Sunday, December 18, 2005

Vamos Costa Rica!

Yours truly is ready to travel to Costa Rica. One day-trip to Sydney and voila!, a stamp in my passport says I'm ready for travel. I was talking to the receptionist at the Consulate-General and apparently us Malaysians, if we intend to travel to Costa Rica, have to obtain a visa in person from the closest Consulate General. Closest being Japan or Melbourne. Brilliant really. Previously you could courier your passport and thus save yourself a plane ticket, but new regulations (that even the Consular General admit is completely bogus) state that we have to be at the office in person. It does not help that Malaysia is listed as a Muslim country. God forbid they admit prospective terrorists into a country that according to the Lonely Planet forum, is notorious for pickpockets and robbers.

And because no trip to Sydney is complete without it, here is the obligatory picture of the Sydney Opera House with guest, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Now, while the debate continues regarding which state is more superior, I have to admit that Sydney does one up Melbourne on a particular aspect. Krispy Kreme donuts. Holy mother of dough and glazed sugar, Donut King ain't got nothing on them. It's crazy really. No matter how much we try to deny it, American exports are truly essential to modern life. It doesn't have to be the central focus, but it certainly makes our life seem more rich knowing we have other options. Which is ironic cause for every Starbucks or McDonald's that is built on your local block, there goes a local establishment, thus actually limiting our options.

I can't go into an anti-capitalist tirade because besides the obvious fact that I get my spending money from the Golden Arches, I honestly think that I would start eating pork again should Denny's ever open a branch in Melbourne (bacoooonnn). Oh heck. I say countries shouldn't fear the spread of Western influences. Sure, enforce some sort of quota to ensure that the local industry will thrive and make sure that no conglomeration can get around the red tape (Here's looking at you, Murdoch). And yeah, encourage the locals to shop/eat/buy local. But it's crazy to impede the flow of Western media/establishments/brands. Just take a look at China. It's pretty obvious that things aren't quite working out the way the Communist leaders envisioned.

So what then for the future? Should we all just give up hope and wait for the inevitable Starbucks-McDonalds-MTV-Gap-Abercrombie&Fitch filled streets? Also impossible I say. As long as the doors are opened for the local industry, there will be hope. Chris Lilley's We Can Be Heroes is on par with Arrested Development and The Office. Alannah Hill's dresses are so so pretty (also very $$$). Boost Juice's annual profits is an exponential graph.

... Oh crud. I think this became a pro-globalization, whilst thinly-veiled pro-Americanisation tirade. What can I say? You can't hate the land that
gave us Buffy afterall.

Right then. I've been thinking about Green Day's American Idiot. And I've come to the realization that it will do what Californication and Morning View did for RHCP and Incubus. Suddenly pimply-faced teens with newly broken voices all over the world will have ditched their Simple Plan t-shirts to don black American Idiot tees. I'm not being elitist and actually think this is a good thing. I mean, more power to good bands, yeah? It's just a little bit weird/creepy when kids start calling Billie Joe 'sexy'. Prior to him putting black eyeliner to good use, I don't recall anyone tagging him with that adjective. It's quite bizarre to think that some eye make-up makes you instant hot stuff.

But then again, after watching the Jesus of Suburbia video clip, I think I'm coming around to that concept. Lou Taylor Pucci, who I previously watch
ed in the indie flick Thumbsucker, looked extremely effiminate with his big blue eyes and delicate features. Then suddenly in the JoS video clip, he's freaking Sid Vicious incarnate and looking totally hot. Strange, huh.

From this:

to this:

See? I'm not just being superficial.