Confession: No matter how far I carry my home in my heart, I will never consider these Western Australian mining towns as such. The honor of this title – home – does not belong to boom towns in their adolescence, created by giant international corporations circa 1970, catering to the workers of massive open-pit mines, which are supported by non-renewable resources, and China.
After promising a move to Queensland, yet finding myself back in WA for the higher wages, I’ve forced myself to the conclusion that you can try your hardest, but home is still selective of a place you actually belong.
Confession: That is a veritable 100% not here.
However, I’ve started a list of ways you can learn to love a town you most definitely do not.
Step 1: Become a local by knowing the locals.
It needn’t be the place where everybody knows your name; but by getting to know the pharmacist or bartender, you create a neighborhood of familiar faces. And knowing who people are is a big step in adjusting to a place.
Step 2: Make the smallest activity a big, exciting event.
Here in Newman, (approximately 3x the population of Paraburdoo), a trip to Woolworth’s grocery store is of the grandest occasion. You write lists the night before, lay out your shopping outfits, coincide times with friends, and descend upon the isles as if you have not already memorized them in a daily effort to amuse. Go crazy and buy an extra box of biscuits- this only happens once an afternoon!
Step 3: Write a Bucket List.
Entries from mine include: watch a local Australian Footy League game; order curry from our restaurant; visit the damn. However small they might be, they’ll provide an opportunity to avoid boredom and give an otherwise monotonous place some semblance of importance.
Step 4: Read the paper, Cut things out.
Reading the computer clip-art Newman News might not provide me with much actual information, but it does contain a weekly calendar of events. Last month we watched a free dance troupe performance; next week, we’ll visit the Sunday market. If you can actively participate within the community, you’ll gain some ownership of the place.