I'm in Sydney at the mo'; catching up with friends, checking out second-hand bookshops, doing clutch aerobics in crazy Sydney traffic.
Today I was driving along the Pacific Highway, listening to Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi on the radio. You get so much thinking time while stuck in traffic: I found myself realising how much Sydney has become a paved paradise. I probably heard the song a thousand times while I lived here and always interpreted it in a much more abstract way, like, in relation to an American city such as LA, but never here. Now, with a little distance (like 12 months and 420km), I've begun to perceive something of the first city's decay.
It's made me realise how rural I've become. When I first moved to Port I felt overwhelmed by how much nature seemed to envelop the town and dulled any possibility of city gloss. I missed my coffee shops and cinemas and theatres and bookshops and 'ethnic' restaurants. I still do. But now that I've settled in a bit I find myself (wank, wank) in harmony with nature, no longer fearful of it. I like the way that Port feels like a little outcrop in the wilderness, like its urbanisation has still left the natural environment mostly intact (although the existence of the Koala Hospital might dispute this).
The battle feels lost in Sydney. I see nature being compartmentalised here. There are trees along the Pacific Highway, but they seem sadly out of place: tokenistic. My hairdresser (um, yes, I must admit that's something Sydney DOES have all over Port...) was telling me about a new zoo thing at Darling Harbour where all the animals are displayed inside in a glizty showcase. Even koalas. It just seems wrong. Although their site looks good.
Face it, I've become a bloody greenie.