there will always be one place other than your own country where you fall in love with. one place you know you left your heart at. somewhere so heartachingly familiar, you feel almost alone once you take that final step on the plane and leave.
this was mine.
people question me why considering how Sydney is such a cut throat city and im not exactly what one would call a fast paced city kind of girl but i guess it had a lot to do with me going back to that place every few years or so. August this year was either my 3rd or 4th time returning to that ever changing city.
walking along every street brought back memories of my past and the familiarity of every building, every arch every landscape drew out photographs so vivid in my head, it felt almost like i never even left the place.
i remember the ramen shop he brought me too. but what i remember most was the bookshop there and how during one solo visit to sydney (went there without my parents and stayed with the brother) i spent hours just sitting by the window of the bookshop staring down at the people walking by with a book propped in my hand. it was that very bookshop where i bought my first georgia nicholson book. yes, the one who wrote angus thongs and full frontal snogging.
i remember the dog fountain in the front. how my brother would allow me to wonder around alone as long as i came back to that spot when it was time to meet. i think it was in Sydney i learnt to deattach myself from relying on others, learning to take care of myself and taking every advantage i could of my freedom. i think i was 12, but i really don’t remember.
i remember how i spent new years eve near the opera house in a blue jacket and devil horns. how i got picked up by white guys who thought i was 20. strange how as years pass the younger i look. i had fun that night and i think that is the only new year’s eve i really remember. every other one is just a fading memory lost somewhere in the back of my head. i have pictures from that night except i dont know where i kept them. screaming with the throngs of strangers and just going crazy with everyone else, i felt like i belonged.
i had a lot of first in this city. my first imax experience, my first pair of levi’s jeans. the beginning of my love affair with chocolate flavoured drinks and flea markets. i remember when i was a lot younger maybe 8 or so i was walking along the streets of china town and i got my mum to buy me this giant hello kitty. i wonder where that doll has gone. and i remember this place with the word passion in it where they served the best durian ice cream i have ever had. it’s not there anymore but a lot of the old restaurants still stand in the same place, never changing in time.
i also baked my first brownie there. coffee flavoured. it was good. soft and goey inside but hard and crumbly on the top. almost kind of like me. how i am able to put on a mask whenever i want, smile and chat away pretending that i didnt give a shit about what anyone thought only inside i was breaking with every insult, every betrayal done against me. how i act like i never care but every minute every second im worrying about something or someone.
last August there were many first as well, and every one of them leaves a little note etched in my heart and again i find myself lost somewhere in this bustling city that holds my heart.