Saturday, July 09, 2005

Oz Day 003.


"Why do you want to stop drinking coffee? You have been drinking coffee all your life!"
- D.'s comment on the detox misery

The detox program has not been too much of a success. Without caffeine, I am just unable to function on any higher-level mental activity. I now count a huge tin (200g) of instant coffee as part of my supplies. I still weakly maintain that I will be actively trying to cut down..

Caffeine is not as destructive as heroin. Caffeine is legal, unlike marijuana. Caffeine is not even socially frowned upon, unlike nicotine. Yet it is like an addictive drug like any of the others. Even if it is legal, easily available and socially acceptable. The caffeine habit irks me - not because I cannot afford it or find it morally reprehensible - but because it can become such a great inconvenience interfering with normal life, as witnessed in the last 48 hours or so. And since I am personally and solely responsible for this problem, it becomes my responsibility to address it.


***


It is interesting to get to know of the misfits that populate a backpacker hostel in the middle of winter, after all the students and budget holidaymakers have gone home. Though some of the students seem pretty interesting, like the guy from Czech currently studying in Perth . Or the bunch of Korean (Japanese?) students currently on holiday and getting inebriated every night. And I wonder what stories would come from the middle-age PRC lady who keeps staunchly to herself and avoid any conversation which is not strictly utilitarian.

But it is the non-student population that have the most fascinating stories. Like that petite lady from Syndey (who is owns a residence there) who is working her way through all the major cities of Australia as a member of medical profession. Or the burly Kiwi who worked his way up north to Auckland, then west to Sydney, the progressively west and ending up in Perth for a while before he decides where next. Or the Canuck in his late 40s who is a certified accountant but prefers to work as a tour guide here. And not the regular "that is Swan Bells on your left, Citibank on your right" day-tour brand of tour guides. He takes paying tourists for 4-day (each way) outback trips roughing it out on the Perth-Broome run - in the middle of winter!

I call these folks misfits not as a derogatory term but with a sense of awe at their wanderlust. Coming from someone who is looking for a place to call home, and previously surrounded by folks who are prefectly happy to maintain their regular, comfortable routines - the psyche of these wanderers is something that I cannot never understand more than superfically.

And my story? I did not want to outright lie, after hearing them share their stories. So I said: I used to travel a lot in the Asia Pacific region as part of my IT work. Then one day I came back to Singapore and found that I did not fit in anymore. So I came to Perth to see if I would "fit" better in this place to call it home.

Not exactly the whole and unvarnished truth, but close enough.

5 Comments:

Blogger SouthLandian said...

I've read somewhere that Perth is "not a town, not yet a city". Perth makes no apologies for being boring. It won't be able to entertain you like Sydney, Melbourne. I think, that it's more for people who have tasted enough of the world and wish for some peace and quiet. For people who have figured out what their priority in life is, and believe that they can fulfil it here. Or more simply, where one gets to live the Australian way of life without the Syd/Mel price tag.

July 10, 2005 7:00 AM  
Blogger sway said...

hey glad you're here. welcome to our shores.

July 10, 2005 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to open the envelope.

JRTKK

July 11, 2005 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about drinking iceblendeds to stave off the urge? Normally I have one a day, which provides me with enough kick, but I don't feel any worse off when I go without. =)

July 16, 2005 12:16 AM  
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

As it is my caffeine habit is inconvenient enough, I doubt I would like complicate it by switching from cheap instant coffee to expensive professional iceblended. Too poor to afford it.

And yes, Perth is a certainly a big small town. She does not dazzle you like Sydney or entice like Melbourne. I suspect that she is the sort that slowly grows on you..

July 16, 2005 12:00 PM  

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