How weird it is to arrive back in Australia after spending 6 months in the Middle East. The first thing to greet you in Brisbane are the rules about importing wood or food or drugs or or or. If the announcements aren't scary enough ("You will be caught."), the sniffer dogs clinch the deal. They cruise the baggage area with their long-sock owners, sniffing everything in sight while you stand there worrying if you have forgotten a piece of wood or a crumb of food in your bags. There is an air of disbelief and concern in the customs area as you try to exit the airport. The bags are xrayed as well, in case you have lied on the form and in case the little dog has missed something. It is quite the welcome to our wonderful country, and of course I understand the reasons, but it is very daunting. Then there's that lovely Australian accent to get used to again. A slow drawl with stretched vowels and down to earth people.
I hopped into my car and drove over to visit my very ill mum. I edged out carefully onto the left hand side of the road, approaching my first roundabout with caution. Of course, I had forgotten momentarily that I was back home in the land of 'people who follow road rules'. No-one crossed in front of me, cut around me, dodged left then right. I have to watch myself for doing any of these things, or for travelling above the speed limit, heaven forbid.
Tomorrow I think I will go and politely queue for a movie, where noone will answer their mobile phone or talk loudly.
Hmm, are we too conservative, afraid of germs/sun spots, predictable and boring??