Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Darwin, Smarwin

I am an idiot.

No, strike that. I am Courtney, Lord of the Idiots.

I left my slice of heaven, my deserted paradise, my outback oasis town, miles from anywhere, with splendid accomodations and even more impressive beaches, my friendly little town at the top of nowhere, for Darwin.

I can't judge too harshly, because I haven't begun to see it, at least not in the full light of day, but if first impressions tell me anything, I should have stayed in Broome for another week and then met up in Alice with Matt.

All I've seen of the city, which I was driven around a good portion of it today on my airport shuttle, was urban sprawl, construction, and orange tape and cones everywhere. There is a haze that hangs over the city like it has rained or will rain, which it most likely will, but unlike Broome, this intense humidity isn't cut with a cool sea breeze or made bearable by beautiful blue skies. I checked into my hostel, seeming to annoy the old man who runs the place by having to ring his bell and make him check me in at 6:11 pm (apparently the reception closes at 6 pm. 6 PM!) He handed me my sheets, mumbled my room number, and gestured up the staircase outside. Being the honest person I am, I asked "Don't I need to pay you?" He looked at the papers I signed, looked at me, looked at the papers again closely. "No... no, we will do it tomorrow." He couldn't bear the thought of working past 6:23, even if it meant being paid. I walked up the staircase he had indicated, walking past a hipster looking guy who said "what room number you looking for, mate?" I told him and he said, "Not even the right building." He directed me through a maze of overgrown leaves and trees to a building on the other side of the grounds, and up those stairs. I found my room, unlocking the door and discovering- a break!- I had been assigned a bottom bunk and the AC runs here constantly, unlike in Broome. An immediate knock at the door, and the old man entered, producing yet another paper for me to sign before I had even taken my pack off my back. The room is ok, but the hostel is no Beaches (it sucks when I get spoiled and then expect for hostels to meet those standards). I asked about the nearest grocery store from my other German roommate (yes, I have 3 German roommates, I think they are invading), then began my journey to Woolworths. I got Vietnamese for dinner, then picked up groceries. Not wanting to walk back in the dark with 6 bags of groceries, I called a cab. The cabbie was nice, but even he admitted the reputation of this town as being a party town was accurate as there is really nothing else to do.

I had a pretty interesting flight today. Well, not interesting in that it was exciting, but I got to sit next to a hot Aussie guy. But he was sleeping most of our two flights, so I had to do things like take his food for him and put his tray table up while he was sleeping. I didn't really mind because he was nice to look at, but if he had smelled or been ugly, it might have been annoying. He was nice, and talked to me a little about Broome. He seemed embarassed that he kept falling asleep and making me tend to him, but that didn't stop him from sleeping again.

I will try and give Darwin a chance. I am not sure how much I will be able to do here, since the budget is looking low, but I will make the best of it.

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