The same-sex marriage debate, thanks to this appalling postal plebiscite idea, is about to get pretty hard to stomach. Homophobic campaigners are being given extraordinary license to debate the validity of homosexual relationships in the public sphere. The cost, to the LGBTI community, is bound to be high.

If you, like me, are not directly effected by this plebiscite, that's well and good. We are very fortunate. We don't have to stand by while people who hate us or disapprove of us try to influence others to deny us a human right. It won't be our relationships being used as fodder for lies and scare-mongering. Lucky us.

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Sydney Trains

I am possibly the only person in Greater Sydney who is quite happy with Sydney trains, but it’s not what you think. Delays, over-crowding, cancelled services, air conditioning not consistent with the weather and more. I know it’s far from perfect. My delight in Sydney trains has less to do with the trains themselves and much more to do with my fellow passengers.

The time a man literally stopped in his tracks and backed away from me slowly once he’d laid eyes on the cover of the book I was reading? Merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things that have amused me on the train. I started documenting them a while back. In no particular order, here are just a few excerpts.

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Late last week, the internet went into a semi-meltdown when non-Americans discovered something baffling about people in the United States: they don’t have kettles. If they want boiling water for a cup of tea, they boil it on the stove or (THE HORROR) they microwave it.

America flag

Obviously, a blanket caveat of #NotAllAmericans needs to be applied. I know, because some Americans do, indeed, own kettles. It seems more common to have the old-fashioned stove-top kettles over there, but still, it’s a kettle, right? However, discussing this with Americans has lead to some startling discoveries (for me, anyway) about small differences between America and Australia that I had no idea about. Here’s some of what I’ve learned, in no particular order:

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Am I a Neighbour Snob?

I know that  some people mourn the way we used to live. Remember when we knew all our neighbours so well? People miss the ease of making friends based on proximity. Relationships rooted in cheery waves and coffee invites. The comfort in knowing a neighbour will water the plants and check the post while you’re away. Every house with a “Neighbourhood Watch” sticker on the front gate and the implication that everyone keeps an eye out for each other. That whole close community vibe.

Personally, I’m not big on socialising with neighbours. I don’t mind a wave or nod but that’s about it. I’m not terribly shy but I do value my space and privacy. In the past, I’ve wondered if I should make more of an effort to get to know my neighbours. Am I a bit of a neighbour-snob? I’m not the only one in my household. Why are we so reluctant to get to know the people that live around us? The experiences we’ve had recently have only reinforced our feelings.

neighbours- scott and charlene

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