We're Never Coming Back

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Day 236 - Perth and Margaret River

australia Welcome to Western Australia.

So, airports and flights have now offically TOTALLY lost their novelty. I don't even think I get excited about take-off anymore, and that has ALWAYS been a winner. I guess after this many flights, they're bound to lose it sooner or later. Anyway, this time it was Melbourne to Perth. And we arrived on a hot and steamy day (you know that feeling when you get off the plane and the temperature HITS you in the face as you step out the door - we got that), transfered into town and checked in.

To a ghost town. Right, its PEAK SEASON here. And the streets are dead. We're in the CENTRE of the biggest city in western australia. 1 block from the pedestrianised city centre. And its dead. And after a night's sleep and a wander into town, its the same. This place is BORING. There's nothing to do in town. Apparently the beaches are nice, but they're like 30 minutes away. So yeah, the next 3 (overcast) days are spent loitering around the dull town centre sorting things out, hanging around the pool catching the sun 30% of the time or getting excited about china (which is right round the corner).

Anyway, we have a week here on the west coast, so we decide to head out of town. And a 6 hour bus journey later we end up in the very quaint town of Margaret River. Its hot - not uncomfortably though - and its cute and green and lazy. And for 2 days we lazed around town, hanging with the locals at the hugely popular karaoke night, watching movies and eating chicken.

And then we realised. Just 3 days before our flight to china, ady emails us about our vietnamese visas and it suddenly dawns on me that perhaps, just perhaps, we need visas for china.

And guess what. we do. I see the fear spread over sam's face. She's amazingly readable when she's scared. The colour drains from her cheeks and she looks like she's just been drafted into Iraq on the front-lines. She has this half-accusational, half-dumb-struck look - its amazing. And no matter how many times I say "its fine, we can sort it out", the look doesn't shift until she's happy its sorted. And that's exactly what we did. A quick call to the embassy tells us the bad news that we need to change our flights ($27.50 each), get passport photos ($8), stay an extra 2 nights ($48 rent) and pay for an emergency visa ($100). All in a country and place we were more than happy to leave. Killer. But its sorted. and that look melts away and she's back to her amazing bright self.

And so our last day is spent by the pool. Basking in the hot 28 degree sun. practising my diving techniques. turning more brown every hour. and relaxing before the onslaught of china (its 1 degrees daytime temperature at the moment there guys. expect me to complain A LOT).

Now, the whole look-of-fear I get from Sam only pops up really rarely. I mean only once every 2 months. Its rare. But it happens twice in 2 days. We arrived back in Perth at 9pm. Its dark. And deserted (as usual). We walk to the hostel we stayed in before, and its full. Great. Sam hints at the look. "its fine, we can sort it out". We walk to the next place. Its full too. And apparently the other place round the corner is too. Sam's hint-of-a-look becomes a full-on fearful glare. "its gonna be fine". We're directed into the less-than-impressive bar area of town where there is apparently a couple of hostels and the occasional gun-crime. And walking through town, a silent, angry, fearful Sam on one side and the most redneck, hillbilly weirdos on the other, we scour the streets for a hostel and eventually find one with just one twin-room with our name on it. Problem solves. Bright and amazing Sam restored.

So yeah, it seems Perth is not only dull as hell, but its LOADED with the weirdest freaks ever. The people here look like something out of deliverance. Friendly - yes. But missing teeth, hideous haircuts, yellowing fingers and stained moustaches, bog eyes, egg heads, limps, lumps and hunchbacks - yes. the lot. is it in-breeding? i dunno. but if you're into circus freakshows you should get down here for a saturday night on the town. those and slutty girls EVERYWHERE. fact.

we stayed in of course. sam's not drinking and I'm skint. and the next day we check out early to get out of this part of town and back into the boring (but regular) town centre. At least that place has a pool. which we make full use of (1 degrees in china guys - have sympathy).

And then last night I hop onto a bus and head down to the beach to catch the sunset over the indian ocean. I'm not that into sunsets, but its something you can easily take for granted. and I sit on the gorgeous cottesloe beach, along with the better-looking half of perth, and watch the birds bound around the red and orange sky, the body-boarders catch the last waves of the day, and the sun sneak behind the horizon to give you guys back home the day I just had.

This is probably my last blog from Australia. Its been mental. I've hated it, and I've loved it. I've come here with almost no money, and left with so much less. Its been SO MUCH FUN. and yet so unsatisfying at times. Gut feeling - i wish I'd stayed longer in sydney. And I wish I'd had time to do the rafting course in Tully. And stayed in melbourne for just a couple more days. Would I come back? Only for sydney. A little bit of my heart has been left there. But the rest of it? Somewhere else.

Onto China. Expect winter clothes, temples, tiny little chinamen and chopsticks. And maybe a renewed sense of adventure.

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Anonymous Trixie said...

Ooh i've only just spotted your link to me down the bottom. Lovely. Look forward to hearing about China. James and I are pondering a trip to Japan where we could bump into 'Taller than is necessary' Dan.

3:32 am  

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