Saturday, June 5, 2010

Not in Asia anymore

Remember when I had Not in America posts way back when? Well, now that I've spent the last six months in Asia, I have to remind myself that I'm not in Asia anymore instead. Things are so very, very different. The weather in Perth was a lot cooler than I've encountered in ages. I actually had to put on jeans and was very happy that I'd asked Will to bring me a hoodie to wear. Once I got over how "cold" it was (50 degrees at night), I remembered that it's fall weather and, oh hey, I love fall! I'm also experiencing sticker shock on a daily basis. Wait, what? The dorm room is $30 instead of the $5-10 that I'm used to. Meals cost $10-20 instead of $1-5. An 11 hour bus trip costs hundreds of dollars rather than tens of dollars.

Crossing the street is easy and you don't doubt that you'll make it to the other side alive. But here, everyone waits for the go ahead from the little green man to cross. I don't have that kind of patience anymore as I'm so used to just crossing when there's a break in traffic. People are so incredibly nice and helpful and they're not just doing it to sell you something, either. I think there must not be too many Americans traveling in Australia because people have stopped us a number of times to chat with us (they hear us talking to each other and recognize our accents). And the food. As much as I loved Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Indonesian foods, I was well sick of noodles and rice after awhile. Eating in Australia is just like eating at home. Meaning, I can get all of the above types of food (passable, but not as good as it was in that country), but I can also get burgers, pizza, sandwiches, salads, sushi, and really anything else my heart desires.

So there's been a bit of an adjustment period, but Will and I are really having fun, too. We've been to the Western Australia Museum and we've met up with local couchsurfers. We took a day trip to Freemantle on the very easy to use train and saw the Freemantle markets and the Western Australia Maritime Museum (well, Will saw it. As a Coastie he's more interested in that kind of thing that I am, so I happily stayed outside in the sunshine and took pictures instead.) And I've been enjoying having someone to watch sports with. Will's beloved Phillie Flyers are in the Stanley Cup, so we've watched a couple of those games, and tonight we'll be cheering for America when they play against Australia in a World Cup warm-up game.

We're in Cairns (pronounced 'cans') now, btw. We took what was quite likely the worst red-eye flight ever. We flew Jetstar, had seats that didn't recline, and had crying children (not even babies which made it worse, I think) behind us. In other words, no sleep at all. Then when we arrived at our hostel, there was no one around to check us in for awhile. Eventually we were checked in, but we were still hours ahead of the official check in time, so we crashed on couches instead of our own beds in a dorm room. We're pretty beat, but the hostel is actually pretty cool. It's very centrally located, there was a free barbecue at lunch today, free dinner is included every night, and we got vouchers to get in free at a local club.

Also, the big news of the day is that we booked ourselves on a liveaboard boat beginning on Monday. A lot of people recommended Pro Dive as a good dive shop in Cairns and our research had us agreeing with what people were saying. For $545 (including all dive equipment and a $50 reef tax) we get three days and two nights on the boat, all meals, and 11 dives. A fantastic deal, if you ask us, and we're really looking forward to it - particularly Will as he's only ever dived in a quarry with 50 degree water before, lol.


  1. It sounds like your having a wonderful time in
    Australia so far! Even though the hostel is $30.00 you mentioned that they have free dinner every night so, it almost is close to what your use to and this hostel is much better than the other places you've been staying right? Sounds very worth it to me!
    I hope you and Will have a great time on your trip it really sounds nice! Have fun baby!
    Love ya!

  2. Oh the dive trip sounds awesome. Grandma said Will was cute (she saw your Flickr pics) and I say she's right! :-)

    I am sure you are relieved to be in a more-like-home place after all of this time. It's funny how things can be so different. I ate some turkey spread and some calf's live spread (had to try them!) for breakfast this morning. And Nutella, likely a new addiction. Love ya!

  3. ToadMama - Will's head is probably big enough, lol, but I'll pass on the compliment to him.

    So how were the two brekky (as it's called in OZ) spreads that you had? I'm glad to hear that you're being adventurous and trying new things. But Nutella? Dude, we have that in the States! You've been missing out! It is awesome, though, isn't it?

  4. ruby is already addicted to nutella (and all other things sugary. i love how on the new tv ads here for it they bill it as a part of a nutritious breakfast when you "spread it on whole grain toast!" ha! might as well just have a doughnut.

    and yay! oz sounds great, and your upcoming dive sounds awesome - have a ton of fun - off to look at pics . . . xoxoL