I’ve been in China for seven months now, and I haven’t really felt too homesick.
I am sure that comes with having moved around too many times to count, and realising that wherever Kai and I are is our home (or, as my good friend Tar-Z says: “home is where the coffee machine is.”)
Plus, living in my Beijing is pretty easy, really. I am writing this in Jamaica Blue, an Australian owned coffee shop chain, and on their front counter is an Australian flag. I don’t have to listen too hard to hear an Australian accent, and because I’m here every morning, I am greeted by the other regular Aussies with lots of friendly g’days.
Strangely, the first time I felt homesick was when Bill Hunter died. Such a quintessential Aussie bloke, and one of my favourite actors to boot.
I didn’t give it much more thought, until this week, and that’s when I discovered that the Arts in Australia makes my chest puff up with national pride… and then, when it deflates, I am left with a feeling of homesickness.
It started with the season finale of Offspring, which brings me a little piece of Australia to my TV via iTunes every week. Then I watched Animal Kingdom, which is a fantastic movie, but is full to the brim with thick Aussie accents and bearded men – oh no wait, I have one of those right here with me! Most people watching it would be transfixed by the powerfully startling opening. Not me… I was distracted by Andrew O’Keefe on a TV set in the background, taunting his contestant with the possibility of what could happen if she doesn’t take the deal or, conversely, what would happen if she does. And, during one scene all I could focus on was the Harvey Norman jingle blaring in the background, which, when I’m in Australia is nothing short of irritating. These Australian nuances which are familiar and comfortable suddenly made me feel like a million miles away.
And then there was this…
I’m a Nick Cave fan from way back, and when you get a line-up of the best Aussie artists to cover this amazing song for the promotion of one of the most iconic Aussie landmarks in a city that has the most glorious harbour and heavenly blue skies…
… well, it makes me a little bit homesick.