ON THE ROAD
My teacher says, that if you’re a yogi in this life, in one of your previous incarnations you lived in Rishikesh, and that returning there will be a homecoming for your soul. I didn’t really believe her, considering how I felt in India last time I was there; and the wave of relief as I boarded the plane home to Melbourne. But I still couldn’t get the idea out of my head.
We were chatting on whatsapp. In the downtime between our first few dates we took this occupation seriously. More than once I tried not to reply, until I failed three times in a row and gave up.
For the Aussie battlers, and the sassy babes working in clubs, who still get hassled, no matter how bored their resting bitch faces are...
Compiled with the combined wisdom of my best friend and I (two 27 year olds are as wise as one 54 year old).
I’m not going to suggest I’m very experienced at all this adult-jazz of living together and playing at being grown-up. But I’ve gone from cynic to skeptic to a born again believer; it’s pretty nice to live with the person you love.
Berlin will always be the ex I can’t stop sleeping with, I wrote back. We’d been living in Vienna for two months, and I’d said that I liked it just as much. A couple of times, I felt close to believing it.
In Australia, we speak English. As a teen, all the movies I wanted to watch, and the songs that I wanted to listen to, were in English. Travel seemed like a distant and grown up thing, that I would do later, in two week stints on an island with an adoring husband. And when I did, I figured I could communicate with most people in English. I had only the level of wisdom you could expect from a 15 year old.
There are lots of wineries, even in the city of Vienna. They squeeze vines in anywhere they can. I run alongside them when I go jogging in the morning and say ‘Servus’ to the old ladies with dogs, other young joggers like me, and the red-nosed drunk man who sits on the bench with a beer and a newspaper, so it doesn’t seem like he’s truly let himself go.
Italians always eat outside, I thought, sitting on the communal benches at Hyde Park, sweaty from running a couple of laps around the lake, balancing my warm computer on my knees. A group of six elderly friends sat sharing olives and cheese, singing to one another in Italian. They weren’t really singing, but you know what I mean.
Say all those words you've been biting your tongue over, like dirty secrets. Say them with pride. Relish the quizzical look you get for doing so.
If you’re the sort of diner who is eager to try something a little experimental; something you can only find in the industrial, and oh-so-hipster Lower East Side: listen close. Goa Taco enticed me at once. Walking by, I easily convinced myself that I could, in fact, go-a-taco.
It’s time to leave New York, I think, most mornings. I survey my tiny room, in my altogether reasonable Nolita apartment. I wiggle my toes and check the time...and I wonder what, exactly, I will say when I leave the bacchanal?
I imagined Argentina to be a bit of a circus. A place of constant scandal - because the country enjoyed creating them. Where no one really wanted everything to run properly, because that would mean having to follow the rules. An inviting, yet sweaty place. Full of sex, sometime-love, and heartbreak.
I never wanted to move to New York. In the beginning I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. One of the things that makes me happy is that I’m in a place, and doing a thing, I never thought I’d be doing one year ago.
I’ve never been one for set-ups. Because I’ve never been set up. Really. Not that there are any true Blind Dates left anymore. Unless you’re going to meet John Smith and it’s impossible to discern your target through a narrowing down of mutual friends, schools, hobbies or, better still, Achievements.
I need someone who has a good personality. Someone like 30. My cut off now is like 33. I’ve met a couple of guys who are divorced with kids. And I like don’t do kids. Like we’re too young for kids. We’re not in the headspace for kids
I was lucky and naive. And all I could do was smile and think how much I loved riding home on brisk November nights, over the silver road, to my tiny apartment in an old brewery. In my Berlin.
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Do you remember all the houses you’ve lived in? All the family homes, dorms, apartments and friend’s couches you’ve made your own?
These are my love letters to the neighbourhoods that put up with me.
I lived in Washington D.C. 3 years ago. As an eager intern. With a zealous appetite for all things human rights, foreign policy and NGO-related. The city’s bread and butter. It’s a kinda greasy, smarmy place in so many ways.
Let’s face it: in today’s hard learning, hard working, gimme gimme more age of long hours and begrudgingly approved holidays: not everyone has the time to travel alone. Or the desire to prioritise it.
Poor thing, I thought, a little softer. I knew the iron clench of a broken heart and the tiny, indulgent delusions that can soften its blow.
He was the first boy I’d met on my first night in Cape Town. I’d braved a bustling restaurant on my own. Happy to observe, prepare and contemplate the months of travelling in store. This was the start of something big for me.