Why is it that such small simple things can have such a huge impact on you and stir that ache and longing for the familiar in your heart? Just this morning I heard a sound that instantly transported me back “home”. A sound that I hadn’t heard here before in Jordan. The sound that I heard was the song of a small wren. I knew before even going outside on the balcony that there was a wren in the fruit trees. That song is so distinctive, so familiar to me, yet so out of place here. I’m not sure where the wren has come from as there is only one, but it’s song had the capacity to bring memories flooding back to me. I don’t even know what type of wren it is, but it’s definitely a wren.
You see at home at Mum and Dad’s farm there were several colonies of Blue Wrens that called the garden home. They had the ability with their cheery, chattery and definitely cheeky trill to be able to almost talk to you. And their appetite for grated cheese was second to none. The rate at which they would flit out of the bushes when they heard the tap of the cheese grater on the window sill was amazing and they would chatter almost crossly at you if you didn’t get your hand out of the way of their cheese quick enough.
This got me thinking about something a friend asked me the other day. She asked me do I ever feel homesick. When you’re homesick, you might feel nostalgic for familiar things like family, friends, house, or surroundings. If this is homesickness then I feel this every day. I’ve been away from “home” for over 3 years now and whilst the intensity of the feelings have lessened, the frequency certainly has not.
There is not a day that goes by where I don’t wish that my family and friends weren’t a 20 hour plane trip away, that I wish I didn’t have to face the daily challenges of living in a culture were everything is strange, unfamiliar and alien to me. Or maybe I should rephrase that – were I’m the alien in surroundings and a culture that is not my own. This is not to say that I let these feelings consume me or let them incapacitate me and stop me from living here in Jordan (well most days anyway!)
Asides from family and friends there are so many things that I miss about living in Australia. Here’s a list of just some of the things that I miss (in no particular order): Tim Tams, sandwich loaf, multi grain bread, sour dough bread – in fact any type of bread that isn’t pita/flat bread!, the MCG, AFL football, cricket, green grass, parks with green grass, trees, space, clean public places with no rubbish, order, products you can rely on, getting what you pay for, Bonds, buying underwear from a lingerie store , The Age, The Saturday Age, international cuisines, variety in diet, food from all over the world, fish’n’chips, cows, pets, going out for brunch, walking around the Tan, going for a walk without feeling self conscious, the gym, boxing, regular massages, going to the hairdressers, acupuncture, Cadbury’s, Mint Slice biscuits, my PT, colourful bird life, flora of Australia, fauna of Australia, being able to buy a particular cut of meat, or just chicken breasts not the whole chicken, fresh pasta of all types, swimming, beaches, blueberries, asparagus, sushi, cheese, supermarkets, book stores, op shops, libraries, smoke free venues, dinner parties, …… this is by no means an exhaustive list!
(Some of the things that I miss would be more readily available to me if I lived in Amman but not in a small country village of Wadi Musa.)
I will write more in another post about some of things that because of living in Jordan that I enjoy or have access to.