Day 133 - Puffing Billy!

Puff Away, Billy!
August 18th, 2015

If you can't keep yourself awake, just check your phone and browse messages or updates on your favourite social app. You'll be hard pressed to fall back asleep. I use this technique this morning when Shimou quickly killed the alarm. I shove her out of bed so that we're ready when Elvis arrives to pick us up. He’s supposed to be there at 10:30, but we're lucky that he's 20 minutes late.

The guy on the left said it was alright

Standing his Post
Luke, Elvis, Shimou, and I grab breakfast at Huff Bagelry. I find the lack of washrooms in Australia to be strange and annoying. The bagel shop sold coffee, but didn't have their own toilet. Diuretics and no toilet. They shared one among the shops around them, it seemed. This hasn't been uncommon in my 4 months here, either. We stopped at a McDonald's on the way to the train because we knew it would have a bathroom, then drove the rest of the 40ish minutes to…

Puffing Billy! What a name. It’s a steam-engine tourist attraction, though I'm not entirely sure what the big deal is. It was cool to see the old-fashioned-looking rail station, and all the staff dressed up in olden time conductors/engineers uniforms.

Wow, a Clock!
We were 1.5h early, killing the time with silly photos. Collectively shivering in the 5C weather, they spoke a lot of mandarin, and the other Chinese tourists did some silly things that made my Chinese friends laugh at them. I didn't quite get it, but apparently they thought the others were being dumb. Sure!

The train puffed into station, we piled on board, and enjoyed the view for the 30 minute ride. All the old-timeyness made me think about fashion and styles. I came up with this idea for a time warp room in my house. One room that’s all olden styled: hardwood, throw rug, claw-footed couches, fireplace, old, empty decanters, and wooden bookshelves built into the walls. Best of all: two hidden compartments - one that hides the liquor, and one that is to a passageway to the brewing/distilling room. That room will probably just be the garage, but it'll still fit the theme of prohibition-era stylings. One day… One day...

Crazy people
Everything's Closed!
After pulling into the new station, our destination, we took more photos until the train moved on. We had heard there was a museum here, and expected at least a cafe or warm shop. Wrong.

The shop had closed for the day - limited hours due to it being run by volunteers, like all the rail workers here. The museum, too, was closed because of renovations. There were no stores around at all, only a big sheep field, a kindergarten, and a handful of houses. We're in the middle of nowhere, and the train won't come for at least an hour.

Making the best of it, I jump around looking for photo ops, and play around with various angles and perspectives. Kind of limited using a Nexus 5, though. Despite that, I manage to get some nice shots, while the Chinese watch me, bemused.

Between Two Trees
We ride the half hour back, then drive 20 minutes to a chinese grocery, and walk to the Malaysian restaurant for dinner. We're all starving, having only eaten a bagel sandwich at 11:30, which was six hours ago. Laksa is some damn good food, and we got it from the King! It’s like spicy coconut milk soup with meat and noodles. That doesn't sound great, but trust me.

We had a mostly silent dinner due to hunger, which Shimou generously paid for. We drove another 30 minutes home, also in silence. Luke falls asleep very easily, drifting off a couple times on the way home. Shimou said this is common for him, and they used to take pictures of him nodding off.

The Fabled Sheep Farm
Dem tracks
Back at Luke's, we thanked Elvis for taking his time out to come with us to this event, and scattered to our respective spaces. I thought I would miss todays deadline because I forgot that one wasn't ready to be put up and I wouldn't be home by 7. Oh, wait! I actually have until 9! Hoorah, for the time change between Perth and Melbourne! After editing, I summarized some political stuff that was brought to my attention for Canada, and posted it on Facebook.

It had been a long time since I Skyped my parents, and have been meaning to, but wanted to be closer to a solution of the visa problem before calling. I read more political articles to fill out my knowledge of what’s been going on back home, then stop when Shimou finished preparing some dumplings. I show her “Songify the news” while we eat, then move on to finish Good Will Hunting.

Final Thought on Puffing Billy: Either go further, or make sure the shops/museum are open.

Editing Music: Bad Dreams by Either The Bowery Boys... or The Ludwigs. Not sure the band.

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