Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I Have One Question

At passport control on the way outta Korea, the immigration officer said to me 'I have one question'. Of course I'm feeling a little nervous, I want everything to go smoothly. It's all been going well so far - my bag was 6 kilos overweight but the check-in cutie didn't care.
Anyways, I said, 'Yes?', and he said 'Australia - that's a racist place, right?'.

Oh, my heart sank.

As I paused, he said 'White; black; yellow', indicating with his hand declining layers, then explained 'Classes, right? It's racist, Australia?'.

13 comments:

KorJen said...

hope your trip to the "racist" country went well.. I suspect you'll be checking this in Singapore! Have a good time lovely girl... your presence will be greatly missed. *sniff*... I will try to keep up with my blogging, PROMISE!

mskp said...

but bonnie, that's crazy! our neighbours in the region don't swallow this ivory tower propaganda about our racist history! surely they understand that the white australia policy was just an industrial relations issue, and as for our ongoing refusal to relinquish the status of colonial oppresor with regards to indigenous australians - SURELY THEY CAN CUT US SOME SLACK.

jeez, we trade with them and everything...

audrey said...

That's terribly sad. Can we print that on tee shirts and wear them in the lead up to the election?

Bonnie Conquest said...

It really WAS sad. His tone was very genuine. I wonder what he thought of my bemused reply...

Yes, Jen, I'm in Singapore now, heh heh.

all star india touring company said...

how cool is singapore airport!

if you're still checking this (love the free internet) and you've got heaps of time, go out on the free tour bus (the red one), and they'll give you a voucher so you can go get a free shower or massage at this other place within the airport called the jungle or the oasis or something like that.

luis

elaine said...

Oh fuck.

this has made me feel incredibly despondent BECAUSE IT IS TRUE. Get outside our cosy inner city existences and what do we see?

a paranoid suburbia characterised by self-interest and xenophobia. Sure, they may have asian/muslim/'ethnic' friends but they're "one of us" and not like those other outsiders.

*cries*

ps welcome home.

Steve Chatelier said...

so what was your bemused reply?

good timing too -- something to reflect on as you hit Aussie soil amidst the Australia Day celebrations

Kira said...

Are you back in Oz now Bonnie??

xx

M said...

oh god, horrible isn't it? I can see why that is a perception though. :(

wowser said...

What's odd about his image of Australia was the hierarchy: whites on top, yes - but THEN black, THEN yellow? I've never heard THAT before.

And what was you 'bemused reply'?

pix said...

i had a similar disheartening experience.
a student of mine had been to australia to study for 2 months and when i asked her what was the best thing, and what was the worst thing about her travels she answered : best-great ocean road, worst-the people...quickly followed by 'but not you katherine teacher'

it is sad because its true.

so on a happier note, hows the homecoming to this awful country? how lovely is it to breathe clean(er) air xx

Steve Chatelier said...

to add to the bashings, when in Scotland last year, we stayed with a local girl who lived in Aus for 6 months. When we asked her for her reflections, her immediate response was that she couldn't believe how racist Australians are.

SouthOzBloke said...

I got the same story chatting to a Canadian mate at Uni.
The "Average Australian" realises this. However little Johnny (who loves using the above phrase) just won't accept it.
What a wake up call.