Qantas Jet, flying home

I've only got this long left in Australia:
DHMS
0000

Back in the USA

I have returned to the land of my fathers. Plane touched down on time and friends picked me up on time. We rode to my friend Mickey’s house in a silver minivan. Not a Mom’s minivan, mind you, but somebody’s work van. Much convenient for baggage and quite unexpected and quite more than I’m used to. Parking in LA is aways hard, but was pretty fun for me just cause… well, I’m home. Had a few scares where I thought we were driving on the wrong side. Getting used to my own place again, so to speak.

I partied it up with my three best friends in the world (in the world!) and then I made my way back. Seems that while I was gone, the homestead got up and moved without me. I said goodbye to my Mom, who was just leaving Palm Springs for Santa Rosa herself, then crashed on a friend’s couch (in grand backpacker fashion). Then I lost my friends cat, more or less. To be fair there is a hole in the wall big enough for a cat so the evidence remains inconclusive.

Eventually we took the trip north to San Francisco for another one of the friend’s 21st birthday. I migrated to Santa Rosa, which is where I’ll live now. I’m back. You can still continue the trip, back to what has to pass as normal, over at the (real) Glot.

 

Last Day Melbourne

Cleaned out apartment on Monday—technically checked out, but stayed there. Just stowed my impressive luggage collection back at the Friendly Backpacker and’ve returned the last library books of my time in Melbourne. It’s a bittersweet thing, leaving the city. Gah! there’s still so much I feel I want to do. But if I haven’t done them by now, I don’t expect I’ll get them done in the next 24 days.

24 days! I can’t believe that’s all I’ve got left! Things always seem to feel like forever, except when they’re about to be done. Pretty soon I’ll be saying: “24 hours! I can’t believe that’s all I’ve got left!” Or something very very similar. My time here has been good. My time here here, though, is over. Melbourne, you’ve been great.

I’m ready to go. My plane to Queensland will be leaving at 9:30 pm outta Tullamarine. But before that, I’ve still got postcards to send, a new friend to email, and a blog entry to write. Wait…

Nevermind.

 

Sydney Pictures, Melbourne Impressions

Lord—they’re finally posted. It took me about two hours to get these all prepared, but it was fun re-living the experience. Not that I’d spend this much time again. I think it’d be plenty more coducive to getting a job if I were able to go out and look for one. Believe it or not my first day in Melbourne I did just that… but I didn’t realize that almost everything but for Hungry Jack’s (read: Burger King) and the McCafes (read: McDonalds’, just McDonalds’) were closed.

Melbourne isn’t quite what I expected either. People told me it had a more European feel because of all the Greeks and Italians. While true, it’s more like Edinburgh in Scotland or *ahem* certain parts of Eastern Europe. But it redeemed itself yesterday with a tiny bar in a stinky back alley where there was an exceptionally talented band playing open-air, just right between the buildings. And today it was much more presentable with people actually walking in the streets and businesses being open.

I’ve decided that I’m gonna have to find a more permanent place before I can start posting regularly again. Until then, these will have to do:

Ferns and Lines Odd Specimen NSW Seal in B&W Mysterious Maiden The Big Match
First Fleet Skating Rink This is not Bird Bangers Wow! Harbor Bridge!
 

Grueling Preparations

As I sit here in my peaceful bed, writing this from the familiar territory of Cathedral City, CA, on a laptop which I have devoted an entire day to repairing, I’m inspired to make up an adage. Yes, make up:

Every great endeavor in man’s history sees its success or faiure through preparation.

Thank goodness this is no great endeavor, right? I mean, here I am fixing up a blimey laptop when if had to make a list of the things I still have to do, well… don’t make me list them. Don’t. Ok, since you asked so politely then:

  • apply for a tax file number
  • open account with Aussie Credit Union
  • exchange and transfer money to said account
  • pack up everything that I’m taking
  • figure out what the heck I’m taking first
  • pack up my room of everything else
  • buy a journal, and a towel, maybe an iPod
  • pay some parking ticket I got
  • write a 7-month check for my student loans
  • finish two books
  • encrypt flash drive (nerd necklace, to the rest of you)
  • clean a load of movies (35) off hard drive
  • encode another load of minidiscs onto the computer
  • burn the ones already on there
  • fix old laptop – Ha! Got that one!

Wow that is—indeed—a list. I should probably get started on that.

 

It just set in…

Sitting here at a job that I’m quitting in two days, and looking for an iPod I know I’ll never find, I just watched as the countdown rolled over from 13 days to 12 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds. Something dropped. It felt like some internal organ or another, but it was in fact my idle detachment from reality. I saw the number 12, and it fell away…

I saw (quite vividly) the plane ride, the packed bags, the blankets of hostel beds… loitering near notice boards written in unfamiliar slang, careful squinting over encoded maps… I saw the teethy smiles of unfound friends. It was a frightening and exilarating sensory experience—like you’re eight and standing on the high board, looking down.

It’s one I should have been prepared for. But, as a human animal I think knowledge is kept in lots of convenient packages. One is the intellectual, cerebral “oh yes, I know that” box. Another is the big-eyed, visceral, gutsy gut-punching parcel that always seems to arrive late and of a sudden. Like right now. Better now than at the airport, I spose. But consider this:

In two weeks I’ll be writing this in Australia.

Damn, look at that sentence! Look at it! Phew. I think I’ll go home now and not sleep for a long time.