Sunday, February 27, 2011

From Alice to Melbourne. Days 35 - 38 (I think.)

February 24th & 25th, my time on the Ghan.

11.30 AM

patiently waiting.

I'm now waiting to get on the Ghan to go down to Adelaide. It leaves Alice at 12.45 and gets into Adelaide at 12.30 tomorrow, 11 hours and 45 minutes on the train.
I better see a kangaroo, I really better.

The Heart, The Soul, The Centre.

ta da!

I am pretty sure I hear someone get shot last night though.
I was just in my room minding my own business and then I heard all this yelling in english and whatever language the aboriginals speak in Alice and then I hear a gunshot and a fuckton of screaming. So someone definitely shot a gun, I don't know if it hit anyone. It was terrifying and just made me want to leave so much more.

I went to breakfast this morning at my favourite cafe, ate one last omelette and drank one last soy flat white.

Todd Mall centre.

painted rubbish bin.

Popped over to the Rock Tour office to write nice things about Scott & Rock Tours in the comments book. Also used the free internet they gave me for taking the tour.

Posted all the postcards I wrote the other day too.

All that and I still managed to be at the station at 10.15 to be a nice easy 2 hours early for my train.


3.15 PM
Been on the train since 12.30, it was delightfully prompt at leaving too, we were pulling out at 12.45 on the dot.
At first I was sitting next to Kathy, a retiree lady who grew up in Adelaide but now lives in Darwin and takes the Ghan back and forth every few months to see 'rellies and friends'

But then I moved so I could have two seats to myself & also be by the winnow. Win win.

my lovely home.

Listened to some music while watching the landscape go by & watched two episodes of Psych. That show has me so hooked man.
I'm about to finish season 1 and I think season 6 or 7 is currently airing, so yay for my new addiction.

Only 20 hours and 15 minutes left now!


7.15 PM

We crossed into Southern Australia and lost an hour, since Northern Territories doesn't have Daylight Savings.

I managed to nap for a bit and and then spent a good hour and a half just looking out the window. Still no mythical 'kangaroos'. Little buggers. Just cows.

things that are definitely not kangaroos.

I ate some, surprisingly delicious, pasta bake stuff. Now I shall return to looking out the window.
I wonder what time sunset is? I think around 8.30, hm.

Sunrise will be on my side of the train I think, it depends where we are because we actually go both east & slightly back north at some points... so I'm sure it'll be then so my photos are ruined.

I don't really know what I'm doing, but I think I'm going to get into Adelaide at around noon tomorrow, hang about until 8 and then catch an overnight bus to Melbourne, arriving on Saturday.


10.45 PM

I pretty much looked out the window from 7.15 until now and nothing. No kangaroos, no camels, no emus, no nothing.

I wrote a letter to Maddy as well actually, I'm sure we passed everything good during the 15 minutes it took me to do that.


7.15 AM

We're currently stopped in Port Augusta to let people off and I'm making use of our lack of shakiness to write.
I slept so so badly, I pretty much woke up every hour.
I'll live, I assume.

the sunrise was nothing to write home about (or blog about really) since it totally during the brief period we were going due eat. So fuck that.

The couple across the aisle from me may or may not be modeling themselves after Ronnie & Sam from Jersey Shore.
I mean really, she has a tribal tramp stamp. Oi vey.


10.10 AM

I went and ate some toast. Just as I'd finished and was about to get up this Dutch girl came and asked if she could sit down. And boy do I wish I'd said "Yes, I was just getting up actually"
But instead I stayed and was forced to begin hating her.
Firstly, she ate scrambled eggs with her mouth open. The most vile, disgusting thing on the planet. And secondly, she was a One Upper. Everything I'd done she'd done better or first or before it was cool. Sweet jesus. I finally escaped by saying I waited coffee and then just scuttling back to my seat.

Talked to my buddy from North Carolina again, who I haven't mentioned.
He's probably about 40 and is doing some traveling for 'tha ex-peer-i-anze'.
He asked me to take his photo in front of the train, which i why we were speaking.
Nice guy, bit bland but nice all the same.
And he's not clingy. Which is key.
So many people who're also travelling alone think we should be together, like we're some kind of pack.
If I'd wanted company all the time I'd have traveled with a friend, no?

we passed the Indian Pacific on it's way to Perth.

Steward guy just came on the speaker thingy and said we'd just gotten on the Adelaide Plain and we'll be arriving in 2 hours.


I'm in Adelaide!

Walked around for ever and ever looking for a hostel. Finally ended up at the YHA, where I'm paying a painful $29 for one night. Sweet jesus.
I bought my ticket to Melbourne for tomorrow night, I'll be arriving on sunday at 6 AM.

