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Friday, 24 February 2006

When you've been away, what are the things that make you feel like you are nearing home?

Everything you've heard is true I was home at Christmas. I took a new direct flight from SFO to Sydney, which was nice at just 13 hours.

The first clue is the gobsmackingly gorgeous Sydney coastline. The plane does a big loop that seems like it's planned by Tourism Australia. It's always hot in Sydney, and I always have to get outside as quickly as possible and smoke a cigarette. The air is heavy and humid, the sun is hotter, and everyone's wearing shorts and summer tans. I'm inevitably dressed wrinkily for cooler weather. I change in the Ladies'.

The thing I really love most about going home is hearing the accent. Just people milling about, doing their business, speaking Australian. (The nice customs/border people are smiley and healthy-looking, and they even say g'day.)

The killer is always the little extra leg from Sydney to Adelaide. You have that i've-been-on-a-plane-for-too-long skin & hair. All you really want at that point is a long, hot shower and something to eat that's not freeze-dried or super-heated.

They serve pieces of fruit, Anzac cookies and VB on domestic flights, and yes, they speak in Australian (No worries!). Deborah Hutton tells me about how lovely the Australian beaches are, and that I really should be getting to Queensland to catch some rays or watch some sort of surf-lifesaving competition.

Front door As I fly into Adelaide, I normally come in from the north-east, flying in over the beautiful Adelaide Hills, eventually crossing over the city centre (all one square mile of it). There's a lovely moment when you can see the Adelaide Oval, the Festival Centre, and the Parklands that surround the CBD. The plane flies along Burbridge Road (now Sir Donald Bradman Drive - Don was South Australian), and finally touches down at ADL.

I walk down steps on to the tarmac, and cross the asphalt towards the arrivals hall and one or more members of my family. We drive through the streets to mum and dad's. Even though the place looks so familiar (There's my primary school!), I am reminded that I have moved so very far away.

Question posed by Jan.
Posted at 4:33 am
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