20 de gener 2017

Life in Sydney. Life again

I sometimes wonder why I need to keep these memories. Writing puts my thoughts in order. It grounds me, it rescues images and adds the emotions. 

On my arrival I was in the airport with bits left of the post-Christmas munchies, looking for some Aussie yum to bite on, despite not being hungry at all. I had had processed sugars throughout Christmas and -maybe not belonging in this post- I can tell by comparison the devastating effects in your body and your appetite. In the infinite time I need to keep enjoying life one of the things I want to give back to the community is my body-mind wisdom. I might not have the heart-mind bit all too well adjusted. But my body-mind communication (and cognitive ressonance) is quite impressive.

I rode the eternal ride from the airport all the way to Bondi Junction. On the way I thought how quickly one adapts to the known environment, using my opal card again, which is called OV in NL, which is called T10 in Barcelona. 
In the Junction I bought a pair of sunnies and reactivated my Aussie number. Ready! 

I went down the road from the bus station to be picked up by my Angloaussiesraeli family in a quiet café, which was closed. I was hoping to grab a deliciously vegan friendly coffee.

Ever since I arrived I have noticed the good heart of people living in this city. While waiting to be picked up I was running out of battery and a guy just opened his office to me to pplug the phone in. He was happy to leave me there while sorting a delivery. I find it natural as my natural state is to trust and be trusted, but it is not always the case wherever you go, so worth mentioning. I have had countless shows of random trusting kindness and I must say that part of who I am is thanks to the lessons of trust learnt in my communal life in the Vaucluse area. 
One reason to fill the love tank and to feel that I belong here. 

My Anloaussieraeli family arrived. It was amazing to be picked up and see all the girls in one car, love gushing into the tank. 

We spent the day catching up, we went to the library to get some books and we had some yum dry-frozen strawberries coated in dark chocolate. 
I went to visit Anita afterwards. I was determined to stay awake until the sun went down. My voice was getting weaker, although when we saw each other we couldn't stop talking. We had to leave it for another day. The cousin showed up. Amazing how little I see him but how closely related I feel to him. It has been years of connecting with the Gisborne-Wellington whanau. 
In a heartbeat we agreed to arrange a family lunch shortly. I had no energy left. 

My following days were filled with jet lag and exhaustion. In short I was preparing myself to take more pictures, more videos and deliver proof of the reason why life here suits me like no other I know. 

17 de gener 2017

The faces of joy

My life in Sydney has restarted. It has restarted me, after doing a system upgrade.
I utterly love my life here to a level I can't describe. How many times I think I should have my family and close friends here... Damn! I should have been born here.
I am on Winter hiatus, still recovering from Jet Lag and my mind /update 2 weeks post-arrival/ just sort of stopped doing funny things.
****** This bit is some linguist geeky talk, so skip if your brain starts to swollen up. ****
Until way past jet lag, my head was still in different language zones. I am such a useful case for research... Because I had slowly recovered what we call the "European Accent" = undefined English learnt from all English speakers, native or not--, I could hear how I would pronounce certain words depending on how often I had used them in different countries. I just heard myself slip up Dutch-influenced words/grammatical constructions, fluctuating from Kiwi, Aussie and European at random. I was doing this analysis while having lunch and chatting up with my Aussie/Kiwi Whanau. 
I had just aarrived. We were four people, four accents: a neutral Kiwi accent (the equivalent to mine, but down under version), a full Aussie accent, a full Kiwi accent and my hard to define European accent with a fragmented Jet Lagged brain across linguistic zones. 
Then listening to my interlocutors, matching up and adjusting (the sounds, sentences and words I uttered were worth a case study).
 What an amazing brain of immersive/kinaesthetic learning I have! I have to give myself credit for that, my grandmothers both died. They understood little linguistics. 
Our kind is rare. It takes years of crossing language zones. Constantly. 

******** Now you can go back to reading more emotional writing, next posts will have more anecdotes, promise, there are enough ***********

So, geekisms aside, I can't stop crying these days. I don't know what it is. It must be sheer happiness and it is scary. I remember how I didn't shade a tear of sadness on the prospect of moving back to NL and I am blissfully, maybe intentionally, uninfluenced by it in a sort of "don't mention-don't feel- fashion.
I go on with my happy self without thinking too much that this is my only life and I need more time so I can enjoy it even more. Maybe others don't feel this way, or don't relate. Maybe they are happy just so, because they only feel home in one place and my tears are a consequence of global awareness and chronic Fernweh, damn!

I realise, in OZ, I reconnected quite quickly to my usual activities and people with less difficulty than in Europe. I guess I was only gone a year here, so things don't change so much that you have to find your space again. 
It took me a while to do so in Amsterdam. I always join initiatives on my own and often feel awkward if it is about regular group meetings, because it seems everyone know each other, I am the smiling intruder coming from nowhere and I don't know how to measure my level of sociability or enthusiasm, if that is a concept. I stopped thinking I am too weird to fit in, because I am weird enough not to fit fully anywhere, but shy at times to make it a smooth transition. 

Something has changed, though... And I am meeting new people. And experiencing the craziest coincidences.

I opened up an Instagram account, following a friend's advice in trying to befriend the camera after a Christmas conversation. It has helped to share with close friends what my life looks like down under.
Instagram ID: selvetchen. 
I am not a good photographer, but it is my approach to a visual diary. Bear with me, I am not used to it. I have to force myself to take the camera and take pictures, but once it is done, then it will be a visual memory... 

Since my arrival I have been non-stop giving and receiving love to and from friends, and the uploading pictures has won time to the writing, as it takes less time and reflecting. And right now I move from social gathering to social gathering. It is Summer after all.

But so many fascinating things have happened that I need to share, that I'll try to write short posts with the day's experiences/learnings.