Mental disorders, safety warnings, deadly snakes and bad architecture. Dalrymple’s second diary entry from his trip to Australia covers a lot of ground.
Although I have known for a long time that Australia is the most highly urbanised society in the world, I have always thought of Australians as tough individualists, both physically and mentally. Therefore, I have been somewhat surprised by the number of safety warnings in Australia. This morning there was a new one at North Sydney station: ‘Don’t be distracted by your mobile phone, help us to keep you safe’. From what, exactly? About half the people in my carriage — on my rough estimate — were glued to their telephones the whole way, disregarding the advice. What did they risk, apart from banality?