Sunday, February 1, 2015

A report from Canberra

So, now that the whole shitstorm has quieted down a bit, I thought I could share some impressions about Canberra. (For those of you who are wondering how to pronounce it, it sounds like Kääm-bruh, with the stress on the first syllable.)

Canberra was built a hundred years ago (1913) to be the capital of Australia. The rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne was getting on everyone's nerves (including theirs), so the government decided to build a capital. It's located in the hills about a three hours' drive west of Sydney (they were aiming for an area that has seasons, as research says people are much more productive living in such areas), in hope of the city becoming a Mecca for politicians, students and rich families. Mission accomplished.

Canberra is spread out geographically, so that it doesn't actually have a CBD. The Parliament and the ANU campus hold up a lot of the central area, with pubs and restaurants lining up along the centre. The rest of the inhabited area is made up of suburbs split up by large areas of bush. It takes ages to get anywhere, but luckily the public transportation seems to do its job, so it's not that bad.

The city's reputation is, naturally, not one of an insanely fun city. You either see lots of people in suits and students having fun with a bunch of mates in the pub; or you don't see anyone at all. It's got a weird vibe–although not necessarily in a bad sense–so it takes some time to grow on you. Heaps of museums and galleries store historical treasures, while libraries and universities make it very appealing for those wanting to get into academia.

I was here during Australia Day, but honestly didn't even bother to go down to the lake (artificially made) so I wouldn't know how it was. I did see military planes flying over my building, so yeah. I can say I was there. Aside from my friends M&I coming over from Sydney and going around the city during the weekend, there's not much I've done here.

The research I'm doing at the ANU is taking up a lot of my time, so if I go anywhere after that, it's the pub for a bite and a pint. There's still a week left, but I honestly doubt I'll do much more than what I've done so far. Lazy as(s), I know. Who knows–maybe I go crazy and spend a couple of afternoons exploring the city. But given that all the museums and galleries close at 5 (and I rarely leave my office before that), I somehow doubt it.

The campus itself is so huge it's divided into precincts. I enjoy walking around, visiting different libraries and going through ancient encyclopedias. It reminds me of how inspiring it all is, but also how different things are once you're older and have to worry about other things in life. I still enjoy it (as short as it is), which only motivates me to hang onto the idea of getting a PhD.

But anyway. I've ranted on for the last week and was really stressed and pressured from a lot of different sides. At one point, I had enough of it all, but I guess things change when one sits down and reconsiders things.

All in all, I'm grateful for everything that's happened to me. I know I've been blessed, but I just tend to forget it sometimes, dealing with stupid little things and focusing on irrelevant things. I guess we all need a reminder here and there.

All good.


  1. fotke su zakon! grad mi djeluje vintage, kladaim se da gomila turista-hipstera slika sve živo tamo :D

    1. A gle, sve je friško i široko i prostrano i fensi. A hipstera iovako ionako ima previše.

  2. Aaaaa povedi mene u te knjižnice plz! :D Napravim ja risrč za tebe xD

    1. Hehe, novodno ove nisu ni najbolje, jer nemaju sve akumulirano. Ali dobro funkcionira: posudiš negdje, a vratiš bilo gdje (jer su raštrkane). Vidio sam neki dan popis najluđih javnih knjižnica - wowza!



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