Coming to Australia

May 05, 2018


I don't remember leaving Germany. I don't remember the flights to Singapore then Brisbane. But I do remember the very first time Brisbane's heavy, humidity hit me in my chubby little face because it felt like a clinically obese cat had pounced on my chest and I suddenly had trouble breathing when I stepped out of the plane. I stood there gasping in air until Dad Pham lead me down the steps onto the tarmac. After the initial shock, I was fine. Well, for now. We went inside and met Dad's eagerly waiting Phamly.

Dad Pham tells me they took us back to our new rental home on Wedgetail Street in Inala, around the corner from where Dad lives now. I don't remember the ride back from the airport though.

My next memory of Australia is crying alone on a sofa. I had been crying for a long time so the adults had left me alone because I was inconsolable and everything else they had tried only made me cry harder. Dad and Mum Pham don't know why I was crying so hard. I was only 4 years old and couldn't possibly understand what was going on. Maybe part of me knew everything was different now.

I remember my cousin came out to offer me a bag of peanut m&ms. I took them and ate them - still sobbing. I fell asleep on the couch exhausted hugging the bag of chocolates, and so began my love affair with my favourite, guilty pleasure comfort food. Peanut m&ms is how I cope with all life trauma now. Except for watching A Quiet Place. Boy-oh, did I regret bringing a loud snack into the cinema - oh how I longed to munch on them to cope with the stress of living the brilliant story, but I couldn't because the cinema was dead silent.


- THE END -

If you want to start from the beginning of Phamly history, read:
Part 1 - O Captain! My Captain! Dad Pham's navy days during the Vietnam War.
Part 2 - P.O.W. Viet Cong Re-education Camp Dad Pham's time as a prisoner of war.
Part 3 - Living with Viet Cong Mum Pham's experience with communism.
Part 4 - Boat People Dad Pham seeks refuge after the war.
Part 5 - Finding Faith Dad finds peace.
Part 6 - When Herr met Frau - Dad Pham meets Mum Pham.
Part 7 - Life in Germany: the early years - Dad Pham sets up life in Germany.
Part 8 - Life in Germany: the later years - Dad gets sick, Mum steps up.
Part 9 - Getting ready for Australia - Mum Pham is on a mission.
Part 10 - Coming to Australia - My first memories of Australia.

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