Just last night, I was talking with a friend of mine who lives in Hong Kong and had popped back to Sydney this week for a little surprise visit. She said she was finding Sydney this time round quite irresistible, that it would be harder than ever to leave it. She said she cried driving over the bridge and I assured her I had a moment too, when Mum and I drove back from the airport a month ago. Another friend said when she came home after a year away, she was driving around her neighbourhood and when she came to a particular spot that just happened to be home to a speed camera (immaterial) but more notably was a dip in the road, a momentary haven of great peace, lushly furnished by Australian bush, she burst into tears. I said I always cried, no matter where I had been, nor for how long, at Sydney airport when you walk out to the arrivals lounge underneath the big sign saying ‘Welcome to Sydney.’ I also cry if the QANTAS pilot says – after a bloody long, delirium-inducing flight, mind you – ‘and for those returning home to Sydney, welcome home.’ This time round, I cried when I walked into my bedroom, two days after I farewelled my little flat in Weiden and SG at Frankfurt airport, put down my 27kg bag and thought, ‘I’m here. And you’re so far away.’
When I was in Germany, I missed – as well as the more obvious things – the funniest little things. Things like eucalyptus trees. Movie dates with a big caramel muffin and a large latte. Birds, big colourful ones, ones with loud, rambunctious song that wakes you up in the morning. My old handbag collection. High heels. Rice crackers (I know, odd). Good Thai food. A glass of Australian white wine. I suppose it is no different then, to have the funniest little things make you cry, when you are reunited with them at long last. I can’t get enough of the birds that chill out in my Mum’s garden, tilling the toil with their little beaks for seeds and wherever possible over the past month, I have gotten a big take away latte. We all had dinner last night, a big group of us, at a Thai place in North Sydney and the sweet chilli, basil and coconut chicken tasted unbelievable. So did the wine. Walking back to my car, I crossed the road to stand at a spot which has the most perfect view of a city I will leave again soon, but must love hugely while I am here. Standing, framed by trees was the huge, lit-up Sydney Harbour Bridge. I didn’t cry, but I did just stand there a while and take it all in. There’s no Sydney Harbour in Germany.
And because I promised to do this weekly in my quest to really appreciate my time in this city – which may not be as long as initially planned – here’s what is around me at the moment.
And finally, to all the new followers who have found their way to this blog of late, HELLO and thank you for thinking this is worth your while.