“Last night, can’t remember where I slept/ One city at a time, then it’s on to the next.” – Fashawn
Want to know what it feels like to exist outside of space and time?
Fly to Australia.
Somewhere over the Pacific, you enter a Twilight Zone where any hope of your body orienting itself to its surroundings flies out the window. If it’s 4am in Toronto (where you first set off), 1am in Los Angeles (where you most recently touched the ground), 8pm in Auckland (where you’re due to land next), and 6pm in Melbourne (where you’ll touch down for good), then what time is it?
It’s enough to make one’s head spin — even without the sleep deprivation.
Some say it takes a week to get over the jet lag. Others swear a good night’s sleep is all you need.
Thankfully, there has been plenty to distract me from any lingering exhaustion.
Stories from the road:
1. I’m gone for the next five months: first, to Australia, then onward to Fiji, New Zealand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. It took awhile for it sink in that I’m in Australia, though: in no small part because it’s colder and wetter in Melbourne than it is back home. Oddly enough, my “Welcome to Australia” moment involved penguins — not kangaroos or koalas. A whole population of little penguins nests in the breakwater off St. Kilda Beach.
2. Australian football is pure pandemonium: I’m fairly certain I witnessed at least two concussions in the span of 20 minutes. Watching the AFL semifinal in a bar full of Aussie Rules fanatics was an experience of a lifetime.
3. An embarrassing confession: I brought a combo lock with me for the trip, but I have no idea what the combination is. Instead, I kindasorta have the combination down pat — sometimes it takes one or two tries to open; other times (read: most times) it takes dozens of tries, reducing me to a withering, emasculated mess. I should probably just get a new lock.
Things I’ve seen:
1. The Great Ocean Road.
My other “Welcome to Australia” moment. My friend and I joined a full-day tour of the famed road, and with views like these, it’s easy to see where the reputation comes from.
2. Street art aplenty.
Melbourne is known for two things: coffee and street art. Often, you’ll find both in the same place: the city centre is filled with colourful laneways where cafes spill into the street.