I took a super amazing shower, the water pressure is to die for.
I can't remember if I mentioned it but at the YHA in Alice it was like trying to shower in the rain. Ugh.

Then I decided I was going to take myself out for a nice dinner, used my guidebook to find some place called Mesa Lunga that serves tapas on Fridays. I felt so good after my shower and so excited to be back in a city I went all out and wore my high waisted dress pants and a cute belt. I even tucked in my shirt, I was in all out fancy mode.

Walked out the door, walked two blocks and got whistled at in a super creepy, like the have in the movies way. Where the girl is walked and the guy kind of turns to look at her butt and wolf whistles and she kind of looks annoyed but is secretly really pleased. Except it was me so I was just really annoyed, straight up.

Eventually got there (I say eventually, it's about 4 blocks. But I briefly got lost so I felt good arriving at all) and all they had for walk ins was the bar. So I sat down, ordered something that I thought was a fruit cocktail but I'm about 80% sure had vodka in it. I said to the bartender "this doesn't have alcohol does it?" and he may have though I wanted it too. I dunno. He didn't ID me so maybe I'm just crazy.

I also ordered some bread and olive stuff & a mini spicy hamburger thing.
I was sitting between two couples and the couple on my right was doing good for a bit, they drank like three bottles of champagne and having a good laugh. At least until she dropped the "I'm a devout Christian and am waiting until marriage blah blah blah". He nearly had a heart attack and I almost died from the beauty.
They left pretty fast, he didn't want to buy more wine.

Then couple two was a guy and his, super fit yet not that pretty, personal trainer date. He thought it was a date, she thought it was a 'get to know you' dinner.
She started texting an dropping hints about exes and the whole shabang.
She then went to the bathroom for about 8 years, which meant Andy decided he should try hitting on me. Sorry 'striking up a conversation' with me.
He was pretty bad at it though, he mostly talked about himself. And told me all about how he'd thought it was a date and now he didn't think she felt the same way etc etc. He then tried laying it on a little thicker and tried to buy me a drink and started asking about me.
At this point he was annoying me so much I decided it was time for some story telling, into which I managed to work in my fiancee, which is what finally made him leave me alone, eventually. My name was Anastasia, I lived in Nova Scotia (I had moved back home to be with my sister, who's autistic) but had gone to Sarah Lawrence College to do shoe design. I've been living in Melbourne for 5 months, working as a paid intern at a shoe company and was now traveling a bit before I went home. I was going back to school for cooking next year and when that was done my fiancee and I were getting married.
He still really was giving it his all though, that man was determined.

I finally went with "I have to wake up at 4 AM for a flight tomorrow, I really must go" at which point his 'date' finally came back just as he was offering me another drink, which solidly blew it with her. She hated me on sight, but oh well.

Walked back and now I'm trying to decide what to do tomorrow. I absolutely need to find a Coles and I also need to walk to the bus station so I know how to get there. Maybe I'll go relax on the beach in the morning and do all that in the afternoon...


February 26th. In Adelaide.

Someone unplugged my laptop last night.
See, I left it open and plugged in so it'd keep downloading Psych episodes, so I'd have something to do on the bus tonight. But since they unplugged it I guess it just went all the way to the bottom of it' battery, which it hates doing.
Now it won't turn on.
Well, I think it won't.

I overslept this morning and woke up at 3 minutes to 10, which is check out time. So I raced downstairs and got checked out. I explained what happened and the lovely guy let me keep my room key so I could go get everything.
 But anyway, my point, I didn't really have time to keep it plugged in. It really needs to work though, it cannot die on me now.

It's about 1 in the afternoon now, I'm now sitting on a bench in Victoria Square.
There are benches littering the place a yet, there's still a weird old man sitting next to me. Why lord, why me?

I'm going to walk to Woolworths and check out Rundle Street Mall. Then maybe go to the Botanical Gardens. Depends on how I feel I guess.


In the Botanical Gardens!
I walked to the Rundle Street mall, which like the Todd Mall in Alice or the Elizabeth Street Mall in Brisbane, is open air. I love those.

I watched this guy play some kind of drum & the didgeridoo for about an hour and a  half, it was so awesome. I wanted to buy his CD but he was selling them for $25. And was kind of a dick when I said that was out of my budget. So too bad, he was a sweet musician though.

I found Woolworths and bought all the food I'll need for the rest of my life.

Came here, to this lovely spot beneath the trees and ate some lunch.

I'm now relaxing and listening to the birds & Florence + The Machine.
They go well together.

Every now and then I'll feel a raindrop or two, then it'll be fine. So I'll probably need to leave soon. Hm, Bill Bryson was right when he said it was a "lovely place" or whatever he said it was.

