I’m flying back to Broome after a short trip to Perth, less than two weeks, to spend time on campus. As an external student I’m required to spend 13 weeks on campus over the 3 year degree. This time I stayed with my uncle and then with a good friend. Both homes were close to city and each day I caught the bus to Uni.
Perth city rises like a jewel in the sky, especially in the pink twilight as the Swan River sparkles calmly and Kings Park serenely envelops the traffic within its leafy gaze. I felt safe and comfortable, each night returning to a warm home of cooked dinners and time with friends and family. The city tempted me with her shiny wares and I happily relented, as the meagre savings I had accumulated were transformed into upgraded mobile phone and new tablet that I promised myself were justified.
And soon my home and my life seemed very far away. My life was a fuzzy apparition, like a dream. In Perth I felt like I was at home and I was very comfortable. My life in the sub-tropics seemed almost unreal. I conjured up images of my boyfriend, my house and garden, the beach, but they all seemed very distant.
How did my life fade so quickly? Was it because I was surrounded by loved ones? Yes at least in part. Maybe I was enjoying the cool change. Perth is a very beautiful city and its clean, crisp colours are very welcoming. Perhaps, it was the familiar feeling of comfort from all of these things that was catching me most of all.
Back home life is uncertain and unfamiliar. The rules of life are different. There are no shops. The climate is relentlessly warm. My friends are new, my house is temporary, my future is uncertain. This foray into the city threw me into an alternative possible life that was very enjoyable and very comfortable.
As I sat on the plane returning home, I wondered how bureaucrats living in cities in southern parts of Australia could hope to formulate policies and programs for northern Australia. The two are like entirely different countries, different in so many respects.
Back in the heat of the Kimberley, I got picked up from the airport and headed off for a night of camping under the stars with friends. Back to shorts and a t-shirt, and a simpler, more relaxed (and realistic?) pace.