a return to “normality” – whatever that is!

Well… today is the first day that we are getting back into some sort of “normal” routine. I’m not sure what “normal” is but I definitely know what it isn’t and what it isn?t is how we have been living for quite a while now.

I resigned my position at RMIT Viet Nam last October but had been on a semesters leave without pay since last June and Lisa resigned last November. Since then we have been travelling almost constantly in some part of SE Asia or another and living out of suitcases or a backpack has become second nature but it loses its appeal before too long.

Lisa took up her position as Senior Research Fellow with the School of Tourism and Leisure Management at the University of Queensland yesterday, but as that was Easter Monday she is officially at work for the first time today. (Not bad to get a paid holiday on your first day of work I think grin  ).

I have been officially in my new position as a PhD Scholar since the 1st of March but it has been a battle to concentrate on what I am here for along with all of the other things that have been happening in my life. We have had Bianca & Dave?s wedding at the Gold Coast (more on that later) and all of the accompanying interaction with family and friends. Catching up with old friends we haven?t seen for a couple of years has been on the agenda as well and spending time with Brendan, Amber and JB (short for jelly-bean although judging by the size of Amber?s belly right now it would be more appropriate to call it jumbo-bean).

In the midst of all this our possessions finally arrived from Viet Nam. Minus the Vespa but we are assured that will be here this week. There were only a couple of minor breakages and customs only confiscated a couple of items, our mossie bat which is an illegal import now and my timber crossbow. The mossie bat is not an issue but I am really fond of that crossbow as it is beautifully made by ethnic minority tribes? people from Viet Nam?s central highlands. My mate Greg who is our shipping agent tells me it has been taken because it is considered a dangerous weapon but I intend to appeal this as the trigger mechanism has been removed and it can?t actually be fired.

All of Easter has been spent unpacking boxes, both from Viet Nam and from our past life out of the storage shed. As more of our possessions have come to light and pictures have gone up on the walls our new house is beginning to feel like home but it is strange that we both are suffering from an unusual malady. We are both finding it difficult to unpack things and accept the permanence of putting them in their place. There exists this overwhelming feeling that all too soon we will have to pack up and be on the move again and this leads to nothing short of panic attacks. It is very odd I know, but moving is such a physically and emotionally draining exercise that both of us are subconsciously thinking we will be on the move again soon.

So? today we had a more ?normal? start to the day. Lisa donned her work frocks and headed out to the Ipswich campus for her induction and I donned my bicycle helmet and pushed the newly imported and assembled bike into the office. It only takes me less than 15 minutes riding, but the map didn?t indicate that the bike path along the Brisbane River contains so many hills. Good thing I have 24 gears I guess.