Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What is Australia Anyway?

So I'm sitting here in the public library of New South Wales. Indeed I did get a chuckle yesterday when I had to ask if that's what state I was in. But lets be honest. Who even knew that Australia had states? Here's what you know of Australia.

There are kangaroos here.
There are koala bears here.
It's an island.
It's a continent.
Sydney has an opera house that looks weird.

Kinda Common:
There is a big red rock here.
The platypus is awesome, and the drop bear is a lie (like the three legged haggis, and in some peoples uninformed opinions: cake.)
The dingo just might eat your baby.
Sting Rays are dangerous if you're a silly git.

Common (to those older than twenty):
That's not a knife...

More obscure:
There are, indeed, more cities than Sydney. There's also Melbourne and Brisbane.
Everything in this country wants to hurt you, and kill you.
There is one animal here that will eat you.

There are even more cities – Perth to the West, Darwin to the north.
There is a bird called the cassowary that kills humans for kicks

A prime minster went for a swim one day, and was never seen again.

Almost Unknown:
AFL is super awesome.
Aum Shinrikyo (Japanese death cult) probably detonated the first nuclear warhead not tested by a government, but since it was Australia, and pretty far up north, no one cared enough to go check it out. True story. They tested their sarin gas here too. Japanese tokyo users, not amused.

Everything else? It doesn't exist.

Ned Kelly? Meat pies? States? Elections? Policies? Please. Sure the world may be familiar with your girls in the green and yellow during Olympic Beach Volley ball, but that's only once every four years. Then you disappear back into obscurity. Now, you can't blame us. Since I've been here, I hear Brisbane reported as being, “up north,” and you're a country that disputes the claim that the cult launched the nuclear bomb, but admit that you really couldn't be bothered to go check it out. Understandable, because if Brisbane is north, you'd be near Santa's workshop if you had to drive that far up the highway.

And, you know, you lost a Prime Minister. That's pretty embarrassing.

But, you're a lovely country, and we love you. Those that come here learn to love your meat pies as well, and I've heard wonders about the ladies walking the streets of Sydney, even despite the lack of beach volleyball in season. And your AFL? Well, without a doubt it's my favourite sport in the world – with the possible exception of curling. But curling doesn't count. That would be like saying your favourite food is heroine. It's not that anyone wants curling, it's just that once you set eyes on it, it's impossible to turn away.

So is Australia even a real place? It's hard to say. I mean, I'm sure it must be. I'm standing on it. But then, not too long ago, I was standing on Mt. Fuji, and I doubt the existence of that geographical land mark as well.

Many moons ago an English teacher of mine asked us to consider this very question: Is Australia real? If you'd never been there, never seen it with your own eyes, well how can you be sure? The same could have been said about Iran, or Italy. But no – it was Australia. Even in the zeitgeist of the common man, the question lingers. Though, I have no doubt many Sydneysiders and Melbournites, Melbourners, Melbourians, people from Melbourne find themselves thinking on a yearly basis (or whenever the situation forces this thought upon them) Derby? Does that city even exist?

Derby has the unfortunate luck of being both north and west. Two direction which I've found Australians have no patience for what so ever. It's like admitting that Canada extends north of Winnipeg. Most of us have a hard enough time accepting that Winnipeg exists at all.

Despite the fact that I've written quite a lot about today, I really haven't been up to all that much. The day started when I rolled out of bed at ten. This was rather late, but I didn't want to deal with the other people getting up, and having to wait for a shower. Best to just sleep it off.

I realized why they called this room (with the 28 bunks) The Church. Large stain glass windows filter the light as it comes in.

When I got up, I showered, got dressed, and then noticed the guy on the bunk below me had checked out. Success! I moved lower, and plugged into the outlet there. Then I began my mission to catch up on my blogs. Many days were required to be written, and written they were with lack of gusto, and explanation about the awesomeness of the picture I took of the little Joey is its mother's pouch. But they were done.

Then off to McDonald's, where I tried four or five locations before being able to connect to the wifi there. But, once connected, I was able to get the blogs up, and post the pictures. For the first time in months I'm fully up to date. Never mind that there are no videos there, I stopped really making videos some time ago. So, while I'll add those, it will not come for ages. Probably not until I get back home – why add them at all, you may ask? The reason – so when I go through this years worth of hellish entries, i can skip the words and press the play button for a quick recap. Also – they're fun.

Thank you, YouTube.

Right, well, after Mackers, I went to Hungry Jacks for food. I don't even like Whoppers anymore. I've had too many without break – but a filling meal for five bucks that includes refillable drinks and a sundae (perfect from fry dipping, and using to make your own Coke float) is jst too good to pass up.

