Great plan.

31st of August

The beauty of the blue mountains/when I found love in a bivvy bag.
Wilson's prom was nothing against the blue mountains. The deep forests, the freshly filled waterfalls, the parrots and cockatoos. Life is great in the wilderness, especially if you book your flight tickets two days before your trip and you don't have time to research routes, places or dangerous animals. No plans and no fear.  We might possibly have illegally camped above the clouds in a little bivvy bag in the deep eye of the forest, close to the 100 meter drops and with a view towards the waterfall. As a Scandinavian person, I feel like I'm in the jungle. We do some bushwalking, we swim in the coldest rivers, into the cold caves. We also might have hitchhiked with a yellow hippie van, surfhair and calmness everywhere. Breakfast and sunrise with the two people that would be the dictionary definition of hippies. Barefoot, loving. I love Australia sometimes. The cultural differences, every inch of identity.


Bondi beach, tourism and the surfing culture
A fifty minute train journey away, we spot Bondi beach, what a wonderful tourist attraction, and a lovely home for a couple of days. Carefully placed grafitti walls, sun, surfers, beach life. The beaches on the sides have lovely Aboriginal names and that's where the locals hang out. Free barby stations, youth, seafood. Our lovely host and my dear friend is a chef and cooks us some kangaroo, the ultimate Australian experience right there. Every corner, lots of identities. Aboriginal buskers. I feel like I could put these experiences and use them as breezeblocks for the  Australian life. Positive vibes and summer is coming. (It's actually winter and 24 degrees outside). The botanic garden in Sydney city center is amazingly beautiful, but the Australian birds are only sticking around in the Australian trees. And the botanic garden has far more European trees and plants than Australian. We see the sleeping bats around the corner and the white ibises around the lake. The opera house is shining at us with its interesting design. I could live at this place, so many different identities in one place. And so much to see. 

6th of September

Including the Aboriginals/Westernising them. 
The news, the tutorials, Sydney. Everything is pointing towards the inclusion of Aboriginals in the culture. But how do we possibly do that. We're talking about schools and combining tradtions. But it's all westernisation. Governments address scholarships for our dear Aboriginals, which is good. But is it what they want? Do they not want to live like they used to. Gain intellectual knowledge from experiences rather than class-based repetition. Acceptance is king, but not persuation and westernisation. It's just our form of life, not what they would want to be included into. The buskers in Sydney tells me about the humiliation in the strees. The fictionised spear throwing that the tourists want in the pictures. The digeridoo (which is insanely hard to play). They play for us, and I love it. I listen to them for several minutes, sitting down, enjoying. Thousands of tourists are walking past, ignoring, but accepting. Let them be what they are. 


The surfing community from Sydney has inspired me, so I spend a weekend surfing with my dearest friend the surfing instructor. He tells me about the long hair, the calmness, the ultimate weekend and restless hours out of school activity. In my country it was all about rainy forests, lake swimming or playing cards indoors. We all learnt how to shuffle cards professionally, whilst the Australians learnt how to surf. Nice exchange. I would've liked that. Barefoot, sunkissed faces and salty hair. That's life, is it not? 

10th of September
Contemporary design, how blind was I? 
I'm talking about my ugly university buildings, the square-traps that the universities from the 60ies have formed. The unconvinient buildings inbetween the boredom of flat grey scaled lecture theatres, the weird rotundas (or my Iver Crewe lecture hall (an aluminum foil-like ball). I hate it all. Old is gold. But then, my dear Monash Unviersity surprises me with the newer buildings, I didn't even see them. Not all all, but they're right there. Creative, environmentally friendly building. Nothing like the boring 60'ies. Bright, free, spacious, colourful, community-based. Great. How blind was I? 

14th of September
Growing up or changing forever. 
Goodbye Abbott.

Westernised philosophy as the most meaningless thing we have.
And I study it non the less.
Hello Mr. Indigenous. You've blown my mind away.  

1 Lili:


Jag gillar verkligen ditt sätt att skriva, väldigt fångande! Älskade denna mening: " Go and open the pearly gates to their imagined heaven or their lack of hell". Så himla fint skrivet.

Australien är ett intressant och ganska skrämmande land. Jag skrev om dess problem med rasism mot ursprungsbefolkningen, aboriginerna, när jag tog gymnasiekursen Engelska 7. Men som du skriver är det inget vi någonsin fick lära oss i skolan, det ingår liksom inte i kursmaterialet. Utan det var något jag själv valde att fördjupa mig i. Dels för att jag kände att det är något jag själv är intresserad av, dels för att jag ville öppna andras ögon. Funderar på att publicera mitt arbete någonstans. Angående könsrollerna och sexismen så ja, en kompis bodde ett år i Australien och han delar samma erfarenhet som du.

Fina bilder förresten! Men jag kunde inte se alla? :o

Svar: Jo, Australien är något väldigt annorlunda. Men jag älskar de små regnbågsfärgerna pusselbitarna som står för allt gott här. Läs Tim Winton's böcker, folk säger att de representerar vad Australien är. Han skriver fint. Vår lärare läser upp vulgära uppslag ur hans böcker. Hur fint.
Vet inte varför du inte kan se alla bilder. Det kommer mer snart, när jag är i skrivarevärlden. Kram och tack för kommentaren, fortsätt bry dig om sånthär, det är så vackert. Joo.. Ps. Singing saltwater country. Finaste boken som finns om Australien. Av och med aboriginerna.
Isabella Johansson

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