Rock Bottom and the Web – by Justyna

6 May

Kazek has a CD with Aussie songs on it, sent a couple of years ago to him by my cousins Marcin and Gosia. It is appropriately called Dinky Di. It has some awesome songs on it like the Disgruntled Wombat and the Kookaburra song (a favourite). It also has classics like Click Go the Shears. He puts it on and does wild dancing to it almost daily, usually after breakfast (his other top two CD is the Fun Loving Criminals). I now know I have hit rock bottom in terms of missing Australia, when the other day the CD was blaring, Kazek was dancing and Men at Work came on with their Down Under rendition. I was swaying to it with Julian, my gut clinching tight, tears were pouring down my face. Great big sobs followed. Kazek was a bit puzzled. I tend to be a mad Dinky Di dancer most days. Imagine what happened when I Still Call Australia Home came on next…

What makes this re-immigration bearable is the web. As much as smart phones are responsible for destroying marriages and face-to-face social skills (Michal and I have a ban on using our mobiles and laptops in bed – books are permissible, although Michal claims they are just as anti-social as staring into the screen of your phone), they are life saving for people who cry to Men at Work songs. Thanks to the What’s App application I am totally in the loop with my cousins in Sydney. We actually have a contact group labeled ‘Cousins’ and discuss everything from cooking preferences to sending pictures of what is currently standing on our bookshelves. The other day Nat and Annette sent me a voice message, being total spazmos, making me piss my pants before I even managed to eat my morning toast. Had a warm buzz for the rest of the day. The spontaneity is what makes such communication excellent and as close to real time as possible, albeit minus the facial reactions. Juliette and I, for example, are in constant contact comparing baby stories and experiences and when having a shit day I know I can get her support and a sympathetic ‘ear’ almost immediately, making this whole mothering thing less lonely and weird. I hate being away from my close people who are now also mothers, not being able to see their kids or them not seeing mine. But this constant exchange of even the shortest of sentences, means I have yet not gone mental.

The fact that this form of communication is quick and more importantly free, is an amazing feat when compared to the immigration of my parents who wrote long letters to my babcia and dziadek every couple of weeks, or made phone calls that had cost then something like 8 bucks per minute. No one at either end was ever satisfied. The communication infrequent, lacking detail and never at an appropriate time of the day. Depressing moments that signified only all the more of how far away you were from your loved ones. The web, fortunately, has made me a happier-terribly-missing-home re-immigrant. And has forced Kazek to master the skill of Skyping at the age of two.

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5 Responses to “Rock Bottom and the Web – by Justyna”

  1. Beth May 7, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    That is so lovely that you’re in close touch with your Aussie cousins. Talking on the phone is actually really inconvenient with small kids anyway, so text and skype is the way to go. What’s the app you use again?

    At the risk of making you cry again, did you know about the court case surrounding ‘Down Under’ in recent years? It was alleged that the flute riff was stolen from ‘Kookaburra’ (as in “sits in the old gum tree”) and the record company against Men at Work won the case. Naked greed on the part of the record company IMO. And the other week the flautist died in mysterious circumstances, having been very depressed since the case. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/men-at-work-member-greg-ham-discovered-dead-by-friends-at-carlton-north-home/story-e6frf7jo-1226333262547 Very sad.

  2. Kukus May 8, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    I’d like to take credit for the books on the nightstand photo idea, it was a more appropriate share than sending a picture of my bum… which I constantly struggle with whether to send as the unexpected cheek(s) guarantees a laugh, and is a lot less effort in terms of coming up with witticism.

    I saw Colin Hay (Men at work) perform at the Basement a few weeks ago, he was marvelously funny (no bum) in between songs that featured on Scrubs, and Garden State (Overkill was a favourite). He finished with Land down under and said when everyone sings it and he gets caught up in the moment the court decision seems trivial as everyone knows which is the great song. So no real love’s labour lost…

    Makes me happy to see you writing Krzywa, I’ll mention you in my Pulitzer acceptance speech 😉

  3. Tabitha May 9, 2012 at 4:02 am #

    Have you seen the brouhaha in the media recently about whether social media is making us more lonely? Good summary here –

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/culturebox/2012/04/is_facebook_making_us_lonely_no_the_atlantic_cover_story_is_wrong_.html

    Anyway, I completely disagree with that claim, and your situation is a perfect case in point. It’s all very well to say that we should be spending more face-to-face time with each other, but so often we just CAN’T. I don’t think I would have survived my years here in Hanoi without social media, including this very blog.

  4. mischb May 13, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    i wish i had a better internet connection so i could skype you justyna! i’ve really got to get onto that…

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