At a bar on Monday, I check my phone in the toilet. There’s an email from an address I recognise. Immigration.
Oh my god, I think as the mail app loads.
It’s the visa I’ve been waiting for. The last one I’ll need in this country. The one that has the word permanent in it.
Oh my god, I say out loud.
There is no one in the bathroom to hear me. No one there for me to tell.
I text my mum and run back into the bar. I grab my boyfriend, the person I started this process with three and a half years ago.
I just got my visa.
As soon as I say it out loud I start crying. Unexpected, open weeping in the middle of the crowded bar. It doesn’t matter. This bar is partly mine now. This bar is a landmark in the story I will tell of the time I moved to Australia.
At my local cafe on Tuesday, I chat with the barista. We don’t know each other’s names but, by now, we know each other enough.
I tell him I have to offload some small change on him but I’ll give him a pretty two dollar coin as well.
Oh, that is pretty, he says.
It’s a commemorative coin for a children’s book. A possum sits in the middle of a circle of multi-coloured stars.
Yep, that’s the pay off, I say.
He looks at the change I’ve given him. That’s not too bad, I thought it was going to be all five cents.
No, I say, I wouldn’t do that. I’m offloading it gradually, across the cafes of Melbourne.
Not that you go to other cafes, he says.
At the hairdressers on Wednesday, we laugh as my stylist wraps tin foil on my head.
Your favourite crown, he says.
And he’s right, it is my favourite. Sometimes they use cling film to help my bleach develop, but foil is better. He knows because I’ve seen him every six weeks for three years, which is more than I see some people I consider close friends.
We laugh some more as he scrunches the foil into a point.
He says, I really like how this joke is still funny after all this time.
He says, We’ll still find this funny in years.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 28th October 2017 as part of Internet Care Package.
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