April 03, 2005

Melbourne II - Arriving

I went through the proverbial wringer before leaving these fair shores, and it was with some relief that I sat on the plane as it finally took off from Wellington airport on Wednesday afternoon. In all, the fog only meant the loss of nine Melbourne hours.

The flight was not much fun. I spent most of it with my hooded jacket blanket-wise over me, the hood entirely concealing my face. I must have looked a bit disturbing, execution-victim like. I emerged only to quaff soluble voltaren mid-flight. Once we were on the ground however, all was forgotten. I knew my taxi driver was gonna be loose when I heard Snoop blaring on his souped-up stereo. I was exhilarated to have arrived.

When I arrived at Wales St, Thornbury, my cousin Allyson was busy packing the station wagon as her husband Gavin chased after 18 month old? Lucinda and 3 year old? Charlie. SO! CUTE! Charlie has the best red hair ever.

Ally bombarded me with information about tram lines and buses and trains and shops and restaurants and neighbours and cats. Within half an hour the family was away to catch the big boat to Tasmania, leaving me to my own devices in their three-bedroom house. I was buzzing with the excitement of being far from home in new territory, and while I wasn’t quite ready to take on the city, I certainly felt like talking to someone.

I put on my jacket, switched on the outside light and locked the door behind me. Stepping out on the street, I resolved to see if the neighbours were at home, and if they wouldn’t mind giving me a cup of tea. I stumbled into the next-door yard. In the dark I could make out some white resin chairs scattered near a couch. A ragged tarpaulin was suspended over the seating. I stepped towards the door, and felt my way up three steps.

Knock, knock, knock.

I could hear rock music playing – sounding familiar. I know it... Ah! Faith No More. Perfect.

Knock, knock, knock.

I pushed the doorbell as well. Nothing. I heard some doors opening and closing. I knocked some more.

A while later I heard a door again. I knocked. A girl opened the door, looking around warily, almost concealed behind it.

I tried to explain myself. "Do you know Ally and Gavin from next door? I'm their cousin... " From then on it was all good. I was welcomed with a seat at the table, a glass of red wine and the offer of dinner. I could hardly keep the smile off my face, I was so pleased to be amongst friends in a strange country. I played them my Kora EP and we shared Pinky marshmallow Easter eggs. I felt so welcome and at home. I know that Australia’s not exactly far away… but still it was something.

I don't know what it is about being away from home, but it got me to thinking. What am I doing? Where am I going? Where do I want to be?


Blogger supergood said...

Are these mid or long term questions?

9:48 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Both, I think. Maybe tending towards mid... with implications for short and long-term ;)

9:54 PM  
Blogger supergood said...


11:18 PM  
Blogger cotard said...

I just luuuurve Melbourne, I'm glad you had a good time, and I really your pics.

I plan to move there once I finish my degree, so if you ever go there again, you'll have to pop in for more wine and din-dins.

12:55 AM  
Blogger B said...

wow, such open and nice people there- maybe i should visit australia!
lovely pics, too!

4:43 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

Didn't you announce, like, a month ago that you were moving to Auckland? Mind you, as you probably now know, Melbourne is SO much better, I really don't know why I don't live there myself.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

You're right. I did announce that I was moving to Auckland. And I was! It just didn't turn out. Not yet anyway. It still could.

And I did think of living in Melbourne. Thinking of living in Melbourne made me think of living in London. So the current plan involves both these cities, with an option on Auckland should the possibility arise.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

And B - yes, friendly people - but maybe I was just lucky. To be safe, you should visit New Zealand first :)

1:50 PM  
Blogger matt said...

Tomatohead here (Matt is my better half)...Matt went to uni for a year in Melbourne nearly 15 years ago now and the folks he met then are still some of our best buddies ever. Melbourne's great shows, its souvs, its funky neighborhoods, etc. make me feel all squishy.

Heh, if I could live somewherelse in the world for a while, it'd be Welli.

The world is your oyster, girl. Go Jessie, Go!

1:37 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

But, but, Tomatohead, if Jessie goes, then there will be one less nice person in New Zealand, and we need to hold on to our nice people, so New Zealand can be nice and stuff, you know.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous tomatohead said...

Barry, you've got heaps of nice folks in NZ...and they're so polite and friendly. (there's an old Front Lawn sketch taking the piss at "the friendliness of the people!")

But the call of the Big OE seems superstrong....You've lived enough places, you should know ;)

10:08 PM  

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