Sunday, 26 February 2012

They DO Speak German in Australia

So, island life. It's... interesting.

There was a number some very specific moments where I realized that Lindeman Island was possibly the strangest place I'd ever "lived". We were just in someone"s room. Not a bar. It was just the 5 of us.I remember sitting on the couch with this 19 year old British boy  (he had quite the crush on me for a while - he used to bring me brownies and wine, it was nice) and watching these two Kiwi ladies (one 50 and the other nearly 60) dance to old country tunes that this boy was mixing up on his laptop. I joined a Philippino chef outside for a smoke and listened to him sing his own version of "Then I got high" on the topic of why he hadn't yet quite his job for something better. 

Let's just say everyone had had a bit too much to drink.This was an everyday occurrence.

What made these moments so strange wasn't necessarily the age differences, the nationalities, or all the booze, but more so, the reason we were all brought together to the same place. 

With the resort essentially running off of the backpackers that stop there for short contracts to work as housekeepers and public area cleaners, you can imagine there was a lot of us. And for the most part, I would say they were the people with the highest level of education and career aspirations; we were just taking a time out to enjoy travel.

I think I listened to more German and French in a day than English. In fact I even learned to speak quite a bit of German. I can imagine how that conversation will go...

"So, where did you learn to speak German?"
"In Australia."
"You mean Austria."
"No, Australia."
"Poor simple girl, she thinks they speak German in Australia."

Then there were the entertainers. Well, they were the ones that worked with the guests more often than not. Young, generally out of high school with very little career experience, and mostly Aussie. You could say this was the group with the most amount of drama and excitement - it was all about the experience and some fun! 

The permanents had a different vision. More so, were there because they had been there so long they just didn't know what else to do. They had it good, so they thought. The easy island life. Generally older, all having very interesting stories that brought them to this place, and all of them, really enjoyed to drink. (I'm not limiting that description to the permanents, I'm just saying, they seemed to enjoy that more often... and probably didn't do much else.)

It seemed that these groups were so different that they shouldn't meld well, but it did. We were a big family. Always someone to talk to, someone to lean on, some story to listen to (even if you'd heard it before), someone new to meet on your day off, and, always, a good time. And those strange moments, where I would stop and observe the interactions going on around me, were simply strange because they couldn't exist in many other places (at least, not that I've seen at this point on my travels.) What really shouldn't have worked, and sometimes was incredibly awkward, still flowed so well.

Imagine - cockatoos that eat peanut butter in front of my room, tropical beaches for a backyard, being bitten by spiders, the attack of the march flies, the best pool parties to exist on the planet, creative cane toad killings, free kegs, great food,  geckos for roommates, amazing people, interesting conversations, real friends, and going for runs with my brother to the beach...

... It was brilliant! 

Monday, 13 February 2012

It's a Love Story

I want my perfect days back. But I know I can't have them. I have to try something new. I have to try and be me on my own. Again. A place I never thought I'd see. At least, not until old age. Not until well after weddings, babies, anniversaries, family holidays, and funerals.

My brain is not always my friend. I over analyze and critique every decision my heart says to make, and it's only taken 25 years for me to understand that my heart knows best. To trust, that God and the Universe know best. I've had to make a lot of very difficult decisions over the last couple months that have literally turned everything in my world 180°. Every morning I wake up and - despite that it's been since Oct 29 - I still expect to see David next to me in bed. I still want to get up and make him breakfast and bring him a cup of coffee. I wake up every morning with the overwhelming vacancy in my heart, knowing it's a reality I'll never be able to get back.

So here I am.
Lost, but not directionless. A tad scared, and yet, more trusting and assured of Life then I have been for a long time. Dreams of just buying a ticket and flying to Switzerland to surprise him on his door step were washed away by financial reality (anyone want to lend me $1000 so I can chase down the man of my dreams?... again.) I have to trust the "if it's meant to be" philosophy right now or I'd go crazy trying to force square pegs into round holes (read the Tao of Pooh if you want to understand this better). And I think learning the dedication of sticking to a goal, to prove to someone that you will never stop loving them, must be one of the most important and valuable lessons ever to engage in.

But in learning lessons, sometimes you have to admit to ones you don't want to see. Despite the gut-wrenching heartache that provokes my daily sobbing sessions, I know I need to let him go. I can't live my days pretending I'm with him. I'm pretty sure he's with someone new. I'm quite happy to be on my own. Dating is bloody awkward, and the whole reason I'm not with him is because I need to be just me right now. No strings attached.Who knows - 6 weeks from now I could be playing detective in Europe to avenge my scars, but for now, I'm in Sydney, and I'm unavailably single.

How depressing was that love story?

Fear not - I have happy articles coming too, about fun times on remote islands and rebounds and roses. Stay tuned for more posts.