Down Under Day 46: Australian Day

Over the past week and a half, I have become quite intimate with the bathrooms, especially on bleach days, and the receptacles that I shall not write by name. Only a drunken bloke could form a closer bond than I have. Dave and I worked out again on the quote unquote gym across the street before taking a couple bikes for a ride all the way to the esplanade. His bike was rusted over quite a bit while mine was a bright pink low rider. Oddly, yet safely enough, Australian law mandates bicyclists wear helmets while riding; I heard stories of some people getting $200 fines. On the outdoor gym, we went through our dips, chest and leg presses, and pull-ups and with each exercise I felt the missed time from the gym, my body not used to these demands, let alone in the muggy heat of this climate. Regardless it felt great to do it once more. Back at the hostel I relaxed in the company of fellow travelers while sharing stories and giving advice to one another for upcoming adventures. A couple from England had recently completed the Southeast Asia circuit so I was very much interested to get all the fine details about it. They told me that the important things they brought through SE Asia were mosquito nets, duck tape, and shoe laces. Mosquito nets sounded like quite a good idea to protect for the malaria but to them they served a greater purpose. According to them, they had to deal with enough rat and cockroach infested hostels or guest houses through their travels that the nets came in handy for barricading them from any unwanted visitors that may want to nestle up with them for the night (the duct tape and shoe laces were used to hang up their nets). Their stories were not what I had envisioned for SE Asia but I will make the most of it to see and experience some beautiful and awe-inspiring views and places. The night was Australian BBQ, which was quite fitting for Australia Day, which celebrates the first English prisoners that arrived onto the big island of down under. The labor was easy and I got some good food and beer while enjoying the company of fellow travelers. I chatted with a French couple from Paris about being in such a world renowned city and of course the conversation veered towards food, which I am always curious to ask about; the idea sounds silly but it is a step into that nation’s culture and identity. A group of fellow staffers wished me a happy birthday as the clock stuck midnight.

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