Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Melbourne and me

I am in Melbourne and suspect that tomorrow I shall buy a sweater, for it is just chilly enough to notice (especially after the tropics), although the amazingly thin new leather jacket helps a great deal (but I seriously miss the old rhino-hide one I sent home with Maddy). I learned at immigration that my passport is now officially more battered than the Australian Government is comfortable with, but they let me in anyway. I suppose I'll have to get a new one when I get back to the US, two years early. Was met by Justin Ackroyd at the airport (you can buy books from him at, and it was a pleasure to see an old friend...

Was fed by Clare Coney and Peter Nicholls, old friends I knew in the UK. We talked about old times and about books, and the food was as good as the company, and both were delightful.

You said in the blog:

"In the Philippines, the people are enthusiastic on a level that makes the Brazilians look reserved and polite"

May I ask you, politely, what do you mean by that? That Brazilians aren't (or weren't) polite? Lemme see...

po�lite Pronunciation (p-lt)
adj. po�lit�er, po�lit�est
1. Marked by or showing consideration for others, tact, and observance of accepted social usage.
2. Refined; elegant: polite society.

Geez, Neil, what happened when you came to Brazil? :)

(PS. I'm not mad or offended. Yes, I am Brazilian. I really want to know what made you say that, but, honestly, I am not offended, just curious)

I'm glad you're not offended, for I love Brazil, and I love the Brazilians, and what I was trying to say was that until I got to the Philippines, the Brazilians were the most enthusiastic audiences I've encountered. For example, Brazil is the only place I've ever been where, when I finished talking -- an onstage interview -- the people in the audience actually rushed the stage, and I found myself picked up by a large bouncer, handed to another large bouncer who put me through the door out of the theatre and locked it behind me. Doesn't usually happen.

For that matter, I don't usually do signings for 1,200 people, as happened the last time I was in Brazil (read about it at on May the 22nd and 23rd).

So what I was trying to get across was that in terms of enthusiasm and sheer volume, the Filipinos pulled into the number one spot, forcing Brazil (which previously occupied the World's Most Enthusiastic Country spot in my head) to number two. It's perfectly possible that the next time I go back to Brazil it will reclaim its title.

This might've been asked before but do you know what time your interview in MTV Philippines will air here in Manila? Or any other time you know of? (We'll just do the math.) Me and my friends wuld love to know before the interview airs on Friday

5.00pm on the Hanging Out show.


I'm trying to gather all the details on the various Australian signings -- they all seem to have different rules about how you can get in to them; none of this "just show up and get in the queue" stuff here, and as soon as I know I'll post details.

Several more letters from people in Perth pointing out that I never ever come to Perth. Which is odd, because the last mainland Australian convention I was at was in Perth, so I do not, alas, feel adequately guilty.

I meant to blog about lots of sensible things, but my mind is a perfect blank, so I shall now go to bed instead.