When The Clash wrote Should I stay or should I go in the 1980s, they did not intend it to refer to earthquake struck cities; nevertheless it would make a fitting anthem for Christchurch in these post-quake days. There’s so much coming and going, and to quote The Clash:
If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double.
A library is the perfect place to bear witness to these great migrations of people. In a single day in any one library, you could meet up with The Stayers, The Goers and the Inbetweeners.
The many new arrivals to Christchurch come from all over the world. This week alone I have met (and this to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas): three from New Guinea, two Irish builders, one English rose. The latter had arrived a mere three hours earlier and had come straight from the airport to Central Library Peterborough to use the internet and take out books on tramping around Christchurch and Kiwi cooking. I’m grouping them with The Stayers because that’s what I hope they will do.
Some people have thought it all through and decided it is time to go – usually to The Land of Oz. Not the whole country mind, just the bits on the edge like The Sunshine Coast and Western Australia. Oz might as well not have a middle as far as most Goers are concerned; it’s all about the sunshine, the salaries and the surf. Actually, put like that it does sound great, but I do hope they’ve been told about Capital Gains Tax and the possible effect of migration on pensions. If you’ve decided to move on, the library has heaps of resources to help you, like Living and Working in Australia.
What with all this moving around, there is bound to be some fallout. And here it comes: the parents who have been left behind – The Inbetweeners – doomed to a life of both staying and going. They have lost their children and their grandchildren and instead have been gifted iPads, Smart phones and e-readers. This is a huge technological hurdle for many of them. But they are so proud of their clever off-spring who have landed lives in Australia and talk of how it is only a matter of a few hours’ flying time to meet up again. I smile, because I do that already and am now best friends with a pair of flight socks. They ask if we can help them with all their new gadgets. And, yes, we can. Several libraries around the network offer drop-in computer classes tailored specifically to this group. Just phone 03-941-7923 and our wonderful Fingertip staff will help you out. Alternatively, check our Classes and Events calendar.
But moving around isn’t about age really. Eileen Hall was 93 when she sang Should I Stay or Should I Go in the film Young@Heart. Have a listen, it’s great. And if she could get up on a stage and belt that out at 93, who is to say that The Inbetweeners wouldn’t make a great go of it in Woolloomooloo (or wherever)?