Saturday, June 9, 2012

I'm just thinking (typing) out loud.

I’m living in a town located on the border of city and countryside.

When I first moved in from an inner-north suburb called Coburg three years ago, everything in this town appeared so washed out and unsophisticated.
And um, I guess it still is.

All my friends live either a lot closer to the city or on the other side of Melbourne.
Unlike those places it’s not a rich suburb here – indeed, far from it. 
But just like all the middle-to-low class suburbs, we have friendly neighbours, chatty local shop workers and blue-colour blokes and I like it a lot, although things are slowly starting to change.
There’re two cafés opened in the last 2 years, pretty cool ones too. One of which in particular, looks almost like a little inner-city-hippy-cool-side-street café in a remote town shopping centre (well, literally) and predictably enough, they’re attracting growing number of young Australian couples and young families shifting from more expensive inner suburbs lately, which is probably resulting from the economy slowing down. 
I even see some Japanese chicks walking down the street on the busier-and-buzzier side of this town.
Who knows, in next few years, the town could become part of Melbourne’s expanding inner suburban area.

The suburb I was living in three years ago was still pretty close to the city and I used to catch up with my Japanese friends fairly regularly so I wasn’t lonely, but I was sort of isolated from the society outside the little circle.
Now I live outside the city it’s harder for those frequent catch-ups so I have to admit it could get a bit lonely.
However, these days, I’m becoming a part of the community. I can really sense it.
In hindsight, it all started when I shifted here, because that was when I started working in the customer service industry, and now I’m dealing with locals day-in and day-out.
What I do is rubbish compared to what majority of my old friends are doing now. It’s not as well paid. It’s physically tough and could get mentally daunting at times, too. You could even say it’s at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.
Instead of going up that ladder, I came right down to the bottom, and here I’m starting to merge with everyday Australians.
I began to develop this different sense of humour and attitude. It works with my co-workers and regular customers but maybe not so much with my country people.

With my health condition, I didn’t have too many options in terms of employment, and I could only allow myself to work up to 20 hours per week. Without a car license my chance of ever getting a job was scarce, so you’d know I’m grateful and I know I am lucky that I have my job, and to survive in this job, I had to assimilate into my surroundings to a certain extent.

That’s right. To a certain extent - which means that my Japanese identity is still within myself, but, in the Japanese community on the other hand, I maybe becoming the odd one out. Is it inevitable?
Or, who knows, things might change in next few years.

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