December and January have always felt like special months to me!
In December 2015, I moved and started a life on my own on this journey as a person seeking asylum. Life in that mansion was quite funny. I was pleased to have a spacious room that later became pretty filled with so many clothes and unnecessary shoes. It was because I discovered op shops, similar to the markets where I grew up and you could negotiate the price from $10 to 2$. It was the most exciting discovery! Everything, clothing, bedding, winter coats, to kitchen utensils…Woow. Melbourne you really have it all!
I made new friends and learned to live with housemates. We were all in the same boat…So we kinda avoided to talk about our individual stories but somehow
understood and supported each other. The only problem was how we all grew up in various countries of Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Rwanda,…all with different cultures and manners. It wasn’t’ easy to cope with everything. From keep communal spaces tidy, finding your own space if you wanted to be quiet, or even emotional support was difficult as we all had our own baggage. But some of my best friends I met in that house.
I started realising the importance of loyalty. Who to trust and not…We were on our own but together. I spent my time at the library, or in my room applying for jobs…I got a cleaning first job. I was on roaster to clean apartments in Southbank and CBD. It made me laugh that I was cleaning for a job. It never occurred to me that it would be my welcome job but at least I had a reason to leave home and go to work. Compared to others, I have a sorta of revenue…It was starting to take shape. It killed my back. I wasn’t used to caring a heavy vacuum cleaner on my back with my weight…I Got home and slept straight away…
My first Christmas away from my family, friends and my home was bizarre. My housemate who loved hosting organsised a party. She invited friends and we cooked. It was so fun and it felt like a good Christmas. I had invited one friend. We played games, danced and chatted. It was a beautiful day.
Except that my thoughts were all about my parent who was feeling unwell. I felt sad and wanted to be back home. The mind can be crazy about imagining things. I had the worst nightmares while I thought at how difficult it would be if I was required to go back home. Having applied for this visa, I have no travel rights and can’t go back to the country I have been living in…SHIT. Excuse my language. I have raw feelings when I think about what could potentially happen.
Nothing happened. Thank God for the last 3 years…of course, things happened, but I would qualify them as happy events. Weddings from my friends, newborns, one divorce though and not close people died…Connections lost and some memories are just like foam it’s when you are not too sure you are inventing them or whether they were real.
Some are fantastically real…It’s the green in the bush walks, the smell of the eucalyptus and the smell of the rain, the taste of well cooked fried rice, and the waves of the ocean…
I missed the normal Christmas and new year celebrations I had had growing up.