Waves of sorrow

March 6, 2009 § 2 Comments

After having been here in Europe for quite a few months now, one of the things that I have noticed and regularly wonder about is why people who live here seem so unhappy. Not pinpointing any specific countries for fear of offending, I have been frequently thinking about this phenomena in the last few cities I visited.

Take for example the man in the souvenir shop I just returned from. Due to it being off-peak season and a rainy day, the place was generally rather quiet, and I bet my ass I was his only customer for the day. Being used to Australian warmth and hospitality, whenever I enter a shop I smile and say hello, naturally. I tried to make some small talk with him but all I got was a curt one word answer. Fine, you miserable bastard.

This was not a one-off occasion. I’ve encountered so many people with despair etched on their faces that I have lost count. They give me the impression as if the simple act of waking up was a chore. Smiles are somewhat of a rarity, for if you dare smile at someone, they eye you with distaste and suspicion. Come on!

So many I’ve met often ask me, why people who hail from the land down under are so cheerful and care-free all the time. They scratch their heads and ponder what is it about this beautiful country that makes people seem not to have a worry in the world? Is it the ‘no worries’ attitude or is it a chemical thing resulting from our eternally shining sun? Let’s not forget the three ‘B’s – beer, beach, barbeques, that is enough to make anyone happy.

Excluding my beloved couchsurfing community, I realized that I have truly had enough of this melancholy environment. And with all the misery surrounding me on top of the wretched weather, I really have so little left to give. I want warm sand, smiling faces and sunshine. Sydney, I long for you.


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