When I named this blog “the anxious backpacker”, I genuinely thought it would be filled with tales of panic, stress and woe. Other than my completely appropriate response to backpacking in India, (you try having the shits for a solid month and see how happy you feel!) I haven’t actually had any cause to use the anxiety hashtag. I’m not as homesick as I thought I would be. I’m not as stressed as I thought I would be. But on coming to the country which is most culturally similar to my own, a country where things should be easy, my brain decided to make things difficult.
We arrived in Perth and stayed with my Aunt and Uncle in Southern River. It was time to decompress and chill out. We ate Nando’s and KFC (We are back on the veggie wagon now – it keeps tipping over and throwing us off). We did our washing. We watched TV and slept in a lovely comfy bed.
But I felt unbelievably sad and despondent. Maybe my body thought I had come back home and it stopped producing the adrenaline that had been keeping me going in Asia? More likely, it was the fact that 22 people were killed mercilessly in my hometown. 22 people, mainly teenagers, went on a night out to have fun and see their idol, and never came home. We were glued to the TV and refreshing twitter constantly to get the latest. It’s a weird feeling being so far from home and watching the events in your own city unfold, through a plastic box on the other side of the planet.
I am living in Bury at the moment and my heart was breaking for the mother of one of the victim’s Olivia, also from Bury. She appeared on a news channel, pleading for anyone with any information on the whereabaouts of her daughter to contact her. She fought back tears during the interview as she admitted that she hadn’t had any contact with her Olivia and was just waiting for some news. Unfortunately it wasn’t the news she wanted.
When we weren’t staring aghast at the news or going down a twitter rabbithole, we did end up getting out into Perth city. It was OK. Meh. I don’t know if it was my mood or if Perth is just “meh” but it just didn’t seem as nice as I remembered.
The people in the city seemed a bit rough. The phrase I have learned to describe these people (which I’m still unsure as to whether it is offensive) is “feral bogans”. The kind of people I probably see in my hometown. Chavs with no manners that push you out of the way to get down the street.
We had such a nice stay at my Aunties and it was great to see her. I think it had been fifteen years or something since we last saw each other. I will definitely go back to Perth, but I will make sure I am in a better mood!!