It’s my first full day from my five-week trip and I’m already feeling antsy again. I’m here in my living room, accompanied by a bowl of microwaved ravioli fresh from a tin – the gas heater happily glows as well providing the much needed warmth. Adelaide greeted me with 6C this morning – the maximum temperature today was reportedly oly 12.7C at 12.49pm. It seems that Winter wants to linger longer this year. I’m not complaining much because hopefully we’ll receive decent rainfall.
I initially wanted to head down to the city after I took a shower and freshened up. However, I ended up doing one batch of laundry and falling asleep on the couch. I only managed two hours of sleep during the flight from Singapore to Adelaide, so naturally I was quite exhausted this afternoon. A pack of held letters arrived today from the post office and amongst the numerous bills and statements, there was a post from Copenhagen, Denmark. Apparently my passport was handed to the Norwegian police, who then sent it over to the Australian Embassy in Copenhagen. They had to cancel it of course and defaced the passport by cutting bits from the front and back covers, as well as the middle page that had a chip. At least I have my old passport with the stamp from Check Point Charlie in Berlin! [Not a genuine one, of course, if I recall correctly, I paid €1 or €2 for the stamp]. 🙂
At the end, I only managed to head down to Rundle Mall and Chinatown at 7pm – I bought some antihistamines from the chemist’s in Rundle Mall, and then I walked down to Chinatown to do some grocery shopping at Coles. I tried to find whether they stocked a similar egg salad spread that I had grown fond of when I was in Norway, unfortunately it’s not the kind of spread that Aussies like, I suppose. Whilst waiting for my bus, I observed the people around me. I miss being in Europe that even those who dress for their daily activities seem to dress really well. The ladies dress nicely, regardless of their age – and the men also clothe themselves nicely. I know that the ‘down-to-earth-edness’ of Australians is an asset but I can’t help missing European finesse – I should stop there before I sound too pompous. Haha.
Thinking more while waiting for my bus – I also revisited my fondness of Bratislava during this trip, and of Stockholm in my 2006 holiday. I certainly wouldn’t mind living and working in Bratislava or in Stockholm – its proximity to other countries in Europe means that it would be easy for me to explore and travel around without having to spend one full day on plane trips. However, I came to a conclusion that no matter where I went, I would probably feel sick and tired of the place and want to settle down somewhere else. I have lived quite a nomadic lifestyle – living in Bandung from birth until 1991, then Bogor for a couple of months in 1991, then on to Adelaide from 1992 until 1995. In 1996 I returned to Jakarta until 2000, after which I worked in Singapore until 2002. In the beginning of 2003, I migrated down to Adelaide. On top of that I’m a bit of mish-mash now – my values are more Eastern than Western, my thought pattern is Australian, my look is Chinese, but my culture is more Indonesian than Chinese. When I was growing up, I was made to think that I’m Chinese first, Indonesian second because Chinese were not fully accepted by the society then. Maybe this sense of ‘longing for home’ is not universal either, because if you have lived in the same city all your life, you may feel perfectly content with the place where you’re at. There’s nothing wrong with that.
There’s that sense of romanticism that people hold when they observe people in other places. When I was in Indonesia, I dreamt about settling down in Adelaide – even when I talked to friends in Indonesia, they mentioned that it was great for me to live in Australia. So I suppose even if I end up living in Bratislava, Stockholm, Bergen or Timbuktoo, there would come a time where I get sick with all the cobblestoned streets, the cold winter, or whatever. I suppose a ‘home’ is really where you put your heart in it. In my trip to Vilnius, Lithuania in 2006, I discovered a quote about home by Christian Morgenstern at the hotel that I stayed at. It says, “Home is not where you live, but where you feel understood.” I would add to that, that home is also where your heart lies. It’s similar to the idea of soulmate – sometimes one may be caught up in thinking that the girl / guy that they are with is not their soulmate, and that the real match is just beyond the corner. If I keep on looking beyond the bend, I may miss my true home, and my true soulmate. I just need to put my heart in one spot, and let go.