„Greg was offered a job in Newcastle, how cool is that!?“ I said to my friend while playing with the telephone cable and picking my pasta out of the bowl. I had just come home and launched myself onto my comfy brown couch to settle in for the evening. I didn’t know much about Newcastle, other than it being a harbour town 180km north of Sydney, the sixth biggest city in Australia and that they shipped the worst offenders up here at the start of the 19th Century. Well, after my statement there was only silence on the other end of the phone before she double checked „Newcastle?“. „Yes!“ I replied expectantly. Then there was more silence.
A big sigh came from the other end. „Oh sweetie, Newcastle is a shit hole. There is nothing going on there. <pause> Well, go and check it out! Sorry, I have to go now.“ she said and hung up on me.
Her words were haunting me – I couldn’t get them out of my head. I couldn’t sleep. I’d quit my job and my lease, sold my furniture, everything I owned was reduced to 20kg of luggage and apparently I’m moving from Munich to a „shit hole“. Great! I’m overcome with panic, but guess what – too late now. I will have to get through it, worst case it’ll be a nice holiday and an intensive language course. Really, could it be that bad?
Today, 10 years later, Newcastle is my new home away from home (if I can still call Germany home?). We even chose to live here. So far we’ve lived in Newcastle, Brissy, Melbourne, Sydney, Port Mac and now we’re back in Newy. It’s not too big and not too small, there are awesome beaches, it’s only two hours from Sydney and the international airport and one hour from the Hunter Valley. Ten years ago it was important to us to be in walking distance to the pubs, these days with kids it’s walking distance to the playgrounds. Newcastle is the best compromise for a chick from the North of Germany and a guy from North Queensland – not too hot and not too cold!
A long time ago now, my friend came and visited me in „the shit hole“ and she had to admit that it is just beautiful here. She’d only seen the industrial area on her way through to Nelson Bay. And I had agonised over it for weeks!
If you haven’t yet, you should definitely check out Newy! It’s more than worth a trip!
– Und morgen auf Deutsch (tomorrow the German version) –