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Saturday, October 07, 2006

10th October: Noodles with Kristie & My Last Day in Sydney

Leaving Sydney to come out to Darwin was a complex affair. I was not just leaving a city and a hostel; I was leaving a circle of friends and a lot of very good memories. This place has been very good for me. I finished at Workcover just under a week before I was due to go. My colleague Stephen decided to leave at the same as me, so Con (my manager in Sydney) decided to take us out for Thai food one lunch time. The three of us sat around mulling the company over.While at Workcover I made a very good friend called Kristie, who I have decided to keep in touch with. She has what she calls ‘the traveller mentality”, which basically means she works to fund her life outside of work. She and I have sat and discussed this over several cups of tea over the course of the last few months and have both concluded that work is not the be all and end all of existence. She has advised me on lots of things, not least to go and see Perth, where she is from, when I get to WA! I am going to do that if I can.

By the end of my stint at Workcover I felt better about computing – I enjoyed supporting such a large territory, which included suburbs in Sydney, Gosford and several towns all over NSW. Tuesday 10th of October Kristie and I met for beers and dinner after she finished work. It was a really good evening, except that now she has branded me “The Cadbury Kid” (because it only takes a glass and half to get me drunk). It wasn’t my fault! She got me drinking some evil-strength ale on an empty stomach! I met her at the Workcover building and we went down to Hyde Park, where there was a little art exhibition among the trees. Hyde Park looked beautiful: the trees at the bottom of the park were filled with Chinese lanterns.

There were chairs and tables strewn about, and some beer tents. It was sun set, so of course my camera was out and in was snapping photos. Kristie and I sat and talked about things that had been happening to me over the weeks before, her life and where I should travel to among other things. By the time we finished in the pub I was drunk, and both of us were hungry so she took me off and bought me dinner in Wagamama’s (a noodle bar in the CBD) and we talked more and ate with chopsticks. She gave me a ‘goodbye’ card wishing me and a stubby holder (beer cooler, Kristie?). After dinner it was time to say cheerio and I barrelled off back to the hostel. She is top!

The next day (Wednesday) I packed my stuff, broke my case on wheels and bought a new one. It was a bit of a hectic day, which ended well with beers with friends in the hostel. There were people that I had met in my six months in Australia that I would have liked to have been there – hopefully you know who you are – but the people that were there more than made up for any absences. Finally Thursday dawned. Three friends took me for breakfast in Newtown and then, oddly it was time to go to the airport. I got that feeling in my guts that I got the day I trundled my way down to Arsenal tube-station. The feeling of ADVENTURE. The feeling that you are leaving things behind and moving forward into uncertainty. It is a magic feeling, but it is also a bit scary too. When I got out of the taxi I thought “woo hoo, I am backpacking again!” and strolled into the airport. I checked in and sat drinking coffee. I listened to Xavier Rudd who is a pretty cool multi-instrumentalist (“let me be free-ee-ee!”). Time ticked on and then it was time to get on the plane. Three hours or so later, after watching “The devil wears Prada” (Meryl Streep in her greatest flop yet – honestly it is flop-tastic!) I arrived in Darwin. It was very late at night, warm and the air was close. The book I had bought in the airport (“The Game”) had kept my attention for a short while but when I arrived at Chilli’s (my home till now), it was straight to bed. The picture above is of me and Rod just inside the Billabong

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