Visuals

I have often seen protests in this square, some more visual than others. This one certainly caught the attention of passers by.


One of the signs reads ‘Milk comes from a grieving mother’, so I’m assuming a vegan protest. I didn’t stay long, just long enough to take this shot. I’m not vegan, although I do understand why such protests occur.

When it is visual, it certainly hits harder. I just wanted to share this as its been a while since I posted something from my daily walks.

Debate: Is this okay?

I’m back in Brisbane! I had such a good trip to Sydney and Melbourne, especially Melbourne as I have never been before and I cannot wait to be back again next year. I don’t know if I have mentioned already but my mum and sister are coming out in January to see me, so I am going to be back on a plane very soon. This time, Sydney and Cairns. I didn’t really take many photos last time I was up in Cairns so I will make up for that this time. It can’t wait to see them, it’s been over a year!

But back to my question. Like I said I am back in Brissy and I was walking through Queen Street recently and came across this scene. A group of people taking photos and petting a reindeer whilst a group of protesters protest in the background. There were vocal making sure they were heard.

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A link to one article regarding this over at news.com.au states that a group, maybe this same group I am unsure, protested outside Queensland Children’s Hospital whilst sick children were having fun with the reindeer. This has led to angry responses towards the protesters as children that will be in hospital over the festive period were trying to enjoy the experience.

Now I am in two minds here. First, I am not really a fan of zoos or animals kept in enclosed spaces, however as this is clearly temporary I do not know how the animals are treated or live the rest of the year. The animals didn’t seem to be stressed, not that I know what a stressed reindeer looks like, but they were rather chilled and approached passers by. But I do like that people are constantly trying to increase the quality of life for animals, and I do not mind a peaceful protest. But is it immoral to protest outside of a children’s hospital? I guess if they see it as animal abuse and exploitation, exceptions cannot really be justified. Exploitation regardless of who wants to see them, right?

So I wanted to ask my readers what you think, if anyone in Brisbane has seen them and what side of the fence are you on? Is it okay for these beautiful animals to tour the city and provide a bit of happiness to passers by at the animals expense? Is it justified if it is only over the Christmas period? Should protesters remain silent if it could potentially upset the sick children who want a small dose of joy and fond memories to look back on?

Thank you for reading, let me know and I will see you in the comments.


 

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Happy blogging,

Sam

 

#truth

Anonymous, or a branch of Anonymous focused on animal welfare, are currently occupying Pitt Street in Sydney. They are standing in a square, facing outward to the crowd with laptops and screens displaying the abuse animals suffer for our consumption.

Before anyone assumes this is a post on one particular side of the fence, I am not vegetarian or a vegan. I do have days in which I question myself, especially in the presence of such footage. I won’t show the footage, just some shots of the group.

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I personally love seeing people fight for a cause that promotes a better life for others and animals. More can be read of this ‘Cube of Truth’ in this Guardian Article. Despite the fact that I haven’t changed my diet, it is something that I consider regularly. No doubt I am lazy by a vegans standards and a wuss by fellow meat eaters.

What makes me consider the welfare of others and animals more than anything is our lack of willingness to be conscious. We didn’t ask to be born with such a sensitive central nervous system, nor be asked to be born at all. Our lives ultimately lie in the hands of those that are stronger than we are, considering this we were pretty damn lucky to be born human. Only some of us, the ones with enough liberty to be able to read this post in relative comfort. This doesn’t mean we humans are sitting happily at the top of the food chain, we may not (currently) be turned into human nuggets served with fries at some intergalactic music festival but we sure get fucked in different ways. Often how fucked we will be can be predicted whilst we are still in the womb. The slaves of tomorrow haven’t even been born yet to know this. That is what makes me consider ethics and morality more than anything.

 

 

Adopt a self respecting mentality

I have no idea what kind of logic this person is adopting, it sure is a fascinating one. I found the comment on social media after the news of another natural disaster, this time in Mexico.


Regardless, we obsess over being taught lessons in ways that aren’t actual lessons. We obsess with being ruled over and punished like laboratory mice. I personally hate this kind of thinking, the thinking that leads us into self loathing. I want to love people. I want people to love themselves yet I struggle to see how we can do so when we like to be taught in such horrific and mysterious fashion. 

I try to think of examples that would not be accepted if this same method was used from human to human. Think of a child stealing a sweet before their meal. I could either teach that child the importance of eating healthy and that reward comes as a result of good behaviour, or I could unleash a swarm of wasps into said kids bedroom. One of these would be much more effective for the child when considering why he/she shouldn’t eat a sweet prior to the main meal. It would also be much more moral. I have a very strong feeling that my actions would be highly condemned, rightly so. But if an earthquake crushes a school, it is just another supposed ‘lesson’. Looking at the comment it received thousands of thumbs up/heart responses. How can such a post be met with approval?!

