Recently, my dreams have been filled with the mundanities of life in Australia. Yet in my dreams, they feature as magnificent symbols of a sunshine-filled realm on the other side of the world; home. I’d wake up yearning for leisurely strolls through the Sunday markets, 35 degree heat, drives to creeks along shaded roads, the smell of overripe mangos in the backyard, bare feet, sand on the car seats, afternoon thunderstorms, familiar streets and loved faces. It dawned on me that memories are the most precious possessions we can ever have. They can take us back to a time or place imbued with happiness, and for a moment we will feel that unbridled happiness again. They can be forgotten and stumbled upon, but never taken away.
While homesickness has a tendency to exaggerate the magnitude of memories, it helps me to appreciate the little things about Australia I had previously snubbed. Now, whenever I hear an Australian accent I get excited. I feel an instant affinity with anyone who is from, has been to, or has even heard of, Australia. And although I still hate Tony Abbott, I can say that my patriotism levels have definitely risen since I moved to Scotland. The UK isn’t that far away from Australia, culturally speaking, but there are a few Aussie things that will never be paralleled.
1. The goon sack
2. Lucas’ Paw Paw ointment
3. Our great markets (especially the Byron Bay markets)
4. Our fuckin casual use of swear words
5. Our abbreviation of as many words as we can possibly shorten (nobody here ever understands what I mean when I go out for a durrie)
6. Vegemite toast for a hungover breakfast
7. Christmas at the beach
8. An omniscient smell of sunscreen in the summer
9. Winters that require warm clothing for about a week
10. The multitudes of music festivals we have, especially my favourite festival of all time: Woodford Folk Festival
I could go on, but instead before the afternoon (arvo) is over, I’ll go to Morrisons (Coles) to get some groceries for tea (dinner) and a bottle of wine (goon) and maybe I’ll have a sneaky durrie too (you can figure that one out yourself).