The other thing about Adelaide. They make such a big deal about the grid system of streets and how hard it is to get lost blah blah. But they seem to think that means theta don't need street signs. There are almost no road names... anywhere. You have to guess. And most of the street change name when they cross Victoria Square, which is fine if you're actually in Victoria Square but not so fine if you're threw blocks above it an suddenly seem to be on a different street that you were 30 seconds before. If there's a sign and you notice anyway.


Walking back I was accosted buy some ginger guy who asked if he could sing me a song that's apparently 'off his newest album' and it's 'for the fringe festival' etc etc.
Well. He sucked. Bag lyrics, bad voice bad way of presenting himself.
And then, get this, he asks me for a donation to his 'album fund'. And when I apologised but said I didn't really have enough to spare on that he just like, followed me down the street pretty much just asking for cash. Then he started singing again so I just gave him some change because I waited him to leave me alone. He got a little pissy about 'needing more' and I finally told him to fuck off.
Sweet jesus.

I went back to the YHA and just went and used the internet for a bit, then went over to the bus station at 7.


there's a god damn girl from Korea sitting next to me.
First she cried for a while about leaving her friends and now she's asleep, taking up at least a quarter, if not a third, of my seat.
God damn.

Been on the bus for like 3 and a half hours, only like 7 left. I'm going to try to get some sleep though, I want to not be dead when we get to Melbourne.

There's a real hippie bitch on here. When we stopped I bought a coffee and was eating these chips I bought the other day and since I'm nice I offered them to her and she's like "Um, I'm a vegan so I probably can't eat them and I have my own crackers" in a generally rude tone. I decided to be the better person and was just whatever about it. There was a pause and she goes "Vegan means I don't eat ANY animal products, in case you didn't know. it's so important to know nothing animals made for themselves is eaten by me." at which point I noticed she was eating "Honey Crunch Crackers", so I decided to stop being the better person and just annoy her. So I go "yes, I used to be a vegan. And then why are you eating honey crackers?" and she got all flustered and explained that "Vegans can eat honey blah blah the guy who created veganism ate it bah blah"

HA. She's so mad at me now. For the record, the guy who 'created' (coined the name) veganism most definitely did not eat honey, in fact he specifically said that true vegans did't eat it.


I seriously did not sleep for more than an hour all night.
Pare that with sleeping mostly not at all the past two nights and you have a very displeased Signe.

Korean girl slept so well, on both out seats mostly. I tossed and turned and tried this and that and just watched the hours tick by.
We stopped at 11PM & again at 3AM for half hour breaks.
Break one I got out and stretched my legs for a bit and took some photos of bugs, which were EVERYWHERE. There was bajillions of crickets in Adelaide, it's insane.

Stop two I ate a muffin and felt sorry for myself. Haha.

We finally arrived in Melbourne at 6 this morning and the only room they had was a 4 bed share, which is $34 for the night. I'm paying it tonight, but I might move because I can't afford that for three nights or whatever.

And to top off my fantastic morning these two girls from Taiwan who were also on my bus and who I'd talked to for a bit ay Rest Stop 1 came here too and they said to the receptionist "guess how old she is?" and then were like "only 17!"
I almost shot them.
Old man receptionist nearly kicked me out and only let me stay because of the notarised letter from mum and da and the spent the next 45 minutes talking about how I need to be careful and how it's actually illegal for them to let me stay and on and on and on. Finally his shift ended, but ugh. I was so not in the mood.

We're stuck in the lobby/hangout/kitchen area since check in time isn't until 10. So we can't go shower or nap for another hour and 45 minutes.

I feel like shit.


I showered, but refrained from napping. I am still dead but I'll just go to bed super early.

I'm going out to get a coffee or something, I need to take a walk.


Well I totally intended to actually go outside, but while I was coming back to my room after brushing my teeth I ran into Delano & his friend Will. So I decided to have a movie marathon with them instead. it pretty much went movie, smoke/talk break, movie, smoke/talk break and repeat. Many times.
We watched Forgetting Sarah Marshell, Undercover Brother, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and then a few other people showed up and put something called Fool's Gold (I think) on, which Matthew Mcconaughey and Kate Hudson.
It wasn't exactly mind blowing or even mildly confusing, but it was entertaining.

It's now now only quarter to 10, but I may die of exhaustion at any moment so I'm going to sleep. I figure sleep in tomorrow and then figure out my plans. I think I'm going to go to Sydney on Tuesday. Maybe.
Fuck, I don't know.

This is the only photo I took all day, but it's just terrifying enough to warrant being on here.

let me look deep into your soul.

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