The other week when I was talking about riding two-up with Matt, we actually met up with some friends for a ride and catch up out west. I say “out west” because I’m actually not sure where we went. I’m still fairly clueless about any suburb that isn’t connected to George Street. All I know is it was a city further inland, miles away from any beach. In Sydney, that’s typically how people refer to cities or regions that aren’t directly sitting along the coastline. I have to admit, it’s a pretty narrow-minded perspective and one that I should probably avoid but I’ll get into that issue some other time. Moving on…
We ended our trip at a lovely cafe and somehow our conversation turned into booking weekly activities. One of our friends suggested we start that night and go out bowling. So we all headed home for a quick change first and then met up at this place in Mascot called Manhattan Superbowl. Now to me, anything with the name “superbowl” in it immediately brings to mind images of American football and Sunday afternoon parties with friends, barbecue, and bean dip. But this was no Superbowl. It simply a name some Aussies chose for their bowling alley which had absolutely nothing to do with the NFL. It was however, decorated with an overabundance of American-style memorabilia, all of which I thought was sort of funny.
This was the first time I’d ever gone bowling in Australia. And even though I’ve gone bowling many times before back in Cali, everything about it here was new to me. Everything–from the small screens above to the velcro flaps on the shoes. All night long they had a live deejay spinning old tunes from the 60s while three of the world’s largest disco balls spun overhead. It was hilarious and I loved every minute of it. On top of it all, this was probably one of the first times I actually felt at home abroad. Isn’t it strange how something as simple as bowling can help close that gap between home and not home?
Perhaps I’ve finally discovered a solution to help myself close it even further. I’ve been busy doing and trying all sorts of new things these past few years, but maybe it’s time to return to some of the former things I’ve loved. Taking up old activities and sports in a new space could help me really start to accept Australia as the place to be settled. Maybe? As they say here, I’ll give it a go. Next on the agenda: tennis!