So here it is – the long-awaited blog post! (Overdue by about three months… SORRY!)
I feel like I’ve been away for a year already, so action packed has the past three months been. After arriving in Perth on February the sixteenth, I settled down into hostel life in Cottesloe quite comfortably. I found that surprisingly, deep down, a part of me is sociable and capable of making friends. Although admittedly I did have to text Roland (my brother, a social butterfly…) for a morale boost before going down to the courtyard to socialise for the first time. A frantic correspondence during which I walked back and forth to my bedroom door about four times before having the courage to leave. Top tip: if you want to make friends, go to the kitchen and lurk there. I imposed my presence on various people, all of whom are now my friends (whether they like it or not). So I wiled away two happy months in the Ocean Beach Backpackers hostel, improving my German and Beer Pong skills. It was like university life without the worry of academia: bliss.
After a month I decided it would be a good idea to get a job to cover my outgoings, and started working for a self-proclaimed hard woman at ‘Pickers & Collectors Bazaar’ (before employing me she told Holly pass on that she was a “huge bitch”, but underneath lay fundamental kindness). Donna, our boss, is from Kansas, and lived on the shortest fuse I have ever witnessed. Nevertheless, she kept us all in check with her unpredictable rages (which would subside as quickly as they came on) and catchphrases such as “JESUS CHRIST” and “GODDAMNIT” will stick with me forever. Donna had extremely high blood pressure and one day, Dave memorably nearly caused her to have a heart attack. He went to raise one of the metal doors in the warehouse, which was unfortunately attached to about 10 glass desks: all of which were lifted off the floor as the door was raised up, and reaching a peak height of about a foot promptly fell back down to the concrete floor with a loud CRASH. Donna proclaimed “JESUS CHRIST”, clutched her heart and fell back in her scooter. It was about half an hour before she calmed down enough to berate Dave for nearly killing her. All in all, it was an extremely memorable job, and I don’t think I’ll ever experience anything quite like it again. Thank you Donna, I’ll remember you forever (and also your famous Taco Pie).
On April the thirteenth Dave and I packed up Daisy, our Land Rover Discovery, and embarked on our West Coast road trip towards Darwin. There are too many amazing places and stories to document in one blog post, so I’ll just say that we made it to Darwin safe and sound, having only a few sketchy moments with Daisy who as it turns out is the only un-waterproof Land Rover in Australia. After six weeks on the road, me and Dave didn’t kill each other, despite having spent every hour of every day and night within 100m of one another, and as a travel buddy he was “proppa” good. The road trip was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and despite the constant hunger, living off oats and tuna and rice, and not showering for days on end: I would do it all again.
I’ll leave this post with a passage from my journal; an account of one of the more trialling nights we experienced, which you should all bare in mind whilst looking through the pictures… The message being: “it’s not all picture perfect”.
THAT WAS QUITE FRANKLY, THE NIGHT FROM HELL. Honestly, I can truly say that it was material for a horror movie along the lines of ‘Sharknado’. Me and Dave were happily munching on our lentils and sardines watching the sunset in Gravel Pit number 5 of the trip, when he notices lots of bugs flying around.
“F*** Elly. They’re all mosquitos” he cries.
“Nah, they’re just moths” I reply, thinking he was being a drama queen, and I tucked back into my sardines.
Alas! No such luck. THOUSANDS of mosquitos descended, making a blood sucking cacophony of horror and forcing us to retreat rapidly into our tent. A small, unventilated, two-man tent with a 6ft 3′ man at 34 degrees is NOT a good idea. Indeed, in an effort to demonstrate how cramped Dave felt being shut into the tent (we usually leave the door open at night), he stretched out at full length, kicking the door with force, which broke. Allowing all the mosquitos we avoiding to pour in. He quickly fixed it. We then both promptly began to pour with sweat from every facet, and drenched, we decided that it was very likely we were both going to die. But NO! We felt a breeze, a breeze which was coming from about 40 degrees to our right, so not wanting to get out of the tent into certain death, we tried to manoeuvre the tent from within. This is resulted in A) moving the tent completely out of the breeze, and B) by twisting the tent from the inside we decreased the space within ten-fold because the bit we were sitting on did not twist with the rest.
Needless to say we awoke squinty eyed and severely dehydrated BUT mosquito bite free. So we won. Ha.