International Travels & Services


New Impressions on Australia & New Effort in Sydney -- Shirley's 461 Friendly Greeting-- August 31, 2014

Hi,Dear Friends

How are you? Have you had a good week? 

After flying for about 10 hours, now I am writing to you in Sydney, Australia. 

This is the third travel I came to Australia. But, it is the first time I feel its culture by comparing with the other cultures. 

If you would like me to tell you my first impression on Australia Customs with one sentence, I will have to say: Easiness, Quickness and Friendship. 

In my opinion, the Australian Customs Hall seems just like a high-class mall or a supermarket. Travelers who just go out of the airplane can make phone call, choose goods and talked with the clerks freely. There is no any sign to warn travelers cannot do this or that on the walls from the airplane to the customs, and their customs counters are as if the exits of the mall or supermarket. The difference is there are some officers by the channels to lead the travelers. 

To be honest, really I wanted to take some pictures to record the specially free, easy and relaxed scene, but, I didn’t do it, because it was forbidden in my former travels in some the other countries includes in Chinese customs. My common sense told me: you should not ask for any trouble. 

Then at a customs counter, instead of asking any question, the customs officer said Hello to me, checked my passport and visa, then I was allowed to enter in Australia in about 40 seconds; after picking up my luggage, I pushed the cart and went forward to another customs officer, she checked and took my entry card back, and guided me to go out the channel 6 following the members of the aircrew. Whole of the process from going off the airplane until going out of the customs, just used for about 15 or 20 minutes, so that my son was so surprised when he knew I had passed the customs so fast. 

Australian customs is quite considerate and friendly to Chinese travelers. Except the normal guidance in English, I found some special guidance in Chinese: Chinese go through this channel please in the customs hall ( high-class mall / supermarket) and 4 big Chinese characters: 外币兑换 – Wai Bi Dui Huan -- Foreign Exchange Service. Even though a Chinese cannot speak English, she or he can go through the customs and to exchange foreign money easily...

Once more, I re-felt the first impression I had in my first travel in Australia in 2008 on the area around of the airport: Both of the local Australian people and their natural environment are interacting and harmonious perfectly; the airplanes landed by the Ocean, just like huge birds landed by the beach; the sea gulls circled with singing overhead in the city; so many people walked in a hurry in some main streets, but when you turned left or turned right, you could meet few people or there is no any people in the streets, just a lot of cars, houses and green plants and flowers stand there quietly. Let me think of: There is vitality in the peacefulness, there is quietness in the alive city. 

It is winter in Australia right now, my feeling it is just like the fall or spring in the northern areas of America or China. Everywhere is thickly green and blossoming flowers, the same Yulan magnolia flowers that blossom in Beijing in March, now they are in their full blooming in Sydney in August and September.

The good climate in Sydney is similar as in Shenzhen, but the seasons are opposite. Australian Christmas Day is in the Summer. :- ) 

The architecture style of Sydney is a little bit similar as San Francisco in my opinions. 

With a grateful heart, I will stay with my son and relatives for a while. Then I will meet two friends, to do a presentation of my cross-culture and comprehensive art project at a conference that will be organized specially by Mr. Lin Bin, Chairman of Australian Chinese Language Schools Corporation, to know 30 to 40 local Australian Chinese teachers, parents and principals, as a student, to ask them for advice, to hear their comments and to follow their directions and experience. Try to improve my art creating, study, teaching, publishing and so on, while to see whether it is possible for us to have an opportunity, to create something new, to copy some experience and practice that I have gotten in America into Australia; whether we will enable to have some actual cooperation in Australia since 2015 and in the near future. Work together, to help this world and ourselves with our knowledge, skills and sincerity...

Future will be certainly bright, the road will be certainly winding, I will search it with my most effort. 

How about you? Do you have anything special to share on your side? 

Do you have any advice to me and to my little project? 



Shirley Yiping Zhang
August 31, 2014 

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