“SHORRRRRNA! SHORNA! Is that you?”
“Yes it’s me!”
“My GAWD, I can hear you so well! Can you believe this LINE? It’s so clear!”
My aunt is awed by the miracle of international telephony. I think she still believes there are ladies with headsets and twinsets plugging away at switchboards.
“And you still sound the same! I thought you’d have gone all Scottish by now! But you’re still just fair dinkum Aussie.”
“So you’re coming home. Nothing’s changed since you left. Except everything’s more expensive.”
“It is? I was looking forward to everything being cheaper!”
“Well I bought some lamb cutlets the other day and they were $2 each. TWO. DOLLARS. EACH! Two dollars for a scrawny bit of meat.”
“And half of it’s just bone and fat, really.”
“Exactly! You’re almost better off buying a bloody lobster than beef these days, I tell you.”
So we leave for Australia NEXT WEEK. I love being able to say that. I keep interrupting conversations to say, “Australia! Next week!”. Gareth keeps joking that I’ll refuse to get back on the plane at the end of the trip, but I can’t help wonder what I’ll make of it all.
I’ve never felt particularly homesick over the past 2.5 years. Emails and phone calls make it seem like your loved ones aren’t that far away. I’ve become so absorbed in Scotland that I sometimes forget that I’m not from here. Last week I caught my old bus, the 22, and as always it was full of Aussies off to work in the call centres. It was the same old conversations – drunken nights, rent worries, travelling on the cheap, the shitty so-called summer. I found myself irritated by their broad and booming accents, and silently muttering, “Well if you think it’s so crap, why don’t ya GO BACK THEN!?”
Yet on the other hand, I’m glued to Neighbours and the cricket, grinning dopily at the sound of Aussie voices. I’ve being baking scones and lamingtons just to get in the mood. I got teary at my Body Pump class this morning when the Shoulder track was an AC/DC tune. I keep pouring over our intinerary, wriggling in my chair just thinking of all the places Gareth is going to see, all the cool friends he’s finally going to meet.
Yep, I’m officially homesick. Woohoo! Plus I’m really busting for a hamburger with the lot.