G’bye to Waltzing Matilda
It’s 9AM in the morning. It’s 31 degrees Centigrade, rather cloudy, with humidity at 70%.
I got back in Manila from Sydney two nights ago, after a flight that stopped over Brisbane (the grass really is yellow there). As usual, when I look around the house and notice how everything is still so automatic for me despite being gone for a year, I wonder why it feels I was never gone at all. Perhaps that’s why people buy souvenirs, to remind themselves of a different life that might have existed from a day to decades.
I didn’t buy souvenirs from Sydney or Melbourne for myself, nothing particularly “Australian,” tacky or otherwise. The most I have are photographs, lots of scribbles on a notebook, and the possessions I had brought with me to Sydney and returned to Manila changed. This laptop and this blog, among others. A curious growing habit to use Australian slang instead of American when I speak English. And being slightly jetlagged, making me two hours earlier than everyone else.
I think I did a pretty good job of preliminary withdrawal during my last weeks in Sydney, reminding myself that it was going to end very soon so I wouldn’t get too much of a shock in the plane. When the plane began to leave the ground, though, I still got that sinking feeling in my stomach, and I nearly welcomed it. Better hit then while I was still on autopilot, as I usually am during flight days.
So I’m back in Manila, gone from Sydney for good. And to make it official, I miss Sydney, and the people there that had made it to become named characters in that chapter of my life. When I went to see the Sydney Opera House for the last time, I still couldn’t believe that I had lived in Sydney. The Opera House is so big an icon, the type that would be destroyed along with Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower in an Armageddon movie, that living half an hour away from it by bus seemed slightly surreal.
In any case, I think I spent my last days in Sydney well. As this blog would testify by its decrease of posts for the last few weeks, I was pretty busy then, exploring places and sharing laughter with friends I won’t be returning to for a very long time. In the meantime, I will be quite busy too, with job applications, research proposals, a screenplay to complete and short stories to write, books to read…
Things come and go. And as they do, life beckons.