We’ve been back in Perth for 77 hours and my mind is already overwhelmed with Things To Do moving back in and getting ready to start work in a fortnight. Life in Toronto is already a memory, a yellow and blue Core Memory (if my mind inside was like the new Pixar film, Inside Out).
I slept on the spare single futon in my study last night, under a sleeping bag (which was surprisingly warm; it’s a few degrees above zero in Perth which means outside and inside it’s a few degrees above zero – our homes are built for summer and to lose heat). Out hot water system pilot light would not ignite all weekend and I’ve had to sponge-bath my armpits and crotch from water heated in the microwave. Thankfully the blasted thing lit this morning, as I lay prostrate on the freezing cement of our verandah, peering up through the hole. I turned the gas to HOT and saw a satisfying ring of blue flame ignite.
Our bicycles, after two years in storage, have flat tyres and look almost like the forgotten bikes that litter the streets of Toronto, except the wheels aren’t bent. I walked them up Guildford Road to the bike repair store (that used to be at the end of our street). I was worried that I looked like I’d stolen (my own bike) as I had my beanie (Canada Goose logo means nothing in Western Australia) and sneakers. But, cars were rushing past taking people to work (it’s Monday morning) and we live in a dodgy neighbourhood and nobody cares.
Our new fridge is humming in the kitchen as it keeps a 2L bottle of milk (only A$2! Finally affordable milk, probably at the expense of monopolised dairy farms but at least it wasn’t C$6) and 2 bottles of Verve icy cold. Or is it heats it up from the almost zero temperature outside? People think I’m lying when I say I feel much colder in Perth (above zero Centigrade) than I did in Toronto (minus twenty Centigrade) because the houses and clothes are different.
We need to replace our Driver’s Licenses and look at purchasing a new/old car. Dan’s sister has been so kind lending us her car over the weekend but we will need to get something soon. Unless the bike repair guy does a brilliant job and I just cycle everywhere.
Both of us have stupidly managed to pack our Australian credit cards (all except our 28 Degrees Mastercards) into our cubic metre shipping boxes – which won’t arrive until the end of August. On Friday we spent most of my card’s limit on purchase of a new refrigerator and bed frame and mattress (once you’ve slept for 2 years in a King Size bed your husband will never let you go back to anything smaller). The Fraud Department almost cancelled my card, calling all available contact numbers (my Mum’s house).
We caught up with family over the weekend: immediate family on Friday night (we were jet lagged and falling asleep), Dan’s cousins and grandmother on Saturday and some of my extended family and family friends yesterday, at Mum’s. I’ve finally met my nephew, who has now learned to walk and only wants cuddles from Mum. I don’t know when my sister grew breasts but they’re functional now. In my mind she’s still the size of her son, and I’m pushing her up the hallway on the carpet in an upturned copy paper box lid. Suddenly she’s almost 30, halfway through a PhD and is breastfeeding Mum’s first grandchild.
My cousin, Cody, yesterday at Mum’s declared that he’d give us 6 months: six months and you guys will be sore bored of Perth you’ll want to leave. I had been admiring the gum trees, the sounds of the Australian wildlife and Mum’s budgerigars, and Aunty Mim’s five boisterous dogs yelping and sparring with each other. He’s spent the last 3 years travelling too, and is now looking to settle down in Latham, the small wheatbelt country town our Mum’s grew up in and his Mum still lives in. My heart stopped. It wasn’t what I’d hoped to hear.