Sunday, December 28, 2008


These are my current possessions:

10 year-old backpack in need of a replacement zipper
green JanSport daypack
two pair of jeans
black Nike sweater
brown cable-knit wool cardigan
maroon and white check wool jumper
brown button-up wool jumper
multi-coloured wool scarf
two Quicksilver T-shirts; one chocolate brown, the other dark blue
chocolate brown Quicksilver long-sleeve short
two pair of my own underpants
one pair of underpants stolen from Athens International Youth Hostel
a brown belt
five socks
2GB flash drive
digital camera
pocket English-Turkish dictionary
keys to an apartment in Istanbul
a nazar boyuncu to protect me from the Evil Eye
two books; Salonica - City of Ghosts and Paradise Lost, Smyrna 1922 - The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance

Clearly, everything one needs to re-establish one's life in Sydney. In the middle of summer.

It's now time to bring a halt to feelings of self-pity and medium-level despair that have enveloped my world-view over the past few weeks. It's time to recognise that forces beyond both control and comprehension have landed me back in the Antipodes, that I must accept a temporary full-time existence in The City of Sin, that for some time I shan't be requiring most possessions strewn across my attic bedroom.

After a life dedicated to avoiding responsibility, work and meaningful personal relationships, I have just received a Victoria Cross, of sorts. I have no job, no abode of my own - my world fits in a 70 litre backpack.

A good thing. Challenging. It's freedom at its most frightening. I have no plan, no idea of what to do next, and, aside from anguish of being wrenched from my city, friends and cats, the upcoming year is a blank slate.

I'm going to do as I damn well please.

This is my chance to do it again, to do it properly, to chase a few more dreams. To spend more time ambling around the globe, to reacquaint myself with Sydney, with friends, with supermarkets, footpaths and greenery. I'm going to read everything I want. That 'things to do before I die' I compiled on the terrace of some filthy hovel in Delhi in 2003 is going to be re-written. I can even mark as completed a few things too.

Most importantly, I promise that I am going to complete my travelogue of Istanbul, commenced way back in late 2005 and never finished. I'm going to start today.

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