After two months I’ve been reunited with laptop and 24-hour internet connection.
[Chorus of angels appears]
Have also been taking Vittoria intravenously.
Whilst idling over hilarious blogs.
And ingesting intestinally-threatening quantities of real cheese, olives, red meat and all kinds of not-white bread… and sushi from James Street markets… and field mushrooms on sourdough with mmm-gooey fetta and truffle oil from Cirque… but I digress…
So once the important business of essential-foods-I-haven’t-had-for-two-months had been fully rectified, I:
a) went back to bed and slept for a very long while
b) unpacked my things and pretended to be the Christmas angel, dispensing souvenirs like snowflakes to all within a five-mile radius
c) got in my car and drove from my former home (Brisbane) down the east coast (1,886km, if you’re wondering) to my almost-former home twice removed (parental home in Gippsland), somehow managing to stay on the left despite wanting to walk everywhere on the right, whilst throwing around credit cards to petrol station attendants and hoteliers like bloody Santa, as the business of uninterrupted sitting for two and a half days wreaked further trauma on my very-neglected lower back.
One hundred thousand dong for choosing C (since I'm at it anyway), obviously the least appealing option after travelling for two months straight, living out of a backpack for eight, being ‘homeless’ for a year, etc. (Speaking of milestones, kudos to me for staying off the dreaded cigs for over a year – a feat of increasing difficulty whilst on the backpacker circuit, as throngs of sleek twenty-something French/Dutch/German girls blew sexed-up smoke ringlets while I nursed my beer, reminding myself that my glory days of inconsequential bad behaviour are over.)
My reintegration with the western economic system is also proving a thorny beast. Almost swallowed my tongue when I had to fork out $64 for a three-star motel in Taree (ie, nowhere). This was after bargaining (a new learned reflex?) down a hotelier in Kempsey from $85 to $50 for a room, which I thought still too ridiculous for mortal consideration and drove on. Foolishly. If it wasn’t for still-fresh bruises from overnight buses in Vietnam, a complaining back and other things I need to remind myself of (see above), I would’ve unfurled a blanket in the back seat of the Hyundai.
Perhaps my problem is acclimitising to two-dollar bungalows with views like this:
A second chorus of angels appeared when I reached Gippsland, which is about three hundred degrees cooler than Vietnam. Yay. Two days ago I unpacked my things. And haven’t contemplated moving since.
PS Thanks to J and L for the bed, extended car-minding and exquisite anticipation of food needs. And to R (the cat) for putting up with a stranger in Her house during the day.
A note about photographs. Here are some. The rest are coming, along with a remedy for automated hyphenation and a classification system. Two months of travel = a shirtload of photos = a truckload of sorting, thumbnailing, uploading, uninterrupted sitting, etc.