I tend to get a little introspective and questioning about blogging after I attend a conference that focuses purely on the subject (don’t believe me? Here’s #DPCON12, Problogger and Blogopolis 2011 for starters), but don’t worry I won’t today. Or maybe I will. Let’s just see where this goes. Just to offer a little context, I bought a ticket for Blogopolis in Sydney at very last minute and it was a pleasure go fly up there to see my sister, to strip down to my bare arms because it is so warm compared to here, and go for a walk down to Circular Quay, to the rats (forgot about those) and the lights upon the water. I felt like I was home again, even if it is touristy there among the opal shops and gift stores selling boomerangs.
I came back to Melbourne alone. The airport was deserted that night. The sight of a cleaner dragging a mop along the floor, leaving a wet trail like an overgrown snail, was slightly depressing. All the shop attendants were leaning heavily on their counters, chins propped up, watching the passersby. I had a little time to kill before my flight and I went to buy a Rolling Stone magazine. The male attendant kept asking me questions about the theme of the edition (‘Top 500 Albums of All Time’: He Did Not Agree With The Top 10 Choices), prolonging my stay in the store long enough to wonder if he was trying to chat me up, so I cut and ran.
Sydney airport will always be one of those places I think where I’ll wander around without any sense of reconciled or neutral feelings about. After all, it was where I discovered that dad had died; my sister and I hugged each other and cried as the people spooled past casting glances of surprise in our direction, departing from their flights and embarking on their own journeys.
Then again, airports are supposed to have that ‘other-y’ quality. They are transitory; portals to different places. Then when I touched back down in Melbourne I had to go on a trek to get a replacement parking ticket because my other one went missing. As I went to the customer service desk and explained my case, the attendant looked me over.
“You come from Europe?” he asked in broken English. “You are French, yes?”
“No,” I said, wondering if that was a compliment. “I’m from here.”
He nodded and said nothing more. I patted my hat (I was wearing a black woollen one, like a beret, maybe that was it) and took my reissued ticket and left.
Now, if I followed the advice generally given at conferences, I might have chosen to write this in any number of different fashions. I might make a List, or Top Tips Post. I could rewrite my notes (not that I took many).
Instead I’m left, as I usually am, with the wanting to sit and reflect on the quieter moments; not so much the louder voices. In my mind, I’m following the backs of a couple as they strolled hand-in-hand in the opposite direction, wondering where they’re going and hoping they stay safe. Hoping everyone does.