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Whenever I was between boyfriends in the past, I would just enjoy life until another man came along — through work, mutual friends or our eyes meeting across a crowded room.But when I phoned a dating agency eight months ago, everything had taken on a new sense of urgency. ‘Haven’t you found yourself a husband yet, Bridgey? But don’t look desperate — men hate that.’ I went speed-dating, online-dating, wine-tasting dating, quiz-dating and dinner-dating.He was 41, adventurous and enjoyed travelling — as do I.His emails were fun and witty and when we first met for a lunch date we left the pub at 6pm, always a good sign. My friends liked him and I couldn’t believe I’d found someone at last.Where once I could proudly say I come from Australia, I find myself increasingly having to defend the country from those who rightfully point out our human rights abuses, homophobic political stance, and seeming desire to move backwards rather than forwards. It’s become a running joke with visitors and nationals alike, but Australian internet is beyond a joke.Slow speeds, patchy availability, ludicrous costing, inhibitive ‘download limits’, and the government’s recent invasive decision to institute data retention have made Australia something of a developing country when it comes to the internet.ESL teaching attracted me at first because it had different hours (my first job was 1.30pm until 9pm) that suited a night owl and habitual drunkard such as myself.
Between the complete and wanton disregard for our natural wonders, the persistent human rights violations in our offshore detention centres, our continued and dogged resistance to gay marriage, the argument that ‘people have the right to be bigots’, the cutting of funding to the not for profit ABC, and recent calls to do away with concepts like Medicare and affordable university – it’s like my country is determined to make a return to the glory days of the 50s.
I didn’t sleep with either of them, but did finally break my Aussie ‘duck’ back in 2012 right before I moved to China. On the other hand, I’ve got a ridiculous streak of having romantic success with American girls, much to my family’s chagrin.
Of course, it could just be that my ‘success’ abroad has a lot to do with the fact the people I’m meeting here are of a similar mindset to me.
They’re travelers and free spirits too, so it stands to reason we’d get along better than those at home who have chosen that life of working and saving and eventually settling down.
I’ve never seen an Australian moved to tears by Advance Australia Fair (not that I can blame them, it’s a fucking dreary anthem).Pretty depressing when you consider we invented Wi Fi.