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Thread: Dancing on the Far Side of Beyond

  1. #1
    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    Post Dancing on the Far Side of Beyond

    Way down under and on the far side of the Outback in Perth, Western Australia, live the world's most isolated ice dancers, Gabrielle Biffin (14) and Tye Nagy (17). They are an unlikely pair.

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  2. #2
    Custom Title IDLERACER's Avatar
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    I believe that Perth is the only major city on Australia's west coast. It's famous for it's thriving diamond mining/cutting business. If that picture is any indication, she has to be the most mature looking 14 year old I've ever seen.

  3. #3
    Go NJ Devils
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    Imagine the US if it consisted of Minneapolis, Kansas City Alice Springs, Boston, New York, Washington DC, Savannah, New Orleans, some mining town in Arizona, San Diego, Cannon Beach, Oregon, their suburbs, and some Indian reservations scattered about. With just about every place else barely populated. That's kind of like what Australia's like.

    Perth is way out on the West Coast. The only cities remotely close are Kalgoorlie, a major mining town lying an overnight train ride due East, and Broome, due North, where the pearl industry is based. The weather during the summer is to die for -- 70's and 80's, mostly dry. There is a real river, the Swan River, that runs through the city. (Not like the Yarra in Melbourne, which is about a city block and a half wide.)

    The city is the business capital of Western Australia. It's close enough to South Asia, but it's not the humid swamp that Darwin, on the north coast is. I met some young Australians from Darwin, who were lured there by salaries that were 25% over city salaries in the rest of Australia. Perth might be just as isolated, but to get people to live in Darwin, companies have to pay for it, and young people go there to work for a few years to come back with a down payment on a house or apartment.

    Perth is a 15-minute ride via light rail to a 15-minute walk to dip one's toes in the Indian Ocean at Cottesloe Beach, and a 25-minute ride via light rail to Fremantle, a port town, where the America's Cup has been held. It's a short boat ride away from Rottnest Island, which has wonderful snorkelling.

    Nearly every one of the younger people I met in Perth thought it was a sleepy little place -- displaying shock that a New Yorker would like it -- and they couldn't wait to move East, to Melbourne or Sydney. People were really friendly and open, and many were surprised that an American had made it past Adelaide. It's possible to fly out, but expensive, and the train takes nearly three days to get to Sydney. Ah, the lure of the big city. What surprised me was how many of the business people dressed in light colors and were smiling as they went about there day. Like there was nitrous oxide in the air.

    Melbourne was a wake-up call after Perth -- people wearing typical dark business clothes, hovering outside buildings on smoking breaks, looking like work was the last place they wanted to be. I guess I'm getting old, because I would happily retire to the Perth area and spend the rest of my life on the porch, reading books, listening to music, and staring at the Indian Ocean.

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