November 11, 2007
The sun scorches, the flies swarm and Vegemite and Tim-Tams abound…i must be back in oz. was such a trip to leave the European continent and head off across the seas…on the way somehow passing by 2 days. yes…we all know that crazy phenomenon known as the date-line…but it still freaks me out none the less. i had a very interesting experience i must say. my flight left late at night out of Paris (the 3rd)…my flight was delayed (of course) so we started boarding the plane about 12:30am. after thoroughly packing the plane i was nicely nestled in a middle seat in the middle row of this massive jetliner…next to…you guessed it…some horribly sick person. felt bad for her actually…sniffling, sneezing, coughing…looking unwell all around. anyway…around this time they fed us dinner i guess trying to get us onto some other time clock somewhere in the world…who knows. i guess they figure that if we’re full and happy with food and in-flight entertainment, we’ll sedately slip to sleep. i sort of “slept” for the next 4 hours at which point we were greeted with breakfast because landing in Singapore it was about 7am there. after getting on the plane we were now on an Australian airline and of course…in Australia at this time it is evening…so guess what?? you have dinner again!
The airline switched me seats and when my veggie meal didn’t come immediately i was a bit nervous…apparently they gave it to some dude sitting in my original seat! who would take a vegan meal??! who knows…but i actually ended up getting an “asian meal” which i was quite wary about just from the name. what exactly might this be…”Asian meal” hmmm…a meal taking on the entire cultral properties of a large geographical area…well…anyway…it was pretty much the best airplane food i’d ever recieved…so remember kids…the asian meal will do you fine! i highly suggest it actually! a nice curry with rice…mmm. but on with the interesting eating schedule about 3 hours later i had breakfast one more time because in Melbourne it was about 6am on the 5th! where does the time go? somewhere into the date-line abyss. all i do know is that 4 meals (none of them being lunch) and 20 hours later i arrived half way around the globe slightly fogged but actually feeling a lot less tired than i should. another fun time was after all the ridiculous amount of eating i did on the way over i managed to stuff all my peanuty/almondy food in my mouth before customs (australia is mighty strict)….i’m literally standing away from the line just shoveling food into my mouth because i refuse to waste ANY of it. i found out later all these things i rapaciously ate are allowed in…ahh well.
And i have never in my life been so happy to see ENGLISH! i literally kept muttering in a happy and pleasantly surprised voice “enlgish…look, english…i love english! ENGLISH!” i felt like someone who had crossed miles of desert and had finally found a water hole. it was nice to not feel like a complete dolt everytime you want to interact with another human being. the pointing, body-twisting sign language that had managed to get me around was getting old. not to mention taking guesses on food labels. i actually noticed that for the first few days when i would pass a sign i would just blatantly ignore it…so conditioned to thinking…well…i can’t read it! only to find…hey! i’m literate again! my brain was feeling functional again and glad to exercise in conversations outside my own head.
Wow…so much to say about Melbourne. This will (too late…) be a long one. As some of you may know, I returned to Australia solely to visit my long-lost Aussie friends i had made while studying abroad right here in Melbourne (unfortunately i was not blogging during that semester and travels around OZ). wish i would have had more time and money to travel around the country again as i loved it before…but it just didn’t happen. anyway…it was lovely to be back in Melbourne, hang out with friends and not be a tourist. ah…it was great to see everyone! footy friends, jugglers and more! gahh…i’ve now made more friends that i will surely miss while way away when i ‘m back in the states. i already know that i have to get back to Australia. cool places and cool people will do that to you. and i love it. i surfed around from bed, to futon, to camper mattress and another bed. it was great and everyone’s hospitality was incredible…as you would expect from Australians. the whole country has this marvelous laid-back atmosphere you only experience in beach towns in california. they are also much further ahead in environmental conservation…man i love it there. and Melbourne itself just has this incredible artsy vibe. so much going on! like i said…i did quite a bit of hanging out. took my first day to visit all the old places i had frequented during my semester bringing back some great and strange memories. (oh unilodge). While staying with footy friend Mary-Anne and her partner Dave we went on a great bike ride down the Yarra, kicked the footy around (yay! i missed it so!), checked out a museum and hung-out in their near-by park relaxin and throwin the frisbee around….all the while in realization that this is the life ! also got to celebrate Mary-Anne’s b-day while i was there…good fun!
Other time was spent with jugglers and i stayed at the happy-go-lucky Rob’s place. i absolutely love that kid. what a great guy…he even greeted me with a box of Tim-Tams! his good friend Ben loaned his camper mattress (double bed size!) and i took over there entire apartment living room. haha. hanging out with the jugglers was amazing and i realized how much i missed them all… just so much fun…juggly fun! we had house-warming/cooling parties, cheescake/swim parties…and of course…juggling sessions. love it. And all this while i got to know Ben better and he offered me a spare room in his house to stay! amazing! i happily accepted and it was so great hanging out with this guy…does he know how to cook and therefore ate quite well in my time down under! ! Ben is another one of those awesome dudes…was so happy to meet and get to know him. we often got sucked into his bean bag chairs chatting until much too late in the evening. and he was even kind enough to loan me his bike for the duration of my stay so i could cruise around at my own will: check out the beach…ride around town…these kinds of things. i miss being there already.
Another day a guy i had met in Czech Republic who lives in Melbouren took me out for a day trip to the coast…was nice to get away from the city (especially because the temperatures were over 100) and cruise the coast. we enjoyed the beach for a bit before being attacked by flies. i’m not joking when i say there were probably about 50 or more flies for each of us…just buzzing around your face….uhhh! wretched! was still a nice day though…haha. oh australia. melbourne really does feel like a home away from home. I also got a personl tour of the biggest footy/cricket stadium in Melbourne where most of the major matches take place, the MCG!! my old Mugars (footy) teammate/coach, Chyloe, now works for the AFL and works in the stadium promoting and creating more opportunities for woman and girls alike in the sport. was great to see her and hard to know that i wouldn’t be able to stay and play for the upcoming season. walking onto those grounds would be enough to spark anyone’s interest.
On my last night there, Nyssa, one of the jugglers, was having her house-cooling (too hot to be warming anything!) party and some of the other jugglers i had not seen (one was doing a year-long circus course in New Zealand!) were there…it was so great to catch them before i headed out. we goofed around…ate way too much food and let me tell you…it was so hard to say goodbye all over again and ride that bike off…thinking…when will be the next time i see them?? like i said…i’ll be back. work there or something…just can’t stay away from these kids. it’s funny..and i don’t mean this in any kind of insulting way but when i saw all my friends…one by one i noticed that many of them actually looked older. weird to think about anything changing while you are away. i mean…nobody look old …just older and it was a bit strange. besides my hair going from long and dark to short and blond…i wonder if i looked much different to them. 2 years…doesn’t seem possible. and you know you have good friends when after that long it seems like just yesterday you were hanging out, kickin the footy around…juggling a few clubs…just start right back up. besides the whole 20 minutes of life catch up…it really feels the same. and there is nothing like that. and to be able to pick up with people on all ends of the globe…well…you can’t beat that.
And after a hard decision i booked my ticket off to new zealand and extended my stay there 2 more months. I was off to a new, unseen country and ready to be on the backpacker/adventure-around -the-country route again…it excites any world trekker.
“Heya, how ya going?!” I lived in Melbourne, Australia for 6 months while studying abroad for a semester and had the opportunity to travel a bit of the east coast on my breaks and further around the continent after my studies finished. I was not blogging at the time so don’t have detailed rambles about each place but thought I should at least put a few photos up a little summary and offer up any advice on these places if you have questions and would like to contact. bring along yer footy!