Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Escaping the sinking ship

I've been in Melbourne six months now, and was commenting just the other day to a very recent escapee of Brisbane how much I did not miss the tropical city. It's true - I'm absolutely head over heals in lust with this new place, which has always been my spiritual home. It's captivated my every day and I've discovered a new energy within me which seemed to flicker just slightly in the last couple of years in Brisbane.

I rarely felt at home in Brisbane, even though it - specifically the Albion Love Den - provided me with more of a stable home that I'd ever experienced in my lifetime. There was always something a little daggy about BrisVegas which never really allowed me to adopt it as an identified 'home city' (the term BrisVegas and it's ironic connotations give an insight into that quintessential 'daginess'). No matter, Brisbane was just as much a city of internal refugees early on in my time there - thanks to the catchment of the state's two major universities - and then later on as my maturing friends extended to interstate and international migrants in search of a better and cheaper lifestyle.

And so went the conversation on Friday night (before the cocktails and scotches took hold), as I enthused to Jinna about the life on offer here compared to there. I had felt no pangs of regret at moving, there were no second guesses about if it was the right choice, and there was certainly not a drop of any sort of homesickness. Until yesterday.

There's nothing like nature coming and parking its bus on your doorstep to make a community come together, and watching the shit storm in the past couple of days has me longing for the place. Sure, seeing the old haunts in danger is concerning, but seeing the spirit of the place has hit home what it was I left behind. Agreed, the place is as boring as bat-shit sometimes, and those fkn poisonous dog-days during summer are enough to make a man spend an afternoon setting up a kiddies wading pool in a baking concrete courtyard just for a few moments of sweet cool relief (only to have it get torn apart from a stray fkn fox terrier). Anyway, I guess what I'm missing is the "we're all in this together" mentality which is shining through beautifully right now. Oh, and the absolute ease in which life's rich tapestry is approached and absorbed, perfectly encapsulated by a mate's pic:



Yeah, I miss it.

7 comments:

Dina said...

Hi!

My husband and I felt somewhat the same way after 9/11. We had moved away from New York about a year before. Seeing the tragedy made us miss it even more. I was glad to be safe, and away. But I also felt some amount of regret for not being there.

And yeah. I agree with you. Tragedy can really bring out the beautiful in people.

Dr Yobbo said...

I really just want to be there to help. It's such a feeling of fucking uselessness watching on, and yet I Can't. Look. Away.

Albion Love Den said...

Yeah Dina and Doc - the impotence in these situations is maddening. There was a vague call-out for both skilled and unskilled volunteers to help out in the next few weeks. Seriously considering heading up there for a couple of weeks to work during the day, help out in the arvo.

Simone said...

me too!

'Angelprovocateur' said...

Exactly Ben, well put. Many people have commented about my luck in missing the floods in the last few days. But I don't feel lucky. I feel like my hometown has been devastated! And I've missed out on being a part of them because I literally moved out for 10 days. Like you, I have never really fitted into Brisbane yet there is no denying, I've done all my growing up there. Identification is such a complicated thing ... I have also thought about going back next week to help...

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for them to pull down the Love Den so I can acquire some of it and send it to you. <3 G & J

IDENTITY CRISIS said...

Almost put me to my knees the floods... I guess Aqua linea was sooo lucky that it did not get flooded all the way through unlike some of my neighbours. I have used up all my savings to keep the restaurant afloat and just this month the restaurant FINALLY paid off all the damage the floods has created. True , it was a sad time but then everyone helped each other the best they can and any way we can. I was a Melbourne boy for 18 years and have been living in Brisvegas for the last 8 years and last year during this crisis I believe I finally became a proud Brisbane boy.....

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