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I'm just sitting on my little deck off this fantastic hotel, wanting a glass of wine, back really hurting for the first time in the trip and smoking, smoking. I've been putting off sitting down and composing a post and I've just watched the first three episodes of "Long Way Round" in which Ewan McGregor says at one point, "I just can't get around this in my head. I need to get on the bike and ride for an hour and a half and let it just seep in."

It's occurred to me that I have, so far, just been using all my words to chronicle the things I've been seeing and the reason I've only gotten this far is that there is an overwhelming amount of information to impart here. It exhausts me just to think about getting it down. I've still got to tell you / myself all about Fremantle Prison, Rottnest Island, the tour to the Valley of the Giants, the giant storm in Perth and tomorrow, I'll add the Australia Zoo to that.

But I've yet to talk at all about how I feel about all of it. Because I don't really know. I'm feeling as if I've got about as much emotional depth as a photocopier.   As I said before my back is really hurting and I'm regretting not getting some acupuncture in the little mall I was in this afternoon. Up until now, my back has held up better than I ever imagined, although after the bike ride and snorkelling at Rottnest my knees were killing me for a couple days (and talk about saddle sore, whew!), so I guess I shouldn't be suprised that it seems to have decided to assert itself.

I would probably kill one of these massive bats here in Brisbane with my bare hands and eat its liver raw right now for a good ol' fashioned bathtub full of hot water and ginger.

I'm in a place called Fortitude Valley here in Brisbane and on my little walk about the area today (time to buy shampoo and toothpaste, etc, now that I'm not staying with friends), it's a place filled to bursting with Adult shops, bars open until 5 am, 'striptease' clubs and a strong gay community. Quite interesting really.In face, right now, at 8:40 pm on a Thursday night, I can hear the bass from a couple of duelling bars out there. I find that now that I don't drink I can't be bothered to check out the bar scene, as amazing as I'm sure it is here. I'm achy and I have to get up at 7 am for the tour and, although I would have still headed out 10 years ago, I just can't be bothered to now.

Strangely, I'd forgotten that a large majority of Australians aren't particularly attractive (well, the men at least) and yes, I know that's a generalization but I've been in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane in the last two weeks and I can tell you with authority that, well, hot men are in short supply, and were so 5 years ago when I was here. So, why, I ask myself, should I get all dolled up, head out to a loud bar I'm probably too old to enjoy, to yell / converse at people I'm not particularly attracted to when I can't even drink to give myself the semblance of having fun.

Oh, what the world of Jen has come to. It's so.... normal.

I'm so glad I got to spend the time I did with T3 and his family up at the farm and with Yeti in Perth. They're fantastic people and I wish I could see them more often than I do. There hasn't been much room in my head for Matt and that's good as well, although I did have a long convoluted dream about him this morning which has done my head in a bit today. It makes me a little resentful - which is nothing new, really, - as the Matt thing has made me resentful for a long time now. I wish I could get past that and really truly back to the part where we laughed and loved and then, moved on with intermittent moments of fond memories and a little smile.

So before I devolve into all that shite I am going to post this little interlude and hit the shower....

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Reader Comments (4)

you can tell a brizzo from a southerner, by how they peel their prawns. a brizzo will have a prawn peeled and de-veined in under 3 seconds. literally.

2 if they're feeling flash.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSaltation
Hmm! Browser crash appears to have killed my first comment. So here it is again. Please try to recall them in retrospect in the order intended:

----------------------Jen! How the f*ck ARE ya?!!! Long time, no e! (been more than a bit out of it, me)

And you're in OZ! More, you're in Brissie!! My old home town!

Some local-tips:• get yerself down to Burleigh Heads (just south of Surfers Paradise) and go to Fleays. It's the ultimate aussie wildlife park. Used to be run by David Fleay, first man ever to transport platypi without them dying, and latterly bred them. Pretty much noone else in the world has done it since. "Wild" kangaroos and emus roaming round the whole park, coming up to you as you walk around and saying g'day. Grew up near there. Childhood memories of him watching all the kids that came in, and evaluating them, and then treating the sane ones specially. Focussing on me and my brother. Top bloke. Being lifted into the wombat pen. The tree kangaroo snuffling at my hand. The platypus breaking water just beneath us. Walking through the secure zone out the back of the lungfishes and dingoes and his kids surfacing suddenly from the bush, saying "you can't go any further, she's about to give birth".Think it's still run by his kids.

• while you're there, go due east to Coolangatta Heads and visit the Bird Sanctuary. It's not a human-decided place — a chap noticed in the 20s or 30s, when all of the Gold Coast was essentially wasteland, that the parakeets descended upon it every year and that it was a big part of their lives, so he bought the whole headlands and kept it natural. For them. When he died (in, iirc, the late 80s), he willed that it be kept unbuiltupon for them. And they're super-friendly. Hold up a plate of mushed bread and milk and honey anywhere near there, and you'll have birds all over you. Literally, all over you. Bright red and green and yellow parti-coloured parakeets. As in sitting on every non-vertical part of your body. There's a park at the centre of their traditionally favourite part, but they'll do it too in the apartments and hotels outside it too. It's really really lovely coming out onto your balcony and holding up a tray of mushed up bread and water and having birds flock to you and onto you.

• Noosa. you gotta do noosa. you just gotta. best. body surfing. in the world. just walk out, chest deep, turn around, and jump. ride the waves in. the angle of the beach and the pace of the waves is just absolutely perfect for it. perfect. like nowhere else ever. and body temperature water. when you're tired of it, walk over the top of the dune and into the coffee shops, and have a monster brunch. sunny but shady. and great food. stay in the "caravan" parks just outside town to get all the benefits for a fraction of the cost.

• sunday. prawns. gotta be done. seriously, this one's COMPULSORY. to get a gist of the real aussie lifestyle. the classic brissie sunday. the classic brissie sunday.wake up REALLLLL early, ilke 10 or 11 o'clock. jump in yer car (taxi) and drive east towards morton bay. pass a few stalls, until you get slightly jaded, then haul out and pull up and buy yerself a coupla kilos of prawns. cooked. then back home, pull out 2 BIG silver (cooks') bowls and 1 little one. fill the little one with hot water and throw a cut-up lemon into it. dump yer prawns into one bowl. pull the first chilled beer or wine out of the fridge. sit down in the sunshine and work your way through the prawns, pulling each fat delight out of the first bowl and dropping its remains into the second. rinse fingers in the littl'un.the ultimate and iconic brissie sunday brekkie.

• which reminds me: the brekkie creek hotel. go there for lunch.
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSaltation
Thanks for all the tips, Sal! Unfortunately, I'm only in Brisbane for another day and a half before heading off to Byron Bay to lay on the beach. Australia Zoo was the priority today and tomorrow is the river cruise and the fruit bats. I'll keep note for next time I'm here tho....

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen
March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSaltation

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