Fluorescent Adolescent

[Audio https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9901364/01%20fluorescent%20Adolescent.mp3%5D

Bondi Beach and Perth, Australia


Our time in Australia was short. There were many reasons for the short stay. We had been there before (myself for four months). It was expensive. Also, Australia and I have always had a love/hate relationship. Most Americans have at least a slight infatuation with the country. It’s far away, the accent is catchy, and the culture is based on having fun and “No Worries.”

Everyone in Australia is like a teenager. This was wonderful when I was 20. Now, Tim and I enjoy sleep. In Bondi we found the beach packed. It seemed like what Venice beach must have been like at it’s height. Everyone was beautiful and they were also there to party. There was heavy metal music played in the room next to ours till 11:30pm. When it shut off we could hear the “unce, unce” of several clubs below us and the sounds of drunks shouting in the street – ah, yes we were definitely back in Australia.

Strangely, on buses, trains, and planes we noticed that the children from a very young age were loud and rude. We repeatedly witnessed toddlers that were uncontrollable, not that the parents tried very hard. We also witnessed a group of 14 year old girls graffitiing a bus we were on and creating all kinds of Chaos. They attempted to force open the back doors to run out the back without the cameras capturing their faces. Being in these children’s presence was often in itself exhausting.

We hopped over the lesser visited west coast of Australia for most of our time. We wanted to see Perth – the most isolated city in the world. We hoped to stay in Fremantle, which is a more eclectic town just beside the city. But apparently so did everyone else so most backpackers spots where full. I emailed a place called The Old Firestation that had availability. So we stayed there.

"the backyard"

Here’s the thing about the old Firestation – most of the people here don’t leave. People stayed for 3 months to a year. They never bothered getting an apartment because the old firestation was where they wanted to hang out every night. Our room was out back – and this was where the party was every single night. It might quiet down around 2am and when you came out a 9am the music would be back on and you may even see beers in their hands.

One night the music turned off at midnight, so I popped an ambien in desperation to sleep. Five minutes later we heard a trumpet and guitar literally a foot from our bedroom. They were playing La Bamba – and it was loud! Suddenly Tim and I turned to each other and just laughed. We heard the entire hostel sing along even though no one knew the words and we started singing along too from the bedroom. They played for two more hours. Sleep didn’t come for quite some time.

Welcome to the Philosopher's shower

Inspiration while you shower - mostly around living life fully

The people here were from all over the world – but they adopted the Australian standard of drinking easily. We easily became fast friends with people from Ireland, England, Germany, Netherlands, France, and even one American (who was shocked to hear another American accent). You may wonder if they did anything but drink, but they did in fact work. Many had steady jobs, but those who didn’t would listen in the mornings for the front desk to announce work over the speaker that was available and then off they went. Everyone who wants a job in Perth can get one in 5 minutes.

Rottnest Island

On our last full day on the island we headed over to Rottnest Island. We were prepared to run into the worst kind of Australians there. The dreaded Schoolie. Known for getting into all kinds of trouble I won’t even detail on this blog, we were glad to see that they seemed to heading back as we arrived. Looking hung-over and sun-baked they left the island to us to play on – and a spectacular and empty island it was!

double your fun...or double the work for Tim

We rented a tandem bike (ankle still not healed) and were complete dorks. I continually sang the double-mint jingle as we rode, to the amusement of only one of us. We saw almost the entire island.

That night, for the fifth night in a row, I got hardly any sleep, but the Old Firestation had grown on us. There was something cozy about it- it felt like a strange kind of family.

“Culture is the sea we swim in — so pervasive, so all-consuming, that we fail to notice its existence until we step out of it. It matters more than we think.”
–Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss


4 Comments (+add yours?)

    Dec 09, 2010 @ 14:40:25

    Robin and Tim,
    I don’t mind geting older,but looking back, I am envious of the adventure and discovery of your fabulous trip. Keep the commentary coming.
    Love Grandpa


  2. Tim
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 02:55:12

    My first time on a tandem bike I learned two things. It is easier if both parties pedal, and it is ideal to have working gears. The gears on the bike stopped working half way around the island which would of been OK if there were not rolling hills everywhere. It worked out in the end because if you know me I have never been one to shy away from some exercise and I was looking for a good challenge. I certainly scored my challenge and Robin was able to rest her foot. Good times!


  3. Sarah Moyik
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 02:46:35

    Tim, it probably didn’t help that you had a gimpy partner on the bike as well! : )


  4. Trackback: Where we rested our heads « On The Banana Pancake Trail

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