‘Boat People’ – An Alien Species!

It is the 21st century, we are no longer racist, aren’t we? We live in a world that has grown accepting of each other, the bleeding from the 20th Century has been stemmed, historic belligerents like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin no longer threaten to hold the world in their reigns with their ideology of terror, and heroic nobles such as Nelson Mandela no longer hold the need in their minds to fight for humanity. Racism and genocide is clearly so 20th century…or so we like to think.

Australia is typically and fondly referred to as the ‘lucky country’, a name that draws from factors such as being a wealthy, free peaceful nation with great opportunity. You would think that with this exclusive package, comes arguably the responsibility, to provide the utopia that so many ‘boat people’ fight tooth and nail to set sail here for, to escape their not so lucky country. Instead though, these ‘boat people’ are greeted with cold arms, into a society who’s attitude is largely that of a spoiled, unthankful child, unwilling to share its large abundance of resources with a child in need. 

This attitude is not exemplified any better than the title of which this writer has labeled asylum seekers so far in this article. This of course, is the term, ‘Boat People’. It almost sounds like a title that would be given to an alien-like species.  A species that doesn’t share the same common principles as ‘us’, a species that doesn’t strive for the same achievements in life as ‘us’, a species that doesn’t share the same needs as ‘us’, a species that is simply…different. In reality, these asylum seekers just want to share the life that we lucky ones roll about in like a pig in filth. They require clean water, nutritious food, and shelter, the kind of needs that we take for granted, and ultimately, they share the same morals and values that we strive to exemplify as a human race.

So really, what are the reasons for these ‘20th Century’ type attitudes? There are many reasons that the lucky ones like to base their ideals on, ranging from the slightly reasonable, to the downright stupid. Some say that this lucky country takes more than its fair share in asylum seekers, but the UN Refugee Agency stats don’t lie. During the first 6 month of the year 2009, Australia took in 3,666 asylum seekers, ranking no.20th in the world out of 44 nations for asylum seeker intake, even after being one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Another reason that rears its ugly head time and time again, is that of asylum seekers being a ‘burden’ on the ‘our’ economy. Claims that refugees cost the taxpayer ‘628 million’ dollars, were proven to be completely baseless and improvable. Proof that arguments for the stopping of asylum seekers are mainly stupid ones leads in from this ‘burden to the economy’ claim. This is the argument that asylum seekers ‘take our jobs’, a claim spewed out by the slightly less reasonable members of the public, and in the process, undoing the ‘good’ work of all those who want to commit a good job in actually portraying asylum seekers as unsatisfactory members of the Australian society.

Ultimately, the reasons given for the wanted denial of asylum seekers landing on our shores vary inconsistently from one variable to another, but really, this is all just a filthy ruse to cover up one’s racist tendencies towards a group of desperate people who, though may not look like ‘us’ and share the same faith as ‘us, like ‘us’, want to lead an improved life for their children and themselves. Figures like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela may have helped induce the thoughts into people’s minds that racism is a thought that must not be activated into society, but we now, must grow up and release ourselves from the shackles that this bratty attitude has created out of us. 

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Qantas 737 vs Jetstar A320?

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To many people, air travel is an accepted reality. It as a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ type gaze, with the palm-choked, bleached beaches of Fiji, being the ‘light’, while the fear inducing prospect of a five hour flight from Australia to Nadi, the ‘tunnel’.

This does not apply to me though. In my teen years, I have rediscovered my hidden passion for taking to the skies, a passion that has not been seen, since my yearning to become a pilot in my early single digit years. Now though, my passion has gone hand in hand with knowledge. Knowledge sought out on websites like aviation.net, it is because of this, that I find it only fair to myself and my blog, that I am to include a post or two about aviation, and my recent trip to the Alice, has provided me with a good opportunity.

The Jetstar A320 vs Qantas 737 comparison is an interesting one I believe..for a few reasons.

– A320 vs 737. These two types of aircraft can be considered rivals, for the fact that they are two similarly sized aircrafts, from two of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers. (A320 being Airbus, 737 being Boeing).

– Jetstar is a budget airline, working primarily as a domestic service across the Australian continent, while Qantas, is one of the world’s most renowned airlines, one if the biggest, most famous, and oldest a pack that includes the likes of Emirates and Singapore Airlines. Shrinking down to 737 domestic size though, the two become somewhat comparable

– Jetstar is OWNED by Qantas, albeit managed and operated separately

Anyway, I will be drawing my comparisons from:

Jetstar:

Melbourne-Brisbane RETURN. Melbourne-Sydney.

