When I first got to Australia for the first couple of months, I was writing emails to family and a few friends. They were worried I’d gone on this big adventure on my own – I’m still the baby son/brother in my families eyes. So I’d try and send texts and the make an odd phone call like an excited child ‘guess where I am now’ (yeh, I was/am THAT annoying).
However, I didn’t come here to document to them what I was doing, but for the first time in my life I wrote a daily diary/blog for myself (uploaded elsewhere in case I ever lose it) almost everyday for 2 months, as I wanted to remember it all. I’ve read some of it back lately and it’s mostly nonsense (1000 word post about doing nothing and why I done nothing that day….yeh I know, I don’t know how either). But I’m glad I done it as I’d completely forgotten some things. Anyway, I digress.
Even though I took the time to send people emails, make phone calls and texts (even non-annoying ones) it dawned on me a month or so ago that, apart from immediate family and drunken phone calls every now and again from my cousins, no one else has made any effort to keep in touch with me.
I get maybe an email each month from my brother, sister and dad (who writes to me like he’s writing a formal letter to a solicitor). I’ve also kept in touch with my brothers, sister and a couple of mates using WhatsApp on my phone (basically free text messages as long as you have a data connection). Add this to include monthly phone call to/from my dad and that is as much as I hear from anyone else back home.
I haven’t really embraced the whole Skype thing yet and neither has any family or friends…I used it for the first time ever the other day with my dad – fuck me that was difficult ”I can I see you, what button do I press, can you see me…can you see me now…can you hear me…hello….can you hear me…” etc. Never. Again. Old people and technology don’t mix.
Although after the rigmarole, just as Neil Armstrong uttered those famous words on the moon, my dad’s first proper words on Skype were “you haven’t put on weight…or lost weight either, it’s good this Sky thing isn’t it”. Errr ok, thanks dad, nice to see you for the first time in 5 months too! Still not quite sure if he was expecting me to starve or balloon when I got here.
People in work asked if I keep in touch with family and friends and I replied, “not much” (it makes me sound like I’m a knobhead with no mates back home)! But with people not queuing up to keep in touch, then I don’t see the need to. There is only so much effort I can make to get nothing in return. So the occasional emails, phone calls and texts from me, stopped. I sent my mate a text 2 weeks ago and their reply was ‘where have you been’…why not call/text me rather than wait for me to do it? I might be miles away but I’m just as easily contactable as I was back home.
I’m not really sure how much I expected to keep in touch with family and friends when I left, after all I don’t want to cling on to that – I wouldn’t have left in the first place if I needed it, but I didn’t think it’d be mostly one way either. Why don’t they phone, text or email me? Is it down to initiate contact all the time? I don’t know.
And now I’ve got this far down I’m not really sure what my point is. I did have one. I think I did anyway, otherwise I wouldn’t have started typing. It annoys me that no one makes much effort to keep in touch. But at the same time I’m not annoyed.
Profound eh? This is how I roll.
(I no longer wonder how I wrote 1000 words about nothing. I’ve just wrote 700 when I could’ve probably condensed this post into a 140 character twitter message).