Okay so the reason I haven't posted anything for quite a while is that I have recently moved house. Not just to a nearby suburb, but to a whole different state. Queensland to be precise, and the Sunshine Coast to be more precise*. It's a trade off: I get marvellous warm weather instead of grim Melbourne unpredictability, but I lose the feeling of smug superiority that comes with living in Australia's most cultured and self satisfied city.
It's a temporary move, for either a year or two. My partner got a job offer up here that was too good to resist, so I quit my job, and undertook the 2000km drive northward during a heatwave, narrowly avoiding bushfires along the way. I also realised after driving the first 900km that my car registration had expired some days ago, and so I was risking a massive fine were I to be caught by the fuzz. But that's the way I roll, baby... Thug life.
The drive can be done in less than 24 hours if you are a particular hardcore mofo. we did it in 6. 6 days of driving is a long time to spend with your partner, and it can be the making or breaking of a relationship. It's also a long time to hold in a fart, if you are a gentleman and care about such small courtesies.
The Sunshine Coast is not exactly the outback, but it is still too small-town for a city slicker like myself. It resembles my home town of Melbourne only in that it is in Australia and people speak English. In other respects, it is utterly foreign to me; there are no hipsters, and it's hard to get a coffee good enough for hipsters to approve of in any case. People love to leave their doors unlocked and car windows rolled down, which would normally be a sign of a friendly small town, yet seems highly bizarre behaviour in a town where every second dude has tattoos, missing teeth and walks around shirtless. I can now get mobile phone reception only if I stand up against the fence in my backyard and pray that the heavens are aligned in my favour.
On the plus side everything is pretty damn beautiful, life is pretty cruisy, and I now wear sandals everyday rather than shoes (see the aforementioned thug life). It's easy to love the beaches and scenic subtropical landscapes, and one day I may even come to love the hordes of bogans who populate this part of the world. And I am going to enjoy the walking-around-shirtless thing once I start hitting the gym real hard.
Moment that brought home that I was now living in a small town:
Asking the lady in Maroochydore's only Indian grocery if they sold fresh curry leaves, and her reacting as if I'd just asked to buy a space shuttle.
Bogan kid's name of the day:
Jacob, but spelled "Jakeb".
One of the great pleasures of the great bureaucracy that is the modern nation state is that local and state governments each have their own set of hoops that you have to jump through. So, lets just say like me that you have a car that is registered in Victoria (or was up until a week ago). That does not wash with our friends in the Queensland government, who determine in their wisdom that rather than just switching over to Queensland registration, I have to get a roadworthy check done before it is deemed ready to be registered here.
Or, lets just say that I am a qualified teacher, and that one of my subjects that I am qualified to teach is the Indonesian language. The Queensland government considers that to be hearsay, and wants to make me undergo testing and a special interview to prove that I am not just making this shit up and somehow fooled the whole Victorian education system.
Oh, the oppression.
* I'm typing this on an iPad, and when I misspelled the word "precise", it autocorrected to "erectile". Just thought you'd like to know that.