giovedì, novembre 20, 2014

Moving to, moving away

Well, I won't say everything has been going absolutely seamlessly with the preparations to move to Krautland, but they have been remarkably smooth. For example, I've come across a nasty little catch-22 where full-time contractors moving there can't get public health insurance, but it's illegal to not have health insurance . . . a private insurer would probably take me, but being a child-bearing-age woman, a mother and a pinko, that option is both too expensive and too contrary to my blah-blah-blahs. But I get to override the catch-22 with that special-statute-for-journalist thing. Fancy.

Anyways, things have been moving so smoothly that to be honest I'm sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Job, they say, is the oldest book of the Bible, and I'd say certainly the one nearest to my heart. I'm conscious of having led so far what would be considered by billions to be a charmed life, and fuck me if that doesn't make me nervous. When you've done nothing to deserve it, when there are so many better people who don't have it, how can you not be scared of it being taken away?

Another thing, not unrelated to my ridiculous angst, is that my application for Australian citizenship is also chugging along fast. There is every chance that when I fuck off out of here, I will be doing so as an Australian . . . and I can say it's just a potentially useful piece of paper, but A) I've spent longer here now than anywhere besides Canada and B) last night I had an erotic dream about Crocodile Dundee, and he left his hat on. I'm still breastfeeding, by the way. I don't have erotic anything about anything in the normal course of things.

 At least that's what it would have sounded like if anyone in Australia could play the bass.

I do wonder what my time here has done to me, and that is a question I won't be able to answer until years after I've left, probably. I do know that I've never felt so much like a trespasser anywhere, even in countries where I didn't speak the language that well. There isn't much nice you can say about what happened to the native people in North America - probably, at best, that if a bunch of busybody immigrants on the make headed to Europe right after the plague killed most of the population, something similar would have happened, so it's nothing personal. But there's something a little spookier going on here.

Australian aboriginals have been in situ basically longer than anybody has been anywhere. 70,000 years, by some reckoning. 70,000 years ago, if you wanted a bit of rough in Europe, you could fuck a Neanderthal, and go on fucking Neanderthals for the next 40,000 years or so. 70,000 years is basically an unfathomable amount of time in human history.

And here aboriginal people have been, on what is by global standards quite the fucking dump of a continent. Always catching fire, or flooding, or sending up swarms of poisonous things, and mostly desert at the best of times. They made it work for 70,000 years in this fucking dump. That is fucking insane. If anywhere "belongs" to anybody, this place belongs to them, and when you are, like me, fundamentally a south-of-Eboli-Catholic - about three catsprings away from a straight-up voodoo animist - ignoring that belonging is fucking creepy. Sure, you can do it legally. We own a good square kilometre of the place. But spiritually? Oh dear me no. Spiritually, being here creeps me the fuck out. Crocodile Dundee I am not. Even if I've now seen his spirit dong. 

martedì, novembre 18, 2014

Happy snotday

Ugh. The boy's second birthday has come, as has colds.

Melbourne, you fuck. Under an ozone free sky and sandwiched between the desert and a deep blue sea - a deep blue sea where the next continent over is fucking Antartica - the weather is the physical manifestation of the emotional state of a 12 year old girl. It hasn't been uncommon for the mornings to start off just a few degrees north of freezing and peak around 3 pm close to 40 degrees. Nor is it uncommon for that temperature to plummet so fast when the wind stops blowing from the desert and starts blowing from the sea that your lower body is still warm from the baked asphalt and your upper body is twitching in the chilly breeze. And then on a normal windless day there's still a good 10 degree swing between sun-in and sun-out.

I actually don't mind it too much. 85% of the time, it's better in most ways than a lot of the places I've lived - I'm really having to gird myself up in weather terms for moving back to northern Europe, for example. But I do believe these big temperature swings make it easier to catch colds than it should be. And the big heat is really unbearable here. We're going to get quite a lot of it this summer, I think, what with everybody in Canada complaining about how the cold and snow is coming down on them like the wrath of God and these things usually going oppositely.

You want the wrath of God, beaverbeaters? Try weather that can't decide whether to kill you fast with fatal heatstroke and poisonous cold blooded creatures, or kill you slow with skin cancer and respiratory disorders from all the fucking air conditioning. And then cover it in flies. Fucking millions of flies. Who get caught in your toddler son's snot bubbles on his second birthday. Poor kid.

Anyways, the boy is two and the best thing ever.