It is such a bizarre thing living in two vastly different worlds, belonging to both, yet not quite belonging to either. I am loving being back in Australia; I’ve missed both the people and the places, but it’s so weird to think that life is going on as normal back in Sentani as I settle back into this life for a time.
Yesterday Alicia & I took a trip to the Yarra Valley and toured a chocolate factory and some wineries. I tried a $90 bottle of pinot noir. That was hard to wrap my head around, given what my life was like just last week. I cannot fathom telling local people back in Sentani that some people would spend $90 on one bottle of wine. I can’t imagine what their reaction would be.
I’m loving being back here, I’m settling back in with ease for a time, and the familiarity is comforting. No more cultural barriers, no more language barriers, and so much predictability. But I’m also aware that I haven’t lived here for 6.5 years and I don’t quite have a place anymore. People have routines and lives that no longer include me, and that’s ok, but it’s weird to try and reinsert myself into a place that gets on without me just fine.
Last week I was worried about getting side swiped on my motorbike, this week I’m trying to figure out how the cruise control works on the Mercedes I’m borrowing. Last week I was trying to find the least rotten carrots to eat, this week I’m joyfully filling up my basket with zucchini, coriander, mushroom and anything my heart desires! Last week I was sweating and trying to wear the least amount of clothes possible whilst still being culturally appropriate, this week I’m wearing three layers and a scarf and loving it!
Last week shopping was an awful hassle that I tried to avoid, and this week I’m thrilled with the shops and the ability to walk around and get whatever I like. Last week I hated being stared at in public because I’m white and always feeling conspicuous, and this week I love being anonymous and being able to walk around in public without feeling like I’m on display.
There are so many beautiful things about Indonesia, the beaches, the jungles, the mountains, they’re all so stunning, but they’re so different to Australia. I’ve missed the beauty of Australia, our beaches, and rainforests, and cities. It was so awesome to take Alicia around and have an excuse to play tourist in my own state.
It’s different than it was going to be. I’m no longer trying to attach again in terms of setting up a life, so I am struggling to answer the question “What are you doing while you’re here?”. A few people have asked me, and I honestly don’t have a good answer. I’m not looking for work, a house, or any of the things required to set up a life, I’m just… here. These are my summer holidays, so I’m enjoying having a break, being somewhere familiar and easy, and reconnecting. Living in a place like Sentani means you often need time to just recover a little. Feel free to ask me more about that if you like.
I have a lot of spare time if you want to catch up for a coffee or a meal! So send me a message if you wanna hang out.
So until early August, this is my life, a very different, but wonderful life.