Improv, Comedy, Women, Melbourne and everything in between.
I’m back at home in Melbourne, Australia. It’s 5:30pm and the sky is pitch black. It’s raining, and that rain isn’t drying the clothes from my travels that I’ve unpacked, washed, and hung out on the line.
In the aeroplane last night on the second leg of my homecoming journey back from Hong Kong, I gazed out the window to see my pretty little city and I felt a sense of pride. My city is so small. I wondered what it must look like from a passenger’s window when one flies over an enormous city like New York. It must be spectacular.
And I wondered if people who don’t live in Melbourne gazed at Melbourne like I did when I saw the lights of Rome for the first time. I wondered if the residents of New York thought the same thing as me as they fly over their city and they feel a sense of pride because they know that this view, this feeling is wowing another person, and that their hometown is someone else’s dream or escape.
In the taxi last night back from the airport, as I lamented Melbourne’s ill public transport design, I stared out the drizzled window watching the wide road pass large, low-built houses that are usually home to 2–5 people and I thought of the apartments in central London and Paris that could house the same amount of people only in the equivalent of a Melbourne house’s walk-in pantry.
One thing Australians should be thankful for is the living space we have. We have bounds of it. We complain too much here. We’re really very lucky.
I can only assume that most people feel this sadness – or acceptance of reality – when returning from their travels, particularly when the transition is from, say, European summer to Australian winter (and yes, we do get cold winters here in Aus). And while I’m aware that the wonderful cities and culture of UK and Europe have a lot to do with the sadness I’m feeling now that I’m back in a dark, cold city I know all too well, I still have to remember that I was on holiday there in Europe. That’s the big difference between being in Europe and being in Melbourne. I live in Melbourne, I have commitments here, people to answer to. I didn’t have any of that in Europe, which is why it is a holiday, an escape.
I’m very lucky to have experienced that. And I’m lucky to even be sad about leaving that. The fact that I feel this sadness makes me a very fortunate person.
I wonder what the Parisians think of their own city that they work in, raise children in, have commitments that they don’t want to commit to. And I wonder what they think of us travellers and tourists, invading their space as we flock to the Eiffel Tower, crowding their Metros while they try to go on with their daily repetition of work-life. And I wonder what visitors think of Melbourne and what they see when they notice me in my coat and beanie with a large backpack clinging to my shoulders as I tiredly sit on the crowded train coming home from university, jaded and bored, and thinking about what’s next for me as I stare at my reflection in the window while I pretend to stare out into the night.
And I guess that makes me pretty lucky that that’s all I have to worry about.