Monday, 24 December 2012

Holiday in Broome

For my last few weeks in Broome I gave myself a holiday. Initially it was meant to be a week off but one week turned in to two when I caught a stomach bug and felt too ill to do much more than lie in bed and feel sorry for myself on my days off. Even when I went back to work I was not eating much and tiring easily so I spent more time sitting around the hostel in the common area. This led to getting to know the folks I’d been saying hi to in the passing for the last few months and that was the end of my studying. I did consider taking it back up once or twice but the heat and humidity got to me so it’s on hold until I find somewhere cooler or at least with an air conditioned computer room! This means that I spent a fair amount of my final few weeks getting to know my ‘new’ friends.

One of the many upsides to this was that I finally got to go to my work for dinner as a customer as well as try out a Japanese fusion restaurant not far from our hostel.  Another upside was that though I have had a lot more alcohol in the last few weeks than I have in the last few months each time I have been drinking I have gotten to a point where I have felt the need to stop, something that rarely happened before my drinking sabbatical. Since I am a complete lightweight the fact I can stop means that I can now have cheap but fun nights out. Also the friends I made were very accepting of my limited drinking and didn’t push me to drink when I was abstaining or to continue drinking when I said I wanted to stop, definitely keepers those girls. On one level I am a little sad that I didn’t get to know them properly sooner but I did need my time out to sort my head out and save some money.

The downside of getting to know people and re-entering the human race is that I have been spending more money. However, I have enough saved that I shall not starve whilst I look for work back east so I don’t regret my lack of savings in my final weeks. Of course some of that was down to Christmas looming. Ah Christmas. How I usually dread thee. This year though it was different. For one thing there was a pleasant lack of Christmas songs at my work. On the 1st of December one of our duty managers started us decorating the place but since I am used to ‘seeing’ Christmas as early as November or even October this didn’t really make me feel like it was happening. It was a similar story at the hostel. I didn’t feel anywhere like I was having Christmas shoved down my throat like they do in the cities. Even the count downs on facebook kept taking me by surprise.  I knew it was coming but it just always seemed to be at some distant point in the future.

During my last week in Broome two of my ‘new’ friends were leaving the same week as me but a few days before.  I was sad to see them go and though we had only recently spent time together I missed them in my last few days. The sadness wasn’t too bad though as I am sure I shall see them again, in fact I shall be seeing one of them on my one night in Perth on my way to Sydney. That’s one of the awesome things about the backpacking lifestyle, it’s surprising how easy it can be to see your friends again if you really want to. My last shift in work was pretty normal, we were kept busy enough and I was able to finish at 9pm and have a last meal and a few drinks. Some of the staff stayed behind to share a few drinks with me and then I went with a few of them to the local club as some people I knew were meant to be there. The joy of staying in a hostel is that though the folks I thought would be there weren’t others were and were happy for me to join them for a few drinks. I can’t say I was overly taken with the club so I left after my second drink. It might have been a flat end to my night but a friend was kicking about at the hostel and we had one of those interesting conversations you can only have when one of you is drunk enough to be philosophical but not falling over and the other is sober but laid back and bored enough to be amused by this.

My last day in Broome was different. For one I was properly hungover for the first time in over six months. That’s what I get for mixing my drinks and not drinking enough water before bed. The other was that I hardly knew anyone left. I had some last minute bits and piece to buy so took a walk to the shops since I was now bikeless having donated it to a guy at my work the previous evening. I finished off my food at the hostel and gave back my kitchen bag in return for my $10 deposit, then I returned my blanket which resulted in another $10 being returned to me and I thought, woo hoo dinner. Of course that didn’t quite work out. After a quick dash to my work to return my work shirts I had to continue with my packing. I started it at about 1pm and managed to finish it about 11pm. I have no idea how many times I packed unpacked and repacked but I do know I seem to have acquired an awful lot of stuff in four months which could explain why I have less savings than I had hoped. A friend did instruct me to throw things out but I’m not very good at that. Maybe once I get to Sydney and have the moral support of a good friend  I’ll be able to face a clear out because apart from a few tops I got it all in there, even if for the first time since I got it I had to join  my two bags together to make one larger bag. Oh yeah and it was too heavy to lift, oops. Definitely time for a clear out before I start travelling again!

One of my many packing avoidance breaks was to go get an ice cream and crisps for dinner, I don’t care what you think of me I enjoyed that dinner. Of course the excellent company helped. I didn’t get to know many people at the hostel well so I was pleasantly surprised when one of the girls who I had a habit of conversing with in passing made an effort to see me and chat before I left. Once more I was glad I had gotten to talk properly with her whilst being a little sad that I hadn’t done it sooner but once more I am hopeful that we shall meet again during our travels as the backpacking community is a lot smaller than you might think, especially with the wonder of facebook.

Finally the day had arrived and it was my turn to leave. I got up at 5 am so I could make a call home before the long journey began then it was back to my room for that last minute packing and re-arranging and it was time to go. The place was more or less deserted as I mentally said good bye but I did bump into the manager on my way out and got a goodbye hug. Then it was see you later to my home of the last four months because of course I shall be back, just a soon as that pesky brother of mine and his fiancée have tied the knot.

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