Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Dorothy and the Prince of Cats

I´m plucking my whiskers//Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road
I feel too tired and cbf to write anything most of the time but I will make an effort to record my impressions of the last few days in Spain. Katy Perry is on the TV, looking like a dick. We went out to bars a couple of nights ago. On the way we walked past the 'swank' hotel lobby in Nou de la Rambla. There was a man sitting on the couch in the window. He was handsome, 40s, well-dressed all in black. There was something movie-like in the moment we saw him. It was very late at night and he was alone, as were we. I stopped and just looked and he gave me an odd rueful smile. In that moment I made up an entire back story - he was a rich Spanish guy waiting for his horrible but pretty date who was taking far too long in the hotel room upstairs. It sounds so corny when I write that but there was genuine melancholy in his air and I have a flighty imagination.
I think we stayed too long and he became uncomfortable with us watching him. He got up and walked out of the light of the couch lamp and out of view. He stayed on my mind a lot that night. There was a lingering sense of something gone undone, something incomplete about our encounter, as if I had been expecting him to come to the door and gesture us to come inside.
I'm forgetting things already.
We found two old Spanish men in a small, mosaic-ed bar that night. I can't remember their names. They had been friends since they were very small. S spoke to them in Italian and I in English and French and they replied in Spanish. They held each other and kissed each other. I do not think they were gay. The larger, fatter one with the ponytail kissed the smaller one's mole, on his cheek. The smaller one told us he lived 'over the moon.' We all smoked the fat one's cigarettes.
They invited us to see the view from the fat one's apartment, above the bar. He had plants on the balcony. We said no.
Money is a problem here. I don't have enough. People are touchy. Some of them help the tourists, the others don't. A waiter yelled at me for taking a menu from one table to another, then tripped on a crack in the ground. I laughed.
Today a guy asked us to come into his store. They all do here. We went inside. He told us we could have anything we wanted for 5 euros. There were a collection of variously sized wooden penises on a high bench in the middle of the rest of the items - pants and tops and household items. S cracked up. The shopkeeper, young, Indian, groped my back and said 'Oh she like, she like.' I cracked up too and tried to drag S out of the shop. He held onto her. She pulled away. He watched us, poking his head out of the doorway as we staggered down the alley

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Untitled (had a pun for the title and then decided it was lame. Comment with suggestions for titles. Kthx)

The Dorritos suck here. The flavour name is Tex-Mex and the pack is the same as Mexican but they are actually Nacho Cheese which is disgusting. I keep starting blog updates but not being able to finish them because someone is tapping their foot behind me for the internet. Not even sure if I want to blog. It is too hard not to lie/not to feel really uncomfortable about being honest.
I have become obsessed with women's bodies lately. I love extremely fat women. We are at the bach and there are fat women, oiled up, brown, lying around like seals. And also some anorexic girls who look so languid there, like dried out kelp (the word languid is much too overused).
The fat women have bubbly cellulite on their thighs, like boiling caramel and smooth, curved, sectioned bellies, lobsters' undersides.
The air is hot and relaxing. I think I might be burning. I forgot to bring sunscreen.
Our hostel is very, extremely good. There are quite a few Australians. I don't feel like this is my ideal atmoshpere although it is very nice. There are a lot of young, female, American tourists. Everything they say sounds mean. They are usually very pretty or very ugly and always tanned.
There is a pidgeon walking on the sand. I wonder if its feet hurt. The vendors walk up and down the beach 100 times in one day. They try to sell you massages, drinks, food, and clothing. We bought some fresh coconut for €1.50. It was a rip-off. Oh well.
I feel like we have been too oppulent so far. We have eaten prepared meals out the last 2 nights, and bought quite a few snacks. I suppose it doesn't really matter. I want to lose weight while I'm here but I don't really care about getting a tan.
I want to be sure we get a cultural experience not just go to the beach all day. I'm falling asleep from the heat. The water is very blue. I think maybe I'm wrong and tihs is part of the cultural experience. Not sure. Going to nap now. Tonight we dance.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Artful Dodger is 36 and wears fluoro orange

