Sydney is beautiful. I can’t describe how beautiful. Every time I say to myself that I should make time to write some more on the blog I find myself on the beach, playing frisbee with strangers.
I’ve been here… A week? Must be around a week now and I could happily live here forever. The temptation to get a steady job, an apartment and a dog to run with on the beach is incredible, I could do it in a flash. I could do it tomorrow. This is the first time I’ve really fully realised that I probably won’t be happy living in England. A pre-emptive, uninformed statement made in a haze of whale watching and a fog of new friends? Probably. Has it all been fantastic? Definitely not.
But deep down I honestly believe that I could live here for the rest of my life. Maybe not in Kings Cross. Actually no, I could happily live in this hostel for a year, the sea washes all space and smell and cockroach issues into nothingness.
Sydney is the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to.
I’m staying in a suburb in Woolamaloo called Kings Cross; rich in history, nightclub central, full of life. There’s a naval base between us and the Opera House, a beautiful fort on the bay packed with destroyers and research ice breakers. The men stroll down the leafy streets in urban camouflage, day and night. Subsequently prostitutes are everywhere. I assume the crack and the nightlife followed the glazed eyed beauties. White Mercedes’ with the chrome wheels that keep on spinning at standstill drive around, blaring songs about bubble butts in through the open hostel window. Someone outside has just started screaming curses in response to a wolf whistle.
When visiting a new country one of the things that fascinates me the most in the local police (carabinieri of Rome being a personal favourite, beautiful uniforms), within an hour in the Cross I had seen my share. The riot police in black Holden SUVs, military/federal in red Holden saloons, plain officers in blue and white pick up trucks and plain clothes under covers running quickly through the night speaking into earpieces. I saw a woman laden with shopping bags nearly killed but for an inch when a stolen car drifted round a corner doing sixty, hotly pursued by most of the colours above. Every time I leave the hostel I get offered coke, stolen phones and sex. For me that’s been the worst part of my trip this far and it’s not even that bad. For most backpackers local flavour is one of the highlights. Sometimes I enjoy the atmosphere. It’s just that the move from Lincolnshire to Los Santos unsettled me at the start. Also the Cross is full of English people.
Even in Kings Cross, surrounded by Tyneside warrior maidens in bikinis and angel wings, shops full of monster munch, daddies sauce and other home comforts I never found comforting. Even among the British sunburnt hostellers, playing monopoly (quick note never play monopoly in a hostel with new friends, I’ve made some enemies since my railway based park lane Armageddon, I fucking destroyed them, I BECAME the bank). Even when eating fish and chips in the rain. You never forget you’re in Australia.
And not just because the rain is warm and the fish and chips are shite.
The trees blossom purple. At around seven the closing sky turns black not with night but with a legion of bats the size of which fills you with awe. I go to the beach everyday, every day. And every damn day I see a whale.
Yesterday there was a fire slightly more than three hours drive away, which is very local in Australia.
In England if it’s ten minutes away on a clear day in Lincolnshire you may see a tiny plume of smoke in the distant sky. Yesterday I couldn’t see the sky. The smoke formed a roof from horizon to horizon out over the Pacific and above all Sydney, it turned red and purple as the day progressed. The sun when it burnt through the smoke was a colour I have never seen in nature before. I can’t describe it. It looked and smelt like the world was on fire. I loved it.
Though the thousand who’ve lost their homes feel differently.
I love it here. I really do.
But the outback calls.