Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

If I Were You

A few months before departing, I wrote about how I would sometimes get testy when perfectly well-meaning people would tell me about the things I "should" do and see when I got to Australia. I was particularly annoyed at the "If I were you" construct, which would come up when, for example, somebody would tell me some things I should do (usually involving trips across the Outback, or to the Great Barrier Reef) and I would note that the parameters of my trip meant that I'd be pretty much spending my time in Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney and that what I wanted to do most of all was get to know those cities and maybe if I'm lucky some people who live there. The person might then say, "If I were you I'd stay longer" or "If I were you I'd make sure I saw Ayers Rock" or, most annoyingly, "If I were you I'd be sure I got out of the city a lot."

Yes, well, you're not me.

The other night I was sitting in a bar lounge in a hotel in Swanborough with some fun and charming Australians from all around this country. I recited some Henry Lawson and then they tried, collectively, to remember the second verse of Dorothea Mackellar's My Country which includes what I find to be an absolutely hysterical reference to the "terror" of this country as if that's a good thing. But it is! they said, and then we found the rest of the poem online and laughed a good deal. Somebody bought me some local beer I'd never tried and maybe I sang King of the Nerds. We probably talked a bit more about the differences between the US and Australia, which seemed to be a rich topic all week. This involved much fun and laughter, and I enjoyed sitting back and thinking that I was extremely fortunate to be in a position to have this sort of happy friendship experience in a different country with people I hadn't known only two days previously.

So what I'm thinking is that what I could have said, in response to "If I were you", is, "If I were you I'd be sure I began my trip to Australia by attending a system administration conference."

If you were me you'd be a very lucky guy.
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