Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Usually I leave my taxes to the very last day, in tact with the rest of Canada, but to the dismay of my father. But this year I am being a good girl, and have just finished them now. Besides bearing gifts of winter wear and packages of family photographs for the relative here, he also brought my T- slips and a couple of Christmas cards. He will return with a minor bundle of excess cargo from me...

It is quite a culture shock to be in Melbourne from the Middle East. Even my friend M., who I met in Damascus but is now back home here, is just getting over it after 4 months. As cities, the difference between Canberra (where she studies now) and Damascus is far and wide. Culturally, I am still not quite used to it. I'm converting prices into Syrian pounds and nothing makes sense. (I even convert to Canadian dollars and nothing makes sense) When I was at the bank, I asked for some small bills - there were never enough small notes in circulation in Syria. And generally, it's too easy here. My brain is numb from how easy it is to do easy things. I know, people spend their entire lives making daily life easier for the general public, but still...

Despite that it's the usual thing - they drive on the left side, the water's spins the "other" way, it's late summer here, and everyone walks upside down here down under - except me, of course, being from up and over. And there's no recession here, there never was. A highly coal-fired China has propped up the country like nothing else.

My father came in earlier this week, and that night the entire clan got together for dinner. My current research project is to find out who's who here, and have managed to collect data for a well-sized family tree. Inputting names should be interesting - formal Chinese name (blah blah blah), informal Chinese name (ah blah), transliterated Chinese name, English name, and "relation" name (what I call that relative, because of my relation to him/her).

The Chinese food intake has been constant and consistently very good. I think it's actually better than Vancouver. The dishes are a little different but very well done, and I have also had by now some good ol' jook and cheung fun.

Whereas last week I will getting over jetlag, this week is about visiting relatives. Next week may involve some local travelling, possibly a walk from Torquay to Anglesea.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Update Lisa - great to see your words (well written too)