Australia is redeeming itself


My backpacks weigh in at somewhere between 10-15 kilograms apiece. If you're American like me then you probably don't have any idea what that weight feels like, and I can't enlighten you too much except to say that while wearing both bags it's heavy enough to be tipped over if someone were to nudge me hard enough. I have to stand with knees bent and leg muscles tight while riding trains and buses or the bags' weight serve to throw me around like a rag doll sandwiched between luggage. 

As often happens when I travel, my stomach is getting pudgier from all the delicious food that I can't resist, but my legs are getting more muscular from all the walking I do with the extra weight of my packs. To justify eating more, I walk everywhere,  which saves me money on public transportation and allows me more funding for my eating binges. 

An innocent visit to the Sydney Fish Market yesterday quickly turned into a gluttonous attack on all crustaceous life. Lobsters were submitted to hot oil dips, crayfish were halved, clams and oysters ripped from their glossy homes, calamari diced, spiced and fried, and all this before being chomped down by my Singaporean friends and I. We showed them no mercy. 

New buds from Singapore.

My luck has turned around since my first unfortunate two days in Sydney, having to deal with the bi-polar witch and all, and I've found myself stumbling upon good fortune and favor on a daily basis. 

For example, my first night at the hostel by Sydney Harbor involved an unexplainable upgrade to a better room for no extra charge and allowed me to make the acquaintance of a communicative Singaporean guy. I told him that I'd be heading to Singapore in April to renew my visa and he unreservedly offered to show me around when I arrived. Then I went down to the hostel's community kitchen and rummaged through the "Free Food" shelves, which contained two jars of peanut butter, two loaves of bread, honey, and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Winning! Then I spent the following day wandering around Sydney Harbor and met a hilarious Canadian gal whose boundless energy and good humor made for an entertaining night in Chinatown and the Art Gallery. Instead of contemplatively perusing through the gallery halls we did a blitzkrieg tour de art and managed to see three floors of exhibits in a half an hour. Her commentary was brutally honest and as refreshing as ever. 
View from Bondi Beach hostel. 

To top it all off, I'm now at the lovely Bondi Beach, which feels a lot like a compacted combination of Venice Beach and Encinitas. As a Californian I fit right in. Amen to this. 

...ramble on...

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