Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gearing Up and Winding down.

It's a strange flux I'm in where there's a flood of activity to get things moving in the right direction to an easy, uncomplicated emigration - as if there is such a thing but I plan to find the utopia - and winding down on the things that have been a regular in my life for the past 14 years. I will admit the winding down part has lead to an unusual nostalgia phase for me. This is unusual as I'm not an overly sentimental person.

I find I'm rehashing old longings for home; missing things like half-n-half, lobster plates on Cape Cod, and Jell-o brand of gelatin and pudding. I'm missing driving a car. I drove extensively from the age of 17 until I emigrated at 23. Hundreds of miles a day most days. I loved day trips out to the Mohawk trail and that freedom of not having to report where I am, and being accountable to no one but myself. Long gone are the days. Moving to Edinburgh I found an amazing bus system, easy walks to shops and everything on my doorstep. I went from "Are you kidding? That's like a mile away and I'm not walking that" to averaging four miles on foot on a typical day. Now I have people looking at me funny with a silent whine "Can't we just drive?" Nah! We can walk and I'll show you some interesting things, promise. I became an urban wanderer. Did you know off any of the small side alleys in Edinburgh you may find a secret historical treasure that's probably not been paid any attention for decades? It's true! But I'll also wager the same thing exists in your own city. When the city is "home" we just don't bother. We take home for granted. When home suddenly becomes a very foreign place it's like Wonderland.

Sadly, over the years, Edinburgh has become more like Home as opposed to the place where I live. I've not found the exciting nooks and lost treasures, I've stopped seeking them. I have other things to take up my time, responsibility. How dull. How disappointing of me! I go through this kind of dialogue every year and eventually, usually around Spring, pick up my camera and go treasure hunting. Then the lust for life returns, my youth returns and joy is there for all. As everyone knows, when the Mama is happy, the house is happy.

This Spring, I've not had the luxury of the conversation of Awakening discovery, as on my horizon lies the biggest adventure. The newest one, and it's far bigger than Scotland. Sorry Scotland, you've been aces, but Australia promises more. Also, it promises to have jollier, happier more laid back people who don't blank, ignore and regard strangers, foreign or indigenous, with extreme prejudice. Maybe a slight exaggeration, and certainly not for all of Scotland, but certainly for Edinburgh it has its cold shoulder for strangers, even for their own. Glaswegians however will be friendly to anyone. Why didn't we move there? My Husband is from Edinburgh. It's taken 14 years of my interference to deprogramming the poor, shy soul. Now look at him! Ready to take on Emigration to 10,000 miles away! He's come so far.

So what are we looking forward to? China Town, open markets (I've missed Fanuile Hall!), parks (New Parks!), museums(New Museums!), the graffiti and the wonderful bustle of city life. We've missed being central to the action, although the suburbs offer the nicer homes, we have to admit, as curious, engaged people, city life really is our forté.

What am I expecting? I have no real expectations*. I have a feeling Aussies are happier folks - hell anyone must be happier than the Scots. I'm looking forward to the differences, the words, the slang, the outlook. The politics are completely foreign. I'm told Australia is a more racist country and it's a Catholic country and it's not got as many societal boundaries. I'll have to wait and see. How can a place that relishes the arts, culture and diversity of own indigenous peoples be so racist? I'm really looking forward to seeing what the truths are, as there are so many interpretations. At this point, everything is hear-say. Until I'm thrown in the middle, I'll not know for sure, and I'm hopefully optimistic that it's going to be a place of adventures to last me the rest of my days.

If not, there's always Japan.

In other news: Oh holy hell (Ree inspires me to swear like a W. Virginian) my kids are driving me frikkin insane! They are both off their heads hyper as it's Shorty's birthday today. She's five. Happy birthday Shorty. She however thinks today is a get out of jail free day and is being a wee shit. Encouraged by her also hyper and enabling sister. They're both about pushing the limits, and I'm short on limits just now. Or, I'm long on limits. I have tons of limits - in fact the line to cross to get grounded is merely a sneeze not covered or even a pair of dirty socks left on the floor. I'm fucking merciless. They better watch it!

Now I feel guilty and will have to make a love cake. I love my kids! They just make it hard when they bug me so much, to show them. I better stop talking about it before the social services start checking in.

I'm so moody.

*Apart from a whole lot of fun, a whole lot of awe and the excitement of meeting new people and seeing lots of different cultures and feeling a part of the bigger world.


Roxrocks said...

Will you drive in Australia? All I've heard about it there is that the men are real assholes to the women. But that can be said about pretty much anywhere, can't it? Depending on the woman! LOL!

Sounds like you're having just the right amount of crazy feelings about moving! I'm thinking of ya!

Lyvvie said...

I will definitely get my license in Australia. It's going to be important because I have an insane wanderlust, but also I miss driving. I think it's a lot of pressure on Husband to be the Taxi all the time, not that he complains.

I've not heard that about Aussie men. Interesting the different stereotypes we come across! I wonder what other stereotypes there are? Let's list them!

I've been told Aussies are laid back, eating, drinking merrymaking kids at heart. Sharp sense of humour, quick with an insult, but soften it with beer.

Nej said...

While in San Fransisco this Spring, we engaged a couple sitting next to us in a bar in conversation.

