Home to a future that’s so foreign
SCHAPELLE Corby will turn 40 in July.
Almost one-third of those years, 12 years and eight months to be precise, has been spent in Bali, either behind bars or trying to carve out a life in Kuta while on parole.
For that entire time she has been instantly recognisable. Both her name and her face are hard to forget.
And the transition from Bali to the Gold Coast will not be an easy one.
When she left the small local home, in a dead end of Pudak Sari Lane in Kuta, for the last time yesterday she said a tearful goodbye to a life where she has managed to find a modicum of equilibrium after so many years of turmoil.
While she has lived in Bali, she has managed to remain for the most part relatively anonymous. Her local beach is not overrun by tourists, nor is her laneway home. Her routine has been simple. Running at the beach, swimming and snorkelling, bodyboarding with boyfriend Ben Panangian, and enjoying occasional nights out with friends and family at restaurants and clubs.
In her first year on parole, after almost a decade in jail, she appeared to make the most of her new freedom. On that new year’s eve she welcomed 2015 at Kuta’s Sky Garden club with her sister Mercedes and half-sister Meleane Kisina.
Frequently by her side has been Panangian. His two drug convictions may cause problems for attempts to secure him a visa to Australia.
Their relationship started in jail, where they were both prisoners, after they met in 2006. Leaving him in Bali would not have been easy for Corby. And she will not have him by her side when she tries to re-establish a life for herself on the Gold Coast, as she did in Bali when she got out of jail.
The Gold Coast will be foreign to her.
She is anxious about going home, about leaving all that she knows so well and transitioning to another world.
And she is fragile. She doesn’t know how she will fit into Australian society.
COUPLE: Schapelle Corby with her boyfriend Ben after a trip to the beach.