Sarra lost her wallet at the train station, via it being stolen. We are sitting in the police station waiting room. The Spanish news is on. I have no idea what the fuck they're saying. The air conditioning is normal which is weird. There was an old lady dressed in a black coat on the airport transit bus. She was talking quietly to herself, like she was giving a speech, the whole time. She seemed like a cool person to be, because she was crazy and she wasn't sad. I want to be like her one day. It seems like being that kind of insane would be perfect.
We're still waiting to file our report, drinking our own sweat. Everyone in here looks normal, and not like criminals. There is a guy that has a T-shirt with 10 reasons why Barcelona is cool. I will give them to you:
  1. Easy drugs
  2. Beach tits
  3. Cheap bear
  4. La Ramblas jungle
  5. Scooter rides
  6. Rocking (?)
  7. The Fucking....(cannot read)

Couldn't read the rest from here.

There's a crying family of girls in here now. We're being called to go make our report.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

HERRO Hong Kong!

When we got here the captain said it was 28 degrees. It felt a lot hotter than that so I don't know. S and I have a lot of hate for Hong Kong airport right now. It wasn't really that bad but our stop-over here lasted frmo 5:50 to 23:15 so we hate it mostly out of spite for making us so bored and dried out by the air-con. I was feeling 'highly strung' when we arrived, in my usual, paranoid, organising way (this is syntactically generally horribly put but hopefully you'll forgive that considering the 2 hrs sleep I've had in the last 48 hours.)
We went straight ove to the check-in areas for those in transit and were told they had no idea what gate/terminal we were departing from that evening. We were to come back at 19:00, until which time we could not have boarding passes. This made both S and I a bit nervous as we were unsure of both finding the fate on time and clearing customs if we were to go ahead with our plan of leaving the airport for HK city.
We asked around a bit but everyone including the customer service lady had an air of being slightly bemused by these Australian tousists wanting to know their opinion on whether such a day visit to the city was advisable considering our circumstances and the time we had available.
Finally one guy at the money exchange answered unequivocally 'No,' as 'getting to the mainland takes a long time.'
Not realising that he had thought we were asking about China we resigned ourselves to napping on the purple chairs by the chek-in counter.
Finally someone told us all we needed to do to get to HK was walk through customs (10 mins), buy a HKD 100 rail ticket (that's like 20 Australian) and get on the next train. We would get there in like half an hour.
We did this; the thing we were chasing most being fresh air as we were both incredibly drowsy. The train was great, this fast, quiet, lithe thing, pulling up right as we walked out onto the platform.
The HK trains seriously are incredibly fast and quiet, I kind of felt like I was gliding.
Thisbeing the first foreign country I had visited I was fascinated in a 'child-like' way, or something. The outside of HK is so green and beautifully unkempt, it reminded me a lot of Port Douglas actually.
The first sight of the increibly dense, ragged, staggeringly tall apartment buildings was a real shock to me. It looks like Melbourne housing commission but each building is multiplied by 10 in both size and density and they are EVERYWHERE, growing like thick, untameable hairs out of the ground. I do not even see how there could be a need for so much housing, it's crazy.
HK proper is surrounded by these buildings that in turn are embedded in the green, jungly hills. It's not a particularly inviting or social city, coming across to me as perhaps quite similar in the struture of its roads/paths to LA, or the way I've heard LA described. The roads were very wide and full of big, rattly Chinese tucks like you see drawn in Tintin, and maroon taxis. The footpaths are narrow and skirted by a low fence that S and I joyfully discovered prevents jaywoalking, forcing you to walk extra long distances to the rare pedestrain crossings (yay!)
The feel there is weird, hard to describe. It is not homey, nor pleasant, nor vibrant. However it is bustling, there are many people who are ready to help without being asked and it has something else. I?m trying to acoid saying it has a certain je ne sais quoi but I think I just lost that battle.
S adn I saw a fair bit of the business district when we arrived. We wanted to find local markets/food and acoid the malls but we ended up just covered in a sheen of sweat going through a few of the park/plazas that are pretty commonplace in HK. We mucked around abut, taking photos with the life-size models of HK's Olypmic games mascots that look like female and male molar teeth...wtf? But seriously, we could not work out what they were. We kept touching our cheeks or hands to stone benches or flagstones, hoping they'd be cool but everything was so fucking warm, it was irritating and we couldn't cool down. Somebody directed us to the bit of HK that is like a huge version of China town, with all the narrow streets, signs hanging overhead and acrid fishy smells.
The only item I ended up buying in HK was sunnies from...Cotton On ahaha, definitely needed to go all the way to Asia to but shitty sunglasses from C.O
We wanted lunch and some American bro was trying to get us into his restaurant and we were like 'Quite obviously you need to fuck off as we are not in this city to eat steak and chips..'
We ended up hacing this OK meal at an Asian food restaurant only S found meat in her vegetarian fried rice and the paint on my bowl was flaking off and covering my vegetables so I didn't eat a lot of it.
After that we weent to the HK Botanic Gardens which are like one eighth the size of ours and like OKish but you can't frolick on the lawns like we wanted to - it was all laid out like flower beds and there was no walking on the grass. We ended up taking our 2st public nap of the day on the steps of the wedding reception center which actually turned out to be a shitty iea as when a wedding party actually came they were weirdly averse to having 2 random hobos in the background of hte wedding photos.
The 2nd public nap was in Starbucks, which is EVERYWHERE too aha. It's funny cause they write underneath the drinks 'for sophistocated adults and children.' I don't know, it seemed funy at the time. Tey have all kinds of weird ads like this billboard that's everywhere for a sports drink that's called 'Papito Sweat.' Mmmm yeah I'd love to replenish myslef with a refreshing glass of Papito Sweat.
Anyway after violating the law by taking surreptitious secret spy photos of the adorable uniforms the Maccas employees wear (after being told not to by the manager) and unintentionally offending pretty much every single passer by by jokingly doing the double peace symbol and wide smile pose in just about every photo we took, S and I thought it was time to bail.
We checked out the docks where the ferries and stuff come in which was cool and agreed that although nice we wouldnt want to visit HK for more than a few days.
Am now sitting at the airport writing this and saw a daugther and a mum shopping. The mum randomly hugged the daughter. Made me miss my mum. Sigh.
Just want to get to Barcelona finally, ergh. Oh well soon we shall be in the air. Fly my pretties, fly!

