Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Back in Sydney

‘I Always Cry on the Bridge’

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. 


  1. Dusk Devi

    25 August, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Your writing makes me cry… just beautiful Liv.

    1. Liv

      26 August, 2012 at 12:36 am

      Ohhhh, I hope in a good way!

  2. Crissouli

    25 August, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Liv, you are doing what you needed to..looking at and enjoying ‘home’… think of it as refreshing the memory bank and you will be settled wherever you live…We can have more than one home… it’s just the place/s that make you feel at ease, comfortable and wanting to take a little with you wherever you go…
    BTW, love your copyright notice 🙂

    1. Liv

      26 August, 2012 at 12:35 am

      That is exactly what this little stint is – replenishing the reserves, getting ready for the next German chapter.

  3. davidstrachan611

    25 August, 2012 at 8:42 am

    – ‘a city I will leave again soon, but must love hugely while I am here’ – I like that complicated thought so simply expressed.

  4. Kat

    25 August, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    It takes wandering to fully appreciate and love where we started, evenif we’re iften eager to go again.

    1. Liv

      26 August, 2012 at 12:37 am

      It also just helps make sense of so much more. I was absolutely without any perspective, perched up in Bavaria – all I could think of was SYDNEY. I needed to come back, see it is still here, life has gone on and nothing has changed too dramatically, to get my perspective back.

  5. dianasschwenk

    25 August, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I could almost see the sites, smell the smells and taste that Thai food! Thanks for taking me along!

  6. winterlust

    25 August, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Not staying as long as planned because of new courses?

    1. Liv

      26 August, 2012 at 12:38 am

      Because I miss it (okay and him) and I can really see now that Over There is where my foreseeable future lies and here is but a pause in programming. So the sooner I get back over there and crack on, the better.

      1. winterlust

        26 August, 2012 at 2:46 am

        Good stuff! At least you’ll be going back with a clearer, more certain mindset 🙂

  7. Tinka

    25 August, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I can emphasize so well with it – everytime I go back to London, I get teary-eyed when I visit or experience certain things: The crossing which led to the house I lived in. Liverpool Street Station. The Tate Modern, a building which is rather ugly but which I love with a passion. The sight of Twinnings on the supermarkt shelves. The inevitable question at the till: “You wanna take cash out”? Crossing the Millenium Bridge on the way to St Paul’s. The wooden benches in the parks. “Look left/right” at every pedestrian crossing.

    God, I miss it so much, and your text has brought it all back.

    I also miss you, by the way. xxx

    1. Liv

      26 August, 2012 at 1:31 am

      Hahaha yes, the cash out question! And for me, also, the big fruit and veggie sections of our supermarkets. And the ‘how ya going’ at the cashier. When are you coming out to Sydney?Miss you too x

  8. vegasmike433

    27 August, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    The sensitivity that recommends you to be able to strike common threads of experience with your readers, is the exact same control room of equipment that is fired up by so many other experiences in your everyday life.

    I have always believed there is an agony and ecstasy equation within us all. When you feel pain so intensely, when you cry so hard that your eyes are pure red, the gift that gives you soaring peaks of consummate pleasure, and the very joy that comes to you in life, is just the different side of the same coin.

    Never once in my born days would I have ever traded the optimum joy and pleasure in life, to avoid the pain it entails.

    This courage to feel. and the willingness to share, is what has drawn me to this page, and to you and your thoughts, ideas, and experiences.

    Your courage and determination are boundless, and admirable. Don’t stop! Not now, not ever.



    1. Liv

      28 August, 2012 at 11:15 am

      As always, I feel BRILLIANT after reading your comments, Michael. Thank you.

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