Being back in my hometown so often reminds me of why I left. There really isn’t a huge amount of things to do except watch shows like Property Ladder, A Place in Spain, America’s Next Top Model, Hell to Hotel, Trinny and Susannah, Airline and Air Hostess School on Foxtel (sorry… Austar… the country version). Which certainly isn’t a waste of time, because I now feel fully prepared to become a property developer, hotel manager, model or airline cabin crew member should journalism not work out, and I also feel more capable at dressing myself or purchasing property in Europe, should I ever acquire the finances to undertake either of these two difficult projects.
But once I realise that it is the same two or three seasons of these beloved shows that were on loop last time I was in town, and I then flick over to Discovery Travel Channel and decide I better not watch it so I don’t start slitting my wrists in despair, I start to venture out… and that’s when I get trapped. I start to realise that it is obscenely pretty around here. And a lot of the people are abnormally friendly… and it’s so quiet. And you don’t have to look both ways before crossing the road because most of the time there aren’t cars coming and if there is one, they will probably slow down for you. And the checkout chicks chat to you about inane things, and the shop assistants generously (and with the full goodness of their hearts) try to dress you in hideous clothes and encourage you to buy hoop earrings and green glitter nail polish to accessorise because they truly believe that is what should be worn if you are ever to find a nice bloke to sweep you off your feet and into the tray of his ute (because Bluey always gets the front seat).
I spent Boxing Day hanging with some friends (most of them no longer Albury-ites either) down at the Murray River at Mungabareena Reserve and it was so lovely and pretty and quiet… and here it’s all cheap, unlike Sydney… but just when I was starting to be completely romanced by the place and was keeping my eye out for any good sorts without a sheila on the back of their ute, I remembered that I was here at the best time of the year, when heaps of people from school are back, the weather is good, and sometimes they even have live music at the local pubs/nightclubs/feelfests.
So I think the happy medium is to stay away, but come back around Christmas time… then flee before it gets really crappy again when the weather cools down…