Other HK observations:
  • Everyone is thin! This is because there are stairs EVERYWHERE. (HK is a city of stairs, Starbucks and housing commission). S and I reckoned we climbed about a thousand stairs today.
  • Everyone speaks English. Useful but also weird that we can assume that htey understand us in a foreign country. I felt kind of bad for not making more of an effort to say like Ni hao or whatever. Whatever.
  • The building designs of offices are great and so original. One skyscraper had only circular windows. Another looked like 2 complex 3D puzzle peices locking together. The only thing is, none of them match. It's the biggest weirdo hotch-potch of cool achitecture I've ever seen.
  • HKIA is not on an island. Thanks Ella's dad for that peice of incredibly misleading information.
  • Sarra got a photo with a guy who ran a restaurant in HK. Was Indian. Was an Elvis impersonator. He gave us his business card and told us to call him if we needed help. It read Elvis Narijangapanum. Cultural identity crisis ftw.
  • Someone please inform uys where all the $2 shops with 'shitty Asian merch' are for the next time pls. There are surprisingly few.
  • Note to self: always wear sunscreen.

Post Script:
As we were leaving HK Airport we walked past a store selling 'Hero' - as in 'Alice Glass is my hero,' said the tween - brand jam. I pronounced it in my head as 'Herro.'
Time to get out of here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mulbourne Pt 2

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Mulbourne Pt 1

Some photos I've taken of my neighbourhood over the past few months on my phone. I decided to upload them so I can remember the mood of home that I was feeling just before I left.

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