Thursday, April 20, 2006

Open Floor

It's been nearly a week since my last post, sue me. Actually, don't. Between my final paycheck at current job and first paycheck at new job I'm going to be poorer than Suri (by which I mean figuratively, not literally, ie "that poor, poor sod").

Coz I'm too damn lazy to come up with a proper post, here are some random musings. And then you kids can play along at home by replying in the comments.

Dutifully went back to Adelaide over Easter with the new man to do (possibly future) in-law introductions. All went well. I always enjoy going back there. Even though I have no desire to want to return there permanently anytime soon, the odd visit every now and then is something I actually look forward to.

Many don't. There are so many Adelaide ex-pats flung to all corners of the nation and globe, many more than just those who'll actually admit to it. I have quite a few friends who seem to hate their home small city/big country town with a chill icier than Marcia Cross' forehead. Personally, I don't know what it's done to warrant such strong emotion.

Then I got to thinking of association issews. If you've grown up in a pretty shitty family environment, as quite a few of my ex-Adel friends have, I guess it would be difficult to enjoy going back there to visit family members. It would be even more difficult to enjoy the city on its own individual merits.

The thing is, Adelaide is not Sydney, Melbourne or even Brisbane. And I don't think it's ever tried to be. It has its own, "small" thing happening. Comes alive during some great festivals, has shitloads of fantastic restaurants and wineries, and you can get to spectacular beaches, mountains or parks all within half an hour of the CBD. Otherwise, it's a pretty quiet, unassuming place. It's sad to see its population ageing without growing, but perhaps this could be turned around with some pro-migrant policies and better governmental economic management that stimulates labour growth. Or something.

So maybe the problem isn't the city itself, it's what it represents to certain people. One friend of the man's who we ran into at Sydney Airport following the return flight looked ready to go postal, he'd had such a horrendous time there. Again, I thought: Adelaide, on its own, is way too inoffensive to generate such raw emotions just by itself. And sure enough, the man told me later his friend has family/parenal issews. Bingo.

I reckon it's also symptomatic of people, particularly younger people's, restlessness. Often, no matter where we live, we wish we were living somewhere "bigger", more exciting, more vibrant, yadda yadda. If you grow up in Adelaide, you want to move to Sydney or Melbourne. If you grew up in Sydney or Melbourne, you're likely planning to relocate to London. If you're in London, well, you probably whinge a lot about the crappy weather and the ridiculously expensive cost of living. See the problem? Grass is always greener except it's not, etc.

So I guess I want to hear from the relocaters and the happy nesters who read QP. Do you look forward to or dread the home trips? Do you regret any moves you've made? What kept you in the same city you grew up in? And so forth.

Talk amongst yourselves.


At 20/4/06 10:19 pm, Blogger M-H said...

I came over from NZ in 1998 'cos I met this woman on the internet. :) I always feel really conflicted when I go back - love to see my daughter, son-in-law and kids but hate hate hate Palmerston North where they live (and where I used to live - they moved there last year.) I used to be the chair of the G&L organisation there, and it was all so small and incestuous and really really unimportant in the end. And I always seem to see people I'd rather avoid and have to play catchup with them. But when I come home I get homesick. How weird.

At 21/4/06 11:22 am, Anonymous BaznBazza ( Crows Cuties) said...

Having grown up in london, I always love going back to family and friends. There again London is not your little Bush town, as Adelaide is not.
Having no choice due to the then UK immigration laws, my spunky Aussie bloke and I settled in Adelaide. Culture shock? you bet, like " Where the hell are we!". A few years on and I love it, not because it is a wild, bustling metropolis, but because it is a calm,hospitable and comfortable place to live. We have made great friends and enjoy living in a street full of beautiful and sociable neighbours.
Yes my home town of London is a great place and still miss it, although where you lay your head is home.

( Hope Jane Lomax-Smith reads this, she owes us after the state election)

At 21/4/06 4:19 pm, Blogger mscynic said...

