Bondi is arguably Sydney’s nicest suburb, sitting on the cliffs and hills between the Pacific Ocean and the iconic beach itself, and Sydney’s downtown business district. It is the most expensive place on this side of the Earth in the Southern Hemisphere, the birth place of all our three children and is also what we’ve been calling home for a long time now.
Other than Bondi, I doubt there’s any other places in the world with a similar eclectic mix of breath-taking natural beauty, flabbergasting cultural diversity and aliveness which simply goes beyond words. No other place leasurly can compete with almost all of the pristine beaches and places we’ve seen sailing over the past few years.
Last night I went for another beautiful sun-set walk with my daughter and from the moment we both burst out laughing at the sight of six camels marching up and down Bondi Beach I couldn’t stop feeling a prickling shower of gratitude for calling this crazy place home. In fact, this is the first time in my nomadic life I call a place ‘home’ (as opposed to a state of mind) and, despite all odds, this doesn’t freak me out anymore. Instead of linking this to ties and captivity, I now feel it is the safety anchor which will always be there for us when everything else won’t.
Dear Bondi, only here can you see the old Rastafari and the young and sleek entrepreneur walking hand in hand along the promenade; regularly hear more than 20 different languages during a mere two hour coastal walk; watch all the oldies leading the way in swimming all year round – even in the more than refreshing water during the winter months; observe the world from the world’s most scenic sauna at Icebergs; watch the sexiest red trunks you’ve ever seen; giggle at the seriousness only Bondi-outdoor-gymsies could ever bring to an array of iron bars; NEVER get tired of the stunning sunrises and sunsets cross your cliffs; enjoy the best impromptu Sunday evening picnics with friends you’ve just bumped into in the surf; see dolphins in your backyard beach and wales from the next-door golf-course… only here am I not afraid to feel home.
Of course you also need to have camels in winter, plus an ice-ring in a region where ice and snow is unheard off. You also can’t escape the capitalist grip of some of those trying to turn you into just another build-up Venice Beach. You are not immune to some ignorants and drunkards making their wee-round too close to the playground, nor to the arrogant poshies and foreign billionaires who’ve pushed property prices up beyond belief. An expresso here buys a family meal elsewhere. You push out more celebrity chefs, vets, princesses and you name it than probably any other place in the world. You grow yoga teachers like bad weeds. But still, I forgive you ’cause you are much more than that to me. Much more, and yet so little, a mere four words I will always come back to: H-O-M-E.