The Sea & Tree Change.
I moved to the ‘country’ when I was 21. I was / am in love with a bright young (in the past tense) real estate agent that sold my parents a cute little house nestled into the (not immediate) side of a mountain. They were already moving down for work. I originally had planned to move into the city. Once in the ‘country’ I hated it. As a then 21 year old I struggled with the lack of retail and fast food on offer, the seemingly (at the time) non-existent nightlife, the narrow mindedness of (what I have since learnt was only) some, and the isolation from the city, and therefore theatre, music and art. The three things I may as well live for. I yearned for the city.
I learnt to love the ‘country’ once I started working at the local pub. I met and befriended the locals, granted most of them are (or were) over 65 years old. I learnt from them, I listened to their stories of the town in the old days, and I gained a new respect for it and its region. With the rise in popularity of Instagram and online shopping, the lack of retail outlets no longer bothered me. Clean eating became increasingly popular, and new people moved into town opening up places like Il Locale and LEAF Thai / Vietnamese Restaurant, so the fast food problem was somewhat overcome. The narrow minded were becoming more tolerant, or I was started to realise that they were actually just a loud minority. I worked out when the express trains left the South Coast for Sydney and vice versa. And then, the finale, I started to enjoy Football, I know right. So there I was (am – work permitting) perched up in the freezing cold at the local footy games, beer/wine in hand of course, watching the boys rumble around in the mud and occasionally have beef. I started to get to know more people my own age, the top pub (there are two in the ‘country’, one locally referred to as ‘the bottom’ and the other ‘the top’ – with no significant incline between them) got a makeover with craft beer included – Nightlife became considered adapted to and loved for its ease and simplicity. I fell in love with the music of Chuparosa who played a show at the close by Tomerong Hall, I learned about the evolving Theatre/Music/Arts scene in Wollongong, And now for the absolute Encore, Tim Freedman played a concert a Bundanon. Consider all needs for music, theatre, and the arts met.
Back to Life, Back to Reality (for some)
As life would have it, I landed the job of most (self included) New-Graduate Registered Nurses dreams, in the St Vincent’s Emergency Department in Sydney. I love my work and more than that I love my patients. I moved to a new neighbourhood, Darlinghurst. I love its coffee culture, its bright lights and sleepless nights. I’ve researched into it’s history, and spent countless hours roaming the area becoming familiar with the place. I’m now surrounded by retail outlets and have some new 25 year old mindset of needing nothing. I have an array of fast food outlets available at the click of a finger – most of which require an Ondansetron wafer post consumption. The local nightlife in in abundance, and I can no longer tolerate, nor really want to feel, the effects of alcohol. Oh and I don’t have the bandage dress to go with most of it, nor do I want it. The people are open minded, and sometimes too open minded – I mean even in the country we vaccinate our children? And so far, I think I’m averaging a performance a week, since moving here full-time, which really makes it worthwhile.
I’m sitting here, in Darlo, half watching the news, and I miss home. Home being the ‘country’. I miss the non-inclined but referred to pubs, each pubs tables of knowledge, and their MIA dress code. I miss the Footy on a Saturday afternoon, wine in hand and mud a plenty. I miss the people and their wisdom – like who in the city can grow their grocery basket contents? At the end of the year I’ll reassess but right now I’m thinking I’ll return to the ‘country’ once the year is up, permanently. Thankfully, I’ll return wiser and more appreciative.
But for now I’ll have to chow down on some Missy K, and have the Zofran handy. I know the dumplings look good, but honestly it’s no LEAF, or Johns Thai Berry.