Wednesday, 9 September 2009
PC or not to be...PC
Living in the US, I always felt under restriction as to what I could express verbally. America is supposedly the land of free speech, but we have more rules about verbal etiquette than anywhere else I have lived so far. One area of conversation I particularly felt I had to watch my tongue on was race relations. We Yanks are so bloody touchy on this topic. I wonder how some of my fellow Americans would react to me calling myself a minority. How would they feel about me saying I have a better understanding now of what it's like to not feel like I fit in with the majority. I often wondered why immigrants in the US tended to surround themselves with other immigrants, and why it was so common for us to also segregate ourselves based on colour. Part of the answer is that it's just easier. It takes work to try and fit into a new/different culture. Also, those who are in the majority typically just don't understand what those in the minority go through. I've been here for almost a year and a half now and I do have some Australian acquaintences and friends, but more immigrant connections. The Australians I do know and spend time with tend to have had more 'wordly' experiences than most, either having done a stint overseas or a foreign partner, etc. As I continue to settle in, however, I do hold out hope that I'll make more Aussie mates along the way. On that note, my stage 2 visa paperwork came in the post this week. My police check application has been sent off, 1 of the 2 main forms I need to fill out has been started, and I'll be spending part of this weekend trying to finish up the rest. Wish me luck that it's a smooth and short process!