Other times, the world seems very small. When your Parentals finally rock up to the Sydney International Airport, and there they are, in Australia, in person, then the world seems very small.
You show them around the city, take them to all your favourite places. When they exclaim with delight over the ibis, which you have grown to think of as filthy, overgrown pigeons, ask you to translate what the train man said because “that wasn’t English, was it?” or stop to take pictures of the architecture that doesn’t look foreign to you any more, then the world seems big.
Some of the days they’re visiting, you have to work. You spend the day in your office as normal, then in the evening go for dinner at their flat. Mom makes schnitzel or steak and potatoes, and you and Dad feast on Tim Tams for dessert, and the world seems small.
They take the train out to your place some night, and you go out for dinner. When they comment on how far a walk it is up to Marrickville Road, you remember that this is home for you but totally unfamiliar to them, and the world feels big. But as they sit in your room, cuddle your cat, patch the holes in your sweater and fix your computer, the world seems small.
After a three-week visit, my Parentals left Wednesday morning. I went to uni and worked all day, then came home, had dinner, played the piano, did two hours of kung fu, caught up on emails, and went to bed. I spent Thursday morning revising a journal manuscript, and partway through the afternoon I got an email from my Dad saying they’d just arrived home safely. It’s a very long trip from Sydney to Kars.
In a few days, when the Parentals have recovered from jet lag and we go back to exchanging emails a couple times a week, the world will seem smaller again. But right now it seems pretty big.
Dad & Laura at Manly
Mom & Laura at Dove Lake, Tasmania