It’s just over 18mths since I left the city, moving to Hervey Bay – population… about 65,000.
My old life in Brisbane involved daily commutes into the city where I was just one misfit in a sea of suits, briefcases, backpacks and heels. I’ve written before about a very visceral reaction I had when reminded of my old life a year or so ago. Seeing someone dressed for ‘work’ with their briefcase awaiting a bus almost made me feel ill.
I had the same reaction yesterday. Sort of.
As it happened, I was surprised to discover my old life seemed both: so recent I could taste it; but at the same time, almost completely foreign.
I flew into Sydney yesterday afternoon. Not quite the culture shock you’d get coming from a tiny regional town to the city, but enough to result in this post (and the shelving of my planned post).
Flying into Sydney over the harbour was a bit surreal. I live opposite the ocean. Less than 100m from the sea. I look at the vast blue water daily. Hourly or more when I’m home. So it was strange to see the water off Sydney littered (though not in a bad way!) by large container ships. A reminder that I wasn’t in
Kansas Hervey Bay with its fishing kayakers and runabout ‘tinnies’ anymore.
I walked slowly through the airport terminal – trying to again become familiar with wearing shoes (Doc Martens in this case) given that I usually live in rubber thongs (which I can also wear to work as we rarely have visitors – plus we’re a web development company. Anyone popping-in should be grateful we’re wearing shoes!).
I was immediately struck by the swarm of business-travelling suit-wearers. And beautiful people. Three stunning young women (beautifully made-up) strolled past on pinpoint stilettos. Hmph! “Models,” I thought. Not something you see in Hervey Bay.
After arriving at the hotel I popped out on a vanilla diet coke mission. Although not in the inner city, the streets were buzzing with peeps meeting in cafés: handsome men and well dressed women looking tired but confident, and all still with a few hours left in their working day.
And then there were a few lucky ones (who may have been early starters!) leaving the office with their backpacks over their shoulder – starting on the long trek home, or perhaps heading to the gym.
Like I said, it was strange – so familiar and yet… so foreign. How can that be, I wonder?
Have you ever returned to a previous life or looked back on old experiences?
Do you (too) wish you could wear thongs to work? (The shoes, not the knickers!)