Rainy Byron

Trip Start Aug 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 15, 2005

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, November 6, 2005

I slept rather soundly last night and for quite a while. It seems that my night walk has at least moved my wake up schedule closer to what it needs to be for our 8am flight on Tuesday. The room I am staying in has 12 beds and only one bathroom, so it's sometimes difficult to take a shower, etc. Luckily, less people are awake at 7:00am than at 1:00am, so today was a breeze. Yesterday my tour guide mentioned that my hostel had an all you can eat pancakes deal for $6, so this morning I decide to try it out. I don't feel too hungry as I head downstairs and when the clerk tells me they serve until sometime around noon, I head upstairs to mess with my laptop some. I head back down for my pancakes and the clerk tells me that there is a 10% surcharge on Sunday's because they pay employees more on Sunday. He says its a common thing in Australia. If I were anywhere in Asia, I would have laughed and given him $6, but it made sense, and I'm in Australia, so I just paid him. They brought out my pancakes whenever I finished the plate and I read the Sunday paper. I'm not sure that their newspaper has more articles than the ones back home, but its all in one big sheaf (not divided into sections), so it seems like there's a lot of information. The articles are good and I even read about a spoof of the Lonely Planet guidebook series that was recently published. I see that the next Harry Potter movie is due out soon (maybe already released in the US?).

After the paper, I go buy some groceries at the store and check my email. As I'm walking home, the clouds roll in and it starts to lightly rain. I don't really feel like doing anything, so I head back to the hostel and read a book I bought back in Beijing "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair, the classic workers novel of the early 20th century. I read about 8 chapters, it's pretty good so far, and I identify quite a bit with the main character and his working style.

In the evening, I cook my fish and eat my strawberries. It's nice being able to buy fruit other than oranges and bananas (peelable). Grapes are out of season here, too bad, so sad. I hang out with some people from my room for a while and have a couple beers while sitting next to a rather rowdy group of backpackers. Maybe half of them are Canadian with a few Brits mixed in. I can tell they are generally a year or two younger than me, and it certainly shows. I'm not sure what game they were playing, but one of the guys kept wanting to pull his pants down. After about 30 minutes of this, and the guys on the balcony above me (unintentionally) flicking their cigarette ashes on my pants, I wander off. Eventually some of the people from my room get a Monopoly board and start up a game. I decline, knowing where this game always leads, especially when some of the players are drunk or stoned. I do sit by and watch, it's kind of funny because the board is Australian, so it uses the $ sign, but has street names of London. Boardwalk is called "Mayfair", how terrible. I don't see why they rename the streets for each English language version, its not like many Americans have visited Atlantic City and have any idea what the streets really are. I could remember the names of all the spaces except one green, and one red, "Kentucky, Illinois, and ???", "Pacific, Pennsylvania, and ???" I have an idea just now that it might be North Carolina ? hmm

Australian women (and I'm sure they get this from the British), wear skirts quite a bit more than I'm used to in America. I probably wouldn't have noticed this, except the mini-skirt is also boosted by this skirt-loving culture. I have a hard time seeing a mini-skirt and not thinking skanky, and it really drags down my opinion of some of the people around here. Why can't everyone just wear cargo pants and be done with it...

I hit the sack at midnight so I can try and get the 8am bus tomorrow to Brisbane. I need to keep my early wakeup so I can get my 8am flight on Tuesday... oh well, it'll be off to New Zealand, ...the land of Mordor, where the shadows lie.
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