Home and sickness

Homesickness. How to describe.

Perhaps it started with two beautiful friends visiting from Oz and laughing too much in the kitchen. Freddo frogs and Caramello koalas lived happily together in the freezer. The liquorice lived happily in my stomach.  

Maybe this homesick feeling fermented a little on Atauro Island where we rubbed white sunscreen onto each others’ brown and red skins and threw back rum in a bamboo gazebo, making outraged noises over Pictionary.

It probably crystallized when the outrigger engine was cut and we bobbed along with the Pilot Whales chattering all around us. It probably spread when we jumped into the water with our masks on, saw those gliding mammals in the bottomless ocean only a meter or two away, staring at us with the same startled curiosity. Surfacing with saucer eyes, exclaiming, panicking about the deep and feeling the electricity of this interaction set the water on fire.

It was made worse by looking at winter coats on the internet yesterday. A thought-spear of Hyde Park in the early morning, everyone’s hands shoved in their pockets. Oxford street on a Monday morning, the wind in the back lanes of Surry Hills.

Not all pensive thought and nostalgic pangs though. I learnt a few things by having myself reflected back on me by said friends. They are:

1. We have acclimatized to the heat

2. I can drive in Dili, la problema

3. I can actually say more than hello how are you where is the toilet in Tetun

4. When you can say more than hello how are you where is the toilet in Tetun, people think you can ask anything e.g. do you see pilot whales this often at this time of year and do they eat humans?….Wait I CAN say that in Tetun!

5. You can be in two cities, or even three, in your heart and your head at any given time.

Home came to us with our two friends visiting. Thank you, and sorry about the Dengue. x


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