Qantas:

Sydney-Melbourne. Melbourne-Alice Springs RETURN

Check – In:

All over Australia, the check in process is pretty similar for these two airliners, but in Melbourne, Jetstar have the upper hand, and that, is Avalon Airport. Avalon is an airport for Jetstar, no other airline departs or arrives here. This gives Jetstar more flexibility, not to mention the general tranquillity at the small airport.

Entertainment:

Only on some services do Jetstar provide entertainment, and you must ‘hire’ it beforehand. Therefore, Q737 wins by a mile, and that might be something to do with the fact that my Jetstar flights consisted of no entertainment whatsoever. The Q737 meanwhile, provides overhead popout screens for every few rows, and an armrest radio device.  Apart from a one episode of the ‘Big Bang Theory’ though, I was disinterested. The rest of the shows screened looked mostly like American trash, and the music provided through the radio was of a bad quality. Well, at least they had SOME entertainment.

Food + Beverages:

Jetstar is a budget airline, Qantas is not, this should tell the story. Budget airlines require the customer to pay for any food or beverages. Qantas on the other hand, have given me generally appealed to my taste, with my most scrumptious snack being that of a hot butter chicken tortilla… mmmm

Seating:

Leather seats. I love them, and Jetstar provides them. I have always loved me seated experience on Jetstar, thanks to the lovely leather seats, they do a good job of keeping you cool. Meanwhile, the Q737 seats are an ugly vomit coloured product that so easily can make one dizzy. I also seem to feel more legroom and space on the JA320, but that’s probably more to do with the fact that I travelled Jetstar when I was a little younger

Cabin Theme:

The simple black, orange and white theme…I love it, and Jetstar perfects it. On Jetstar, The rows of black leather seats do a good job on preventing a ‘spin out’, and keeping things classy, while the white and orange walls  give, for me, a modern, holiday’y feel…they just make me feel good. Meanwhile, as already mentioned, the Q737 vomit coloured, dizzying seats, just immediately place it as the inferior product for cabin themes

Service:

I feel that both airline’s attendants have been ‘nice’ enough for my liking, but I find that the Qantas attendants are more attentive than the Jetstar equivalents, not to mention the lengths that they went to to make sure that my ‘pesto and chicken’ really was the only pesto sauce in the world that didn’t have ‘nuts’ in it..

Overall, i’m not going to pick favourites, as i’d have to be fly with these two in all contexts to make sure my opinion was a real reflective one.

Thank you reading, and I wish you pleasant flights in the future…

*These have been taken from my EXPERIENCES. They are not fact, and i’m sure not consistently shown throughout Jetstar A320 and Qantas 737 flights respectively.

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Journey to the Centre of Australia – Photographs!

Started off on a cold Melbourne morning at Melbourne Airport…getting to ready to catch a Qantas 737..Image

 

Soon after arriving in Alice Springs, what first struck me was the red soil…

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Soon after, my companion and I were out on the open road, driving along the MacDonnell Ranges..

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We stopped at numerous places, such as Standley Chasm, to witness the superb red glow of the midday sun against the rocky walls..

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Not to mention the numerous gorges, such as the Redbank Gorge…Hiding behind some beautifully coloured rocks, and trees..

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After a a day or two, it was time to head back to Alice Springs. Temperatures were in the high 30’s, and the contents of this picture tell the rest of the story…

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Clue: Don’t focus on the foreground!!

 

In Alice Springs, we did a few other activities, like visiting the Desert Park and viewing the Birds of Prey event..

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Unfortunately, after a week, it was time to depart the Alice, much like the famous Adelaide-Darwin Outback train.. ‘The Ghan’… departs every few days..

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All in all, it was a good trip, and I was glad to finally catch a domestic flight that wasn’t with these guys..

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Thank you

 

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Hawk in Central Australia

Hawk in Central Australia

Finally! The problems that plagued me yesterday with uploading photographs have seemingly been solved..

This photograph was taken at the Alice Springs Desert Park. This was a rather frisky bird, so I was lucky to capture this brief lull in activity.

If anyone could tell me what type of hawk this is, that would be great…

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Alice Springs: Journey to the Centre of the Univer… I mean Australia

Vast open spaces, Water-filled gorges almost bursting at the seams, and of course..Kangaroos. These are the first images that come up in a person’s mind, when the world ‘Australia’, is uttered. Well…to those who don’t live in the ‘Great Southern Land’, at least. The majority of ‘Aussies’, are quite content to call the Eastern Seaboard (Melbourne to Cairns), their home. This coastline is not a seambursting gorge as much, as people… and houses… and skyscrapers, and many of these pathetic ‘city-slickers’, will have not stepped on a piece of red soiled outback in their lives, including myself.

