SLEEPLESS IN PERTH
We arrived in Perth at 6am after our flight was diverted by hurricane Nicholas. When we arrived at our hostel we had another 6 hour wait before our beds were ready and then they tried to put us in different dorms. We eventually sorted things out and got beds in the same dorm but by then we were wide awake and past going to bed. In the end we stayed up for over 36 hours - this wouldn't have been so bad if we hadn't been landed with the noisiest dorm in the building. The hostel itself is really nice; high ceilings, wooden floorboards and stained-glass windows. Ascetics aside, the combination of high ceilings and wooden floors provide the type of acoustics that the Albert Hall would be proud of; fine during the day but less fun when you're lying in bed listening to the French contingent enjoying a rowdy card game. It's strange and a little bit disconcerting to be back in a Western country after nearly five months in Asia. The people seem less friendly and, unlike Asia, if you smile at anyone or say hello they seem to wonder what's wrong with you. It feels a bit too much like being at home but with nicer weather. Perth itself is a nice city. They have a fantastic art gallery and Kings Park has wonderful views over the river. Western Australia is quite expensive ($5 for a loaf of bread!!) so were spending our time doing anything that's free. Our encounters with the indigenous people have been so far been disappointing. Sadly the only Aboriginal people that we've seen are those that have been rejected by their own communities for drinking and troublemaking. As a result they now seem to specialize in being shouty and menacing whilst hanging around Woolworths or the Square. Still, we've persevered in some alternative attempts to embrace Australian culture - Sarah takes every opportunity she can to speak in a faux Australian accent and I'm now the proud owner of a tube of Vegemite.
Next stop Ayers Rock…