To see natural disaster as some kind of sign or warped message is pretty crazy. We are much better than that and guess what, our kids deserve much better than that. Even if you feel you deserve that punishment yourself. 

The sooner we learn to love and respect ourselves, the better.

Marrying for a passport

I love working in the tourism/hospitality industry. I see new people everyday, hear constantly varying accents, listen to interesting stories and learn about new places to visit. Some days make me want to attach a hip flask to my belt, at least there is a balance.

I need that kind of diversity to keep me stimulated at work. It hasn’t been enough to keep me in my job as I will be travelling to Sydney soon, I don’t think any job would prevent me from travelling but this one has kept me in one place since 2013. It is the many nationalities I see daily that probably triggered my move, a constant reminder that there is a world out there that I choose not to see every time I do not hand in my leaving notice. I was born in one corner of the world, many people stay there. I have colleagues that are confused as to why I could leave a job to do something as ‘unimportant’ as travel. I couldn’t disagree more. Employment is important and money is obviously a main fuel for the ability to travel, however work isn’t always a sacrifice needing to be made. I will work in Australia to fund my adventures, why work where I have always lived when there may be an employer out there willing to hire me on the other side of the world? From experience in working abroad in the past, a job can be so much more enjoyable in a new environment. New people, new climates, new food, all much needed stimulants in my life. It is like a life hack I have always sought. That being said, I will miss my job and the stories along the way. Some stick with me and I often find myself questioning life along the way. The story I am about to tell is no exception to this and as always, I would love to hear your opinion on this, regardless of what side of the fence you stand.

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So two days ago I met a very attractive female, I am guessing in her 40’s. She was very friendly and in my circle so it was inevitable that I would converse with her at some point. Her accent did not match the passport she had on the desk next to her, she left it out whilst arranging her handbag. She got out of a taxi not too long before this moment, so I am assuming she only just arrived from the airport. The passport was British, I thought it would be a good ice breaker to ask the question.

‘So where are you originally from?’ I finally asked out of curiosity.

‘I am Brazilian, Sao Paulo.’ She responded with a smile. The question, thankfully, was welcomed.

‘Ah okay, so where do you live now?’ Wondering where in Britain someone from the land of golden beaches and palm trees would plan to settle.

‘Scotland’ She chuckled. ‘It is a long story’.

Of course, ‘a long ‘story’ is often seen as an invitation to ask more, or at least makes us want to. What I didn’t ask is whether or not she did indeed arrive from the airport. Anywhere in Scotland to Newcastle (the most northern city in England before the Scottish border) would be a very short flight indeed. Car or train are the usual and most practical choices.

‘So what made you move to Scotland?’ I asked.

She then looked at her British passport and tapped it twice before glancing up at me with that smile that didn’t really go away. This really happened! I chuckled and accepted her answer. I don’t know if this was the most appropriate question to ask, however I felt she said the bar quite high with her last action.

‘May I ask, are you still married to this person?’ Spoken a little softer as it isn’t really a conversation you want others to listen in on.

Of course not! But he is one of my best friends now‘ Was the answer, which gave me the impression that he was as in on this as she was. She didn’t seem to be bothered by my curiosity, probably because I didn’t really show any signs of shock or offence. I felt like I was talking to a Bond girl, you know when Bond is at a bar and the girl, in a very relaxed and composed manner, speaks openly in a way many others would feel uncomfortable doing? Thankfully, the topic was marrying for a passport, not the way she plans to see me die as I tell her how pretty she was.

Since then I have questioned whether or not this is acceptable. Not that I feel marriage is something that people should feign, but we are all victims of circumstance. I didn’t do anything to be awarded a British Passport, other than be born here. Thankfully, I have enjoyed the benefits of living here and the freedoms a British passport provides, currently ranked 3rd in terms of its power on Passport Index which is an interesting site to view if you want to view how many countries you can enter visa-free.

I have visited Brazil and Sao Paulo and loved it. It would be illogical however to compare travelling for one month to living in a nation and I would be lying to suggest this incredible nation was without problems. All nations have problems. As much as I love looking back at my photos I know there are people in them that would move to a more prosperous place if they could. I have friends that have a great life and live in SP. I also know a couple that live in Edinburgh, he is from Brazil and they married for love and are still together in the UK.