So when an opportunity arose during my school holidays for me to visit my grandparents in Alice Springs, the supposed ‘gateway to the Outback’, I had no hesitation in signing myself on a Qantas 737 to the Alice for a 4 night stay. I was finally going to see the real heart of Australia. I was going to smell the smell of lack of ocean for hundreds of miles in each direction, and I was going to experience the dehydrating feel of cracked lips from complete lack of moisture in the air. I could hardly wait for this trip.

The day finally came. I was finally leaving the ‘Paris of the Southern Hemisphere’, yes that’s right. Us ‘proud’ Australian city-slickers want to disassociate ourselves from the land, and associate with some city up in Europe somewhere..location not important. I had brought a book with me on to the plane for this three hour ‘trek’ Northwest, but I could hardly focus on it. I was overcome with excitement and nerves…nerves for the unknown. Yes, I have been living in Australia for 15 years, but I was just as knowing of what was to come, as a Spanish pair sitting opposite myself. I was a foreigner in my own land, and the prospect of this definitely sent me crumbling back down to earth..

As we proceeded Northwest, the land put on a show. From vibrant green, to a paler green, to yellow, and finally to a rich red, it turned, to which the the better half of the Spanish pair commented, ‘nothing here but kangaroos’. Such a simple, stereotypical comment, but nevertheless  very true, and definitely a world away from my ‘Paris of the South’…smh….voulez-vous un croissant, Monsieur?

Fast forward an hour or two, and I find myself in the Alice Springs town centre, already having spotted more indigenous people than I have in my whole life leading up to the trip. I am now certain that this is in fact my first visit to Australia. My haven before was little more than a false sense of identity. I am now in an Australia that the world seems to know a little better, yet so little at the same time. 

That night, I am told ‘not to worry if you hear a fight break out’. Yes. Unfortunately, the indigenous community are still reeling from the havoc that ‘white fella’ placed on them. The true inhabitants of this land, make up the lower bracket of the population in terms of living standards. Alice Springs, being the largest outback town in 1500km to the North, South, East and West, plays home to a large indigenous population..and they are the lucky ones. Many Indigenous people live in squalid town camps hundreds of km’s from any major town, devoid of any medical help, education, or anything that the large majority of the Australian population take for granted. 

It is because of this lack of hope, that many turn to alcohol and other mind altering substances. Many ‘alcohol bans’ have been placed in the suburbs of Alice Springs, and town camps outside of, but I believe this is the wrong way to go. You can’t just dump a ‘ban’ on a substance that many are addicted to in a community, and would become restless of a lackthereof, and then leave them to their own devices. There should be more of a ‘weaning’ process, a more rehabilitating phase. The Australian government need to take responsibility for the mess that the indigenous community has become. They are in a time of need.

But back to my trip. My Grandad and I, had planned to travel along the West MacDonnell Ranges, from Alice Springs to Gosses Bluff (220km’s away). Along the way, we stopped off at many places, including the wonderous witnessing of the midday glow bouncing spectacular red off the walls of Standley Chasm, and a night stay, at the ‘Good ol’ Glen Helen Homestead’. This is the Australia that I had wanted to experience, and I was slowly getting to know my country a little better. I was slowly becoming more comfortable on it’s land, and I was liking it.

After our nightly stay, we headed off Westward to Gosses Bluff, a 142 million year old crater, once 22km’s across, and boy was it a sight, from nearby ‘Taylor’s Point’. (Picture displayed). Unfortunately, we were attacked by bees, here. It was a terrifying, but humerous stop. The bees swarmed our Jeep 4WD, almost as if they thought it was their nest…or Queen Bee. After getting out, we had to go at some lengths to get back in. After much negotiations with the bees, we managed to get back in unscathed, but still with 6 bees in the car. After letting them out, we were on our way again, and with no plans to revisit Taylor’s Point.

After a few more days of red sand, vast open spaces and West MacDonnell Ranges, it was time for me to head home, back to my ‘Paris of the South’. I left I think, getting to know my country quite a bit better than before. I was rejuvenated, and learnt to love the land that we are so thankful to call home. 

I would recommend for anyone who is in Australia, to always pay a visit to the Outback. You haven’t experienced Australia without it…but don’t worry about Taylor’s Point.Image

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