Beam Me Up, Scotty

This page written circa 19 October, 2023.

I wrote a soapbox blog when preparing to jump from CA to NZ. Rereading that, I recall and endorse the situation analysis, and the decision. This is the equivalent blog for the upcoming jump from NZ to SYD.

I thence wrote, leading with the immortal words of Riff-Raff, penned long ago in Hamilton, "We return to Transylvania, prepare the transit beam!", and I asked "Are the Antipodes `Transylvania', or are they really a better life choice?" When Waikato University switched from a rising to a shooting star, the answer changed from a better choice, and frankly the whole family became less happy and less satisfied. It took me too long to bail from Sydney, and it has taken too long to "break out of this life", as Kay terms it.

I sit here typing this as four lovely gentlemen pack all my stuff, total 16.5 cubic metres. I feel stress (correct decision? missed anything?) and sadness (imagined never quite retiring, planned to stay with Kay, loved this house). That said, I am pretty sure that this is right. There often comes a time when one has to let go of something. Will I be so sanguine about my circumstances when it is my turn to die? "To depart is always to die a little" wrote Jill Ker Conway in A Woman's Education.

If this is an ejection, the canopy just flew away. A 20-foot container truck lumbered away with my stuff. I am already feeling adrift.

One relevant pointer concerns the number of people I will miss. I still have friends in Sydney that I look forward to seeing. There are people in CA that I miss. However, for 16 years in NZ there are no more people I am sad to leave, than for 8 years in CA. Perhaps this is because some of our friends bailed out years ago. There will be new friends with whom to connect in Sydney.

I once said of myself that I was a town mouse. I saw students who had come to Sydney University and lived in Wesley with me. They did not go back to whence they came. The Road from Coorain evidently had parallel paths from many other small towns.

One thing I love about Sydney is the transport, especially the rail network. I hope to not need to own a car. NZ has horrid transport infrastructure. Melbourne is greatly expanding their rail, but it will not be in place in my lifetime! Eric and Peter are betting I cave in and get a car. We shall see.

Sydney promises to be a fifteen-minute city.

To continue the analogy, if this is an ejection, my chair rockets will soon fire. Tomorrow evening sees a bunch of my ex-students gather for a house cooling/farewell. Then there's a few days of furious house cleaning, painting, arranging, a lot of hard work, I anticipate. When the rockets stop I will be with Edwin for a few nights, in free fall. Finally I will be on a bus to AKL and a plane to SYD... stabiliser arms out, parachute opens. I have made my bet that the grass will be greener when I touch down.

By the way, nobody in Star Trek ever said exactly "Beam me up, Scotty", although close to that a few times. Just like "Play it again, Sam" in Casablanca, or "Elementary, my dear Watson" in the case of Holmes. These phrases capture the essence, though.
Personally, I reckon it comes from the T-shirt quote "Beam me up, Scotty, this planet sucks."

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