I've only just finished unpacking but it's actually been nearly 3 weeks since I woke up in a Melbourne bedroom at lunchtime, a little dazed and confused after a 26 hour journey and a 3 hour nap to get me through Arrival Day. The whole Dubai thing meant I had to land in Melbourne instead of Adelaide, and what better excuse to spend some quality time with my I've-Been-Home-For-7-Weeks boyfriend.
I don't think there's much to say about the journey home. On the plane, I made friends with Newcastle Joe next to me, whom I originally mistook for Irish Joe and then Scottish Joe. Conversation was sparked on account of him reading the same book as I was. Lo and behold, the woman next to him also had it on her lap, so we all discussed whether The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a book about tattoos, as Newcastle Joe has suspected. It is not.
I will say that Emirates is a fantastic airline, not least for their pre-flight service, which I've mentioned, but they also have electricity plugs in Economy. Newcastle Joe assured me he's seen it before on other airlines but I sure hadn't, and so I had plenty of laptop juice to get me by when I got sick of the 46,000 movies and TV shows they had. I like to think I appreciate the small things in life.
Being a small and somewhat flexible person, I can usually find some sort of obscure yoga position to sleep in, as is required in Economy. For whatever reason, this position eluded me and I barely managed a few winks before arriving at Melbourne International the following morning. I dragged my things through Customs and smiled at the Customs Officer wearing a Spiderman Mask, a small reminder that although we have some pretty strict immigration and import restrictions, home-grown inappropriateness has still managed to infiltrate every government department.
At the Arrivals Hall, there was a very smiley young man with a self-made haircut and a SwedishWifeFinder.com sign peering eagerly at the crowd. He looked like fun, so I went up to him and asked for a lift into town. He turned out to be Grant, which was convenient because I was staying at Grant's house.
Grant and his family took me in and nursed me back to sanity, which, surprisingly, didn't take too long. I was spoiled rotten and I loved every minute of it. At this point, I think it's good to mention that going straight home to my own house might have been more of a shock to the system. When you go back to your own country after a year away, it's worthwhile going somewhere that isn't your hometown first. That way, things are just different enough to ease you back into comfort and the reverse culture shock is toned down. You can stay in tourist mode a little longer, but now you can read the bus timetable and stop converting the price tags in your head.
Ok, so I was converting Australian prices back to Euros and thinking "Wow, that's cheap!"
So I was back on home soil. It was just enough like home, but still a step away. I wasn't sure if Grant's Mum was saying "graff" or "grarph", but I didn't really mind. I woke up after that first nap and listened to the Magpies warbling outside the window, then lay in the hammock on the back lawn and ate half a box of Barbecue Shapes. It certainly was nice to be there.
Vintage Sepia House Image!
1 hour ago