Half-way thoughts

Òran Mór

Here I am, about exactly half-way through my trip, in the function room at Òran Mór, looking at the Alasdair Gray murals and feeling very happy. While I was overseas, I missed my daughters, I missed my girlfriend, I missed my family and friends and workmates, but I didn’t miss being in Australia at all. Something was absent from my consciousness while I was in the UK and Ireland, and it took me a little while to figure out what it was, as when a wind drops or a machine stops running in the next room and you’re aware that something has changed before you’re aware of what it is that has changed.

What I was missing was a sort of inward sneer, a background hum of cynicism which had become so familiar to me that I’d stopped being aware of it. Is it me? Is it Australia? (Or just Sydney? It could be a side effect of me discovering that public transport is actually a solved problem, not an arcane lost art of the ancients.) Is it the interaction between the two?

J blamed John Howard, but I don’t think he deserves the rap for this one. I’ve been a pretty cynical person, slightly above the average in a nation of cynics, for most of my life; less so in the last ten years, as I’ve been actively fighting against it, but, still, it probably is me. Did I just really, really need a holiday?

I’ve been trying, with some success, so far, to stop it coming back.


One response to “Half-way thoughts

  1. “Is it me? Is it Australia?”

    Pretty sure it’s the overseas travel. Familiarity breeds contempt … novelty disables contempt. I always regain my sense of wonder (excuse the cliché) when I’m travelling. From day to day it’s buried very, very deep.

    That said, I was discussing France with one of the builders working on my house the other day and he said what I thought were some horrible, bigoted and cynical things about his visit there, so perhaps travel affects different people in different ways.

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