Old Friends

Last night I had a trip down memory lane. It was surreal.

My dear friends Charissa and Janine are in town – coincidently at the same time. We all went to Murdoch University together, meeting up in an Introductory Film class in 1996.  In case you don’t know, my name is Janine also.  And funnily enough, the conversation we all bonded over initially was the fact that Charissa was also going to be named Janine when she was born (but escaped!). Thus we became ‘Triple J’, just like the alternative radio station we loved to listen too (well – the two real Janine’s did.  Charissa’s tastes were more eclectic.  She is responsible for introducing me to SADE, the Buena Vista Social Club, and the Backstreet Boys…).

We graduated way back in 1998, and have kept in touch off an on ever since. Janine now lives near Byron Bay in the Eastern States of Australia.  Charissa ended up moving back to Singapore, as she was here to study and had to go home.  I still live in Perth…although I have escaped on many occasions to explore some of the world. None of us have embarked on a career in film, but our creative urges still drive us – even more so at the moment, as we all seemed to have denied it for so long – but now find ourselves on the same path to realisation that it is really what we should be chasing in life.

A lot has certainly changed between the good (and bad) old uni days, and now…except Murdoch University.

Last night, Charissa arranged a catch-up of some of the old uni buddies at the uni tavern. Pulling up in the old car park, all that had changed there was the addition of a lock-up cage for bicycles (and the fact that I now have a better car that actually works).

Embarking from the car, we set off to the uni tav via the old Humanities area, where we spent many a day and night sitting, talking, reading, studying, filming, editing – and rolling office chairs down the hilly paths due to the insanity of late-night editing sessions and the sugar rush of the vending machine hot chocolates. It was still the same.

Heading through to the ‘bush court’, the heart of the uni, the trees and bushes even looked the same. Charissa joked that there could still even be fliers on the pin-up boards from 1998 – as there were loads!

Onwards we walked, remembering now how vast the actual campus was, heading into the heart of where the lecture theatres were – beloved Lecture Theatre 1 (ahhh the memories!), down the stairs, more stairs, and more stairs, heading towards the tav. Passing the bottle brush bushes and the Student Guild building, we discovered that the tav wasn’t there anymore! Noooooo. Now we knew the uni still had one – but had kind of neglected to check it was still in the same place. Luckily we saw a person, who kindly advised us that there hadn’t been a tavern here for years, and that it was now at the front of the uni.

Okay – now this is logical. Our memories of the old uni tav were this – the tav was situated right at the back of the uni campus, and you had to walk a few stairs and a fair way to get there, kind of down hill. By the time you go there, the beers went down REALLY well, and they tasted especially god whilst lounging on the most funkiest, brightest coloured lounge chairs, listening to John Butler, before he was famous, singing to us about saving the trees.  After that – who seriously would want to go to class!

So, the powers that be at the university realised what was going on, as I know we weren’t the only ones who got stuck there, thus moving the tav to the front of the uni near the bush court.

In the end we found the ‘new’ tavern, after passing some current uni students talking in ‘uni speak’ (does anyone really use the word ‘inherently’ in their everyday conversations?). Our first impressions were that it was so much more fancy that the one we used to go to. Janine commented that she felt too bright wearing colours there…but thinking back I don’t think we wore colour at uni – it was black, brown, black, brown…and maybe some grey.

Either way, the tav still had beer. It even had champers! And we proceeded to catch up on about 10 years of our lives, which was absolutely entertaining and enjoyable. Deep down, none of us has really changed that much, which is beautiful to see. I believe that we still all have our essences that drew us together in the first place, and we are all still genuine people, who still love being stupid and laughing REALLY loud (or could it be cackling?). Yes, we have all put on a few kilos, and yes we have all had some not-so-nice experiences in life, but I am happy to say none of us have become bitter and twisted by life, and we all still have – now more than ever – big dreams and big hearts.

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