Saturday, November 13, 2010

a whiny cat at the window

Twice this week I've said "I'm a bit of a city girl now". I moved to Melbourne almost three years ago to study. This week I've been visiting my mum in the country and have been feeling some weird feelings about "where I live" in relation to "who I am". I think it's a true statement in terms of my actions but inside me I'm really unsure.

In first year I lived in a tiny shoebox flat. It was in a student housing complex mostly accommodated by asian international students, who seldom spoke to me when I was in the lift and who I often heard screaming at alarming times of the morning. I've blocked most of that year out of my memory, but my one point of salvation that year was going for walks to the Carlton Gardens and writing in the park behind the Melbourne Museum. It was particularly delicious in the autumn when leaves swamped the grass with their crunchiness. During this time I noticed how much tubbier city possums were.

Second year I moved in with my high school bestie into our own little flat. We were so excited and proud of our little pad, but throughout the year I think we realised we couldn't ignore how different we are. We had some fun times though, exploring that suburb and getting to know Melbourne a bit more together. We would play dressups then go to do the weekly shop. I don't think you really understand the city until you get to know the suburbs a bit. I learnt that Hawthorn smells like jasmine and the importance of express trains.

My last move was for convenience. I stayed on my sister's loungeroom floor for a month or so until she moved out of her room which I promptly took. I am living there now but I really dislike it (anyone who reads my twitter would probably be aware of this). I'm still in Hawthorn, less east, and I am realising how much I do like the suburb. It doesn't matter that nothing happens there at night. When I go running I peer into the big beautiful mansions and wonder to myself how many families live there (probably one) and whether I could knock on the door and say that I'm their long lost cousin like I read in one of those creepy stories as a child.

Preparing to write this post really made me think about my experiences in the different places I've lived in. I don't have anything dramatic or overly philosophical to say about moving from the country to the city, only that it feels like I am a different person when I leave each place. When I was walking down the street this week I passed a girl I went to high school with and I thought about people for whom leaving town was never an option. Or maybe they left town but they came back. The things I like about the country aren't actually the people, it's the space, the quiet, the fact that it's where my family and my cat are. I barely leave the house when I go back to visit!

I'm currently facing another move which is really going to stress me out. I want to live in a little sharehouse with some friendly strangers, I've decided. It's just a daunting process. But exciting. Very exciting. I hope to find a place with a backyard as I feel this may solve all my problems. Speaking of problems, as per the subject title, I've got a cat to attend to.

My cartoon for the weekly topic is Babar. This episode was on telly the other day and I watched the entire thing. The little elephants are so cute!

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