INDEPENDENT NEWS

Alex Bremner's Sojourn: Sydney Nukes n Bangkok

Published: Mon 27 Nov 2006 12:31 AM
Alexandra Bremner's Overseas Sojourn: Sydney Nukes n Bangkok 'Delights'
By Alexandra Bremner
*******

The Australian government is looking into nuclear energy, enriching uranium and speculation is growing that they may even allow nuclear waste to be processed within it's boarders -including the excess from the United States.
Can I say - mental, completely and utterly!
Firstly the sheer hypocrisy should be dealt with. Iran winks at a rod of uranium and the USA starts putting on the steel toe shit kicking boots and the international community is "outraged".
And now Australians have an enquiry underway into the possibilities of nuclear industries. Media commentators have begun to talk about the "huge growth potential."
It is frustrating to see such a blatant double standard without any in depth discussion or it seems acknowledgment of why a western nation or friend of the USA can have nuclear power whereas a middle-eastern-nation with the exception of Israel cannot.
Secondly, do we really want our neighbour playing around with nuclear energy and processing nuclear waste. The ramifications for the Pacific region could be catastrophic if an accident were to occur.
How would they get the nuclear waste from the USA to Australia, if by boat how close to our shores will these ships be.
Because lets be frank, if one of those puppies burst its hull anywhere near us sea life would die, the ecosystem would be screwed for years and then the effect to us humans (though sceptics will argue not scientifically proven -as they do) can't be good.
The whole thing scares me.
But apart from my fears of impending nuclear doom coming across the Tassie - Sydney, Australia is a fantastic place.
It is beautiful. The harbour keeps making eyes at me. The cultural soup is complex and varied though it is strange not seeing indigenous faces. I saw one Aborigine gentleman at an outlet mall and people went quiet as he walked by - that was odd- and I can't imagine that happening at home.
Downtown Sydney is a paradox of intensity and magical calm. At the botanical gardens I spent a morning wandering barefoot over the grass, people watching, taking in the wildlife, and the harbour. Spectacular!
The business district is overwhelming, just the amount of choice available and the sheer number of people on the streets is a bit much after the dulcet tones of Auckland but I like it.
There is so much going on, like the Glebe markets every Saturday -fantastic - an eclectic mix of vintage clothes, art, jewellery and people.
I could continue but I might miss out on what ever is going on outside my door in this busy beautiful city.
*******
Walking in Bangkok is like walking through a million peoples sweat. The pungent fecund smells seep out at you from every direction.
This is a girl in the midst of culture shock - profoundly so. It could be the traveling solo but I think that side is okay- I've got my train journey south all organised. I can wander the streets but it is so different. I saw a skinny stray kitten this morning as I ate my pineapple. The creature was pathetic and no one cared. It really is survival of the fittest here.
A few hours later, I passed a woman with no legs and didn't bat an eyelid. But the most disturbing thing about Bangkok, especially the Kao San Road area, is what can only be called dirty-old-man-syndrome. They walk in packs, mustaches dropping with lust and undoubtedly having every fetish fulfilled. Why else would they come here?
Human nature at it's finest eh.
Well I'm off to find more air-conditioning before crossing town to get the train to Turat Sani then a boat to Ko Pangang. Beach life that should be good -right?
*******
Alexandra Bremner is a New Zealand writer reporting on her experiences of the countries and peoples of South East Asia.
ENDS

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