Thursday, April 16, 2015

My lil Perth - Epilog Cinta dari Leederville II

Perth is a city that brings a sentimental longing in me. 

It is a city that opens up a wistful affection for my past, a period that I can consider as happy days, and a year full of hopes and dreams, and a lot to look forward to in my life.
Perth from Kings Park. It is a beautiful city by the Swan River. Taken from

Don't get me wrong. Happiness is not absolute. Nothing is.  For the year that I was there, I can only remember the good life, never mind that I did have my fair share of  ups and downs, when I was there. Like, this is the place where I failed my (car) driving tests.

Tests, mind you, as in the plural sense. Did I mention four times?


Our mind often plays a wonderful game with us. It blocks the bad memories, the sad episodes in our lives; those are quickly forgotten, or at least, if I can still remember it, I can now laugh at it.

All I remember was on that cold February morning, walking down the streets at Wembley - having just landed in Perth the night before.  It was more like the wee hours of that morning when we landed. It was still summer, but I was shivering. The air was cool - it didn't feel summer at all; but it was fresh;  and crispy. It has a peculiar atmosphere that remain etched in my mind. I left Australia more than 30 years ago, and yet I can still feel the crispiness in the air. That crisp air that morning after we landed in Perth probably has a lot to do with the gum trees - eucalyptus, if you must.

It was Australia to me. 

I am longing to have that feeling again. Fresh from completing our SPM, and thrown to the wonderful small city that is Perth, from the backwater of Kota Bharu. You can't beat that feeling. I own the world then; the world's my oyster. the sky's the limit.

It was a I-am-here-to-conquer-the-world feeling. It was a euphoric feeling.

I am sure I can't replicate that feeling internally in me. 30 years have passed; I have been battered by life - sort of, I can't pretend to have that innocent feeling again. Not unlike the song Lost That Loving Feeling, by the Righteous Brothers.

I never had the opportunity to return before this. My career took me to new places all over the world. But never my lil Perth (and in a sense, my Melbourne). I am sure they have grown. So much water would have flown by the Swan River (and the Yarra too) over the years. I am sure I may not recognize them as I would 34 years ago. Leederville Technical College is no longer Leederville Technical College. It is something else now. But I hope the building is still intact.

But my apartment on Cambridge St is still intact. Nothing has changed that much. Or at least that what I can see from Street View. I remember the walk that took us past the flyover over Mitchell Freeway.

Us at Nedlands, beside the Swan River in 1981. The picture tint is red with the advent of time, but the memory is intact.
Or the wonderful suburb of Nedlands/Crawley, where the equally majestic and beautiful buildings of the University of Western of Australia are located.

I can't wait to head back. As I told a friend, I remember Perth with all my innocence intact. I was there for a purpose. Study and get my degree. Well, in the end, I got my degree not in Perth, but Melbourne.

But Perth is the place I got started in life, so to speak.

For that I look up to Perth fondly.

Very fondly.


Here is Epilog Cinta dari Leederville Part I.

I told this story to a friend. He vehemently agreed with me. He felt the same way about Carbondale and the crisp air when he first arrived there. Another friend who was in Perth a couple of years agreed too; she said so in her comment below.

So it could be Perth, but may be it isn't. Yes, I do love Melbourne too, where I spent 4 years of my undergraduate years, but I did not feel the same about Melbourne, the same way I had described below.

May be it was because this was my first ever trip overseas, when I was not even 18.

Anything else beyond Perth - London, Tokyo, Houston, New York, Colorado, even Melbourne seems like a downgrade.

May be it is like first love. You can't beat that feeling you had with your first love. Everybody else beyond first love would be a downgrade. 

And this time around, no gal is involved!