We're going to play a game. This post starts now and will end when I need to leave, regardless of where I am in the post. Fair warning: I am in the greatest bar and have no interest in leaving. Especially not when I have free wifi vibing through my laptop and a delicious cocktail beside me. No matter that the drink cost $18. This is Oz. It's 'spensive here.
So here I am in Super Whatnot. I love this bar. It reminds me of home, actually. Even though I've sought out difference as much as possible, about a month into this trip I began to enjoy seeing signs of home. Occasional signs were good. Too frequent rotten staples like McDonald's, Burger King, and Subway can take a lonnnnnnng walk off a short plank, thankyouverymuch.
It's funny how people's faces light up when I tell them that something reminds me of Los Angeles or San Francisco. That seems to be a high compliment, which I'm happy to dole out if it's true. Super Whatnot has that Downtown LA/Hayes Valley SF vibe. Secret, fun. It's down an alley, with great cocktails and random, fabulous decor. And damn are they playing fantastic music right now.
It seems that our sailing plans have been foiled. The weather just won't cooperate. So instead I have holed up in a hotel right in the center of the CBD, smack dab in the heart of it all, and I'll just stay there until Monday, when I fly back to Sydney for my last hurrah in Oz before heading back Stateside. I'm not ready for it to be over. I'm not ready to say goodbye to this side of the globe. The sun. The people. The quirks. The wandering. The beach. The food. I want it all, forever. I want to exist in two worlds. Schrodinger's Cat-style, except alive in both places. And I'm sure I'll want to exist in all worlds once I see Spain and Portugal. "Location independent." This is my goal.
Brisbane is awesome. There's a nice laid-back vibe here that makes it relaxed and special. Being able to exist along a river so there's always water nearby makes it perfect. That's one thing I know about myself, I will always live by water. I just need to know it's there for peace of mind. The fact that you can walk across the river on multiple walk bridges, on walking paths even on the driving bridges, and take a free ferry along the main drag exemplifies the Aussie lifestyle. They build their lives around things that make sense, like walking everywhere, seeing beautiful scenery, relaxing during the day, and meeting friends for dinner. The only thing I can't wrap my head around is how the cafes close at 3pm. You can get crap coffee later, but who wants a bad cuppa joe? Speaking of, thanks to my friend Victoria, I found delicious iced coffee today. The kind without the ice cream. The sell it at John Mills Himself, another quirky, hidden, awesome coffee shop. It's from [bunker] coffee nearby. I think I'm going to walk there tomorrow morning to check it out and maybe stock up.
The more I'm here, the more I think I may need to leave the U.S. and live somewhere else. I just don't appreciate how we do things. Our emphasis is on the wrong stuff, namely on stuff. I don't give a flying fuck how much someone possesses, I care about who they are what they have to say. I care about art and writing and food and life. I want to live the hell out of whatever time I have left. I'm just going to have to figure out how to do that in LA, and if I can't, I'll leave. Not sure what I'll do with the house. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. And hopefully I'll be able to walk across it.
It's 5.53pm here. I've been sitting up here in the mezzanine for nearly an hour now, and starting at 5pm, it's filled up considerably. That's because the work day ends at 5pm. On. The. Dot. People apologize to you if you have to work late, or, godforbid, on the weekend. Apologize. Can you imagine? I can't even count the number of times I had to apologize to my bosses when I had to leave early, sometimes at 5pm, just to go to the doctor or catch a plane for my pre-approved vacation. Or apologize for even taking a vacation. A vacation that wouldn't even last a week most of the time. What. The. Bloody. Fuck. That's just one of the reasons I had to quit my job to travel for this long. If any Aussies are reading this, consider this when you think of the U.S. and how cool it seems. Come visit, please. But if you stay, know that we'll work you to the bone. If we let you stay, that is. But that's another matter. And you hardly let us stay here, so I guess all is fair in love and work.
Speaking of, I ran into the Brazilian folks earlier who I met on the ferry on the way to meet Tucker for lunch the other day. It was funny to run into someone I "know." They're looking for work. Pounding the pavement, old school style. And they're having absolutely no luck finding anything. I stopped to chat with one of them and asked how he was doing, and he said terribly. I felt so bad for him. Trying so hard and coming up empty handed every time. I wished him luck and went on my way.
I just took a nice break to chat with folks sitting next to me at my table. I sat here because it was next to a plug and I needed to charge my phone. It was empty when I sat down. Then as the bar filled up, it became clear that I was just one person hogging a huge table. So when they came upstairs I offered them the seats, which they gratefully took. They were funny and open. He grew up here in Brisbane, his mum in Scotland, and his wife in New Zealand. So we covered all the bases. They're avid travelers. Keen to chat. They didn't much like LA, but who can if they just visit for a week? I think you have to live there to like it, and even then, it's not for everyone. Coming from Brisbane, I can see why home would appeal more.
Okay, planning drinks with Tucker. Julie, out.