So I kind of totally have mixed thoughts about Cairns and Australia in general. I mean Cairns is a kind of cool, hippie dippy, little town that has some really awesome outdoor spaces. It is tropical and beautiful and the promenade along the water front with public-use-barbeques is really cool .... but I also felt that it was kind of grungy. There just seemed to be so many 19 year old backpacker- slacker types hell-bent on getting wasted everynight, trying to show one another up in terms of how extreme they are. I might have once been a 19 year old backpacker, but I don't think wasting all your time and money inside a bar is really a way to experience a place. Also, there just seemed to be a lot of poverty in Cairns. Trash strewn about, sad drugged up homeless people, and really sad looking Aborigines. There were, however, a LOT of cool ethnic food places to choose from, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, French, but unfortunately we were unable to find any sort of Mexican/ Latino joints.... sometimes you just really want a burrito :)
As to Australia in general, and here I really generalize considering I didn't see much of the country/ continent, the people were insanely friendly to the point where I was actually confused. I was a bit weirded out actually when the Aussie girl next to me on the plane kept talking to me, and when the taxi guy struck up a real-heartfelt conversation (apparently I must see the movie Red Dog), and when random people would just go out of their way to be helpful. This was really cool. But on the other hand, being a ex-British colony and all, I kinda felt like I wasn't too surprised by much, most of the people look the same as in the US, the weather could be similar to Florida, and the traditional culture did not stand out. Also, I did not run into ANY kangaroos or koalas... apparently you need to go to zoos to see those?? I most certainly want to return to Australia one day (and would REALLY like to do a massive road trip there), but overall, it is not a destination that I just am itching to find out more about. Also... with that 26+ hour travel time, getting there and back is also a slight deterrent.
Cairns/ Australia, no doubt I am sure I will see you again, and I will be happy to do so, but in the mean time, its a great big world out there and I want to see more of it!!