I dream of a world where the adult diapers are socially accepted and eligible at the same level of a dress. In this way you could freely wander around a new city, without having to take an unwanted coffee break only to empty the bladder.
At the moment, however, the dream is far from reality, but I bet everything on the outcome of the recent elections in Australia. Hopefully things will change.
Meanwhile, between a coffee break and another, I explore Perth.
Perth is been precious for more than two weeks before I could actually see it. Thank you “almost always sunny weather”…
Not even the most convinced of the novices, if one knows how to do, takes that long..
However, facing the wettest September of the last three million years, I could do very little, except savor the sound of rain (heavy) on a tin roof (light), for hours, days, weeks. I also spent time by following the Facebook page of the Perth forecast, by reading all the details of yet another weather alert based on drifting logs, flying roofs and endless lightning.
In my “house” made of metal sheet and possum poop, I spent the days with variables moods: I lulled in a thousand thoughts at the sound of rain on the roof, to fantasize about being ripped from the ground by some trumpet air, circling for hours and ending up landing in the middle of an unknown realm, which could not be Oz, above some wicked witch, since I’d have just left it, so I probably would have ended up in the realm of a small italian town, smashing some Chinese illegally hired for a job that no one else wants to do.
I have to say that this second option excited me a lot.
Unfortunately, even in Perth, the rain stopped, forcing me to actually go back to that boring lifestyle made of long walks to stroll through the city, sipping hot, huge flat white, collecting mental notes to write in my notebook, some photos and lot of relax.
Okay, maybe boring was not the right word, but you will agree with me that few things beat a trip in a whirlwind.
Perth is not Sydney! Everyone told me that in Sydney and keeps telling me in Perth. No shit! I say. If Perth is Perth, it can’t be Sydney, can it?. Given this absolute genius reasoning ,let’s move on to say of Perth.
The first thing that catches your eye once you set foot in the city, is the size.
The same thing would be thinking that novice we talked about before…
The center of Perth, what is commonly known as the CBD or the City, is closed in four streets crossed by three others.
Skyscrapers (few), coffee shops (many), shops and offices are concentrated inside the bounding streets along the bend of the river, the Swan River. River which then becomes the lake, the Swan Lake. Lake, which then becomes the Indian Ocean.
To go to the beach, you have to take one of the ways out of the city and head straight to areas like Scarborough and Cottesloe, just to name two.
Still aiming the ocean you also get to the famous town of Fremantle, which rhymes with tons of Italians and their restaurants and where you can find the old harbor and a former prison now a destination for tourists.
Getting lost in Perth is a phenomenon so shameful to deserve a specific name. I will let you know when I find something appropriate.
I take a sip of coffee and walk entrusting the latest techniques in exploration and orientation acquired in two years of wandering in Sydney. Along the way, I take note of some local sights and I mentally mark the tips of the Lonely Planet read the night before.
The place that serves me my officially first breakfast in Perh is the Venn, in Queen Street, almost next to the bus station.
Flat White, scrambled eggs and toast. While sipping the coffee I look at the environment that surrounds me, the high ceilings of the brick building, the tables, the bar and the large glass wall that separates the bar from an art exhibition.
Full belly, empty wallet and back into the rectangle of streets in Perth.
One of the previous night with a friend of mine, Richard (not his real name), I went out for a few drinks and dinner.
Drinks and dinner surprisingly offered by one of the guests, never seen before.
And here’s when I really started to like Perth.
Later, outside the restaurant, we try to disengage, willing a quiet night, because we weren’t in the mood for loud music, people and enough drinks to wake up the day after in the middle of nothing not even knowing how the fuck we got there.
Result: we ended up with a in an environment consisting of loud music, people and enough drinks to wake up the day after in the middle of nothing not even knowing how the fuck we got there.
Here’s the scenario:
We entered a door that I wouldn’t have seen even if I had put it there myself and at the end of the steep and narrow stairs I assume to emerge in Narnia (great, maybe I don’t even need a visa…). But no, the club is not even a usual club, but a private karaoke, complete with sofas, big screen and speakers that shoot Korean pop music, kPop for friends..
After two songs I already see my future like this:
In the twenty seconds passed from having laid my ass on the couch, trays of glasses, assorted bottles and dishes of various types of oysters appeared.
We looked around telepathically asking the same question: hope it’s not that I pay one thousand dollars only to grab the glass?
The answer came to my ear a second later, from the girl who was celebrating her birthday: take what you want, everything is offered.
And here when I grab and make out with Perth..
Meanwhile, all around are loud Korean songs, the smell of cigars and oysters and plenty of Korean girls dressed, shall we say… minimally.
Once again I asks himself questions and even in this case the answer comes ready: take the one you want, they’re all offered.
They’re what?! That’s what I think.
Sure, no worries. This is what I say.
This is how our night out for a beer and a chat, in spite of the good intentions, went to hell in a room full of whores. Perth is not Sydney, they say…
The next day, with a couple of aspirins, I’m back to the city, ready for another tour.
The second thing you notice is that Perth is new.
Indeed brand new.
So new that to some buildings I expect to see the label attached on.
I keep walking until I reach the river, the other side of which you can see the low houses and suburbs outside the city. Among those is the suburb of Como. The one where I live at the moment, after an endless series of moving.
Behind me the skyline, this too so new that one of the skyscrapers is not even present in the postcards or photos of some tourist site.
I walk a bit along the river, collecting thoughts and try to put them in order to follow a purpose. Coming to Western Australia: done. Find a house in Perth: done. See a Migration Agent to understand the chances of getting a long term /permanent visa: done. Make fool of yourself in a Korean karaoke full of whores: done. Line up various courses to renew a visa: done. Find any job ongoing. Find the definitive job: dreaming about.
Meanwhile I breath the air of Perth and enjoy its relaxed and quiet atmosphere, the temperature is increasing every day and I try to cope with the new environment.
I put my hands in my pockets, I hide my eyes behind dark glasses and drink the remaining coffee.
Perth is not Sydney, they say.
Luckily, I say. Otherwise wouldn’t be boring?
This post is also available in: Italian