Actually, we couldn't hear them talking, and were placing bets on where they were from by their looks. A little social experiment of sorts.

Once we'd all put in our bets, my hubby went up to them to ask for the answer. I figured it would creep them out...but they thought it was funny. (phew)

They were from Australia...which would have been completely obvious, had we been able to hear them talking.

Both of them were very polite, fun and friendly (and the guy was completely handsome!). :-)

We talked to them for quite some time...about the weather, the wild fires, and a little about the government.

Very interesting couple.

I'm very jealous of your move!!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Ehn, the country's not more than nominally Catholic (a legacy of once having been filled with us micks), so don't worry about that--you'll be safe enough from us! :-D And the men have, indeed, long had a reputation for being incredibly macho and sexist, but in urban areas, with younger people, that's changing.

Brook said...

So the guy is buying the house? My mom has always wanted to go to AU. Me? I just want opals. Lots and lots and lots of opals.
Happy Birthday to Shorty!

Crystal* said...

I think you're doing marvelous. And I can't wait to see the Land of Oz through your eyes.

jomamma said...

Tell Bluh-bluh-bluh-bluh-blu (remember her made up name?) I said Happy Birthday.

Jolea said she had never ever seen people who could drink as much as the people of Australia. I think she only ran across one person who was unkind. Most everyone was nice, although people from Texas usually make friends everywhere.

Ree said...

I can't even think of anything to say since I'm giggling uncontrollably.

May you have wonderful new adventures and everything your heart desires in the newest stage of your life. I hope it's home without becoming "HOME".

(Happy Birthday Shorty!)

Anonymous said...

Have you read Bill Bryson's "In a Sunburned Country" about his travels all across Australia? He's an American who's lived two decades in Gr. Britain, you might enjoy his take and interesting info. about Melbourne and the rest of the country. He also is a "walker", a very entertaining read that I highly recommend. Your emigration sounds very exciting, best of luck!

Marg said...

I'll be interested to read your thoughts on Australia once you get here! I wouldn't call us a Catholic country at all, and as for the guys being assholes, well...some of them are, but some of them aren't!

I don't think you will have too many issues!

Lyvvie said...

You know, Marg, I've been contemplating pitching to one of the Melbourne Newspapers, probably The Age, to start a blog about my new adventures in Melbourne. New words, slang, habits - even the simplest things like what side of the pavements/sidewalks people walk on. Like here in the UK folks drive on the left, but pedestrian traffic favours the right. 14 years later and I'm still walking headlong into people because to me, pedestrian traffic should follow road traffic rules. When I first moved here, folks saying "Aye," as "Yes." confused me because I thought they were about to tell me something "I..." and I'd reply "You what?"

So I can just imagine what new social foibles await me.

Northern musings said...

So I have not been reading for a while - but which state are you moving to - believe me it makes a diff. I have lived in Perth Melbourne and Sydney and by far loved Melbourne the best. Sydney can be an absolute nightmare of a place... Remember although it doesn´t snow the winters are cold and damp...

Northern musings said...

Hey - just read a bit further down - and Melbourne it is - excellent - you´ll love it - any ideas where you will be looking to live? Is the company assisting with the relocation and getting you a place?? I think I may actually feeling a tad jealous - Sundays down at the arty farty Markets near Flinders st station. cycling along the yarra.... fish and chips at St Kilda, cakes at St Kilda, antique and junk shops on Chapel streeet... oh the list goes on and on

Chick said...

Good luck, you adventurous thing you.

You & your family will...undoubtedly have the time of your lives.

Anonymous said...

the pensive flux is a good thing to come back to once in a while, i think. shakes things up, reminds us we're mortal, and keeps the wanderlust at the forefront.

you *know* i'm excited to hear about and see pictures of all of your new food finds.


jomamma said...

One of the things Jolea did to make herself stand out from the Natives was to yell "hey Batter, Batter, Batter sa---wing Batter" at a cricket game. That'll get you noticed.

Dingo said...

I am looking forward to reading about your Australia adventures. I've always wanted to go there. But don't eat kangaroo! Just because the thought if it breaks my heart.

tornwordo said...

I wonder what accent the kids will end up with. Yours is Ameriscot and now you'll throw some Aussie in. No one will know where you come from lol.

Anonymous said...

Even Faneuil Hall is undergoing changes, like the bankruptcy of the parent company, nothing stays the same. And hey, Boston is definitely Catholic country, as in the most catholic place I've lived in on the three coasts so far, so you should be just fine in that respect coming from MA, or at least livin' here at some point. Look at it as an adventure, and if you don't like it you can (horrors) move again! Why is it that no matter where yo live neighbors you either love'um or can't stand them? So you either miss them like crazy when you move, or are so glad to be away from that nuthouse of a family? If you drove in the greater Boston area and it is anything like the past 12 years have been for me you should be fine driving anywhere, people are nuts here behind the wheel compared to other parts of the USA. Love your blog, just found it today. chrisq

dianeinjapan said...

We absolutely loved the Aussies we met when we were there a few years ago--they reminded us in many ways of Texans (folks we met north of Sydney told us this is a common comparison)--friendly, open, helpful. And what you've heard about humor, insults, beer--all of that rings true!

And I've heard wonderful things about Melbourne!