Well, I made it! I just keep learning again and again that there's no point trying to anticipate anything because you can never know what something's going to be like until the moment arrives. It's very true of this trip so far.
What to tell? Kia took me to the airport in Brisbane. The drive up was great. Very connecting. We talked and held hands and soaked each other up. Love that woman. When we gotto the airport I started feeling nervous. I couldn't work out quite how I had done it last time. I had moments where it felt insurmountable. The Auckland flight was late so we had over an hour to hang out. I was glad for the time together.
I cried when it was time to go. Couldn't help it. I was sitting right in my vulnerability, but it felt good to be there without resistance. I like that I'm emotional. It reminds me of my humanness. Kia waved me off from the upper level once I'd gone through the passenger only point.
Once I was moving through customs and negotiating security checkpoints and stuff, I didn't really have time to be sad. I just go on with it. They eyed my bottle of lavender pretty suspiciously (maybe it was the ferocity with which I was protecting it?), but I got through ok.
The Auckland flight was pretty crap actually. I had panic for most of the three hours. I was pretty wrecked by the time I got off. In Auckland airport I took my next dose of prednisone and that helped heaps. Unlike the last time I flew internationally, I had no stress taking off at all. That "point of no return" moment never happened. I was sweet as.
I don't have great things to say about Air NZ though. QANTAS is way better. I had less room, crap food, and lots of turbulance. No hot towel in the morning...no mints....it was very economy level. Having said that though, I had plenty to occupy myself with, including a little guy beside me who I shared my Nintendo DS with, which was cool fun. I had major restless legs and got all of about 30mins slep for the whole flight though. I was absolutely trashed by the time we got there.
Getting off the plane though, the adrenaline kicked in and I was off again. I got a cab to the hotel and spun out on the way into the city. The freeways are f***ing enormous. Seriously scary. The cab driver was lovely.
The hotel was so much nicer than I was preparing myself for. It was only $90 over the net when the average was $200, so I was expecting the flea bag motel. It was a quaint old style hotel- brass everything. The room was tiny but had eveything including an ensuite. I had the most amazing shower! Travel funk begone!
I didn't really want to sleep because it was only 1:30 or so in the afternoon, so I went wandering toward town. My little wander ended up being a full afternoon of window shopping. Holy sit, Union Square is retaild mecca! On one block you've got hermes, yves saint laurent, gucci, marc jacobs, prada, chanel, lacoste, burberry, bvlgari, juicy....and stacks more. I went into sacks on 5th and just droooooollled everywhere. So much fun! I di buy a pair of jeans in levis, and a couple of t-shirts from discount racks in Macy's. Still....vry satisfying to look! Oh anI scored a mobile phone with a bunch of credit for $35. Way cool. The number is (00111) 415 609 8566 if anyone wants me!
It's wild....siple things like hearing two african american men talking s*** to each other...it's nothing out of the ordinary for here, but it's just so exotic to me. It's the stuff of tv. They're like characters. They are characters. Colorful, unique, beautiful. I just smiled like an idiot the entire time. The streets with cable cars rocketing along, international tourists everywhere, each side street sweeing up into these great hills, and it feels like something unimaginably magical is just over the other side....
I went back to the hotel around 6:30 ish. Feeling pretty wasted. I got a cable car up to the castro district which is the gay part of town. I wandered along until I got to the doorway of this bar that was jam packed. It looked fun, so I went in. KARAOKE!!!! :-) I was home.... I ordered sushi from next door, and made some friends. I did Whitney (of course). It was hysterical. I've been to a lot of karaoke nights, but this was special. I swear to GOD I was the only person there that wasn't tone deaf...so when I got up and sang they were just floored. I got some guy to video it for me, and it's classic. The whole place is screaming and yahooing and singing along... :-)))) So fun....
So by 10pm I was jus knackered. I went back to the hotel, took some melatonin and fell into a really deep sleep. The bed was AWESOME. Seriously.
This morning I decided that because the hotel was such good value and right in town, I'd stay another night. Turned out they were fully booked out....as was the hostel I had researched. So I found an Inn in the Castro district. I was a little more money than I'd planned, but it was perfect. Breakfast included, right in the centre of everything, and full equipped. It feels good to be here.
Once I'd dropped my gear off I went to a local gym and trained. Well, I wanted to see big women. There were chicks training there that put me to shame!! I was way humbled. It was a little hard working out what to lift cuz it's all in pounds, but I gave chest and tris a good blast, so I'm happy.
On the way back to hotel I wandered into this huge clothing warehouse. Low and behold it was a recycled and some new designer lable joint. I neraly wet myself! D&G, GAP, Fred Perry, Kenneth Cole....so much good stuff. I spent about $200 in there all up (and several hours, with a lunch break in the middle!) and got so much good stuff. Brand new Nike high tops, Nudie Jeans jumper, Ben Sherman dress pants....the cream though was a perfect GAP soft black leather jacket that fits me PERFECTLY!!! How the hell I'm going to travel with all this gear I have no idea...but luckily they buy clothes too.....(time to cull?) So yeah, much fun had there.
Not sure what's next. I have coctail hour here at the inn if i care to partake. And the castro tonight for sure. Dancing time! So far, having an absolute ball. And really looking forward to getting north and spending time with Gangaji and Meg.