25 May 2010

The View From Where I Sit

In two days I will have been here for a month.

Let's just let that sink in for a minute...

Yeah. It didn't sink in for me either.

Let's move on...

I woke up to thunderstorms this morning. Little rumbles broke through the steady drum of rain and sent flickers of light through the cracks in my blinds. The weather moves different here than back home. Lately it seems like I have to leave the house with both a pair of sunnies and an umbrella. The clouds seem to hang lower down, but they're not oppressive. You just see them rolling off the hills down toward the ocean with a wall of water chasing close behind. You can watch it come and go in an hour and wait it out with a cup of coffee in a shop.

But today is different. It started this morning and it hasn't stopped. It actually makes me feel like I'm home- this is such New England weather.

I'm ok with being here. Its not what I expected, but then I tried hard not to have expectations. I think it makes a difference coming at the start of winter. Oz is all sunshine and beaches and coming in May is like going to Florida in February- you'll be disappointed no matter what. I think, in the end, its a blessing in disguise. Coming now has afforded me the opportunity to look past the palm trees and sea breezes and see the people all around me. On the bus, on the train, in church I get to get a sense of the attitude that makes this country such a lovely place to live.

The view from where I sit seems rather grey. The rain has rotted the bark on the paper trees and the lorries have hidden their beautiful colours. But the people around me more than make up for the dreary landscape.

20 May 2010

The Park

I’ve already done quite a lot since moving to Sydney and I’ll fill you on some of that stuff later. But first let me tell you a story.

OK, its not really a story, its just what I did today. I took the younger boy (Oscar) down to Centennial Park. He has this little tricycle that he straps into and I can push it with a handle. It’s like a pram but way better. Because then I don’t have to push around a freaking pram. Anyway, the park is gorgeous. Its huge, probably a couple of square miles and it was built at the turn of the century when Oz was only 100 years old. It’s still strange to me that I have lived in houses older than this country… I’m just saying.

So, I pushed Oscar around on his little trike. And he likes to point at things and shout “Ga!” because he can’t really talk. And I say “Yeah, bus.” Or “Oh, a bird.” It’s all very stimulating. We walked down to this little cafĂ© for a coffee then went over to feed the ducks at the duck pond.

Now, when I say “ducks”, I don’t mean any aquatic foul you and I have ever seen in the states. There are huge black swans as high as my chest when they stretch out their necks and even bigger pelicans. Yes, pelicans. Like in Finding Nemo. And these little cranes with these long sickle-like beaks that look like they want to take my eyes out. And there are these funny little black birds with some weird red crest on their forehead. Anyway, there are a lot of them and they are kind of aggressive so you have to be very strategic when you feed them.

Obviously I have to hold Oscar because he will run into the lake if I let him, no question. Then I have to keep him supplied with bread to throw and I have to throw bread fast enough to keep the grabby birds away. Then when we’re out of food I have to strap Oscar into his bike and get out of there before the swans surround us. They’re like ninjas. Today there was a black swan standing right next to us as I was strapping Oscar in and the kid kept reaching out to touch him. And he could, if I’d let him, the thing was that close. But I believe in returning children to their parents unscarred. Both physically and metaphorically.

Needless to say, its and adventure.

One other thing- there is this tree here called a paper bark tree. It’s got this massive trunk that splits into all these massive branches. And its got this bark that looks like an onion peeling. I love them; I think they are really beautiful. There is a grove of them in the park and when I stand on the edge of it, that’s where I know that I am someplace I’ve never been before. It looks so completely foreign. I couldn’t have dreamed these trees… and I don’t need to. They are there, in my waking, reminding me of how far I’ve come.

19 May 2010

An Introduction

I’m sure some of you are thinking “Hey, what ever happened to that Lydia chick? Did she move to Yemen or something?” Well, close but, no. Australia actually. And this web log (or “blog” for all those crazy kids out there) will serve to keep you updated on all my southern hemispherical adventures. I promise, Yana. Or at least, I’ll really try. I’ll also post pictures and videos and all that good stuff. Hopefully.