Thursday, 29 March 2007

Omblebumphf = viel Spass Comprendé? D’accord

I’m still in Perth baby, and can I let you in on a tiny weeny widdly little secret? It’s actually getting a little bit chilly around the edges here (chilly is of course being applied relatively), I had to sleep with the sheets all the way up for the first time in AGES the other night. Things aren’t helped by the fact that I am sitting under what appears to be a direct wind tunnel from the Antarctic (super powered air-con), I’m expecting Pingu to come flying through any moment now. Yes, I’m still working, though not at the ALS, that was so last week daaarling, I’ve crossed over to the dark side (i.e. something of a profit making organisation – how can I tell this? By the extremely well stocked stationery/ary cupboard, I’ve died and gone to sticky label/biro heaven) and am at Western Power this week doing stuff that I have absolutely no idea how to do nor does anyone else to show me, so as you can imagine my days are a little short of being unproductive. Am still living at la casa Guv’s as am yet to grasp the concept that the perfect house is not going to show up on my doorstep, but that I have to show up on it’s doorstep. Outrageous. This week’s activities have included cinema (Last King of Schötland: awesome, but hook hanging is invading my happy thoughts), swimming in the biggest pool in the world, not sleeping enough, eating more than enough, Frisbee (as if I wouldn’t), wine, mozzie related scratching, kickboxing (sooooo much fun), crazy dancing and Google translating everything so international relations/insults may flourish and continue (enschüldigüng weil ich so spät bin aber mein Hamster ist gestorben). And it’s still not even time for my lunchbreak. Madness. Boring pictures later. Just had lunch which was lovely until I got invaded by about 4000 tramps and when I tried to seek refuge in the office canteen it turned out not to exist. Das stenke.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Livin’ it Westside style

(Go West) where the skies are blue
(Go West this is what we’re gonna do Go Weeeessst)
(Together) we will love the beach (Forever)

Who’da thought that the Pet Shop Boys would have hit the nail right on the head with those immortal words of genius! And thanks to them I now don’t have to write much on this blog posting because that pretty much covers what’s been going on for me for the past few weeks. What? You want more details? Oh ok then, I’ll indulge you, but just this once. Fact fans, Perth is the most isolated city in the whole entire wide world, being as it is closer to Singapore than to Sydney and once out of the suburbs surrounded by, yes you guessed it, a great deal of nothingness. On arrival in Perth I decided to play musical beds in search of a hostel that was able to maintain an acceptable ratio between number of guests and number of pans in the kitchen (my lowest common denominator = food of course) and am now getting far too settled at the Guv’s place with our chess club (geek is thy name) and some very international drinking rules – apparently Finish for ‘cheers’ is ‘gepissed’. Santé indeed. Have spent a few days on the beaches, which are lovely white sand sparkling Indian Ocean type thingy’s and are perfect for body surfing, volleyball and yes oh yes oh yes oh yes, FRISBEE spielen!

Alas all is not well in paradise for it comes at a price and I’m sure you will all be delighted to know that I have got myself a job. Sounds very posh, this week I am PA to the CEO of the Aboriginal Legal Service. Of course this means that I do absolutely nothing other than take phone messages; yesterday that happened 4 times and I’m sure someone has invented a machine to perform this task, but I’ve never been one to turn down easy (if boring) money. Although I did get trapped in reception when I tried to leave last night, all the doors security locked around me and I had to bang and knock manically on the window for a few minutes until someone came and directed me towards the ‘press to open door’ button which in my defence was cleverly disguised by the label with those same words on. Oh deary dear, not even my Frisbee can save me now… Pictures are 1) just chilling at Scarborough Beach, 2) sculptures on Cottesloe beach and 3) enjoying the 'Sunday Session' l-r Allan, Fredd, Jen, Jan & Sarah - why oh why does it have to be on a Sunday??? - more photo's are available should you follow the link cleverly titled 'more Oz photo's' on your right. Peruse at your leisure.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

A whole lot of nothing

你好 ( Ni hao - I have it on 'good' authority that this means hello in Chinese). Acha tikka. Mes amis I have a wonderful show for you all today. Just you wait and see. Well first up is the beautiful scenescape of Adelaide. Adelaide is apparently a city. Though on reflection after walking about for a few minutes it's very small and offers no place to hide! So it was with happy inevitability that European touring group be re-formed for eine speile mit dem karten (arschloch und ring of fire - that incidently was NOT fixed by a Mr Daniel Reading, makes a big difference) order zwei. (sorry, once I've started in this pseudo german/french/english/hindi/chinese it's really hard to stop). We went round the Art Gallery for an educational tour and accidently mistook some art for a cleaning woman to much amusement - breaking the cardinal 'no happiness joy or laughter in an art gallery' rule, watched someone eat a plastic bag and paper themself to the wall. It's art daaaarling. Of course. Now this display of bonbon ---> surely that's art.

