Yesterday I was at a crossroads. Literally, I wanted to cross the road. I was walking on the footpath, looked up and noticed a car stopped at the pedestrian crossing…‘what’s going on here?’ Then I realised the car was patiently waiting for ME to approach the crossing and I hadn’t even turned towards it yet. Trust me that this is a big deal after running the gauntlet in France for so long! Welcome to my beautiful, friendly, safe home country.
Back in Australia to wait for my next visa I’ve started wondering, for these four weeks ‘am I a tourist? Or a local?’ The fine line between holidaymaker and unemployed is actually more commonly known as the poverty line and I’m trying very hard not to dip below! However I’m certainly enjoying my visit back Down Under; catching up with friends and family, swing dancing at weddings and luxuriating in a Queensland ‘winter’.
I popped up to Cairns for my friends’ wedding; gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and my home until I was 19 years old. Is it a tropical paradise of beaches, fruits and rainforests? Of course! Is it also expensive (cheese prices! It brings tears to my eyes), full of people who find footwear optional, mosquitos and crocodiles that pop up in my uncle’s front yard? Well yes. But now that I have been far far away, I am able to appreciate ‘home’ through the eyes of a tourist.
I spent the time in Cairns at the beautiful Palm Cove beach wedding, walking the Esplanade, eating persimmons (my EuroChristmas fruit obsession!) and exercising in the rainforest. Tough life for some! There is so much to do there, all of which I’ve done before….but which I never fully appreciated until spending a prolonged winter in Europe.
Being here makes me glad that I tortured my little Frenchies with ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ over and over again back in January. Maybe they didn’t understand it, but I sure do!