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18.6.09

Palm Trees

I remember when I first arrived in Australia and saw my first palm tree.

The Bloke drove me home from the Melbourne airport, our drive mostly silent. As I look back on it, I am thankful for the silence. I'd just given up almost everything I knew for this new world, and I did well to drink it in from that first moment.

Just the number of trees in cities and along sidewalks grabbed my attention. Everything seemed so green and full of life even though I had come from living in a country house. Of course, the life and 'tropical' feeling to it all was aided by the fact that I had left my former home on a cold, overcast, windy day that had seemed only too appropriate at the time.

Then I noticed the palm trees.

Palm trees! The very concept of them seemed to be confined in the sections of my mind reserved for Hollywood and tropical islands. Yet, here they were, next to train stations, along road, living it up with other traditional Australian breeds.

I wondered if Australians - or, at least, Melbournites - realised how awesome it was to be living amongst so many palm trees.

I came from a land of pines, pines, and more pines - all of which I hated with a disgusted scrunch of my nose whenever my thoughts lingered too long on them. Even at Christmas time growing up we switched to an artificial tree because the pine in an enclosed space made it hard for me to breathe.

But a palm tree for Christmas? Now that would have been awesome.

As I stood in the Geebung Polo Club last week, looking through the window at the palm tree almost leaning against the train station across the street, the memories came flooding back.

The 'newness' of most things Australian has worn down a bit, which is to be expected over two and a half years on.

But I still notice the palm trees.

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