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Sunday, December 29, 2002

Hello, Sailor!

Wilbur of the Australian blog HighInfidel-itee brings us some cheery news.

Read about the dumb letters to the Perth paper (not only wrong, but just plain stupid), then get to this:


If you think that the above examples show typical aussie attitudes to the yanks, please don't believe it. Today's Sunday Times also records that the recent visit of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group to Perth was a resounding success, with thousands of US sailors enjoying their stay in Perth over Christmas, whilst injecting $3 million a day into the local economy.

The carrier also received 3000 "homestay" requests from Perth families. This is a long standing program where aussie house-holds offer a room to a US sailor for a couple of days, and allow him to stay there whilst in Perth.

"It was an unbelievable welcome from the people of W.A." said Cdr Tilgham from the U.S. Navy "...We actually had to close down a couple of phone lines because we got swamped with so many requests. We had to say sorry, we'd like to send some sailors ashore but we need a few guys left to man the pumps"

Gotta love those letter writers. They've touched a nerve with public opinion.

I have a second cousin who was a submariner, and he stayed with an Australian family, apparently under this arrangement. They got on fabulously, and he told me that the Australians were just the nicest people on earth. He made sure to see them every time he went back. This was long, long before I went out there.

(I hated living in Sydney, and the Sydney Morning Herald did make me grind my teeth, until I stopped reading it---but I must agree that the people are awfully nice. A colleague of mine lived in the country town of Armidale, New South Wales, returning to the US a few months before I left. I emailed him from Sydney to tell him that he was right about the friendliness of the people, and he replied that I should wait until I got into the countryside, where they're really nice.)

Via Tim the Oppressor.