*To all the people I forgot to tell I was leaving for a month, please accept this blog post, written in your honour, as my formal apology
Precursor to schedule of events/booking my flight: I knew I wanted to leave Wednesday evening, but I managed to think in my little head that 1:15am Thursday was actually late night Wednesday in terms of dates, so I booked the wrong date for my flight (shout out to the kind people at Expedia for laughing and not charging me for my stupidity).
Day 1: Wednesday- I rushed home from work, said goodbye to my family, and took off for the airport. I got there 3 hours before, but when I went to check in they told me it was a full flight to Hong Kong and that I would be in a middle seat (despite me reserving a window seat beforehand). I was so tired and emotional from a full day of goodbyes, and now was feeling very concerned about being crammed between two strangers for 13.5 hours. Anyone who knows me well knows this is one of my worst nightmares. I am somewhat ashamed to admit I had tears in my eyes as the attendant handed me my ticket. My flight actually wasn’t that bad, but seriously the middle seat is the worst. Here is why:
- you have nothing to lean up against
- you have to get up every time the window person wants to leave
- people never give the middle person the armrests. They are all we middle seat people have!
- If you are reading this and you are one of those window/aisle people who take an armrest, kindly rethink who you are as a human being.
Day 2: Hong Kong airport- I barely slept on my flight, so I was pretty delirious when I got off the plane. I knew I had to buy a universal charger and tried to figure out how much this would be in Canadian. The price at the airport was 299. Me being sleep deprived and forgetting where I was on the earth looked up the Yen to Canadian exchange rate and was pleasantly surprised at how cheap everything was! Luckily I had coffee and breakfast and rememebered that Yen is Japanese, and I am in Hong Kong. That would’ve been a dark realization afterwards if I had gone through with a giddy, sleep deprived shopping spree.
Day 3: I finally got into Perth, got an Uber, and made it to my little apartment at about 2 in the morning Perth time. The next day I wandered into the city, which is seriously stunning. It’s like a warm, tropical Victoria. I was able to meet up with a girl named Isabela from my course who came from Brazil. We went for lunch and went exploring around the rest of the city. At the end of the day I rented a bike to get around for the month, and then biked home along the river; which will go down as one of my favorite memories. With the sun setting, listening to music, being on the other side of the world all by myself was one of the most freeing and amazing feelings.
Day 4: I’m staying fairly close to University of Western Australia, where Hillsong has a Perth campus I was able to attend. It turns out the university was hosting a massive market the same day which had foods from everywhere around the world, so I was in food heaven! Then I met up with Isabela again and another student from my program from Italy; Silvia. It was a pretty cool experience to be sitting on a sunny beach in Australia with two other physios from other parts of the world. Class starts this week, and I’m excited to see where everyone else is from.
Before I go, some observations about Perth:
- Everyone seems to use the terms “love” or “doll” and I think it’s adorable.
- It is very common for some Australians to walk around barefoot everywhere, which makes me feel like I fit right in.
- The air here smells like a constant barbecue party is happening
- Perth does not have a Starbucks. They will also stare at you like you’re an alien if you ask for “drip” or “brewed” coffee at a coffee shop. They do not do that here. I was asking people at church about it and they informed me “oh that’s just coffee you have at your house” to which I said: “yes, I need and want that” and they were very confused as to why anyone would sell that. Perth coffee shops just make espresso drinks and then charge a crazy amount for them.