Hola all my friends and family.
Am currently in Noosa Heads. This is the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Beautiful weather so far. Caught the bus from Surfer's Paradise to here this morning. This email is only until Sydney. Will update it later, don't want inundate you with too much info!
So not too much happening in Oz. Fairly tame actually. From the last time i left off, i had been in Perth. After Perth I went to Melbourne and stayed with Hannah Tilli...she was, of course an excellent host. She lived in a little suburb of Melbourne called Yarraville. It was a super cute area in which there was a plethora of cafes and little shops. I would refer to it as Yuppieville had I not so much respect for it. Just saying.
Well Hannah was in the middle of moving back to her parents so after one week I decided the welcome had been worn out and I wanted to check out another suburb of Melbourne. I moved to a hostel in St. Kilda to a place called Lord's Lodge on the recommendation of a fellow facebook traveller. The owner there, Pat was more than extremely helpful and gave me lots of help and ideas for stuff to do. My roommates however were another story altogether. I suppose that this would be considered my first official dorm style hostel stay as in SE Asia they were single private rooms. The girls only room was completely booked so I had to go to a mixed room (ew! Stinky boys). And believe me there were STINKY BOYS!! The rooms reeked! Seriously I had to hold my breath it was so bad.
Anyway St. Kilda is a beachy little town. The beach is about a 20ish minute walk away. It is gorgeous! My first exploration day i was sitting on a little pier watching the sunset and waxing poetical..seriously! When i say all these guys on jet skis doing their thing. I got a bit of a grin because i was the only female for miles and they were doing their macho show off thing with the jet skis and getting closer and closer...in my head i started a count down for how long it would take them to approach me as I knew it was coming...sure enough 2 minutes later a guy comes right up and does like a side ways stop where it splashes water out, you know kinda splashes me without getting me too soaked. Anyway, he was like (add in Aussie accent “whatcha doing out here by yourself?'...now that wasn't what i had expected to hear...he was pretty much calling me loaner!!! I got all huffy and indignant and was like “watching the sunset yo!”...he was like “really?” all incredulous. I was like “yeah” all wanna make something out of it...then he was like “wanna come for a ride....? I was actually tempted..but because I am soooo SMRT i said “No thank you” all polite like my momma taught me. He looked a little surprised and offered again, but there was no convincing me to hop on some thing and go out in the middle of the ocean with some random stranger.
Ok, so back to the hostel. There were 3 bunk beds . I was lucky because Pat charged me the 8 bed dorm price for the 6 bed dorm. Yahoo. So the guy who had my upper bunk, we shall refer to him as “ex-convict” or ex-co for short (keeping with the aussie tradition of shortening everything, which by the way is super cute. I introduce myself as ' hi I'm Rebecca', and they respond 'how ya goin' Beck?', totally adorable!). Now Ex-co got his name because he has the tear drop tattoo on his cheek and the knuckle tattoos (you know, the love/hate ones) too. So think there might be a bit of a record there. He is the most interesting roommate I have to say. The others were just inconsiderate thieves. Ok, the first night, I thought that there was an earthquake, every time ex-con shifted in bed the whole bunk reverberated with the aftershocks. Also forgot to note that the distance between lower and upper bunk is puny. Can't sit up and if shifting in the night the wires from the springs beneath upper bunk scratch you arm. Very unpleasant.
SO ex-con is as shifty in his sleep as his daytime mannerisms. He also used my bed as a stepping stone to climb in and out of his bed. Imagine that. I glared at him, but I imagine it was difficult for him to see behind my rhinestone butterfly eye-sleep mask. One night I awoke and peeked from behind said sleep mask and saw 4 pairs of jean clad legs belonging to shifty friends of ex-co. Very annoying. They heard me move so all peered at once into my gloomy lower berth. This was unnerving to me so I glared (c'mon it was 3 am!), grunted and rolled over. Again, effectiveness of glare is questionable. Another night I awoke to much tossing and turning in above bunk, and suddenly BAM! He had taken a giant leap from his bed to the middle of the room. Twirled around twice and then left. Weird. Not sure if I prefer that or the using my bed as a stepping stool. Will contemplate and get back to you on that.
On Saturday night Laura Sullivan (from the Melbourne church) invited me to spend the night at her place I had already paid for my bed, but thought it would be fun to hang with her. It was indeed fun. Brian, her dad made me Vegemite (blech!) for the first time to try. I felt like puking for the rest of the day (mom, you know how if I eat eggs on an empty stomach, IE, first thing in the morning, I feel sick ALL day, it was the EXACT same feeling!). And then her brother James and I jammed the next morning. I played the drums. It was like a sleepover So when I finally returned to the hostel I discovered much to my dismay the irreplaceable hostel sheet that Mason had bought me had been untangled from my bed sheets (oops! Sorry momma, I forgot to make my bed...it was the first time I swear!), and spirited off into the vast land of Australia. I immediately checked ex-co's bed...but quickly reasoned upon examination of his bed sheets that he wasn't too concerned with personal hygiene therefore would have no use for an extra layer of protection between him and the environment. But it was gone. Sucky deal.
