I've recently returned from a short trip to Australia. People often ask me how I find being in Australia after so many years in Vanuatu. It's a good question and one I find difficult to answer. Here are some comments.
I have so much more energy in Australia and feel, physically, so much better.
I see so much more skin that I don't know where to look. Faces and hair are so "done" I wonder where the real people have gone.
I am bewildered by choice. This is a problem not just when shopping but also when paying bills. Under the guise of "helping you better", I suspect I am just being ripped off more.
I used to really love singing in English when I went to church in Australia. Now I don't know the songs. And when I think I do know the song, it has a new tune and I don't know how it goes.
Sometimes I feel like I don't know how anything goes. It wasn't relevant this time, but on previous visits we have enrolled our children in school. My children are not in kindergarten, and it's the end of the year, but I am like a first-time kindergarten Mum in her first week of school. I don't know anything. I don't know where not to park or where to turn the car around. I don't know about canteen, about the end-of-year festivities, when the traditional (but unofficial) mufti-day is, or isn't, how to pay for anything, where to stand, where not to stand, what to give the teacher for a present... all I am thinking about is reminding the girls to keep their shoes and their T-shirts on even when they get hot.
I enjoy seeing my old friends again and to talk without fear of misunderstanding (at least, not too much). I enjoy visiting churches that support and help and care for us. I am very thankful to be able to visit my doctor for sound medical advice.
I love to see my Mum and Dad, my brother and my sister and her family. I miss my other brother who is in Africa. I enjoyed catching up with extended family and especially all my nowallgrownup cousins.