Day 126 - Goodbye, Perth!

August 11th, 2015

Part of me is disappointed that I didn't stick to leaving on the 10th, even though it doesn't matter. Plans change, no need to get down on myself for not sticking to my word exactly. I still feel it’s better to be disappointed in this than the opposite: not feeling anything bad when breaking my personal commitments entirely.

I make the house pancakes one last time, handing out small Canadian flag pins to each of the housemates as I run into them. Joy came back with a Chinese flag pin as a thank you, which I appreciated. I didn't expect anything back, especially since they let me stay there for two weeks at a cheap rate. Very nice. Shimou tried to give me a couple bigger things to remember her by, but I already am having problems with space and weight. I unload some of my things for her as gifts, though I'm not sure if she'd want all of them. She settles on giving me a bracelet that’s similar to the ones Yuzu gave me, but red and with gold beads instead of black with clear ones. I like these sort of gifts because they're small and valueless to others. No one is going to rob me for trinkets that have sentimental value.

After tossing what I want to part with, my bag fits the weight requirement for the big bag, stuffing what I want to keep in the small luggage. I've noticed that for the domestic and international flights I've been on that they only weight the large bag that’s being stored. The airline seems to ignore the carry-on entirely, though they list a weight limit for it. You typically get a carry-on of certain dimensions and a purse/laptop bag. As long as the bags are within the dimensions specified, no one will look twice, it seems. Both of those buggers were stuffed like swollen ticks. I really didn't want to have to part with any more clothes since china will probably be difficult to find clothes in.

Goobye, Perty
Lee agreed to give us a ride to the airport, which saves us a good chunk of money, and allows for a little more time with him. I wave goodbye to Ella, and give Joy a hug. This one was much less awkward than the one in Bali. I thank them for everything, and load the car. Off we go!

The ride to the airport was mostly silent, allowing me to enjoy the atmosphere of Perth as we drove through the city. I take in what I can of the architecture, the foliage, and the cityscape. I've never been to a place like Perth, and remember the vague alien feeling of the city when I first arrived. Maybe that’s what culture shock is, but only a mild form of it. I focus on what’s happening now, what’s in front of my eyes, so as to avoid feeling the gravity of the departure. 

Quite the Sunset
At the airport, I give Lee a hug goodbye and thank him for everything. But wait! We forgot the apple pies. Shimou wants to go back. Sorry, Darling, there is simply no time. Seriously, we're cutting it close as it is. Through check-in, security, and make it to our gate with a half hour left.

I digitize the mandarin that Shimou had taught me from my notebook into When I realize I'm sitting alone where it used to be crowded, I pack my stuff up. Shimou grabs food while I ask the gate if this is our flight. Yes, and it’s almost last call. Shit. I grab Shimou, and throw us both on board as the engines are brought to life.

Virgin is the way to fly. More seat room, included drinks and food, and those on-demand screens are butter. The flight is only 3.5 hours from Perth to Melbourne, so I suggest we watch a movie together. Haphazardly, I pick Chappie*, which is done by the same guy as District 9. This guy sure does love futurology/transhumanism. That’s not a complaint. I like the concepts, too!

Hello, Melbourne
Shepherds pie, coffee, and unlimited soft drinks while we enjoy the movie. The pilot tell us that turbulence is expected on arrival to Melbourne. I have to remind myself that people do this for a living, and that it’s actually safer than cars or bathrooms.

Shimou keeps getting worried. I remind her that she’s powerless, which comforts me but unsettles others. Bit of a misstep. I start drawing her attention to a series of questions - we can only really focus on one thing at a time, after all. Let's see if I can compete with fear of death. When did you first ride a bike? Do the Chinese have any rituals for pulling out childrens’ loose teeth? What’s your favourite colour? Oh, it’s blue? Have you ever had bubblegum flavoured ice cream? Why is bubble gum ice cream blue? Bubble gum is pink! HOW DO YOU SPELL THIS WORD IN MANDARIN?! SPELL IT! DO IT NOW! I’m putting the pressure on so that she can’t process the fear, and, like I said last flight, it helps me distract myself.

The Shakedown Crew
Of course, we landed safely. Luke, Shimou’s friend, is waiting for us at baggage collection. He seems like a nice guy, and leads us to the cab. It’s a 40 minute ride to his place because it’s almost all the way across the city and there’s no direct path to get there. Sounds like a city I know needs another highway!

Luke’s place is a old-school Australian home. Not the best insulation, heaters, sliding doors, and… a three-room washroom. That is to say, there’s a shower in one room, a toilet in another, and a sink/tub in the last one. Seems common here, but I still find it strange. Shimou's place had it right: a full bathroom with shower, toilet, and sink, and a spare water closet with a toilet that had a sink built in. When you flushed, the clean water that filled the basin in the back was pumped up to a sink, and drains into the basin itself.

We eat ramen, set up bed, say goodnight to Luke, and watch Good Will Hunting until 4am local time.

*what a terrible name for the movie. Seriously, the marketing department did them a major injustice by not changing that.

1 comment:

  1. Virgin is for rich people hahaha (I rarely fly anything but Tiger because I mostly book when they have $150 return flights to Melbourne andyesidomeanreturn, although once I had exact dates to be in Adelaide so it was a minor $ diff to book Virgin and it ruled. But if you book well enough in advance, you'll see a HUGE disparity).