I personally fear that the stress is turning me into someone I don’t like, an irritable, domineering, and short-tempered person. Just surviving the next two weeks of classes with my sanity and friendships intact will be the highest priority. It’s only a month until we leave, and sadly, it can’t come soon enough. I’m looking forward to spending Christmas and New Year in Australia with friends and family, catching up and recuperating ahead of the final semester of study back in Dallas.
In anticipation of the return home, and in an attempt to stay positive and focused, I thought I would go back to the second post I wrote on the blog and revisit the list of things that I thought I’d miss on moving to the US and Italy.
In truth, it has been a surprise how few of the items on the list really provoked a sense of longing. Maybe it’s all the new experiences, or the substitutes that have been able to fit the bill (White Rock Lake in Dallas is no hikerun in the bushland, but it’s a very pleasant ride). And given the heavy workload for the last year and a half, there hasn’t been the time to miss things like TV and film, because there hasn’t been the time to watch TV and film to begin with.
Still, there’s a few things I definitely miss:
- Combination Laksa (or any Laksa for that matter, the concept remains relatively unknown in the Western world)
- Bundaberg Ginger Beer (especially with the cold weather)
- Cheap art supplies (even if I had time to paint I couldn’t afford the canvas)
- Singing lessons (and the presence of the feline Prince Nikolai)
That’s a surprisingly short list. But there have been a couple of things that weren’t on the list that only after being away I have realised that I missed, and am looking forward to enjoying in a month:
- Custard Tarts (Australian ones, not Portuguese ones. I had a massive craving for one last week, for the taste of the grated nutmeg and the texture of the filling)
- Meat Pies (Not even the fancy ones at the bakeries in Alexandra with their kangaroo and rabbit and Guinness, just your straight up, dirt cheap, try-and-guess-the-animals-used-in-it meat pie. And sauce, naturally)
- Fresh Air (Milan is one of the most polluted cities in Europe, sometimes I wonder if people here smoke just to breathe air that’s been through a filter)
- Birdlife (Pigeons don’t count)
- Vegemite (Technically I can get it here, but at €9 (AUD13) for a tiny jar, it’s not worth it)
Again, it's a surprisingly short list. And before you ask, of course I miss my family and friends, that’s a given.
Don't get me wrong, I don't regret the decision to have gone on this adventure. Even though it has been very tough at times, and at the moment things are not going the best, I know I am in a better position that where I was, and in six months time when I graduate, I'll be in an even better position. All I'm saying is that it’ll be good to be back in Australia soon, even if it's only for a short time.
Postscript: Regarding the last part of my original post… I still don’t miss Canbrrr, APS Culture, or Mooseheads in the slightest. If anything, I’m glad they’re out of my life. That’s a positive thought.