Once fully cultured up it's time to do something else. Like dance like there's no tomorrow. Alas with the recent invention of time, tomorrow arrived. Why why why why why? (sure all the rum was gone, but that was more to do with gravity than anything else, blame Isaac Newton not my slippery hands...). This was however remedied by the geographical invention of the beach and it's excellence as a frisbee pitch. And a sunburn haven. Youch. Spent the next few days living cheaply around the city, having appointments in the botanic gardens with teachers (no rendezvous to be heard of, what are we? french savages, tch), coveting all 26kgs of the second largest nugget of gold in the world (see left), squidging Bernie's belly in the evening (now that is a reference only a few will get, if you are not one of them then put the thought out of your mind forever, in fact do that even if you do know what I mean, permanent emotional scarring a risk). Sadly one can't eat cheap curry forever - had a great time in the market searching each stall for the cheapest carrots, then the cheapest potatoes, etc, not wanting to have to hand over more than 20 cents a piece. Thought we were going to be bamboozled by the ubiquitous 1.99 per kg onions, but at last le francais pulled through and spotted 1.49! Oh what joy. (oh and link to more photo's of G.O.R. is added to post below)

Then it was time to leave the land of the East behind on the Indian-Pacific railway. So to the train station I went. Obviously it was the wrong station. An hours walk later and the train was waiting (almost literally) just for me. Whoops. One of the greatest train journeys ever (apparently) across the Nullarbor Plain along the longest stretch of straight railway in the world (some 5million kms of it I think). These photos are a rough representation of what I saw over the past 38 hours - yes that long, I've come to the opinion that such train journeys are great only for certain people, and is it just a coincidence that all these people travel 'gold class'? I don't think so. Or actually for a true representation of my time read sporadically about Britney's current trauma (I. couldn't. Care. Less) and what the stars might wear to the Oscars (it was an old magazine) and maybe close your eyes for about 10 hours a piece to pass the time (viva le france for that 'help') whilst viewing what although isn't a lot is actually quite interesting for it's nothingness. And it really is red in the middle. And hot. And not a lot else...

This is the straight bit of railway.

Very straight.

I got a ruler out to confirm this situation (learning not to trust Australian superlatives) and can thus declare that 30cms of it is in fact as straight as indeed a ruler.

This is the view a little bit further on, around the 1,374km marker.

Still going...

A town in the middle of nowhere. Population 7. I kid you not. Ramsbury c'tait un metropole.

A little bit further on. Are we there yet?

The train resting in Kalgourlie-Boulder. Only another 498km's to go!

And a little more of my favourite scenery. Nothing.

It's all about the journey not the destination. Ah-hem, my arse (begs to differ).

But I have A.R.R.I.V.E.D. in Perth at last. Later than deutsche vier who was still in Adelaide when I left but I had what we call it in India, 'an experience'. Long live straight railways.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Cosmopolitan Ocean Greatness Generally

So where was I? To find the answer to that riddle you must first consider this: what city in Australia begins with the letter M, ends in an E and has the letters 'elbourn' located in any order in between. And there you have it. Here's a picture of it in all it's cosmopolitan glory. Now at this point I really have to apologise for not having much to say about it because it was a nice place and I had lots of fun and did many sightseeing things (all free, yay! and deeply educational, including a visit to the land of neighbours "everybody needs good neighbours" - and sorry Em but I didn't get the slip Boyd your phone number!). Chilled out in the best botanical garden in the whole entire world (another australian superlative that could well be overridden in minutes), forgot to go to the beach (how?), ate lovely food from the market, and came up with an additional lyric for Alanis "isn't it ironic" (won a free Great Ocean Road trip in pub quiz about 5 minutes after having booked and paid for said great ocean road trip, grrrr). I can sufficiently say now tht Melbourne is nice (and not very helpful at getting over an addiction to coffee).

Have now just arrived in Adelaide after spending 3 days touring the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians. I'd love to regale you as to what it was like but my glasses are broken so it was all a bit blurry (this is what I looked like. Loving the hair)... Nah it was really good, unfortunately in about 400 million days of sunshine we managed to get the one day of cloud and drizzle (hello England) so viewing was slightly restricted for the first day, but even so I now have about a million 'arty cloudy' photos. If you want more and better pics then follow the route en francais here (I am not responsible for the content of this website, blame it on the choclatiens!) We saw lots of rocks and stuff, plus the lighthouse from classic TV round the twist programme ("have you ever, ever felt like this, strange things happen, are you going round the twist?" - repeat 500 times and you have an idea how annoying my head is right now, and I'm hoping that those in the know will also get this stuck in their heads as some kind of payback). By the way 'we' is the international european touring squad that I joined and as a result have developed a brilliant trans-europe language, unfortunately now it means that no-one can understand me...

Running out of time so quick quicketty quick. Mountains were good - if not in fact mountains, saw first koalas which was awesome - they are very cute if not a little on the dozy side, celebrated by eating a caramelo koala (little chocolates, not an actual koala coated in caramel, the fur would probably get stuck in the teeth). Was nice. Now slowly heading off to the beach for another session with the frisbee (this time not in a gravel coated car-park, whoops), and if we're really lucky, and teacher lets us (we have done all our lines), a tennis ball too. For now though let me just say auf revoir et bis spater por favor fukel schnell!