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Published: October 7th 2009
There's this word in Bislama: "Manbus", pronounced man bush and it refers to someone who's been in the bush too long. In the village they call people manbush when they like dont know how to work something or haven't been out of the rural area much. Like if theres a kid staring at me because im white, they'll be like stop staring, manbush! Well turns out ive only been in Vanuatu a year but manbus tumas.
I arrived in Brisbane on Monday night and my journey here and time here so far has been a little overwhelming and I realize how manbus I've become. I'm really glad I was able to spend some time here before coming to the US so I can adjust a little bit and wont have quite the culture shock.
When I was leaving Vanuatu checking in at the airport in Port Vila, my carryon luggage was overweight. So I told the guy it's ok I'll just move some of my shampoo and stuff out of the carryon into the other bag. He reminded me that I can't take liquids into my carryon anyway. Righttttt, that's like number one travel rule to remember when packing, but after traveling around the islands here where there are no weight limits and you can bring anything onto the plane including weapons and animals, it's kind of hard to remember there's rules in other places. Now i know for next time.
Landing in Brisbane at night there were bright lights as far as I could see and it was kind of amazing after being in Vanuatu for a year. It seemed like a world away. The first night in my hotel room, which is right next to a train station, I kept hearing the loud noise of the train coming in every 10 minutes and kept waking up startled. It's getting much better after a few days of being here but some things are still fascinating to me. The train comes every 10 minutes and it's almost on time, you don't have to bring a book everywhere you go expecting to wait around for things. It seems like everyone is in a rush and moving so fast, not to mention theres white people everywhere. I went to get a haircut today at the shopping center and the girl told me to come back in 15 minutes. I went to use the internet at the internet cafe just a short walk away figuring 15 minutes doesn't really mean 15 minutes. I was online for about 20, came back and she told me I missed my appointment, it was 10 minutes ago and I would have to wait another hour. I understand white man time, but that's kind of ridiculous. I ended up going to another place where I volunteered to have a girl in training give me a $100 haircut for half price. It ended up taking about 2 hours because they made her correct every little mistake she made which I didn't even notice but it was so worth it to be pampered.
There's a lot of shopping malls here, and when I went to my first one yesterday it was very strange. It seemed like a little indoor city, theres a library, post office, restaurants, everything you need inside one place. It seemed sort of futuristic with all the moving platforms and 5 levels of stores and services. There's so many options and choices, it all seems so unnecessary. But I can't complain- I'm enjoying my time here and I definately appreciate all of the food options at the food court.
It's only my 3rd day here and I'm starting to get used to everything more, but I realize it's definately going to be a culture shock to go back to the US for good.
I have at least 5 days until my procedure at the hospital so I hope to be doing some sightseeing in the meantime. I'll write again soon.
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