USA / Australia – Talia Friedman


Talia Friedman has moved around a lot her whole life and doesn’t really feel like she has a home country. She’s also travelled extensively; she’s up to 65 countries and counting.

I was born in….Johannesburg, South Africa. My parents moved us to Canada when I was 9. I lived in four different cities in Canada, put in a stint as a New Yorker, and am now living the beach life in Bondi, Australia. I’d say I live in Bondi most, New York second, and Toronto third.

My favourite local films (films from my country) are…. From South Africa: District 9. It’s fun as an action film, but has a much deeper meaning as a parable. It is partly based on events in District 6, Cape Town during Apartheid and also on real interviews conducted by Neill Blomkamp during which he asked South Africans their opinions on refugees from Zimbabwe. Excerpts of these interviews were used to make his 2006 short film Alive in Joburg. From Canada, David Cronenberg’s films are seriously creepy. From Australia I love director Baz Luhrmann’s surreal films, particularly his modernised Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which is my all time favourite interpretation of this classic.

My favourite novel/book from my country is...I wish Game of Thrones had ties to any of my countries, but since it doesn’t… Guy Gavriel Kay is a great Canadian fantasy writer. The Fionavar Tapestry is his best work. J.R.R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings, was born in South Africa. Some say Mordor is based on his childhood memories of the Free State Province. Everyone should read The Power of One, a beautiful, inspiring story (not fantasy!) set in South Africa and written by Australian Bryce Courtenay.

When I need a reminder of home, I listen to… Having moved around so much and having no home, I don’t get homesick, but from South Africa I enjoy semi-joke band Die Antwoord and folksy Johnny Clegg, and from Canada, Arcade Fire.

My favourite time of the year is….Summer. I’ve always loved hot weather. I’ve often moved between my “homes” to stay in summer.

My all time local hero is….. I’m not one for heroes.

My favourite local phrase is… I love how everyone in Cape Town, South Africa uses hectic. If someone describes their night as “hectic” it could mean anything from getting mugged to meeting the love of their life. I also think its funny that the quintessential Canadian clothing brand is called Roots (they always outfit the Olympic team for example), which translates to ‘sex’ in Aussie slang.

My favourite words of wisdom/words to live by are….They aren’t words of wisdom, but there was this old movie I saw as a kid with Billy Crystal/Meryl Streep called Defending Your Life. It wasn’t a particularly good movie, but the theme of the whole point of this life being to overcome fear really stuck with me.

What I love most about my home in Bondi is.….the beach. I don’t think I can ever live away from the ocean again. I love it in all weather, obviously when the sun is shining, but its also so beautiful and awe inspiring in a storm. I love to surf, to dive, to swim.

Take me to....Australia....Canada….Chile….Indonesia….Iran....Mexico….Myanmar….Nepal...Pakistan....Sri Lanka….Thailand….USA

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