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But the question still goes through my head. If someone is to contribute positively to another nations society, working hard and finding love once here, is marrying to get here as much of a free pass as say, having a winning lottery ticket? We don’t often show hate to people that have won the lottery, despite the lack of work that went into achieving a life of luxury other than handing a £1 coin to the cashier in exchange for a ticket. There is actually less work ethic shown here than marrying for a passport, and agreeing to marry someone for a passport is probably more moral than pretending to love someone that is purely being used for a passport, as weird as it sounds to say that. I am sure that it is the deceit that is frowned upon in this case, there is honesty in a winning lottery ticket, incredible odds in replace of skill. This is known by all and is an accepted way to become wealthy beyond belief.

What would I do if I was living in conditions that I hated, knowing the ways in which I could free myself from them and into a life I enjoyed with more freedom? I do not know but I know people do, and I now know someone that has.

Featured Photo by STIL on Unsplash

Priorities

The clock barely struck noon. As I ordered I wondered if it was too early for such large quantities of meat, at just £9.50 for two courses I was going to give this great Turkish restaurant my best shot. I spent late morning/early afternoon with my mum, I need to make family time when I can. September is just around the corner, relatively speaking.

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I have realised after the loss of my dad that family time cannot be a burden. I used to take it for granted, only for a great part of it to be taken from me without much warning. Three months to be exact. I have started to cherish the family arguments and fall outs a lot more, these in turn have become few and far between. We spend much more time making time of value, it is a great shame that we sometimes learn lessons after the test.

I have also learned that as far as I may search for someone that shares my core beliefs and ideologies, the ones bringing me up may be the best people to speak to. I may spend my whole life looking for someone that understands me as well as my family. Some people do not have this, a huge reason as to why I blog. I hear of family members being disowned or shunned out by family for thinking differently, I cannot believe this is a reality so many have to face. The irony of being an atheist is that despite my appreciation for stars forming the beings that brought me into this world and proving shelter and care, if I was born at the wrong time and into the wrong family, they may punish me for coming to such a conclusion. The love of a parent perceived from a scientific perspective is too much for some parents, rejecting a religious outlook can lead to a complete reversal of such love, whether it be abandonment or even murder. This terrifies me. The fact that some people on earth can show love until you openly practice a separate belief… If this love can be taken so quickly, was the love there at all?

I thank my family, those still with me and the ones that aren’t, for allowing me to come to my own conclusions. You are the tolerant heroes I need in an intolerant world.

Misdirection

It says the viewpoint, yeah. But is it?

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Is it a viewpoint that they have decided based on their own perceptions? A viewpoint that they deem safer and good enough for you, sacrificing the opportunity for greater views or increased perspective?

Is it a viewpoint that has been preached to everyone, distorting your view behind the masses whilst a deceitful minority look the other way? I worry so much of life is wasted in this way. We rely on others around us to teach us the way, which has been taught to them by others. We are all mislead in life, sometimes by people with a hidden agenda, at times by people that didn’t know better from people with a hidden agenda.

Viewpoints and directions are good, just be aware that there is always the possibility that more is being missed in the process, whether it be truth, beauty or greater satisfaction in whatever took you there in the first place.

A lady with no arms inspired me today 

This evening I watched a wonderful woman check into a hotel, wide smile and full of energy. The weather is freezing so it didn’t surprise me to see a large coat covering her. Her sleeves were loosely swinging so I assumed her arms would be inside the coat.

‘I have no arms, but you can pass me the keys’, she says as her foot leaves the shoe and makes it’s way to the top of the reception desk. The receptionist placed the room keys between her toes like it’s second nature. Then, the receptionist finds a low table for her to sign the registration form. One foot used as a paperweight, the other signing with more grace than I have with my hand.

The pair converse in typical fashion, talking about the weather and plans for the day. She smiles and they both exchange a goodnight. ‘See you at breakfast!’ the lady declares before disappearing into the elevator.

A lot of my night has been spent thinking about their conversation. The wonderful and friendly vibe despite the horrible nature of her condition. I could not tell if this was from birth or after a more recent event but regardless, it didn’t affect the high spirits of both individuals. 

I have heard many complaints in hotel lobbies. Complaints that really do make me question people. 

‘There are no beans for breakfast!’

‘My mini fridge hasn’t been replenished!’

Complaints delivered with enough anger to suggest that they are of much more importance than they are. I cannot imagine being so miserable about such petty things. I watch the news as a reminder that my little problems are a blessing. The day I make a fuss over such little factors is the day I lose my humanity.