Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chasing the Dawn

I feel my day in L.A. was well spent. My mom and sister helped set me up for the night with some family friends (Mike Bowman, and his wise and children). They picked me up, took me home and let me sleep. Shortly after waking up we went to a friend of theirs house who lives just off of a man made lake which we sailed around. The lake appeared more like a mote to those living on the sheltered island. It was beautiful and relaxing. I was asked repeatedly if I was having fun. Yes. But it was more that I was simply enjoying the moment. The room to breathe. The sun. cool breeze.
I was lazy the next day. I laid in the sun by the pool. Had casual conversations and took some really bad photos. I felt it was necessary to practice my “tourist” style photography. That evening I sat at the terminal still waiting for this whole thing to become real. God’s giving me an opportunity to open my eyes to something new. Anxiety, fear, stress, panic: Absent.
But in case I got wrapped up in it all, I’m finding breadcrumbs. I was grabbing food at the airport Burger King when a family sits down across from me. Man, wife, son, daughter. The wife’s backpack says “Blackwolf Industries.” I say: “this will sound random, but may I take a picture of your backpack?” “of course. Why?” I take the picture and explain the significance of it being the name of my airsoft team. This very kind Australian family and I chat for a while and they give me their phone number explaining that if I need anything, I can call them. They live 10km outside Brisbane. I was meant to have that connection. It had my name written on it.
But still I was not awake and in the moment. Not until I was saying my last goodbyes when a close friend blurts out: “I can’t believe this is happening! I’m so excited for you! …Aren’t you?” yes. It hit me right then. I’m going. Those doors will close and I’ll be chasing the dawn of a new day and chapter in my life. No safety net. And I knew I was finally ready.
I board the plane. The door locks. I sit next to another study abroad student. We talk. I wave goodbye to my home soil. The plane takes off and I lose track of time. How to Train Your Dragon. Wog Boys 2. Alice in Wonderland. Clash of the Titans. Date Night. And an episode of How I Met Your Mother. I fall asleep for the rest of the trip and only got up once to pee during the entire fourteen hour flight. Yeah. I’m awesome. However, I did wake up thinking I had missed the sun rise.
But it was behind us. Which makes sense, if we’re flying west and the sun rises in the east it would make the night much longer (our entire flight actually… was in darkness). And it made me come up with this bad analogy: A new day starts when it’s time, not when you want it too.
*I had this elaborate story to go with this, but keep in mind I had watched 7 straight hours of movies and then slept for 7 hours in a really awkward cramped position. I didn’t write it down. Haha.
We descended through clouds. I saw fishing trollies and a beautiful beach that stretch on forever. Went through customs. BTW, they give you so much food on international flights. However if you don’t eat it they’ll make you throw it away at customs. ☹
I met more students. Got a lift to the hostel. Took a nap. Then after waking up, I got myself lost. On purpose. The city is pretty easy as far as lay out. Skyline like Portland, Simplicity of downtown Vancouver. Subway is obnoxiously popular. I saw more Subways (5) than McDonalds (1) and Starbucks (2) in my four hour trek.
I picked up groceries because the restaurants were way to expensive (about twice the cost in the US including the exchange rate (A McChicken sandwich is normally $1 in the states. Here: $3.95 not as a meal.).
I’m back at the hostel. It’s 5:40pm on Saturday the… 9th? 2010. It’s dark out and I’m feeling ready to crash. Here’s some things I’ve learned so far…

1. Americans are more likely to perpetuate the idea that Americans are douche bags.
2. Aussies seem to like shaking hands, and hanging on until the conversation/greeting/explanation of lineage is established. (it’s a little disconcerting. I thought this lady was reading my palm and invading my soul.)
3. Don’t’ say “How’s it going?” the person will look at you like you’re retarded. This seems to include “What’s up?”
4. Everyone here is friendly, polite, helpful, understanding and forgiving. I have no seen a massive hustle and bustle to and from places. Everyone’s chill.
5. The police sirens here sound like someone’s making a run at the death star. Epic.
6. Climbing things “just because” seems a lot more socially acceptable. Which is nice because every building is built with a lot of texture and looks really climb-able.
7. Bris”bin.” Mel”bin.” Can”Bra.” Stop correcting me, Americans! I knew I was saying it right.

Quote of the day:
“My name is Nol.”
“Nol?” – Me
“Yeah. Like Christmas.”
“…” – Me
“N-O-E-L. Nol!”
“Ahh… Christmas.” – Me
Really awesome guy. He drove us from the airport. Of the seven students I met and rode with, only two of us were heading to QUT.

Also: it’s Fret Fest. A festival for Acoustic guitarists/vocalists who can come and play for free or by request to get noticed and put on the radio. It’s put on by the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Saturdays are youth oriented (ages 14-17) and they brought out a girl (Bre Bullock, 22) who attends the QPAC, and got her start at Fret Fest several years ago. Amazing musician, look her up. You’ll probably like her.