Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fall and funerals

So. Wednesday. Uh...

I can always tell when it's fall because I go out and buy hot drink mixes like instant cappuccino and odd-flavored teas, Kelsey comes into our bed three or four times a night, and I start thinking about buying new furniture. Never fails. Fall is upon us.

I flicked on the TV this morning, and they were showing Steve Irwin's massive funeral at Australia Zoo. (He was at Australia Zoo the day I was, but I never saw him.) I was shocked when I heard he died, but not surprised given the risks he took. Kelsey was very upset because he died on her birthday. Anyway, I hadn't really been fazed by his death. I never paid much attention to him. But seeing the funeral clips got to me, little Bindi so easily reading that piece of notebook paper, tracing the words with her finger, and Terri having to keep it together, holding Bob in her lap. I'd hate to have my grief so publicized. It's hard enough to suffer the loss of the love of your life, and with your family so young.

Australians seem very proud of how "Australian" Steve was. I wonder how they feel about him marrying an American.

When we were at Australia Zoo, whoever was holding the microphone in the croc show asked who was from America. When I raised my hand, a guy going past said, "American?! Achh!" He held out his hand to me and said, "Here's a ticket. Go home!" So much for that reputation of being such nice people. What a dick. I wonder if he'd say that to Terri. Fortunately, he was the only Aussie ass I met.

I think everyone should travel a lot. Get out of what's normal to them to find out that there are lots of normals in the world and that those normals are OK, too. Easier said than done, of course. When I went to Mexico when I was 16, I thought it was bizarre that most people wanted everything to be the way it was at home. Why bother going anywhere? There's more to travel than a nice view. And there's more to the world than my little way of doing things.

It's just as annoying, though, when you go somewhere and people scorn you because you don't do things the way they do, as though you're handed a rule book to memorize when you step off the plane. Of course some things are serious cultural infractions. But little things just don't matter.

Oh, dear. I feel a serious rant coming on. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I've done enough of that recently.

How about those Packers, huh? You know, Soldier Field is a little closer than Lambeau...ha! I'm kidding! I'm no fair-weather fan. But I'm saving myself the disappointment and not watching the last nail get pounded into the Packer coffin. These things cycle. Ten, fifteen years, man, we're gonna kick some ass.


Kath said...

We love Terri, we don't care if she's from America or another planet. She's an amazing woman, doesn't matter where she was born.

Incidentally, the memorial service yesterday (the funeral was private, held the weekend after Steve died) was Terri's idea, and she and the rest of his family "designed" it, and according to Steve's father, it meant a lot for them to be able to share saying goodbye to Steve with the world. Most of us are so alone when we lose someone we love.

And I'm glad you didn't let one person mar your opinion of the other 19.8 million of us. There are arseholes in every corner of the globe, you're lucky to have only encountered one in all the hundreds of people that you encountered on Australian soil!

Amy said...

Hiya, Kath.

Kelsey asked again the other day when we're going to Australia. She doesn't want to go when it's hideously hot. I do! But I want to have fun, and hideously hot doesn't sound too fun.

I'll be in St. Louis on your birthday, and I'll be thinking of you.

Kath said...

Wish I could meet you in St Louis!

Amy said...

Oh, god! Me, too! Wouldn't that kick ass?! Whoo! I'm thrilling at the idea!

STL Sarah said...

Um, Hello?!?! When are you gonna be in STL?!

Amy said...

Sarah, you make me laugh.

I'll be there October 25 to 29. I hope you haven't planned some fabulous getaway that weekend. I'll be busy during the day but should have most evenings free. I can't remember the hotel we're staying at. Anyway, I was going to email you more details...

Kath said...

That would be beyond cool Amy. Not only somewhere I've always wanted to go, but one of my favourite old movies too!

Will you send me a St Louis postcard? I'm going to Sydney on Friday, will send you a postcard from there.

STL Sarah said...

Awesome... Dan and I will take you out to dinner!!

Amy said...

Kath, I will certainly send you a postcard. Why have you always wanted to see St. Louis?

Sarah, thanks for dinner! Believe it or not, I will have to bring someone along. We're not allowed to travel without someone from the group accompanying us. Apparently, being alone in a foreign city is so exciting that I might do something foolish, finally being away from my parents' iron fist and all. It's insulting as hell, and I've bitched about it endlessly, to no avail.

I understand the buddy system, but for cryin' out loud. I went to Mexico on my own when I was 18. I think I can handle seeing my niece when I'm 36.

Kath said...

Cos I've always wanted to say to someone "Meet Me In St Louis". It's the old movie junkie in me!