I've lived in Adelaide most of my life but I've also lived in Sydney, Cairns and Tokyo.

I like Adelaide and I despise people who return and spend all their time whingeing about how much they hate it. Don't fucking come here, then.

After being away for a while, I really like flying in and catching my first glimpse of the tiny little city skyline out of the plane window. It's comforting.

I like Sydney because it's on water but the people are so pretentious. I love Melbourne and it's where I will settle once I've finished studying. Melbourne is the nice intermediate between Adel and Sydney.

But the nice thing about Adelaide is that I'm always safe. I can't go anywhere without knowing someone and, as a woman, that's actually reassuring. Someone's always got my back.

All my friends are scattered around Australia (and the globe) but often come home to visit.

We had a funeral recently for which friends (ex-pats)flew in from all around the world. I recount for you a funny conversation from the funeral.

Me: I heard you had a big one last night?

London friend: Oh my God. I just flew in last night. And today, every body knows what I've been up to already.

Me: You're back in Adelaide now, remember?

Sydney friend: That's the difference between Sydney and Adelaide. In Adelaide, everyone talks about everyone else. In Sydney, everyone just talks about themselves.


At 21/4/06 4:21 pm, Blogger mscynic said...

That link should actually be for this.

At 21/4/06 4:41 pm, Blogger Sam said...

It's true MsC, they (we?) are a pretty self-absorbed bunch here. But I've often found that, being such a transitory city, you can make friends with so many non-Sydney born Sydneysiders, and sit back and giggle at the true locals as they slowly disappear up their own arses.

Well, this keeps me amused anyways.

At 21/4/06 5:21 pm, Blogger mscynic said...

Everytime I'm in Sydney (quite often, you should meet me for a drink next time), 90% of my time is spent with ex-pats, who spend all their time with ex-pats.

Knowing how small Adelaide is, it's quite likely we share mutual friends (or that, we have in fact, already met in "real" life).

Here is a(nother) good story: there is a massive apartment on the very tip of the point at North Bondi. It has a balcony which looks out over the whole bay. It is owned by an ex-pat doctor who now lives in London.

He rents it out and hasn't raised the rent in something like 15 yrs.

His only conditions are:

a) That it is only rented to Adelaide people.

b) That it is only passed on from Adelaide people to their (Adelaidian) friends.

Thus, you have to be in the know to snarf it.

My friends live there currently and it's ridiculously cheap.

I think this Doctor chap is a "swell" guy, don't you?

Must be ridiculously rich (or ridiculously stupid) to concoct such a plan.

At 22/4/06 6:07 am, Blogger Rye said...

The trip is always strange. I too come from a town not unlike Adelaide. Well, according to my hubbie who is from a place called Renmark near that bustling metroplois of Adelaide

At 22/4/06 6:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many gay boys from the country have had a similar experience to me when it comes to bigger and better places.

I grew up on the North Coast of NSW in a small and pretty well unexciting placed named Kempsey. Despite everyone whinging for all of highschool they were leaving I was happy to stay there until the time came..which was the end of year 12.

I was moving to Armidale. I was so excited. Having come out just before leaving Kempsey it seemed a grand thing that this new metropolis awaited where hundred of attractive men would be (unlike Kempsey, where there were 2 gays I knew of, both in their 40s)...

Anyway suffice to say that wasn't the Armidale experience... 4 years on I was feeling like I was growing out of the place and a move was in order. Having not graduated from uni yet I said bugger it, went external and moved to Canberra.

Obviously the next biggest/best place to Armidale. Funny though, the gay boy psyche still caught up with me and not long after being here I came to the realisation that actually there's not a plethora of attractive men lining up for me...

That said I'm not keen to move to Sydney or Melbourne. They don't sit well with me and a week after arriving I feel its time to leave again.

These days after living in several fairly unexciting but still pleasant places I'm a proponent of the notion that you just need to make the most of where you are and enjoy it

...and have the occasional weekend trip to some other big smoke.

