Day 75 - Adventure to the Lookout

Man Over Board
(I'm face palming at that pun)
June 22nd, 2015

The extra vegetables I’ve been eating, as opposed to the usual next-to-none, feel like they’re starting to kick in. Now when I’m procrastinating, I’m finding it easier to notice when my emotions are making me do stupid things and, once recognized, kicking them in the face. I refocused on mandarin now, realizing that the grammar is actually relatively simple. Very simple when compared to French. I thought this was going to be an insurmountable language that I would barely get the grasp on even after the full year in China, but now I’m getting a little cocky. It might be manageable to aim for conversational-level skill by the time I am finished the year - with enough effort.

I’m still easing into my gym routine that I had back in Canada, which involved a six day routine, including HIIT. Right now, the “HIIT, leg day, shoulder, HIIT” is proving to be a pain in the ass (figuratively and literally) that’s making it difficult to walk. I still don’t like leg day, begrudgingly fitting it in.

Shimou reading the "Epitaph" at the side of the rode
(What are these actually called?)
When drunk, Shimou agreed to go to the Zoo today with me if it wasn’t raining. It’s a clear sky, with crisp autumn air. It is winter, yes, but it feels like Fall. I grab the free Blue Cat bus to the Esplanade, a bus terminal off one of the busiest-feeling streets in the CBD (central business district), St.Georges Terrace. I’m early, and I had updated my notes on the Cram app, allowing me to study mandarin while I wait. It was really nice, drinking a long black, giving a first listen to Parov Stelar albums, studying mandarin in the bus terminal.

We arrived at the zoo only to find out that it closed in a half hour and required at least 3 hours to go all the way through. Damn. Well, on to an improvised Plan B. We have about an hour to sunset, and Shimou knows of a place that's nearly an hour from a nice point overlooking the city. Lets do it!

Entitled "Too Much Glory to Fit the Margins - Untouched"
The City
On public transport here, you can use the SmartRider, which I’ve mentioned before. The thing about smart rider is that you have to swipe-on when you board the bus, then swipe off at your destination so that it knows how much to charge you. Unlike Canada, it’s not a flat rate - it’s per zones (distance). On Saturday, I forgot to swipe off - right after putting cash on my card. I had $3 when I got on, put $10 on, then forgot to swipe off. Next time I get on? $4. I would have lost less if I’d just put cash on the next time. On our way through the station, we had just enough time to stop at the Perth Transport office and add money/correct the mistake. We also picked up some sushi. Yum.

Wooh! Sparklers and Party Poppers!
We hoofed it to the lookout, goofed off in the park, and ate the sushi while watching the sun set behind the city, reflecting off Swan River. One of the more memorable views. Though it was chilly, it was worth the rush to make it in time. We stopped at Coles on the way to my place where I made her actual dinner. She spoke to Mannie about her problems with Alex - in mandarin, directly in front of Alex. He looked awkwardly uncomfortable, and I could only catch the odd word here and there.

Denis' Delicious
Strawberry/Chocolate cake
Public transport and general waiting times no longer phase me. They seem to fly by and, unfortunately, so does the day if I spend it going from point A to B. We arrive at Shimou’s with the gifts we picked up for her housemate Lee. It’s his Birthday at midnight!

A friend of their house, Veer, showed up at midnight with a cake, Denis made a chocolate cake with strawberries baked in (so good, but he said it was terrible), and we sang happy birthday (in english) to Lee with sparklers and party poppers. They were a little worried about noise, as they had been very loud the night before and found a note on the front door. It passive aggressively told them to shut it after 10pm. Good to see some things remain consistent around the world.

We all took turns doing some sort of party favour; Denis, the cake and a Russian dish; Shimou generally played the house Mom; Veer brought a cake; Ella and Joy made dinner, and I made oven-baked sweet potato fries. Around 2, everyone had departed and went to bed.

Making sure that he enjoyed the cake
(LtR: Lee, Veer, Ella, Joy)
Final Note: Parov Stelar is the Bomb Diggity

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