We have been in Surry Hills for six months. When I got a job here, we fell in love with the area, the cafes. We wanted to move closer to the city anyway, and it took us a while to get to work, so we wanted to move closer. We saw lots of houses for rent, so we looked and saw a place we liked. I fell in love with the quaint cafes and buildings and the historical nature of the area and all the people that I met were friendly. It has that small community feel even though it’s so close to the city.
In the building where we are living, it’s like a small community. We have only been there for one month and we already know the neighbours and have had them over for dinner. There’s one lady who grows herbs and she leaves fresh herbs on our doorstep every morning. She told us: “If you ever see a package on your doorstep don’t get scared, it’s just me leaving fresh herbs for you.” It’s so beautiful. You get to know all your neighbours on your street. We didn’t get that where we were before. We had lived there for years and we hardly spoke to our neighbours. Here it’s more communal.
I don’t think there are any bad changes in Surry Hills. You see construction. It’s a bit of a disturbance, but it’s for the better. There will be better transport. People in our building say that things have changed, but they have changed for the better. People say they used to have break-ins but now it’s much safer.
I play in a marching band and it has a mixture of Indian and Western music. We play at weddings. So I play the marching snare drum and someone else will play the marching bass drum and then we have people who play the trombone, saxophone and trumpet. We march along with the bridal procession as they enter the wedding. It’s joyous. It gets loud and chaotic especially when you are in the open air and everyone is dancing around you. It’s hard to hear everyone. But everyone loves it. I like the music and also when you go to someone’s function and everyone is happy, you get to be a part of that. It’s someone’s special day and you are a part of that.
I haven’t had many tragedies in my life. I’ve had to deal with loss in elderly family members. When people go through hard times through cancer for example, it makes you stronger when you see that, and it makes you appreciate life more. When you see what people go through it makes all the complaints you have so trivial. That’s the biggest life lesson I have learnt, value everything you have.
I’d say to my younger self, experience new things. Try something new. It might be scary but it will teach you something. Get out of your comfort zone more. Take that step outside, it will teach you and you will value everything you have a lot more.
4th November 2017