A glimpse of Western Australia [Perth]

Western Australia is the largest state of the smallest continent of the world. It houses about two million people with diverse races and cultures. Besides the Aussies, people from different parts of the world have migrated to Australia looking for a better life. Local and foreigners live side by side in perfect harmony and strive to contribute significantly to the economy of the country. It is a place with multiple facets, offering opportunities to foreign workers, students and the visitors as well.

Road safety

During my stay in Perth I happened to learn things which really turned me envious because I really appreciated the courtesy of the Australian drivers on the road. Considering the fact that one hundred and fifty seven fatal accidents have already taken place in Mauritius since the beginning of 2017 I soon realized that driving a car in Australia is something easy going because reckless drivers are penalized severely. According to my experience drivers give due consideration to courtesy on roads. Once you click on your flasher to change your lane drivers at the rear seem to say ‘after you sir’. Car horns are used in rare cases. Respect, code of conduct, discipline and courtesy on road is paramount for the road users.

There is a world of difference between our bus drivers and Australia’s bus drivers. A real reciprocity exists between passengers and the drivers. In some instances if you fail to greet the driver he would retort’ is that so difficult to say a hi’. What struck me tremendously is that when three students of about twelve years of age thanked the driver after reaching their destination. These are things to be inculcated in our students right from their school days. Even the adults and old people have developed such habits.

Environmentally friendly

To keep a sustainable environment seems to be on top of the agenda of the Australian government. The flora and fauna of the country together with the inhabitants seem to live in commune with nature. In every yard bushes and flowers are well treated, additional branches of trees are lopped off and disposed of with care. Birds like Red- tailed Black- cockatoos, finches and canaries, Galah corella, Western Rosella, Australian Magpie among others make the environment a place of high visual appeal.  The early morning environment resounds with the chirps of the birds and the crow of the Australian Magpie.

Pets are fed with great care and are given due treatment. Dog wash centers cater for the hygienic condition of the animals. It is sad to note that some ruthless persons happened to kill pets in Mauritius by placing hooks in sausages. The Animal Welfare Act of Australia makes appropriate provision to protect animals from ill-treatment and the legislation to this end is very severe, leading to five years imprisonment with heavy fines. Stray dogs are not found on the roads but they have good owners who like them and feed them well. I bore witness to such situation outside a restaurant where a man used to share his food with his small dog every day.

In commercial and service centres you are greeted ceremoniously with a big ‘hi’. Obviously when you return back home a soft landing at the air port is expected but unlike the big ‘hi’ whether at the sanitary or passport checking desk nothing like this is done to be seen. In this respect a British sports journalist has expressed great concern by addressing to our minister of tourism in the media about the mess and lack of courtesy existing at our airport. It is said that a receptionist can make or mar the business. It is therefore better to avoid such serious remarks in the future which more or less can put the good reputation of our tourism industry at stake.

We are living in an interdependent world where goods and commodities are exchanged for commercial purpose but with the emergence of the tourism industry cultures, manners and habits also are influencing the life style of destinations visited. We cannot emulate blindly but we must always try to differentiate between good and bad. I would not say that we are not an ideal society but some flaws are always there to be addressed.

Cassam Tupsy