Ok so here's the winner. My last night. Let's set the stage. Me sleeping (of course) 3 am. Already had sporadic sleep as German roommate who felt it necessary to answer her phone and shout loudly into it with the lights on half an hour ago. Ex-con had been peacefully asleep fairly early that night, 2ish am. My slumbers were rudely disrupted when ex-co jumped off his bed, used my mattress (and it turned out my knee as a new step in his ladder). This discomfort obviously jolted me instantly out of lala land so i tried to sit up and then promptly banged my head. So I naturally grunted. He didn't even blink or say sorry. Swine! So i peek through my butterfly mask (am a little petrified of him at this point as he looks dangerous and I don't want him to know that I am on to his nefarious past, although the tatts are a screaming advertisement, but still....playing it cool). And I see him at the door hoarsely talking to someone who had the deep authoritative rumble of someone who, well, is authoritative. He was saying ( i pulled the bright orange earplugs out to eavesdrop better), “I swear I didn't see anything, I don't know anyone! I already told you everything I know”. This went on for a few moments and finally deep authoritative voice rumbled back “Mate I already told you, this is the last time i say it , put some clothes on and come with me!!”. I squinted through the dark as wearing glasses doesn't happen while sleeping and sure enough he was in his unmentionables....
The policeman left (how do I know it was a cop you ask? Well his next sentence:P). Ex-co frantically pulls some pants on and one of his friends came to the door and I heard Ex-co say “The cops are here, they are gonna search me...you gotta hide the weed!” Then there was fumbling around the drawer/ bed area, I was really alert because I had the sudden thought that my bags were right there and I didn't want them to put it in my stuff. But the friend shoved the bag down his pants and took off, only to return 2.2 seconds later and exclaim “they're at the door searching everyone going out!”. Ex-co remained calm and was like find a place NOW!” Then both he and ex-co left. I heard some shouting and other loud noises from outside. I put those earplugs back in and went to sleep again. I never saw ex-co again. The moral of this is that if you are dumb enough to smoke weed (i think he was dealing it too as that would explain all the visitors in the middle of the night), then well, you are just plain dumb.
SYDNEY: (April 27-May 11)
Sydney...what a wonderful world. I came here after Melbourne as Devin and Max (her bf) were gonna be here for a bit and I wanted to spend some time with her. She has been travelling since last September and is now returning to Canada. As I am now travelling I won't be able to see her for another little while. My first night was spent in a place called Glebe. It was a random little house. I had my own room for 40$ and left the payment on the dresser. Then I found a hostel near King's Cross called Eva's Backpackers as it was much cheaper. 28$/night. This was the cleanest hostel ever!!! The rooms only slept 4 to a room so they were much nicer. My roommates were much nicer than the previous ones and there was no ex-co staying in the room.
Anyway in Sydney, I met up with Dev and Max, turns out their van had sold the day before (which is why they were in Sydney in the first place) so they were leaving the next evening (*sob*). We spent some time checking out the Opera house at Sydney Cove and the Harbour bridge. We also took a walk in the botanical gardens where we spotted massive fruit bats hanging out in the trees. They were really spooky looking. We also saw disgustingly huge spiders with the biggest webs ever. I have new found sympathy for flies living in Australia. Well, actually not really, I don't like flies. They are also really big here. Anyway, that was fun. It was Devin's birthday, so we parted ways in the evening so her and Max could have a date night. The next day she left...Australia is a lesser place without her her. She will ever be missed.
I met a girl from Germany and we went to the art gallery together. That was a trip. (before I forget, the risotto I had for lunch was the best EVER!!! ). She was an art person, so many of the paintings “spoke” to her. I had a hard time not giggling as she went into raptures about some 18th century painting. But it was entertaining. I think she probably thought i was an ignorant clout. So for the next few days I did much wandering around the city. I ended up meeting a french-Canadian, Mylene, and we started to hang out.
Some days we would walk for up to 9 hours, just meandering around, Great fun.
I went to Bondi (yes Kaylee...i saw one of the guys off the rescue thing, can't remember the name....). One day I took the train up to Katoomba to hike in the Blue Mountains. Most gorgeous place ever. I guess they are “Blue” because of the eucalyptus oil burning off and creating the bluish haze. I got to hike for about 4-5 hours. I topped the hike off with the Grand staircase. A thousand steps ending up at the Three sisters, 3 large rock protrusions. I shed a tear here in memory of the three separated Marks sisters and then moved on. It was so cold up there as the sun started to set. I felt like I do after snowboarding, like my bones were cold, I had a hot chocolate and that did help warm me up. I fell asleep on the way home. It was a satisfying day:)
The next day I met up with Ashuka, a girl I met at church and Mylene from the hostel. We went to Bondi and hiked around a bit. It was beautiful . The next day Mylene and I met up with Adela Gibson, another girl from the church and we caught a ferry to Manly. This was an beach on an island. The ferry ride was the best part. We went there in the day and timed it so that the return home was at night for a different view. A really good day to spend my last day in Sydney. That night we all went out with Maz and another girl, Sam and we ate pancakes. Doesn't get better than that.
Have been loving every moment of my Oz adventure so far. Was only a little homesick for 3 days in Melbourne because I think I had had an actual conversation with mommy and daddy and the chain reaction was i was a bit mopey for 3 days. But although I still miss ya'll, I no longer feel like I will cry if someone says the word “mom” or asks me if I miss home.
Luv u all and miss u all too....