A blind possum is walking on the electrical wires like a cat, koalas that look like stuffed toys are munching on eucalyptus in the trees, and fast little geckos are whistling their tunes on the walls of the living room. The streetscape looks like a godless multicultural soup and English can be heard in an incredible array of accents.
Australia, land of dreams.
In Estonia, it seemed like I had it all, but my soul was restless. In the end, I left to go look for that dream of mine. I had a conversation with a red kangaroo friend, two meters tall, about Australian dreams and sped through thousands of kilometers of desert in giant trucks. I hauled pineapples and watermelons on a farm, sold lottery tickets in the city streets, and worked as a waitress, just like hundreds of other young Estonian world travelers. In the middle of all these adventures, I suddenly found what I had been looking for unbeknownst to myself.
Well, Sir Elton is a crazy man indeed! For a two-hour performance, he is brought in from his last location in Sydney, 2,300 kilometers away, with five truckloads of wardrobe, about a hundred pairs of shoes, about as many costumes and sunglasses in various shapes to match. Following Andy’s direction, we have to unpack everything in half a day and then pack it all up and get it on the trucks a few hours after the show. At night the trucks begin their long trip to Elton’s next concert location, this time in Tasmania.
At first we haul his majesty’s “humble” wardrobe off the trucks. Grunting from the effort, we push the huge sound equipment boxes that have snuck in among the wardrobe to the stagehands and the furniture to the dressing rooms behind the stage.
We carry all the furniture into the rooms: heavy leather sofas and a bed, desks and wardrobes. We arrange infinitely long roses in giant vases in all the rooms, multicolored, without a single leaf on the stem. In the end, we drag dozens of palm trees from the hallways into the rooms. “Do these trees travel with you?” I’m curious.
And once again I am surprised by two-faced Aussie social culture. On one hand, women amongst themselves are very open and always ready for some “Sex and the City” style gossiping about men. The most detailed and personal information is revealed, so that when speaking with the husband some time later, it’s hard to repress a smirk.
Now, I just can’t believe my ears; future Aussie mothers agree unanimously with the fact that the scariest part of giving birth is that one has to be naked in front of her husband and mother-in-law.
“I practice every morning,” one of them confesses. “After taking a shower, I walk around naked in front of my husband. It’s just so embarrassing!” The others all nod in sympathy and recognition.
Terhi, a Finnish woman, and I stay silent. Finally, Terhi blurts out: “Well, when we were young, we often went to the sauna all together and then rolled around in the snow – being naked is part of our culture and there’s really nothing to be afraid of!”
The Australian women stare at her in disbelief.
- ISBN 978-9985-9931-8-7