This was one of my absolute favourite housesits, although it did prove to be in equal parts challenging. Mostly because I was trying to plough through a stack of work at the time, and the house next door was being built – from the ground up!
I’m an absolute sweetheart until my patience is sorely tested, and when the banging, bandsawing, drilling, shouting, and related carry-on only ceased one Friday night at 9pm, I sorta kinda lost it just a leetle bit!
And by ‘losing it’, we’re talking three terse text messages to the owner-builder to say, ‘Don’t do it again’!
With one or two -ing words thrown in for emphasis.
(The dog-owners/home-owners have since moved many, many suburbs away.)
Apart from that, Yagoona was WONDERFUL.
I adore places like this in Western Sydney and other culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) areas of the world.
People look at me askance and wonder what I’m on about when I say this, but it’s true: I may be fifth generation Spanish-Irish Catholic Australian, but plonk me in a homogenous white area of my own country, and my hackles go up, and I’d bet my blood pressure elevates too.
Conversely, throw me into Yagoona, Lakemba, Liverpool, Bankstown, or another of Australia’s great multicultural melting pots, and I’m happier than a pig in muck.
Why? Because they’re my people.
They’re loud, expressive, demonstrative, engaging, greet you with a smile, want to talk with you. Don’t give a fig or felafel if you’re dressed outrageously or are carrying an old teddy bear with you.
It literally takes me two hours to walk 500 metres along Macquarie Street in Liverpool. The voices are many, they’re loud, they are gathered in groups, in cultural groups, in cross-cultural groups – and I can go those two hours and not hear a word of English.
I love that. It’s like overseas travel in your own country. Continue reading