Monday, January 16, 2012

Next of Kin

NOTE:  As per usual, a long story.  The case in point may be found at the very bottom of the post.

| email 1 |


Can you send me your address there [in Australia]?  I [happen to] have some friends/relatives there.  They might be able to meet you if you're close to where you're staying.


| internal monologue 1 |


| email 2 |


Your Auntie Nora lives 15.62 km|9.71 m from you.  About 25 mins. by car according to Google maps.


internal monologue 2 |

NO WAY.  What were the chances?  Additionally, how many random relatives will my dad keep a secret until the most opportune moment?

| phone call part 1 |

Joshua:  Auntie! - Auntie? - Nora!  We finally got in touch!
Nora:  Yes, Joshua!  ...So, how are we related?

online chat 1 |

Cass:  I didn't know you had family in Australia.
J:  Me neither.
C:  Magno, you have to meet this woman.
J:  I know, it'd be good to meet some family members I've never met before.
C:  How is she related to you?
J:  No idea.  I guess I'll find out when I meet her.
C:  Mmm.  And your dad's not sure?
J:  I don't think so.
C:  Wow.
J:  It didn't really sound like my dad spoke with her a lot.
C:  What if there was a kind of family schism?  Drama?  One half didn't talk to the other?
J:  I don't think we're that kind of family.
C:  You never know.  Who knows how many secrets the Magno family harbors?
J:  Like I said, we're not that kind of family.

| phone call part 2 |

J:  And you?  What are you doing here in Adelaide?
N:  Well, I used to be a full time bartender at the Hilton Hotel in Victoria Square.  Now, I'm a full time lecturer at Adelaide Hospitality & Tourism School.  I teach 40 students 5 days a week on how to mix drinks and deal with rude customers.  Oh, and I just won a three year scholarship to live and study to be a hotel manager for the Australian equivalent of a very fancy Swiss Hotel.
J:  Jeez.
N:  Yep.  I guess winning awards runs in the family.  You can tell your father that.
J:  Will do.
N:  Oh,  and I have three sons you have to meet.  One is 16, one is 10, and the other is 9.  I guess that makes you their cousin.  Or is it uncle?  I don't know.  Oh, how's the economy in the US by the way?

| meeting |

N:  Ah!  So I finally figured it out!  How we're related...  Your father is my cousin, I think, because his mother and my mother are cousins.
J:  So we're not even sure if we're actually blood related?
N:  No, but I'll ask my mom again.
David [Nora's partner]:  So we're not even sure if you're his aunt.
N:  No, Sweetheart.  We Filipinos call even the most distant relatives our Auntie or Uncle or Niece or Nephew.
D:  I'm not sure that's how it works.
J:  So how'd you do it?  You know, move to Australia, get into the bar tending scene, then all of a sudden go up into hotel management?
N:  Through hard work.  You must know that already.  But it's doable.  Not easy, but doable.  Why?  Are you thinking of moving here?  How's the economy in the US?
J:  The economy...  Well, if I were to have stayed at home, all I would be doing right now is being sad and jobless.  So yes, it makes sense to come here.
D:  You know, Josh, Australia is the only country in the world where you can be unemployed, and you'll still have a home, be able to send your kids to school, and put food on the table.
J:  How?
D:  The government funds all of it.
J:  You're sure?
D:  I would hope so.  I work for it.
N:  Joshua, it's easy to come here.  Especially if you want to study.
J:  Even dance?  I'm almost considering going to a TAFE school here, maybe even getting a bachelor's in dance performance.  You know, getting official dance training.
N:  Yeah!  You could do that, IF YOU WANT.  Here, a TAFE education costs about a quarter of the price of going to a university, but you're actually getting an applied education, not just one in theory.
J:  ... I don't know.  It just sounds like it'll be more expensive because I'm a foreign student...
N:  So move here!  It's easy, especially since you're an American citizen.  Your points will be higher.  All you need to do is apply for a job here - David and I can even help you with that, if you ever want to bar tend or maybe even work for the government - so you have a working visa [I think you need to be contracted here for a two year job], but once you arrive, you can apply for permanent residency.  Then you'll get all the Australian government privileges, especially the ones under the TAFE schools.  Oh, you won't be able to vote, but who cares about that?
J:  Wow.  You make it seem so...
N:  Easy?  That's because it is.  Australian life is better, Joshua.  The cost of living is cheaper, and the government can help you in so many ways.  There are jobs just waiting to be had, but if you really wanted it, I can help get you a job or David can.  That's what family's for.  And since these jobs pay enough so that you can easily support yourself, you'll be able to apply and attend for ACArts like you want.  
J:  Like I want.
N:  Really, that's just the point of it all, and it's exactly what I did.  You just have to set a date for yourself - let's say two weeks after you go back home to the US - and just decide on what you want to do.  Then do it.  But for now, finish your year.  Do what you had set out to do on this scholarship.  It might change by that time.

| internal monologue 3 |


| Case in Point |

It was at this very moment He realized that it was more than just coincidence that the third|senior and second|junior year dance show at ACArts was presented one week after he had arrived, and that his father just happened to have family in Adelaide.  Seeing it all was enough to convince him that this was something he wanted, and if she spoke the truth, He was determined to work for it.  After all, moving to Australia didn't sound like such a terrible plan after this year, did it?

[ Nora's Mother's Cousin's Son's Son ]

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