Now that I’ve been back in Sydney long enough that I can no longer legitimately claim jetlag as an excuse for anything (although believe me I will try), I have been pleased to find that, for some strange reason, having gone back home to New York has had a strange effect.
Realizing again deeply I love New York, my friends and family (and how much I love being surrounded by them), and that peculiar and amazing theater world that exists only in that one place, I am now much happier to be back in Sydney than I was before. Yes, I know, it sounds odd, and I am surprised too – I have pondered it, and my best guess is this – that being home and being reminded of all that I have, of this support network of friends that I love, and how much I truly fit in New York, has given my general confidence a boost, which I was able to carry back to Sydney. It’s also possible that being able to see that New York and my life there is still waiting for me made me able to switch my mindset from that ‘I may be here for a while! Make it work!’ strangely nervous feel to a more relaxed ability to settle in and see what this can be, while I know now that I can always go back.
Because Tim and Caroline, my beyond generous hosts and still two of my favorite people in all the world, had both their open bedrooms filled (one by its rightful owner, their equally awesome, globetrotting, if-I-were-a-travel-network-I-would-have-a-camera-follow-him-around-and-that-would-be-my-show-because-he-is-incredibly-charismatic-and-good-looking-and-makes-friends-in-an-instant-and-all-the-coolest-stories-happen-to-him son James, and one by a nasty case of mold due to a wet Sydney summer), I am now staying with my generous and wise in all things friend Theresa. Because one of the things she does very well is real estate, she is the possessor of a truly stunning penthouse apartment overlooking Central Sydney, including Hyde Park, the Botanical Gardens, that big cathedral that I can’t remember the name of right now, and the Opera House. It is a remarkable space, and allows one of my newest favorite rituals – watching the bats. We all know I love the bats anyway, but I had never seen anything quite like this. Since the bats are, of course, nocturnal, they all start coming out of the park when it gets dark. Well, the easiest way to do this is to follow the roads, so if you look down from one of the penthouse’s balconies at twilight, you will see below you one of the main roads of Sydney, filled with the standard cars, trucks, and taxis, and then, about twenty feet above that, a whole host of bats following the same routes. It’s two sets of commuters, one ending their day and one just beginning theirs.
Theresa has also taken to being my unofficial tour guide, showing me around bits of Sydney and Australia proper, which has been great and led to another one of my new favorite sights. Two or three weeks ago, she offered to take me to a town about an hour or two outside of Sydney, where there is a system of limestone caves. I took her up on the offer, and so we resolved to head out early Sunday to go caving. Having had a rather late Friday getting drinks with friends after a show of some of Sydney’s up-and-coming cabaret singers, and had decided that I wouldn’t go out very late on Saturday. This was a bit tricky, since earlier in the week I had made plans with a fantastic group of people I met through a class of mine here to go out Saturday night to hear a DJ who was manning a local club. Well, as it turned out, most of the people I knew well in the group couldn’t make it. The one person I did know who was still going was someone I had met at Thanksgiving, but didn’t know very well – an intriguing if slightly reserved half Indonesian, half Irish Australian triathlete who seemed like someone who was kind enough to understand me pooping out of a late night. I decided to tag along with him and a friend of his to dinner, but then to go home and sleep in order to wake up early to go caving with Theresa. Well, dinner was great, as was the company, and I changed my resolution to go immediately home to a resolution to go home before midnight. And when midnight rolled around? Well, when this boy, who turned out to be as lovely and interesting and smart and beautiful as he had seemed, beckoned me to stay longer and dance with him, well, what can I say? I caved. And so now it seems I have someone to watch the bats commute with me.