In a world without COVID-19, this past week would have been very different. On Thursday afternoon, a picture-perfect summer day, I would have picked my parents up and delivered them to our house for their (almost) yearly sojourn to Austria.
There would have been lots of hugs and probably a few tears. We might have had a BBQ on the back terrace, listening about how their trip had gone so far – a cruise from Prague to Berlin – possibly they would have had to deal with colds or other difficulties, but they would be in good spirits because they had finally arrived in Austria.
A lot of people like to brag about their claim to fame. Maybe their uncle once dated Claudia Schiffer… maybe their great-grandfather invented the cuckoo clock… perhaps a distant cousin on their mother’s side was in the team of scientists who discovered penicillin… whatever is is, you go ahead and brag about it.
Returning after a holiday always leads to a multitude of questions: How was it? What did you do? And you answer: Yeah, it was awesome! We did heaps of cool stuff! But where do you go after that? How do you pick out just a few notables that that particular person might be interested in hearing about?
Well, I just spend a month in Australia. And it was awesome! And we did heaps of cool stuff! And if you really want to know more, keep reading!
I’ve now been living in Austria for almost 4 years. Having a steady job, buying a house and finally feeling like I’m starting to get a slight grasp of the German language… well it’s a little bit scary.
Because it’s gotten to the point where I realise that this is somewhere I might be for a while. A few years, at the very least. The initial suitcase of clothes I brought over has been added to with various knick knacks and other belongings through each visit and each return trip home. My old bedroom in Australia is looking less and less like mine all the time.
And in facing this reality, I just want to say to my friends and family: I’m sorry I won’t be there. Because in the future, there will come a time, an event, a life occasion, a celebration, a sickness, a death… and I just won’t be able to be there.