Travelling to Australia felt like opening my arms wide. Do you know how it feels to walk onto your balcony and have fresh air flowing into your face? Your thorax expands. Alveoli cannot rest. While driving on distances that are unknown to our little but great Europe, my inner walls felt like they were filled with popping popcorns. I spent around one month in Australia and I felt I was a kid again. I learnt that the sky can be wider than they taught you. That it’s possible to be in a place where, instead of crows, you see fat ibises. That marvelling at life is Life: it’s fantastic to be left with your mouth open saying “whaaaat?” like when you were five and you saw an airplane dancing among clouds for the first time.
This is my Australia. I hope you will like it.
It took me 27 hours to get there. I probably saw 27 countries flying away underneath me, outside my plane window. Cultures, religions, seas and oceans, true and immaginary borders flow away down there. I felt like getting up from my comfy chair at thousands of feet in the sky and go to the pilot and ask him “Hey, what’s that down there? I bet you anything that, with all these buttons and mechanisms, you know where we are at the moment”. 27 are the times that, across 4 stopovers (the first in London, the second in Abu Dhabi, the third in Singapore, the fourth in Brisbane), I got up and went walking in the aisle of the plane. You need to organize something to get the time in gear up there. 27 are the times that the fligth crew asked me if I needed anything, maybe some water, some biscuits, some screwdrivers, some blankets, some ducks. 27 are the beats my heart skipped when Sydney appeared out of the window. I could have flown 42 hours if I had to to get here, to see all of this.
Beagles, the Truth keepers
When you land, you can’t help but thinking “It’s going to be filled with surfers”. Reality is different as at the arrivals hall the world is waiting for you queueing up, passports in their hands. They all try to fill in the landing cards that ask you those questions that you will need to answer at least once in your life: have you ever been in jail? Do you carry drugs with you? Do you take drugs? Your baggage in the meanwhile goes inside gigantic metal-detectors. Little cute dogs called beagles are running all around you. They have short legs and drooping ears and hopefully they will not snif at you too long because if they do, you’d be in trouble. They are the owners of Truth at Sydney airport. They look at you with those puppy eyes as big as the moon, and they seem to ask you: “Did you tell the truth, on your landing card?”.
I am generally defined as a good person, so when I get to the border, I look at the officer and told him how happy I was to be there. He looks back at me and replies: “Excellent English my girl. Welcome to Australia!”.
Bang! A new stamp on my passport.
Let this adventure on the other side of the planet begin.