• Photograph si666

No longer young at 44, Father finally made good his lifelong dream of migration. Having lived through two World Wars he longed for a peace loving country. His choice fell on Australia. It was a courageous decision to make: to leave a secure job, a familiar home, family members and friends, for the uncertainty of an unknown lifestyle, language, culture. ‘It will be hard on us parents’, he said to me, ‘but good for you, your sisters and your children’. To begin with I was to help with communication. My school English was grammar-translation based, speaking was hardly practised in lessons, in the English environment understanding came quickly, but talking was more difficult. I found this out on my first day at work in Australia. ‘Hello dear, how are you?’ said the kindly, white-haired lift operator, nodding towards me. I replied with a phrase from my vocabulary, stressing every word for clarity, ‘Very well, thank you, and how do you do?’ His smile was still friendly, as he replied slowly, puzzled, ‘I beg your pardon?’

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