To say that I am staying in a shithole may possibly be insulting to shitholes, but I’m pretty sure they don’t mind the slight. It’s a little bit like staying on a sound stage where they’ve built a hotel that functions only for the purpose of filming a show set in Eastern Europe just after the war. They are in the middle of remodeling the place, and I’m pretty sure the people building it are either drunk or perhaps their sense of gravity is relative, because nothing is quite right, from the shelves in the bathroom that tilt just enough to reject anything you place on them, to the interrogation spotlight that’s illuminating my screen as I type. The dull roar from the vent? air conditioning unit? wood chipper? across the way lends a nice ambiance to the place as well. When the mini fridge kicks in and rattles the closet, I rather enjoy that too. There’s no shortage of “white noise” here. It’s a good thing I’m tired, because I’ll probably sleep well no matter what.
The massive upside is the location. I can walk to pretty much everything or hop on a bus to see what I want, which is wonderful. I wandered out the door this evening in search of dinner, and because it’s raining, I ended up walking only a couple of blocks and stopping in at a crowded Chinese restaurant for some more soup dumplings. They were delicious as usual. China’s a very complex country, but ohhh boy have they sorted out food.
Did I mention that I have to put my room key in a slot on the wall in order to turn on the lights? Yeah, that’s charming. Hashtag: probably shoulda told me that when I checked in, right?
It’s confusing to suddenly be alone after spending the week with friends. Not bad, just weird. I know that I should be at a pub right now meeting people, but I don’t actually want to be, so I’m doing what I want. I’m tired from all of this travel, especially from the bumpy plane ride to Melbourne, where I sat next to a one-armed man. He was very nice, and quite industrious with his one arm. It was interesting to see how he’d adapted to the world. I felt a bit of kinship with him on that flight. I have all my limbs, but I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of adaptation right now, sorting through foreign details that are just different enough to befuddle me until it all becomes clear. And I’m moving from place to place so I can’t develop a routine in anything but traveling; I can feel my travel routine building, though, which is nice.
The one-armed man didn’t put down the seat “arm” when I got there, and I didn’t move it down between us either, so we sat together in our differences for the flight.
It’s morning now. The construction and commotion has kicked in outside my door. Housekeeping is beginning their rounds. I woke up in the middle of a bizarre dream about murder, but I awoke in a fog somewhere between reality and the dream state. I looked at my puffy, sleep-addled face in the mirror and couldn’t believe I’d slept nine hours. Every night I’m confused by my exhaustion. It seems impossible that I’m still this tired, and yet I am, every single night. I crash by 10:30pm. And when I say crash, I mean hit that wall so hard I have no choice but to close my eyes because if I don’t gravity will claim them for me. If I had someone to rally with, to discuss every decision, to see this world together that could change. But then I remember how hard it is for two people to constantly agree on anything and I’m just a little bit grateful that I don’t have to share these choices with anyone this time. Still, it would be nice to have company and I look forward to my trip to Spain where I can share in some of these decisions and discuss the wonders before us with my friend. Perhaps I’ll meet some folks on the trip to see penguins tomorrow. Penguins!
The drilling has started in earnest now. I should leave. I’m hungry anyway. I guess a wake up drill is as good as an alarm.