Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hey, hey Melbourne!

Melbourne to me

Its been about four days since I landed in Australia, Melbourne. Its been about four days since I found the kind of freedom I was yearning for, for almost a year now and its been about four days of not missing Nepal, to my surprise. But I would be lying if I say, I am absolutely loving it here and factually, I am far, far away from actually loving this country! I have been trying to underline a word or a string of words to make the idea of how possibly could I not really be embracing this idealistic world for plenty, but I just end up becoming a sort of an entertainment for people because they cannot wrap their minds around why I would find the country missing bits in all essences necessary. It is not really a comparison between my motherland and this new land. It is something else and because I am very confused myself with my very complex personal thoughts, I haven't been able to illustrate my mixed feelings about Melbourne, a place I am more than glad to call home and make a home. I guess I will leave understanding this to some other time in the future when I get to reflect on the first few days in Melbourne after a couple of years.

Tips on flying

I took a 11.30pm flight from Kathmandu on the 19th of January, after having just about the hardest time finding an available ticket and phone calls to all the airlines serving Kathmandu to Melbourne. It was three recharge cards worth Rs. 100 each just scratched, pin keyed in and gone in a flat 40 minutes or less. It was frustrating, it was a lot of number games and a lot of head scratching and then, finally giving in and purchasing a ticket that costed me a little more than a lakh for connecting airline Dragon Airs to Hong Kong to Cathay Pacific to Melbourne. To be honest, I would have rather bought myself a pair of diamond earrings with that money because I had the most terrible time. It had been five years since I last board a plane, and the first time I was flying a long flight. If you want my advice, I would say, fly in the morning or afternoon and try to land somewhere around night time from the place of departure but arrival doesn't matter as much as the beginning of getting used to the new pressure from higher altitudes and restricting seats. Those are what makes you the most uncomfortable you could be and I think its much easier when you are not fighting internal clocks urging you to sleep because its sleep time.  Trying to control the most stubborn of all things, the biological clock, on the plane is like trying to chase a bird over a hanging cliff. Unless, you are some business people, we have plenty of time to change our body clock once we are adjusted to the new country. And also trying to do anything productive such as reading a book, writing and working is just plain nuisance especially when you are highly charged on the questions of 'Why the hell are you doing this to yourself?' and 'Is this even worth it?' Till now, I am still having bouts of rocky feeling whenever I stand still, like as though I am on a moving ship of some sort. Initially, I thought it was jet lag and then I thought perhaps, because houses in Australia are not made of strong foundations of cement, maybe it was the house sway and then I was convinced it was jet lag again and now, I am starting to worry its something else.

I could have murdered

Without saying, I couldn't sleep on the midnight flight to Hong Kong even though I had a comfortable sleeping area; the Nepalese boys in front of me had me wanting to wrung their head and flush them out of the plane through the lavatories' toilet, all three together in separate toilet bowls throughout the plane. They were just showing off to each other about what they have in Nepal and what they have in Australia. Like come on already, just show your ass and go back to being modest. Everyone was just complaining about their voice levels, imagine me being directly behind them and actually being able to understand their conversation so in the lull of boredom, even I had my share of joy listening to them but when I was sleepy and cranky and feeling like flushing my own head out, I was this close to just cutting off the tips of their hair popping out of their seat with the plastic knife I got with my meal.

Nostalgia and confusions (probably due to zero eye shut)

And then, upon landing in Hong Kong, my cry-nerves were just having their party. I had actually forgotten how wonderful and clean and organized shopping is actually and it just punched me in my stomach of how much getting used to I had to face in Nepal before I grew to love the country and gotten used to the way of living there. And then it frightened me to the point of sickness that it wasn't even a few hours away from home and I was already comfortable with all the high-glam shops and cleanliness and their toilets even had a toilet seat cleaner right next to the toilet bowl, like just kill me already! But I didn't shop or even bothered to shop, all I wanted to do was sleep. I was not a happy kid. and I was just dreading a flight twice its flight time. I slept pretty well on the hard chairs of the waiting lounge in Hong Kong.

