. . . that November 6 was the first time it occurred to me that maybe we'd stay in Australia. You know. It's the summertime here. The F-word's all employed, and I'm incredibly overpaid. The birds are singing, we go to the beach a lot, the economy's tanking and I'm figuring out how to shop so things are feeling a tiny bit cheaper, I can still visit home for a couple of months at a time, and we have some really nice friends here . . .
I'm being cautious as hell with this feeling, mostly because the same practical objections exist to us living here permanently that were already in place before I felt this feeling, which by-the-by is a feeling I usually associate with my first month in a new place, not my eleventh, so it's weird. The main one is I can only be happy here while I'm incredibly overpaid and I don't know how long that will be the case. If I can stay incredibly overpaid here for the next five years, then we can start thinking about staying. If I don't, we have to leave. Simple as that. I don't think the odds are good of me staying incredibly overpaid for five years. Call me a pessimist. I don't even know if I'm going to keep feeling overpaid once we make babies.
Also, I suspect - and this is a case either of shocking paranoia or shocking egoism or both, and I'm glad I have a blog to voice it on - I suspect that our friends here, (besides Squidsy, all other couples), are on a charm offensive to get me to like it more here. Ever since I got back from Canada (during which time, the F-word told me, he'd let the cat out of the bag about our frustrations and our plans to move back to Europe eventually), they've been so damn nice. The men have been more courtly, even gently flirtatious, and the women have been so helpful and decent with kombucha starters and aloe plants and advice about reusable menstrual pads.
I understand they all have their own frustrations with the place, and many of them (they are all, by-the-by, either both non-Australians or melanges like us) have their own plans to leave eventually, if only for a few years. But I suspect the F-word in particular is a welcome ingredient in all these barbeques, etc., that we're having, and as another non-Australian who can talk about things besides reality television I'm welcome too, and that there aren't so very many of us, and now that they've got us they don't want us to leave again. Actually, I don't have a problem with that at all. Personally I'd be heartbroken if any of them left before I did. Even when Squidsy's wife did a runner, even though we didn't have much in common besides enjoying good food and abusing Australia, I was sad for days.
Speaking of Squidsy's wife and us not having much in common, I'd lent her a copy of La Cousine Bette before she left which she couldn't read because of the prose being too dense. Which reminds me to tell you that La Cousine Bette is fucking good read. Holy shit. What an awesome book. Balzac must have had some serious problems with the women in his life because they're all repellent or pitiable. There are one or two men in the book who aren't - maybe even just one - so I guess he had almost as many problems with the men. Holy shit. Such a brutal narrator. Like an entomologist with particularly good prose watching species of the most disgusting kind of insect. I bet he was a fucking joy to live with.