Listening to an old Kings of Leon album and eating Pad Thai, this afternoon I sat beneath a mosaic of fractured light in Redfern Park while on my lunch break. I looked up at the trees as they, like a kaleidoscope, fragmented the sun. When I woke up today, I wasn’t really expecting to perform an in-depth analysis of the Australian native flora in Sydney (on any day for that matter) but when I noticed that I was sitting among gum trees, and... wait for it... palm trees, I had a Rove moment: “WHAT THE?” Assumingly (and quite rightly!), I would have looked particularly strange to my fellow lunch-ers, as I gawked up at the sky, mouth perhaps opened slightly, with my head rotating to the left and right- almost Exorcist style. I thought to myself, “Yep. I am going to have to write about this”.
Metaphorically speaking, in my mind these trees symbolise Los Angeles. The streets of Beverly Hills are lined with them and can be seen from kilometres away. On my 21st birthday earlier this year, my friend and I hiked to the “HOLLYWOOD” sign. The trek was long and arduous - especially considering I was rockin’ my gold Doc Martens and a pinafore - but after passing hundreds of towering palm trees, taking 2 wrong turns and 3 and a half hours later, we made it to the top. Using my peripheral vision was pointless, but I was able to identify the tops of the palm trees, shadowing the densely populated city.
So, there I sat in Redfern Park, eating Thai food, listening to American music, thinking about California and reflecting about my own cultural heritage; I am a quarter Chinese, quarter Scottish and half English-Australian. Multiculturalism has been sprinkled across Australia, as an assortment of different cultures coexist within this country. From Hollywood palm trees (OK, I know - palm trees aren't native to California, but they certainly contribute to the geographic definition of this part of the US) to international music groups, to fast food and fine dining, Australia is quite a diverse and multicultural country, isn’t it?