Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Making the most of each place

Over the last eight years I have found myself exploring diverse aspects of four continents. I've been from Adelaide (2003) to Nimbin (2009) in Australia (read: a very slow, quiet major city to a small village thriving off tourism based on its creative residents who produce high qualities of innovative artistic products and host a festival dedicated to marijuana each year), from Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, Vietnam to Kamakura, Japan (a motorcycle-congested, unbelievably polluted, Communist commercial capital to a beautiful small town known for its Zen garden and religious statues, beautiful nature and peaceful demeanour by the sea), from Los Angeles, California to Buffalo, New York (read: one of the most south-westerly points on the West Coast to one of the most north-easterly ones just off the East Coast), and Santorini to Copenhagen (will fill in the comparison later).

These last eight months, especially, have catapulted me back and forth between Asia, Europe and Australia in ways which - yes - both irritate and soothe. It's no secret that I don't like living in Sydney, but I do appreciate the hard copies of books I have here, my laptop, and my CD collection. Even more than that, a place I don't have to move out of in less than two weeks, not because I enjoy the recurring sameness of this apartment but because it can be irritating to pack up and leave just as you're starting to figure out the hidden potential for comfort a room can provide, and the way you manage your pleasure levels by going in and out of it.

In writing the last paragraph I realised that I should do what Rolf Potts is doing and get Kindle, so I can download books to my smartphone (I was planning to get rid of mine), get rid of my laptop and manage everything through my phone (maybe with an attachable keyboard, as Rolf has - although he has a iPhone, whereas my Blackberry makes it easier to type on the device itself (or does it?), and store all the music I have on my computer on another kind of portable device, like an iPod or smartphone.

The fact that I'm afraid of losing these, and, in so doing, my livelihood, makes me wonder if I've thought this whole thing through... but how else am I going to spend my entire life (or as much of it as possible) on the road?

At any rate, I'm in Sydney for the next one and a half months (maybe even two or three, goddamn it), and I want to take advantage of it by savouring my soft, soft bed, a fridge stocked full of food (is Thailand starting to spoil me for any location that doesn't thrive on street food?), the buzz of the most innovative suburbs (hello Darlinghurst, Newtown, Surry Hills and Paddington), the well-meaning but distracted and somewhat soulless company of my parents, which nevertheless tells me I am cared about (will they ever evolve to higher emotional IQ?), and the general friendliness of the populace.

Making the most of Sydney is a lot easier when you know you're not rooted to it. When you know you have the power to leave reasonably soon after you've landed.

And now, dear reader, I'm heading to Oxford St to celebrate the first day of Spring! Hope you're feeling similarly optimistic.

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