Took a trip to the Melbourne CBD (Central Business District) and ate at Gopal's - a Hare Krishna restaurant partly for nostalgia's sake and partly because I craved lentils.
There was an Indian-looking guy ordering food. The white Australian guy behind the counter asked him where he was from. The Indian guy seemed to shrug off the Q but answered in the end, adding you won't know it.

The guy behind the counter said he did know it.

Maybe I judged the white guy harshly but it definitely seemed like one of those moments when the foreign tourist and avid lover of a country claims to know a country better than the person from there. It seems to happen often with India... But maybe I'm judging the guy because he's a Hare Krishna and I have a problem with western white people converting to eastern religions. I have a theory that it's all about exoticism and orientalism...

An Aboriginal (looking) woman and her kids or grandkids got on a tram. I was conscious of looking at her and not looking at her. There are few Aboriginal people in Melbourne.

Just then the tram went past an up-market art gallery selling (traditional) Aboriginal art. It was called somthing about the Dreamtime. I thought about the huge disparity between how we like to see Aboriginal people, as "noble savages" with artistic and spiritual flair and how real people actually live. And that I will often go and look at Aboriginal art and yet I was v self-conscious on the tram with the Aboriginal woman.

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