The outsider’s eye – Two views of Canberra

johnboy 19 July 2009 21

The all-seeing eye has picked up two views of our city that I thought were an interesting comparison, if only for the strange ideas the casual visitor can pick up.

In the first we have the boundlessly enthusiastic ZeYing Lee. She did, however, seem to the messages a little mixed at the war memorial:

    War Memorial – It’s like a museum, displaying the history of ANZAC war. Nice!!

In contrast “lisegabrielle” headlines her post “Canberra is a HOLE”. Aside from her passion for food from Subway she offers the following insight:

    I took the bus from Suave’s house to downtown Canberra, and randomly walked around there for a while. I tried to give blood but I couldn’t due to my lack of identification. Then I went to an art gallery that had a bunch of bad artwork (I think it was called the Canberra gallery) and then went to a Canberra arts and crafts gallery, which had a motorcycle exhibition. Then I went to the library and used the internet for fifteen minutes (that’s all they allowed).

It all seems to come down to the company one keeps.

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21 Responses to The outsider’s eye – Two views of Canberra
EdTales EdTales 10:16 am 26 Jul 09

So, after reading a little about what the citizens of Canberra have to say, I have decided that Canberra must be an upper crust town that enjoys poking fun at the occasional chronicalling tourist. I guess it would be better if everyone came into town without saying anything. That way, you could just make the assumption that everybody likes you and go on your merry way. Ignorance is bliss, as Americans say. Besides, who likes being criticized anyway? Food and movie critics give a lot of bad reviews, but we all know that they are just being bought off. Its a corporate scheme I tell you!

It’s all coming together now. In fact, it reminds me of a movie I once saw, called Hot Fuzz. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I suggest you stop adding to your “countries I’ve been to” ego stroking list and check it out. You may even learn something about yourself. Actually, I take that back. Thats the exact thing you are trying to avoid, right?

As an American, I will be sure to stop in the town of Canberra and check out the sights and sounds, but not without doing some serious research on all the places I should visit so I can travel without being verbally attacked (at least on online forums). Not doing so would be like traveling to the US only going to nightclubs, bars, and shopping centers; you wouldn’t see all the drug dealers, homeless people, and gangs, therefore missing a key part of American culture. Of course, then I would have to start a discussion board chastizing Australian tourists for not visiting the places I wanted them to visit. That actually might not be a bad idea…

bigfeet bigfeet 8:30 pm 24 Jul 09

Oh no, lisegabrielle knows that she is being talked about. She posted this on her blog:

In other news apparently a Canberra forum has been reading my blog.
They called me a moron redneck. Funny.

Digga Digga 6:13 pm 24 Jul 09

lisegabrielle: She’s American, so Starbucks and Subway is all she knows. Can’t trust the local grub round here, obviously. What a prat… cancel her passport so she can’t get back and post more rubbish.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 5:59 pm 24 Jul 09

Lets see … Other than Canberra I’ve lived in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Jindabyne (based on being there long enough to have to amend electoral enrollment and change car rego). I always seem to come back to Canberra. I suspect it’s because its just a better plac to live I suppose.

I-filed I-filed 5:50 pm 24 Jul 09

shrimponthebarbie said :

Has anyone here lived anywhere BUT Canberra?

Shrimp, my answer is yes. Europe, Asia, Africa, Outback Australia & the Pacific – extended periods of between 1 and 3 years in each, not holidaying. I have EEU and Australian citizenship. And I choose to live in Canberra …

Thumper Thumper 5:41 pm 24 Jul 09

Has anyone here lived anywhere BUT Canberra?

Hmmm… Probably more places than you can name.

johnboy johnboy 4:11 pm 24 Jul 09

Er, yes.

Many other places.

shrimponthebarbie shrimponthebarbie 3:50 pm 24 Jul 09

do you think that any of these comments might any way be biased? Has anyone here lived anywhere BUT Canberra?

frankly, unless you’re a uni student, or enjoy drinking, museums, or shopping more than is healthy, you’re not going to enjoy Canberra. So yes Canberra is a perfect fit for a certain type of person (e.g. ZeYing Lee), or those who just haven’t experienced anything better.

If anyone is interested in looking further into this topic there is actually a little sign/monument near the mall in civic that quotes visitors criticisms of Canberra over the years. So lisegabrielle is not alone, and Canberrans sure are proud, even when they shouldn’t be…

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 3:20 pm 20 Jul 09

I had a friend over from Adelaide recently. She loved Canberra.

I’m not sure if that says more about Canberra or Adelaide, though. 😛

CapitalK CapitalK 1:48 pm 20 Jul 09

“then I went on a two hour walk in the hills that are around their house. It was really beautiful.”

Lisagabrielle obviously doesn’t think the whole place is a s hole as she liked her walk in the hills

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 9:44 pm 19 Jul 09

Pelican Lini said :

Why the chorus of outrage and touchiness every time there’s negative opinions of our fair place published by out-of-towners?
Is there some sneaking suspicion that the critics are right?
I’ve said it before, we don’t need more people moving here and clogging up our roads and beaut facilities.

I agree. Who gives a shitarium?

Jivrashia Jivrashia 9:25 pm 19 Jul 09

One word – REDNECK.

Stay your ground PC preachers!
This is an eye-for-an-eye, an ignorance for an ignorance.

shiny flu shiny flu 7:21 pm 19 Jul 09

Subway: the way a sandwich shouldn’t be.

Canberra has a “downtown”??? I’m confused.

LaLa LaLa 7:17 pm 19 Jul 09

Interesting that the one whose friends made an effort when she was in town (War Memorial, ANU, shopping) had a great time and the one whose friends didn’t (paper towel errands, filming their ABC tele audition, leaving her to supervise the plasterer) didn’t.

As for Subway, ffs, I only eat that when I am desperate.

Pelican Lini Pelican Lini 6:40 pm 19 Jul 09

Why the chorus of outrage and touchiness every time there’s negative opinions of our fair place published by out-of-towners?
Is there some sneaking suspicion that the critics are right?
I’ve said it before, we don’t need more people moving here and clogging up our roads and beaut facilities.

toriness toriness 5:05 pm 19 Jul 09

who goes travelling without doing some sort of research about the place they’re going to?? “loosers” that’s who.

trevar trevar 4:58 pm 19 Jul 09

astrojax said :

who’s called ‘suave’??

Who’s called ‘astrojax’? 😛

I would assume it’s a nickname, and probably to protect the identity of the idiot Canberran who let her wander randomly around Civic and avoid all the good stuff.

Seriously, who comes on holiday with no identification just to give blood and use a library internet terminal?

Igglepiggle Igglepiggle 4:11 pm 19 Jul 09

Spelling lessons wouldn’t go astray for either of them…

Trunking symbols Trunking symbols 4:04 pm 19 Jul 09

She came here and ate nothing but Subway? That’s a bit like going to China and eating nothing but McDonalds.

astrojax astrojax 3:34 pm 19 Jul 09

who’s called ‘suave’?? and we want commensurate taste in art…

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