Day 3 - Drunken treks in the Rain

Day 3 - Sunny and Rainy
A student's self-portrait

I woke up today at 6:30am and felt relatively well rested, which wasn’t the best as that means I’m still not in sync with the days here. I checked my messages and caught up with a few people who were online back home. After some valiant attempts to go back to sleep, I forfeited and decided it would be better to write this and take a nap later. And by later, I meant right after finishing that sentence, as I had nothing else to say and the fatigue was finally setting in.

Woke up, showered, dressed, and ate a sandwich with Sarah while the staff went about their daily cleaning. I noticed that there were food cubbies, which is another thing that was yet to be mentioned to me. I ended up speaking with an Irish guy (John) and an Indonesian guy (nameless for now) about China and various places that the Indonesian guy had been. He a quick speaker, and his accent was actually very light. He told many stories about China and some of the squalor he had seen there, as well as some of the more… disturbing foods he came across, such as a live monkey having hot oil poured into it’s freshly opened skull. He said he witnessed this when he was 13, among other things like squatting toilets without any sort of cleaning tools (the walls appeared to be used, based on his story), and old men picking their nose and wiping it on the wall (despite a sink being next to them). I look forward to checking out how true these claims are, and carrying toilet paper with me whenever I stray from familiar places when I go in August. I bought another week at the hostel, as I had only paid up to this following night and nothing past. Apparently I can get a refund if I give them at least 24h notice beforehand, which is useful if I end up getting work at another hostel in the meantime.

The Festival Stands (band not shown)
One thing I’ve noticed is that I hardly interact with actual Australians, other than passing them in the street and buying things from their stores. Liz is pretty much the only one I’ve had extended conversations with, and most of my time is being spent with other people who are just as displaced as me. Kind of funny how it works out like that, hopefully I’ll meet more as time progresses.

A comment on homelessness and their furry companions
I bummed around, setting up some things on my phone and laptop while waiting for Liz to get off work. She generously offered to print my resumes for me and was planning to drop them off after she got off work at 3. There is an art festival today called KickstART at the nearby University (UWA - I can’t seem to get away from variants of UW). We wandered some of the stands and looked at this museum exhibit that displayed the best final art projects of the city’s grade 12 students. Most of it was quite amazing. Kind of makes me want to get back into visual art stuff while I’m out here, though I’d have to figure out a way to get the programs on my lappy.

"The Last Moment"
After perusing a bit, we stopped at a Mexican place because i had been holding off eating, as food has been hella expensivo. 15-25 a meal! Hoooo man, no way do I want to keep up that pace. I may ask the American fellow if he’d mind putting a word in for me at his job, though I haven’t seen him all day. Based on our interactions thus far, I think he’d be down for it.

I need to get groceries, though I’m not entirely sure what tools we have in the kitchen. It seems like it’s sparsely stocked, and even the most recent canister of “premium” instant coffee grew legs today. Their grocery stores aren’t open 24/7 back home. The Kiwi told me that stores with more than a certain number of employees have to close at an earlier time than smaller stores. Due to this rule, a local chain has popped up and taken advantage of the expanded hours. Since it’s currently 5:45pm and the main chains closed at 5, I am forced to go there or bite the bullet on another overpriced (but delicious) meal.

On a side note, I’m hella excited that the Marvel series on Netflix, “Daredevil,” is available on Aus Netflix, though the internet here is so slow that I’m torrenting the first two episodes just so I can watch them through all the way at some point.
Life imitating Art imitating Life

(pic) I made it to the grocery that was open, which is largely the same to our ones back home and had a killer headache which I never could pin down. Some people attribute it to the swill wine, but I felt find all day so that would be strange. I kept drinking water to see if it would go away. 

A new guy moved into my room, which now consists of me, an Italian guy (Lorenzo) and, with the new addition, a Brit from Manchester (Andy). I had noticed him sleeping on the couch in the dining room-ish location, and didn’t pay much mind to him until I found him on the previously vacant bed. Apparently the hostel had screwed up with his room and took a while to sort it out and actually give him a bed. A pattern is definitely emerging, though it’s hard to say how much is attribute to the recent management change that people had mentioned throughout the past few days. Andy was having a fight with his girlfriend back home, but was still friendly enough despite being in the middle of a virtual fight. I suggested he come take his mind off the fight by hanging out in the common area, which he agreed to but never followed up on.

The Supa Mahket
The plan tonight, as Swiss Sarah told me, was that the Italians (probably about 6 or 7 of them) were going to a Drums’n’Bass (DnB) club. Considering my headache was still hanging about, that didn’t sound like much fun to me. She didn’t like DnB, and ended up revealing that she liked Metal and Rock, though no one would go with her to the local metal bar. I said we should go, meaning some time in the near future, but she interpreted as a plan for tonight. I had nothing else going on and people were beginning to drink, so I decided joined in despite the headache.

The Italians were hitting it hard again, and were going to bring an open bottle of whiskey with us. Swiss Sarah and I strongly suggested against this, and even jaywalking (which is enforced, I’ve been told) is about $75 charge. We wasted enough time with the discussion/consumption of the whiskey that we lost the people who seemed to know where they were going, leaving me, Swiss Sarah, a Japanese girl (Yuzo), and two Italians (both Andrea).

Sarah and I were the strongest in english, so we tried asking for directions to no avail. We did run across a gaggle of German teens (18; 3 guys and 1 girl) who were entertaining and tried to say they had a new version of coke which was the colour and flavor of white wine. We eventually moved on when the Italians called their compatriots for the name of the club.

After walking for 20 minutes, we arrived at the club to find out that it was not good inside due to an overabundance of men. Kind of glad we were lagging behind so I didn’t have to waste the $5 to find out. The group decided that they wanted to go to some other club, but Sarah and Yuzu were heading back and I decided to head back with them. Then the rain began.
When it absolutely, positively has to be White

We stopped at a Hungry Jacks (Aus Burger King) in hopes of a washroom, but there was none. The rain kept getting harder and harder to the point that I could see better without my glasses due to the obstructing droplets. By the time we arrived back at the hostel, we were soaked through.

In the back, there were a number of people hanging out, including some new arrivals, the Indonesian guy from before, and Irish John. The Italians who didn’t go out were smoking pot again and were giving abundant amounts to a South Korean guy (Jon) who ended up out of his mind. The conversation took a strange twist when I said something innocuous that set Irish John off.

Animal Heads seem to be a thing
He ended up telling me that he didn’t need to take any shit from a country as useless as Canada, and that he deserved better after defending some idiot Canadian from English criticism (likely at the other hostel he visited that night). He threatened to bottle me, seemingly jokingly and I still hadn’t clued in that he was actually angry, as the entire thing was delivered rather lightly.  The thing that clued me in was after the timed light (at night it shuts off every hour or so) went off and I tried to make light of the threat by jokingly saying “is the bottle coming now?” He interpreted that as racist, and really let me know what he thought. I kept inquiring as to why he was angry, though he wouldn’t really specify why. I admitted that I didn’t know the histories between Canada and Ireland, though I’m pretty sure there’s some abuse somewhere in there that I hardly know. He ended up telling me about thousands of Irish slaves who were sold to some country (the Caribbean, I think). Listening to that story seemed to calm him down, though no one seemed to know why, exactly, he was so pissed. I kept my eye on him for the rest of the short time I stayed out there and eventually turned in.

End Note: We did end up asking about drinking in public, which is apparently a $300 fine.

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