This article is part of the The Great American Reach Around series.

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Adelaide, Australia

As a modern Australian, you could originally be from any part of the world, practice any faith and adhere to any cultural custom. Since 1788 this country has been populated by immigrants. As a gesture of enlightened social practice, diverse opinion on all matters - the USA included - is accepted and encouraged. However, the most accepted and encouraged viewpoint is that of mainstream Australia. The view from here is in favour of a comfortable, fun relationship with our American friends. Anti American views that go beyond limits that are deemed acceptable are not taken seriously as they are held by Australians who have not yet assimilated into what passes here for culture.

Adelaide rests at a southern central location on the continent and is the capital city of the state of South Australia. Founded in 1836, Adelaide is known as a city in contrast to the old eastern penal colonies of Melbourne and Sydney, since it was not founded by convicts in chains, but by free British settlers. Adelaide is also known as the stage of some of the more notorious serial killings seen in this country. John Bunting and Robert Wagner were responsible for our most recent event. They were sentenced on eleven counts of murder and their victims were found in barrels of acid in a disused bank vault.

Automotive manufacturing, bio-science, engineering, medical research, tourism and a thriving wine industry are the backbone of economic activity in Adelaide. The Barossa Valley, a predominantly viticultural and tourist region to the north of the city, accounts for 65% of all wine produced in Australia. South Australian (and by extension Adelaide) wines are a well known achievement to anyone who would consider themselves to be haughty connoisseurs of fermented grapejuice.

All other South Australian contributions to the world of gastronomy stand, a little neglected, in the shadow of our famous reds and chardonnays. One such example that I am 100% certain very few people outside of this state, let alone outside of this country, would recognise would be the humble and disgusting Pie Floater. It is a meat pie (Britons might understand this concept - a pastry containing offal and gravy) literally floating in a bowl of pea fucking soup. Ugh.

Adelaidians mainly follow cricket and Australian Rules Football (AFL). Additionally, the city plays host to various sporting events including some cycling thing that I don't really care about and a moto GP that I can't remember the name of but is very popular amongst the locals because of the loud sounds and flashing lights. The city once was proud host to the first leg of the F1 racing season but our far wealthier cousins to the east claimed it for themselves - probably because they could actually afford it.

A popular impression of Australia and Australians is that which is implied by our native animals, the outback, leathery skinned crocodile hunters and all the usual stuff. The truth is, life in Australia's major cities is unremarkable. People care about traffic, taxes, crime, politics, health insurance, education etc etc. Some things are probably interesting to foreigners - I now live in the city but I grew up in the country so learning to identify which spiders will kill you and what to do when a snake is present were vital things, but only outside of the city. Most Australians are suburban and it's the saddest thing really, but our overall character probably isn't much different in any meaningful way to that of anyone living in any comparable country.


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