It is when you see the world through the eyes of someone who is 'worse off' than you that you realise just how good you've got it.
Being given the chance to study in another country (for the fourth time in my education history) is something that has an effect on you. You end up learning more about yourself than anything else. You take the experiences and apply them in your future decision making, in your perception of your success and in determining your overall satisfaction with your progress thus far.
Sometimes you think you're making sacrifices for future benefit. I thought I was sacrificing something by coming to Whyalla for summer school, to finish the marketing part of my studies. Instead, I realise that I have sacrificed 10 days in a life that is should be considered enviable, to wind up in a place where you simply couldn't harbour jealousy at the expense of anyone who lives here.
You know you're on a bad thing when the police ask you (pardon my French) "why the fuck" you're here. And when its because you're trying to finish your tertiary education, so that you might become employable and therefore a functioning member of society, that you realise it isn't a sacrifice but a blessing to have that opportunity in the first place.
PS: One day, when I have a daughter, I am going to take her to The Spencer in Whyalla to show her how not to behave. I am going to subject her, within reason, to exhibits of misapplied lipstick, white g-strings under white dresses, Slazenger trackpants and sneakers in a 'nightclub', and the ever so wrong fishnets-and-open-toe-shoes combination. Watching feet too big for the heels that groan to support the behemoth dancing upon them makes me cringe in a way that simultaneously reminds me how much class I have considering I was born into an average suburban family. You need not travel far to be so removed from a culture that it almost requires stamps in your passport. Sometimes intercultural communication is just an STD call away.
Rocking Chairs – Reader Feature
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