From Austin to Oz. I'm planning to flee the country for 7 months - working for 4 and traveling for 3.
Departure = 03 Sep 2003 / Re-entry = 03 Apr 2004

Saturday, September 06, 2003


OK, OK, I know that I often bring up odd references to my name, and I how I never find any things (like keychains, pens, etc.) with my name on it --- although there are plenty of personalized things for people named Jennifer, Stephen, Quintana, Ignacio.... What I don't understand is how my name is not that unusual yet skips the lists of named trinkets. Think "Julius Caesar", "Julian Lennon", or "Julian calendar" (my favorite). I remember in elementary school not liking my name because no one else had it. There were scores of Michaels and Marks, but not another Julian. Not even in other grades. When you are small, being different is NOT good, and my name made me different. Insecurity.

So, yesterday, while meandering around The Rocks neighborhood of Sydney (Sydney's oldest neighborhood), I found a tourist tchotchke shop with one of those stands that holds small personalized license plates. Yes, the ever-present Christopher, James, Ann, blah, blah, blah. Why do I even look? Why do I keep hoping to find just a small little something with my name -- my six letters! my 3 consonants and 3 vowels! my dipthong! Why is it so semi-important? Well, I guess we all want what we can't have, right?

And, there it was, in the Austalian national colors: "JULIAN" in big, green letters on a yellow background with the word "Australia" in smaller letters above it. I told the shopkeeper of my glee. She responded, "Looks like Australia loves you." Indeed.


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