So you take off at LAX, and you’re over the ocean in under ten seconds. A 12 hour flight over the pacific ocean, and it is entirely the pacific ocean you fly over. I had a window seat. Which is lucky, I decided, on such a wide plane. Ten seats across, (three-aisle-four-aisle-three), you have a 40% chance of a middle seat, 40% chance aisle, 20% window. And I got window. Which actually paid dividends at the end of the flight, as New Zealand popped up from out of the water. Very green, New Zealand. Saw a few sheep from above. Pasture that went right to the water’s edge.
Three hour layover in Auckland. They had fed me on the plane, and I decided not to buy anything because I didn’t want to have to exchange money just to use in the airport, and yes, I could have used my debit card, except I still hadn’t contacted my bank yet about my trip to the other side of the world–I did that on line (in line, on line, on queue? (they’re not british, but its close sometimes)) at the Perth airport.
Long line to get out of the Perth airport. Reunited with my bag, though, so I was happy (took a different flight to LAX after first one was delayed, hence the bag anxiety). Long line concluded, I caught a bus to the city center.
Met a German backpacker on the bus, coming from Indonesia. He had just had a carton of cheap indonesian cigarettes confiscated. I told him about my show, he had heard of Cast Away (2000).
Then the hostel. I am at the cheapest hostel in Perth. There are no frills, not everything works. Its population is half travellers, half people who for whatever reason would rather live in a hostel than have a real residence(as I said, it’s real cheap(significantly cheaper than my place in Portland, cheap). Its got some positive qualities, though. Big backyard where I can juggle. Big kitchen. And my bed is furthest from the door in the 24-person suite.
A note on the 24-person suite: I’ve hosteled now around Europe, and in a few American cities. Suites range from 2 to this, 24 being the largest I’ve encountered. And often hostels will have multiple options–the larger rooms being the cheaper ones.
In my limited experiences, I have found the larger hostel suites far more amenable. Its like difference between trying to read in a room where two people are having a conversation, versus reading in a busy cafe with a hundred voices all around. The single conversation requires effort to tune out. The noisy cafe, however, becomes a white noise. So in the larger hostel suites the comings and goings of my suitemates is more constant, and therefore–paradoxically–less obtrusive. It also helps that I have the best bed in the suite–furthest from the door.
Okay, so that’s where I’m staying. I wanted to get thru the other stuff, though. So I checked into my hostel, walked around the festival grounds (it’s all walking distance from the hostel, another plus), got my artist’s pass, took an impulsive trip to the ocean.
The bus to the ocean took about 35 minutes, out of the city, thru the suburbs, to the beach. The beach was windy. I got there around 5:00 thinking I might catch the sunset–which I didn’t, of course, cause it’s summer here and the days are long.
So windy ocean, on putting my toe in the water it felt cold. Not cold, I should say. But not as warm as I thought it would feel.
But then once I got in the water, it was perfectly warm. And the waves were strong and large. And you’d duck under one, confidently emerge on the side, and open your eyes just in time for the next wave to knock you backwards.
So walked around the beach a bit, and then caught the bus back–which took a while, and was a little more of a trial than it should have been, since I had no idea when the bus might come, and watched a couple busses pass nearby without stopping at my stop before I walked to a higher traffic bus stop.
So then back to the hostel, tired, went to bed.
Today I visited the art museum (its free), the library (also free), got to juggle in a really gorgeous hall made 100 years ago in memorial to this couple’s two sons, who both died in World War 1. After I finish this blog post I’m going to get dressed and head to the Fringe World opening party. I’m nervous and excited.