Immigration and checks

All went breezy. I was fearing a few delays and probing with the new label-free visa regulation but it went smoothly, even in Nepal, thank God. I don't think I would have been able to handle any more stress; I would have just preferred if they jailed me or deported me back to Nepal after cutting my passport in halves before my eyes even though I know there is absolutely nothing wrong I have done, I wouldn't have minded the punishment.

Hey, hey Melbourne!

After getting through Hong Kong's airport, I think it falls in the top five best airports around the world, Melbourne's one was just a 'hmmm'. I don't remember much of the journey, I remember popping into a few shops, just to get used to the entire circus of shopping paradise I was about to face. I was walking slowly. Everything was new but everything seemed less sparkling than Hong Kong's airport. Mostly, I couldn't believe this was home now and I guess a lot of me was just scared to get out of the exit to meet gentleman. This step finally meant we were going to be officially a couple who do things together instead of tell each of the things we did, in our own space. Were we ready for all that is in for us? Its sharing a house, living under each others' nose and just still staying in love. I was dragging my feet. I got too used to having a long distance relationship that even as I am staying over at my sister's place at present, and him at his home, it doesn't feel like the worst thing ever to be so near yet so far. Of course, when he can directly reach me on a cellphone to cellphone network without the functional use of a 3G network to Viber, my stomach feels like a jelly and I love the idea of having him just an hour or so drive away. It feels wonderful to know he is just a call away and he can appear in person if I need him to be but hey, I don't seem to need him as of yet because I am still partially struck in the long distance rhythm. And as I stepped out of the airport, I looked at the floor in front of me and obviously, they have either been under hiring cleaners or they lack dustbins or people are just ill-mannered. The floor was litter with plastic linings and such, not pretty especially for an International airport if you were to ask me.

So, on the first night, all I did was wake gentleman up every other minute and just beg for sleep to knock me out. I was exhausted and dehydrated and all I wanted was a good rest to kick start tomorrow. Because I was starting to get really restless tossing and turning, we went to the airport to shop (we stayed at a hotel a walking distance away) and then came back more exhausted than ever and slept about an good hour and a half before heavy buffet breakfast and after a power nap after breakfast. This is the kind of freedom I lusted for!  The entire day, I was still exhausted and dehydrated but we managed to sign a few official documents and went around the city, carrying gentleman's sleepy head on his shoulders. You have no clue how ridiculously excited I was to enter Ikea for their delicious hot dog, I wanted the welcoming door to open and say, 'Welcome to Ikea' when I passed through it. It didn't. I love Ikea for too many reasons.

And since like I said before that I am staying with my sister, yesterday, we went shopping for a few stuffs and shopping with her is the best thing because she is really brilliant at it - knows where the cheapest stuffs and the reasonable priced quality stuffs are, shopping with her is just much fun because she actually knows what is good deal and not which makes me feel like everything I bought was worth the purchase and wow, technology is so advanced these days that cashiers are not even necessary, I hate the entire idea of robbing people of their chance of making a living. Yes, yes talk to me about efficiency and money-savings and I will tell you how much you are stealing from human beings to pay these machines. There, see it, reason one why I don't really like this place (actually the first was, the airport's side walk was littered). But, its a toss of like-dislike. We bought a tub of yogurt as well as plenty of other stuffs I needed, but the highlight is we bought a tub of yogurt. Goodness graciousness, a tub of yogurt and it was creamy, it was light, it was speckled with peaches and mango and it was just spoonfuls of heaven. I am so glad for the grocery stores, I absolutely dig grocery shopping and the best part, I found find fresh herbs and even growing herbs everywhere. This just paradise city, if only everyone will quit asking 'How've you been?' in the thickest accent ever!

And today, we went to Ikea again to grab a few stuffs for our home. We are moving in to our home on Friday but all I got was thing I would need eventually and not things I need urgently. Of course, we didn't forget the hot dogs!

And that is that

Melbourne needs some getting used to. My family and friends are here, it shouldn't be all that tough. That is all for now, my eyes are shutting off.


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