Riiiight…..so I am in Sydney (both now writing this and at this point in the story). I woke up on Bryon’s pullout couch the morning after the monumental drive and I felt TERRIBLE. Like a lot sicker than I had been in a long time. I blame Asia…not in a “Damn, Asians, trying to poison us” way but in an inadequate ventilation meaning the germs from thousands of people in transit from country to country infecting you way. “Thank you for flying Incubation Airlines. Please remember your complementary Typhoid”.
I get to the hostel, Base (on Kent Street), or I have my first real day in Sydney and what is the first thing that I do? Dump my stuff and go to the pharmacy. This was my first real , “Welcome Back to the real world, Kate” moment when I bought some cough syrup, Halls and a throat spray and it came to $60. $60??!?!? That’s like half my rent in Bali. I was thinking about just saying fuck it and taking my chances in Sydney not being able to swallow and sounding like an 11 year old boy going through puberty, but that prospect sounded far to miserable. So I relented and bought the medicine. The days of going to the Apotek and receiving random unmarked pills for $2 were long gone.
I was in a 6 bed dorm at Base and for a dorm it was pretty good. For the first time in a long time I ended up a dorm where everyone is on the same page. Not the one 19 year old raver and the 40 year olds who go to bed at 7pm, or vice versa. I initially felt slightly weirded out by the guy who was on the bunk under me, he didn’t seem to have any bags and had made a little house of his bunk with a sheet. Later I found out that he was staying at the hostel because his girlfriend’s mom was staying in their studio apartment with the girlfriend, so he was staying in a hostel for 4 weeks while the mother was visiting. Then there were the 2 Korean guys who had been travelling around Australia to improve their English, who after learning I worked as an English teacher for the last year, only addressed me as “Teacher”. And there was Chatty McChatterson, the inevitable person in the dorm who has been everywhere and seen more things/places than you have and IS NOT afraid to tell you about them ….at length. As I have said before I am Canadian and we are a humble people, I am not a big one for boasting about the places I have been to or things that I have done. Even when I am telling a friend or fellow traveller about stuff that I have done I feel bad, I feel like I am boasting, “Oooooh. I lived in the Himalayas for 4 months…aren’t I fantastic?”, when all I am doing is telling the person an integral part of my story. But Chatty definitely wanted you to look at him in awe over the places he has been too. And yes, they were an impressive array of countries, I mean I can’t say that I have met many people who have been to North Korea. That shit is cool. Well, not North Korea as such but an American going to North Korea.
And the 6th member of our little dormitory family was Bola. Bola lived in L.A. and had come to Australia to see if there was anything better out there, I guess. Bola and I bonded over both being from the west coast of North America and also travelling solo. When you are a girl travelling solo, it’s nice to find a kindred spirit, also it’s nice to have someone to hold your camera and take your photo. That was then, now Bola and I are one of the dorm success stories and we actually managed to stay friends out of the hostel.
For my first week in Sydney I did all the touristy stuff that people should do in Sydney, I walked Harbour Bridge, I saw the Opera House, I went to Bondi. Not that impressed with Bondi beach to be honest….there are far better beaches in the world, in Australia and in Sydney for that fact. I don’t really know how to write about that first week in Sydney without it being a tour guide of places that people already know about.
Much better…..nothing touristy about this…