What we look like in Sydney.
If you’re wondering why things have been quiet on Thought and Musing lately, it’s because we took an unexpected trip “home” for 10 days.
During the clean up from Cyclone Jasmine, we found out that Drew’s nan was very sick and we were asked to fly back to Sydney. Despite our haste in buying the first available tickets, we didn’t make it back in time to say goodbye. Violet had a long and happy life and passed away aged 94 years.
We didn’t have time to process how we would feel about suddenly returning “home” as we had one whirlwind of a day to find Piko a puppy sitter and buy him enough food, buy tickets, pack bags, empty the fridge, shut the house down, pay bills, pick up mail, buy padlocks, notify our work and arrange lifts. It was only on the plane home that I realised; everything that I’ve been missing and dreaming about returning to, I would have within a few hours.
Sydney was an assault on my senses. Even just walking through duty free to pick up our bags – there was so much stuff. Shiny, expensive, overly packaged superfluous stuff. Cars everywhere, a crazy amount of traffic and people. Everywhere I turned. Driving to Drew’s parents house, everything felt familiar but slightly wrong.
Even the heat was different and I missed the humidity of Tonga, although I’d spent the last 2 months cursing it everyday. My sinuses got incredibly dry and I found myself getting headaches from the lack of moisture in the air. My stomach didn’t cope with the rich diet of creamy sauces and meat and processed foods. Cupcakes were a particularly bad idea. To be honest, I didn’t cope very well for those 10 days.
I found shopping especially overwhelming. I had to make short, planned, strategic trips to one shop at a time as I was drowning in choices and couldn’t make decisions. Walking through the soup aisle at Coles, I found myself lamenting to my friend Nicolle “who needs 70 choices for soup? Can’t people make it themselves anyway?”
Yet there were wonderful things about coming “home.” This unexpected trip gave us a chance to spend extra time with our family and friends. We were so blessed – treated to dinners and lunches, lent a car, surprised with a massage, had baked dinners cooked for us, spoiled with presents, had bbqs thrown for us, enjoyed yummy brunch, shouted coffees and had people drop their plans at the last minutes to make time to hang out.
And I felt very torn.
As much as I loved seeing my nearest and dearest, I couldn’t wait to get back to my puppy, to my often frustrating workplace, to the quiet pace of a small town, to no crowds and no bustle, to having time to simply relax. I missed home.
Only home (where is that?) doesn’t exist anymore for me.
Tonga feels like home occasionally, as I’ve settled into a routine and am enjoying its sleepy, if haphazard ways. Sydney was familiar but unsettling. I have changed and it had stayed the same.