07 February, 2018

Re-entry shocks

We've been in beautiful Brisbane just over 36 hours and have done quite a lot already. But jumping in and out of cultures and countries it really is a bit of a shock to the system!

Beautiful Brisbane. So much green in this city. We're not in the
inner-city, but in the next outer ring (this photo is at Suncorp stadium, about 3 km from the inner city). Our son is living about 9 km from the inner city.
It is always a challenge to know how much backstory to give people you meet, especially people in the service industry. And it's often a surprise to see how they deal with your unexpected revelations. It was actually a relief to just say at the library, "My son has just moved to Brisbane to start uni and we wanted to get him a library card." No need to explain where he'd been before this . . . not like at Centrelink (the government social security arm) who needed that information and then presented us with a special form designed to help prove that you'd moved to Australia. Yes, even if you've got a passport, you still need to prove residency, which is harder when you've only just got here as an adult for the first time.

Little things give re-entry shock, but they aren't all bad. Small things I've had to adjust to these last 36 hours:
  • What's my bank card/credit card pin number again (it's been two and a half years since I used it)?
  • Oh, I can do my McDonald's order on a large touch screen instead of awkwardly staring at an unfamiliar menu while an impatient employee hops from foot to foot.
  • Which way is it to drive from this familiar place to that familiar place?
  • How does one act on a train again?
  • When half-naked people walk past...
  • Prices just seem so high.
  • There are so many white people around...
  • Not all Asians speak Japanese.
  • Wearing shoes in the house.
  • Putting so much rubbish into the same receptacle.

But it really is good to be looking forward again, looking at the future, rather than looking back and saying goodbyes. Mind you, I took my son back to his old wrestling club this afternoon and that was a good memory. This has been a big week for him with goodbyes, travel, hellos, and lots of new information. Wrestling was a good antidote.

Tomorrow we're getting out of the city to retrieve some stuff we have in storage and to meet some of my family for lunch. It'll be nice to go for a bit of a drive and not have to deal with any service staff (except to buy stuff) or bureaucracy.

But I'm also looking forward to another good sleep tonight. I'm enjoying being able to retreat to my own room. I'm staying with friends across the river from our son.

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