Friends and loved ones

The rellies

Just before Christmas I got to meet some of my relatives for the first time in quite a while. My aunt(-in-law) Gem and my cousin Justin were in town for a few days. Hadn’t seen Justin in almost 20 years… both of us were much younger than at present, and while I barely remember it (my sister and I visited them in Brisbane for Expo ’88, when I was 18) he would have been about 4, and remembers absolutely nothing about it.

He’s a fully-fledged ABC (Australian-born Chinese), while I’m half-a-one. I was slightly amused to see that at 22 he had started to get grey hair, and I mentioned I’d started going grey about the same age, then pointed to my own very streaky-grey hair and said to him “This is your future!” He laughed.

They live in Perth, and said we’d be welcome to stay if we went over. I’d like to see Perth, but it’s a long way away, so I don’t know if I’ll see them again any time soon.

Indeed, talking to them, and looking through some old family photos, it reinforced to me that despite this age of instant and cheap communications, the various arms of relatives of my extended don’t really keep in very good contact with one another. And that it’s almost shameful how little we know about our ancestors and distant relatives.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

3 replies on “The rellies”

perth is a gorgeous place, you should try to go one day with ur family. but i agree with u that in this day and age of wonderful technology, we dun try hard enuff to keep in touch with family and frens. it’s a pity sometimes when u think abt it, esp when most no longer indulge in snail mail at all today.

Agreed perth is lovely except for the sheep shearing shed the gov has put up on the perth foreshore.( biased perth girl here) ” perth exhibition centre” and it has no windows on the river side of the building so i am told. how silly is that. i am just as guilty daniel I’ve never visted any other states of Australia. Worse in fact as you have at least been here. flight costs are ridiculous. As long as its cheaper for me to visit another country including accom i don’t know that my view will ever change. I’d rather see other countries and have. So far.

I haven’t heard “ABC” for quite a while. Or banana (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) for that matter (one of my exes is 1/4 chinese).

I quite liked Perth, although I admit that biking there may not be everyones cup of tea. Biking round Perth is great though. What did annoy me was that I could fly back for ~$160 and the train was over $400. I was keen to take the train but at the time the extra cost (don’t forget to add meals for 3 or 4 days) and extra time was a bit steep.

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