At 22/4/06 7:16 pm, Blogger mscynic said...

"I'm the only gay in the village."

Sorry, anon. It just had to be said.

At 23/4/06 12:38 am, Blogger Wamut said...

shorely i win. i live in a remote Aboriginal community, pop. 1000, where the roads get cut off for months at a time by the wet season (still cut off now). I grew up in brisbane, a far cry from where I am now.

but it's true, where you live is what you make of it. I have a surprisingly decent sex life (when I can get into the nearest town) and while I give up a lot by being here, I gain a lot too e.g. being part of a small community and actually *having* a sense of community is a pretty neat thing. here i feel like i can actually be of use to someone instead being a pleb lost in a sea of other 20-something fags who are all doing the same thing.

that being said, yes, a dose of the big smoke now and then is great. i never take things like westfields for granted - or even being able to go to a nice cafe. but after a couple of weeks of doing that, i'm happy to leave it behind again.

and i do like going back to brisbane. but i like different things about it now, rather than when i lived there. now i like the comfort of the suburbs and multiplex cinemas and rebel sport. before i used to like the latest flash bar and the record store that sold obscure cds.

At 24/4/06 9:32 am, Blogger Sam said...

Agreed MsC, said doctor is sweller than Tony Abbott's head (thought you'd appreciate a WoW reference there). I practically insist on an invitation next time you're staying there - there're lots of hot toddy gays in the North Bondi village!

Rye: given you're Canadian, it sounds like you're from somewhere like Edmonton? Renmark's a cute place. Can't imagine growing up in it would have been much fun though.

Thanks for your thoughts anon and me, I think they reaffirm my greener grass theory. As you both enjoy the odd trip to the big smoke, I find there's nothing better than getting away from it every now and then, and NSW is fantastic for mini-break locations.

At 25/4/06 2:42 pm, Anonymous swatschy said...

Be honest, now Sam. I grew up in a happy family in Adelaide and still have heaps of friends there but it still completely fucking sucks.

Except for Ying Chow. And the Grace Emily. And the huge number of hot straight girls who want to have sex with skinny lesbians.

You know that thing where you go back there and for one day it's like, kind of cool. Then it starts closing in...

If I didn't have a family-loving girlfriend I'd be on a strict Adelaide-Festival time visiting schedule only.

At 26/4/06 12:26 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Harsh, swatschy. I can't agree that it "completely fucking sucks."

A city that produces such fabulous people (like you and myself) can't be all bad :P

At 26/4/06 2:15 pm, Anonymous swatschy said...

yes, good point, and very diplomatic. Flattery always soothes the savage beast.

And I agree, actually. It doesn't "completely fucking suck". It's fine (and frequently mild). Which, in some ways, is much worse.

At 29/4/06 8:38 am, Anonymous Bill said...

We are a gay couple living in Adelaide and planning our escape. SA is a bad place for gays. It's the only state or territory that still discrminates against same-sex couples, just like the Howard government.

The recent election was a real worry. South Australians voted overwhelmingly for a Labor government, but what we got was a Labor/National Coalition. Rann's love affair with the Nats says much about where he stands politically. We have a right-wing Christian for Attorney General. In the upper house we have two Family First and someone with Festival of Light connections. Things are looking grim for gay people here.

At 29/4/06 8:43 am, Anonymous Bill said...

There will be more gay Adelaide ex-pats soon.

We are a gay couple living in Adelaide and planning our escape. SA is a bad place for gays. It's the only state or territory that still discrminates against same-sex couples, just like the Howard government.

The recent election was a real worry. South Australians voted overwhelmingly for a Labor government, but what we got was a Labor/National Coalition. Rann's love affair with the Nats says much about where he stands politically. We have a right-wing Christian for Attorney General. In the upper house we have two Family First and someone with Festival of Light connections. Things are looking grim for gay people here.


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