Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Back Where I Started

On arriving in Sydney I made my way to the place I started, the Rail Way Square YHA. It was strange to be back in such a familiar place and feel like a stranger. IN the past there was always someone I knew about but this time there was no-one. As I checked in I was asked if it was my first visit and I couldn’t help but smile remembering the time when my friends there and the staff thought I might never leave. This time though instead of six weeks I was only there for one night. I was in the city so I could meet up with a good friend the next day. We were going to see Taylor Swift at the Olympic Park and then she was taking me home with here, again! My roommates were and older lady who was travelling and two young girls who were also in town for the concert. I think they were a bit surprised that I was too but they quickly got over it and were very friendly. The day of the concert I took a walk in the morning to say hi to a friend working nearby before checking out og the hostel and spending the day in the hostel common room. I was supposed to meet my friend in the early afternoon but I ended up not meeting her until after 5pm as she was able to catch up with her family on her way to the city. It was worth the wait though. It was fabulous to see her and we really enjoyed the concert. I hadn't realised it before but I’ve only seen rock concerts, even if they are what my brother would term 'girly' rock. This was something different, it was a show. The costumes and dancers were amazing but it was Taylor herself who shone. She was fabulous live. She came across as fun and genuine as well as singing really really well. Post concert my friend and I headed to the camp site where she was interning.  We arrived at 1:30am so it was straight to bed as we were to be up at 7:30am to feed the horses.

Myt friend is a lot younger than I am and when it’s just the two of us I often forget this but when I meet her friends I do wonder if they think I’m a bit odd to be such good friends with someone so much younger than me. This time there was the added worry about how they would feel about my religious view. You see this isn’t just a camp, it’s a Christian camp. I need not have worried though. Everyone I met was friendly and though a few seemed a but wary at first as soon as they realised that I am a fairly genuine person who wasn’t going to start bashing their ideas or convert them to science they warmed to me. In fact during my stay there I had numerous interesting discussions on the nature of god and religion with different people and at the end of them all we were all still friends. As interested as I was in these discussions my main reason for being there was to see my friend. I kept her company during her chores and got to meet her horse and we talked and talked and talked. I even managed to time my visit with the owners daughters 21st which they let good naturedly let me crash. I did end up in the kitchen dicing avocados but then it’s been a while since I have done and avocado related work so it was probably due. The party itself was beautiful; the speeches made my friend cry it was easy to see how much everyone loved of the birthday girl. After a lovely meal we got to meet the families’ newest member, an adorably fluffy puppy and hear some music performed by the birthday girl and her band. On my last day i abandoned my friend to her lunch prep and went for a final walk around the site with her friend. The site is beautiful. On my first day my friend made sure to take me to the two best look outs and I was blown away by the stunning views so I couldn’t leave without revisiting them and was glad my friends friend offered to be my guide. My time there was too short. I would loved to have stayed and visited with my friend and her friends for longer but I had made plans and I wanted to spend my last week in Australia in the palce where I started. Mt friend drovce me to the train station and we had time for a strawberry milk in the park before we had to part. I was sad to say goodbye to someone who has become such a good friend and been a real source of support as well as friendship and love since I met her last June but I know I’ll see her again next year when I’m back this way if not before.

Back in Sydney another friend has deserted me. Fortunately even though she had disappeared off to the Blue Mountains with her boyfriend sher cousin welcomed me back to Sydney and welcomed me to their flat where they were kind enough to put me up for the next week. In all fairness I was knackered and therefore didn’t really miss seeing my friend that night, also since she was away I got to borrow her bed for the night. The next day I spent sorting my stuff out and doing some much needed laundry. My friend and her man arrived back pretty late but there was enough to time to establish that they’d had a great time and that I was settled in just fine. I arrived at my friends a few days before St Patricks Day and whilst this is a day of celebration for many for me it is the anniversary of Jonathan’s death. When I left a year ago I made sure to leave after the second anniversary not really taking in that if I stayed a year I would be here for the third. I know my family back home were worried but I’m lucky to have good friends here to support me. On the 16th I got drunk in the flat then went out dancing. I ended the night at a friend’s place talking through the unfairness of it all amongst other thing before falling asleep on his couch.  The next day I met another friend for an amazing lunch. He did ask how I was holding up and we talked about it a little but mostly we just caught up and I talked at him a lot, co you know that’s what I do. Post lunch we absconded to a nearby pub but too many hours working caught u with my friend, or maybe I just put him to sleep? Either way after a few drinks we parted ways and I returned to my friends flat. I passed the night drinking wine and watching Harry Potter in the flat. I did have a quick chat with Jonathans mum but what can you say? It sucks. It’s not fair. It still hurts.

On the Sunday I headed to the Rocks to do some shopping and take a walk through the area of the city that was my first taste of Australia. I had lunch by circular quay and walked up and down George and Pitt street and it felt odd that these streets on the other side f the world from my home were so familiar to me. On my return from my shipping I met up with one of my friends to see the view from the roof top garden o fhis hostel that he told me about every time we discussed placed to stay in Sydney. I have to admit it was pretty good. The city was spread out in from of us and I could see the harbour bridge peeking out behind the buildings. It was just so very Sydney. We also took advantage of my new ‘I drink beer now; status to test our some beers at a german pubv round the corner from the hostel. I have to say, the beer was good but not as good as the impressive palte of fish and chips. Seriously, I ate half and I was full which was a shame because it was tasty grilled barramundi which I won’t be seeing again for a good few months.

On the Monday I went to see the Picasso exhibition at the art gallery and took advantage of the sun whilst I had it to enjoy the gardens. Oh I should probably mention that during my last week in Sydney it kept raining. I got soaked to the skin on my way to my friends place on the Friday night and then made sure to have an umbrella for the rest of the week. Anyway, the exhibition was an interesting as I had been informed it would be. I loved his earlier work and cannot deny his immense skill and talent but I will never be a fan of his later stuff, if that makes me art-clueless then so be it. I enjoyed wandering through the first Aussie art gallery I visited again but it was a lot busier than I was expecting so I didn’t linger as I had on previous occasions.

On my last day I woke up feeling a bit run down so even though the sun was shining I spent most of the a day inside taking it easy, only venturing out to get the last Aussie bits and pieces I wanted before I had to leave. My main achievement was to pack my bag so even as I write this I am ready to go home. I cannot believe it’s been a year but there you go. I must be because my flight is booked and visa is almost out of date.   

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