living in Townsville, leaving Townsville

When you buy milk with an expiry date past your departure day, you know it’s soon.

Living in Townsville was interesting. My favourite euphemism. Named after it’s founder, Mr Robert Towns, city’s name is quite accurate to its modern appearance. It is a town build up almost entirely of suburbs, a mosaic of little villages within a bigger structure with a strangely small CBD and few main streets full of architectural monsters – supermarkets and cube-shaped offices. Each suburb is made of impractically winding streets lined up with houses with their neatly mowed lawns. An amoeba-like structure sprawling in every direction. Suburbs which have neither pavements, for no one walks anywhere in Oz, nor children playing in the streets, I don’t really know why. They do remind me of Reynolds’ ‘Little Boxes’, a song well-known to anyone who watched at least one episode of ‘Weeds’.

But staying in one of the Townsvillian suburbs gave me an amazing opportunity – living in a house. Together with an Aussie, an American and a Norwegian girl, we were renting a  spacious multicultural house just a stone’s throw from a river stunningly beautiful at every time of day. A house with a proper size kitchen and living room, and porch, and garage, and yard. Something I’m aware I won’t be able to afford for many forthcoming years. An amazing change after renting a tiny apartment in a block of flats, where kitchen doesn’t have windows, walls let you hear everything your neighbour says at their dinner table, and non-existent balconies built so close together that you have to close your windows if people next door are smoking in order not to choke.

Yes, as old and falling apart as it was, I will miss my little “ticky-tacky” box.

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