Mr Globetrotter arrived a couple of days ago in my mail here at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. Mostly he has been resting in my office recovering from jet lag after his long trip across the Pacific Ocean. I understand how he feels because I recently flew the same way home from my visit to the USA. I was in Ohio at one time but did not make it to Cleveland.
Today I took him for a walk around campus, including lunch with some friends and a walk in the Japanese Garden where we took the photograph that is included below. The garden has been developed over the past 20 years and is a beautiful part of the campus that represents the continuing relationship with our sister city, Takatsuki, in Japan. The garden is enjoyed by staff and students of the university who take a walk or eat their lunch in the peaceful surrounds. It is also open to the public and is often used for weddings and family picnics on weekends. The garden is one example of the ways in which people here reach out across cultures to create and enjoy a shared peaceful space.
Like most of Australia, Toowoomba is now a very multicultural place. The university has students and staff from many countries and the front entrance has an avenue of flags from some of the countries who are represented on campus. The city welcomes the students who come from many parts of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Toowoomba has also welcomed many new settlers from troubled parts of the world, offering them a peaceful life and new opportunities.
The presence of so many people from different parts of the world has made this a much more interesting place to live. We are able to celebrate festivals for many cultures and enjoy a wide variety of foods from different lands. We enjoy Indian and Thai curries, Chinese stir fries, Mexican food, pasta and pizza. All of those are available from local restaurants and the ingredients for cooking them at home can be found in the supermarkets. We also enjoy traditional Australian backyard barbecue and some of us occasionally eat kangaroo meat which can also be bought in the supermarket.
Toowoomba is known as the Garden City and celebrates with an annual Carnival of Flowers in September, which is Spring in our part of the world.
Mr Globetrotter has enjoyed his visit to Toowoomba but will soon be on his way to a new destination.
PS: The name on his back is Angelina Wang.