Menory Lane; OZcommodations - First Place

For the first six months of my new life in Australia, the commute from the parents' house in the Western suburb of Baulkham Hills all the way to Turella, where the NCR store was situated, started to wear thin. Initially, the glamour of new sights, sounds and 'speriences  was exciting. Two hours there and two hours back (on good days... delays or missed bus connections could mean anything up to three hours each way) soon lost its gloss. More than once I dozed off on the homeward bound train, only to land up at the end of the line...

The parents, who had been renting till this time, as it was not certain they would be staying in NSW, now had it confirmed that they would be. Father was now required to do much less field work and became very much part of the corporate, head office, structure.  They bought a house in Turramurra, one of Sydney's upper North shore suburbs. Leafy and  lush, considered 'posh', though in fact their place was quite modest.

It did have room for the newly emigrated elder daughter though. I was made to feel welcome as I continued to establish myself. The commute was now Southwards and somewhat less time consuming.

Things were going along nicely enough and there came a time when it felt right to move out and begin to make life fully independent again. Whilst the contract at NCR had ended rather abruptly, I had been able to obtain more short-term data management in logistics positions on a fairly steady flow (one company kept renewing my 'temp' position which was nice). Income, then, was fairly stable. Renting in Sydney is, much like any major city in the world, not cheap. However, I was able to secure a unit (the Aussieism for 'flat' (UK) or 'apartment' (US)) in Pymble, also North Shore, for a reasonable sum. It was cheaper than the average because it was right on the Pacific Highway -THE road out of the city - and just a block away from a major intersection, such that traffic was a very big issue.  Certainly the trucks air braking down the hill to the junction in the middle of the night was a bit of a wakerer-upperer... but there was so  much which was good about that unit, I made up my mind to accept it.

NOT my unit. This is a cut from a real estate site... see that thin ridge,
dead centre on the horizon. That be mountains... yup, that was my view!
In a block of five (one flat below, one beside and two above mine), and built on a steep slope down from the highway, it had two bedrooms, a lounge-diner and cabin kitchen, plus small bathroom and utilities space.  Best of all though, was that it had an ENORMOUS terrace balcony, nearly as big again as the lounge area - which was big. What could be better? Well, this...  It faced West, and had uninterrupted views all the way to the Blue Mountains - some 60kms away!!!

It wasn't long before I had set up a pot and planter style 'garden', including some edible plants. It was also not long before the contracts dried up. Having taken on a commitment of a year of renting, this was troublesome. I took lesser temp work in order to keep the bills steady... then I saw the ad for Playbill. There began my first 'permanent' (ie non-contract) position in OZ.  It was also one of the most stressful eighteen months ever.... that's another post...

sourced from Googlemaps. Yellow arrow = unit 2.
The Wellington Court unit was a simple and pleasing space. During my two years there, I processed the deconstruction which necessarily comes when one moves overseas and began the reconstruction. It is not at all that one changed personality or practiced wearing masks or any such thing. It was more that now I could truly allow the spiritual side to come forward and integrate properly. It had to find its place in daily life and also an appropriate expression. There was also the 'real me' which could finally express. No more the wall-flower, the "suppress your personality please" or the "you'll end up an eccentric old spinster" comments... that the latter is becoming true is now something I embrace and smile at wryly!

Aussies are straight players and, whilst I still had to adjust to this, I also loved it, for that is my own essential nature. What you see/hear/read/ is what you get. It is not that I am unappreciative of diplomacy and sensitivity, in the right time and place; in general daily living though, keep things simple and to the point. Don't beat around the bush. If you want something, ask. Don't make assumptions. Don't take liberties. Most of all, look me in the eye.

I began to flourish. At thirty years of age, when leaving Scotland, many mistook me for a teenager still. It didn't matter that I knew exactly my own mind; until I made that move to OZ, it had to be kept under wraps.

The parents were incredible. As they watched this emergence, mother moved from carer to friend and a fresh and even stronger bond was formed; father, as ever, just watched and winked, dropping in the odd word of clear wisdom when it was required. Towards the end of my two years at Pymble, my application was finally approved for citizenship. It had been a long and intense wait, for at any time the authorities might have asked me to up sticks and 'go back, don't stop, don't collect....'

I was, at last, an Aussie.


14 comments:

  1. I have only visited Sydney a few times being an Adelaide girl which is an entirely different vibe than what Sydney has.

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    1. Hari Om
      If you read the WBL-1st OZ trip label, you will know that Adelaide played a large part in my original contact with OZ.... it does indeed have a diff vibe and actually i really like it... I would call it my 'second' city (see response to Merle...) Yxx

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  2. What an exciting time! It is always wonderful to read about a great relationship between a young adult and their parents. I am glad all went well for you becoming an Aussie.

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  3. I have anticipated return to Yam history for a long time; it's a fascinating read for old armchair travelers.

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  4. This interesting account of your adjustment to life in Australia and how you became increasingly comfortable about expressing your own personality, reminded me how much, at a fairly deep level, I gained in inner confidence during my two years (at much the same age and stage in life, I think) in Oklahoma.
    Cheers, Gail.

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    1. Hari Om
      There is something to be said for stepping outside of one's box.. heh na?

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  5. What a wonderful journey you had and I'm so glad your parents were part of it. My husband travels to Australia a fair amount in his job as an engineer as his company has a large manufacturing facility there and when some equipment he has designed doesn't work (usually because someone decided to "improve" it) he gets called to sort it out. I've seen so many beautiful photos. You are lucky to have made the trip.

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    1. Hari OM
      The 'trip' was emigration... 25 years... I continue to call myself an aussie...

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  6. I'm a Sydney girl born and bred, visited many other places but never want to leave my Sydney for long, glad you enjoyed my city but traffic is hell on earth now in the city and many of the suburbs.
    Merle................
    .

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    1. Hari OM
      Oh yes, and I definitely refer to Sydney as 'home'! I did actually ponder on Adelaide... but in the end it was work which determined... The traffic has increased all over the world... YAM xx

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  7. It's great to read about your adventures... I can only imagine what a great view you had from that terrace...
    easy rider

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  8. You have had such a life with so many travels! I have always wanted to visit Sydney and/or Australia in general. Looking forward to reading more of your journeys

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  9. Yes, I love reading your adventures. I simply don't have as adventurous a spirit. We are kindred spirits to some extent: "What you see/hear/read/ is what you get. "
    Wonderful post. I admire your spirit.

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