With both internet, and hunger dealt with I made my way up Pitt Street to check out the State Library and see if they had free web access [hint: they do!] On route I passed two guys in green and blue body condoms, covering their face and everything, playing drums and electric violins. As the electric violin ranks high on my list of favourite instruments, and they looked outlandish, I decided to hang out and watch them go a wee bit.

Then, another jaunt into a music store (so many music books, none about video games – except for Rock Band. Where my FFVII book?! Sigh. Osaka – that's where it is.) and a pass by their guitars – seeing mine priced at 1499, nearly twice what I paid for it, back in the brief moments when the Canadian dollar was higher than the American in good ol' 2008 – and I was back on track.

In the library I had to use a fancy machine to lock up my bag. If I lose the slip of paper in my wallet, or if I can't figure out how to unlock the fancy locker machine, all will be lost. Wish me luck – for as of right now, that future is yet unwritten. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. (Dyson... Miles Dyson! She's gonna blow him away!)

Fun fact: Someone just wandered by in search of his missing locker ticket – you see these tragedies do occur. Also, I have, many times now, shaken from the fear of having lost my bag. Then I realize it's in the locker. One item that I have spent so many hours with over the last year, and slept beside far more times than I'd like to remember – and now that it's gone? Terrifying.

And terrible amounts of hours later, the sun is gone and I'm ready to go and grab my pack from the locker of mysterious locking. Perhaps I'll make a quick run past the Apple store on the way home, to see if they have iPads to play with. Where's my next generation of iPod touches? I know you just released the new OS, and I see you with your shiny new iPhones. Sigh. It's not like I have anything I could run iTunes on anyway.

The locker? It was ok. Nice and easy. This library may become a part of my daily routine here in Sydney. It also happens to be on the way to the harbour – ferries, modern art gallery, and opera house. There are plenty of reasons to pass by this way.

Rather than heading back to the hostel, it seemed like this would present a perfect opportunity to head down and take pictures of the opera house at night, lit up against a sky of black. Though the rain was misting in the air, and threatening to open up, I was already too far out to beat the storm if one did begin to fall.

With foot steps reflected in the glistening sidewalks, I made my way along side the parks, and down to the bay. Few tourists were left after the sun had set, but still some remained to take their own photographs, no doubt blurred, or unevenly exposed, as flash illuminated subjects, leaving the background a mystery the same as the night.

Using every raised surface, I steadied small tripod, and took photo after photo, unable to resist the allure of the unique building's surface.

Around the bay, past the docks where women ran to make the last ferry of the night, or avoid the long wait until another pulled up some time in the future. From each angle the sail shaped building called out, accenting the horizon, and enhancing all views.

When I'd seen as much as I thought I needed, I made my way up George street, pausing at the Apple store as had been my intended plan. Inside I was able to finally lay hands on the iPad. It was big, an bulky, and I still feel there is no purpose for it. As for the iPod, playing – at long last – plants vs. zombies on it, after the HD iPad version, made me realize just how small the iPod truly was. While I'd not thought about this while playing before, having seen the iPad, the iPod just didn't seem up to spec.

Gaming fix accomplished, I made my way back to the hostel – yet another Stunner filling my belly.

an effort to read was made while a guy sitting on the floor chatted away on facebook, occupying one of the two plug sockets. The other was in use by a girl who seemed to be sleeping – snoring faintly. But I didn't dare disturb it.

It stikes me that this dorm would be the perfect one to steal from, were one so inclined to steal from a hostel. Twenty eight beds, clothes strewn everywhere, possessions left out – laptops just lying around in plain sight. And there are times when the dorm is practically empty. And yet, theft does not occur. Not yet anyway, and I doubt it will. There's something to be said for that.

An announcement played indicating that the bar hop would be starting soon. Girls quickly changed out of t-shirts, and jeans, putting on their best dresses, shortest skirts, and flashiest tops. Guys? Well they did the same. Tonight was ladies night – girls get two drinks free. Men, if dressed as women, get four. I would not be amongst the masses. Sadly, my legs? Not yet shaved. And with only two minutes until the bus left for the cross, I just didn't have the time. You'll understand, of course.

With the facebooker gone, I quit my reading, plugged in (pulling his out, despite the fact that he'd disconnected from the computer, he attempted to maintain hold on the socket. A smart ploy, but one doomed to failure.) and began to re-watch the Halo: Legends anime, devoting full attention to it this time, unlike when I watched it back in Japan. With it watched, I could delete it from my drive and free up seven hundred more megabytes for photo backing up, and resizing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All original text and photographs Copyright © 2009 one.year.trip / previously.bitten | Theme Design by previously.bitten | Entries and Comments.Powered by Blogger