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The International Writers Magazine:Canadian in Land of Oz

Tabytha in Australia: Part Three
Tabytha Towe

I’ve got the city blues with holes in my shoes and bursts of bubbles and rays of sunshine all at once. It keeps on spinning, the world and my head, but Burma is hardly exhaling, yet I breathe with ease, When India has no clean water and I go swimming, in the thoughts and the seas that keep me on my toes and I gorge on Australia though Africa is hungry and so are my eyes for the world, for it’s love and compromise, and I keep wanting to see bats over my head and feel for these grieving butterflies.

My writing may not make much sense for I would have to explain what has happened within my own events and disasters and paths of finding waves with happiness. All of which continue to flummox me. But let's not get carried away here. Alhough I have a tendency to do so, I am not ready to disclose everything, so I’m just going to have to leave it all up to your imagination and write an exclusive book one day, when I can look back on my life and laugh at it.

Regardless, I can say that all the way, from Europe, Asia and remaining in Australia over these last nine months, I have been laughing all along, even if it hurts.

Oh where to begin? As my new life here has just really begun, as there are a lot of mountains to climb, demons to battle and faces to smile at. I am constantly discovering and revealing, as no one here knows me, YET. I am utterly exposed and am haunted by it. I have found it nauseating at times, but like I’ve said before, it’s the beautiful struggle between trial and strife, the ironic, vicious cycle. I have come to realize that I may I have become very selfish on my own and it makes me feel sick of myself, a little swollen with pride admittedly, but that’s the whole point, is it not?

I’ve have made wonderful friends here, whether they know my story or not. Travelling means a lot of goodbyes, but it’s all in good humour. Our time was special and memorable and I am all the more proud of them and happy for them. It's inspiring to see those close to you do the same entertaining, punishing experiment. (I hope Turkey, Asia, Canada, USA etc., treats you all well.)

Funny that a girlfriend of mine of 18 years, my distant sister, is starting to get acquainted with herself here as well, and we are re-experiencing our friendship later on in our paths. People do reconnect in this universe, after all, we did once, so goodbye is temporary after all.

I have finally got an address, even a bed, and a couple of jobs to keep me occupied. My back can seek sleep, my mind can gain knowledgeable rest and my dreams can be in auspicious slumber. I feel absolutely settled again, just to get torn apart when I have to go once more, and enjoy every aspect of it once more, or twice more. Another turn which leads into yet another, therefore spiral onwards so that I may explore beyond my grasps of reality and expectations. This is my life in Melbourne, here, now, this is really me in a pinch of waking up, and this is how I live. Won’t settle for nothing, but for all, with a grain of salt in the wound. A quest, not a task, a journey without resolute destination, but yielding, constantly and eagerly.

I am currently flourishing in Melbourne city in all of its fabulousness and debauchery. How can one resist? This is the longest I have stayed put since September, though I haven’t kept still, I have no desire to rush off. Needless to say I have found my ground on this foreign soil and am ready to stand it, if only for a little longer; at least. My plane ticket back home to Vancouver insists on November, but much to my dismay it is terribly unfashionable of me to have to leave by then. I am hoping to be able to extend my time considering how (by now) I have grown accustomed to its face. My time will expire, but I wont. I mean, this is just the start, I can’t see the means to an end yet! There is so much to do, to see, to learn and to want.

I will battle to keep travelling at any expense. My mind has been opened and my heart wrenched, my wallet depleted. This decision to stay until at least January when my working visa expires is one decision that I don’t even have to question, I am adamant I’m not getting on that plane in November, unless it’s to New Zealand, bloody fool!

After residing precariously and happily in Melbourne for a few more months whilst replenishing my wallet, learning about history and leaving my subtle mark here. I will love and leave, as we do, and go North…or South…and hopefully back to Asia to finish what I started there back in 2007. I have unfinished business now too, I am not ready to go yet, it’s more of a challenge to stay, leaving is too much effort.

Working three jobs should help my extension and accomplish these romantic ideas. I hadn’t worked for nearly eight months since I’ve been couch surfing, whirl winding through that spiral of travel, but for the last two and a half months I have found something to take care of myself with, by hounding the hospitality industry. Luckily, I like all of my jobs and they have given me opportunities to put in my dues so that I may pay mine off. I thought I wanted out of this line of slavery, but when you are 'in passing', it is convenient. Let’s face it, I’ve been doing it too long thus far to give up, so I might as well just become better at it and do something else to better myself with on the side, though those would be more of passionate and unpaid hobbies.

Working in hospitality teaches you great things, it’s character developing, you learn a lot of patience and social etiquette; it makes you hysterical,but saves you on the floor. I have quit dramatically a thousand times like a movie in my head, but at the end of the day, I still come back and actually miss working. So long as I can survive doing this and do plenty more on the sidelines, I’m content in this field. I’m a waitress, a bartender, a worker, a friend and just stopping by, but so much more than just someone who pours your drink and feeds you. Met some interesting stories and persons too. I have the chance to understand wine culture more, like pallet flavours, valley regions and cellar stock, I have also learned how to make coffees when I am such a shit house ‘barista’ usually. Needless to say I like what I do and I’m stuck for now, I dine and wine and piss litres of beer, so how can I be a martyr. What we do in this industry is a great trade, or so you would hope that it was fair trade in your cups!

Speaking of such, it’s a coffee phenomenon with the Aussies, they sure require their love for lattes, more than an emu loves its dried corn (hilarious to watch this big bird peck away so indelicately.) Aussies also love their Footy, it’s like communism, if you root for the same team, but the rules I still do not get and have yet to get rowdy at a game.

They love their lawn bowling, more than old, Italian men when they play. They love their land and their Southern Cross, they love their gambling (they have a holiday for the annual horse races and are the holders of the worlds record for Poky machines per capita.) They love their wombats –but wallabies are still pests- and they love their lager indefinitely (where’s all the dark ales?) They love their families respectably (nice to see) and they love their kebabs (so weird, kebab stands are an epidemic here!) I’ve observed Australian behaviour since January and have noticed these intricacies that make me feel like a native not all Aussies are bogans (idiots!) or crocodile hunters, they are lovely and I love them for it.

There is such an authentic array of restaurants and bars here that I’m in a bit of awe to be honest. I mentioned before about it’s little alley-way and roof-top secrets, that it has perhaps some of the best in the world, as far as big splendour, little crevices, cocktail recipes by talented mixologist artists go, as far as unique and vibrant atmospheres go, (almost makes New York look like a kid brother,) although one must know where to go, as you will discover vast secrets here and there.

Being a single "Punter" –hard to describe, could be a customer at a casino or pub- dictates my direction towards many a bar door. I have sat upon many a bar stool and have met many great strangers who are now friends. I can go to four places in one night, either alone to write my diary or merely read over a comforting scotch in the dark hours, or go with company and banter on for a good laugh. However, very unfortunately, there is a new law being tested. There is a new 2 am ban coming into order, where there are no exceptions for entry past 2am. In a city that has places open till 6am, this is rather harsh. Rather than become more stable it will cause chaos and disorder, cause more harm than good.

Something that the anal and closed minded government should have taken into consideration, the fact that after 2am where patrons would usually be safe and sound in a controlled environment, are now going to pour into the streets in a confused state, not knowing what to do with themselves without that bar roof over their heads. Expect a riot, people can at least be taken outside if drunk and aggressive, removed from the venue in a controlled manner, though when everyone is already locked out at 2am, we are all together and aggressive and bored, now out in the streets.

Reckon there will be more fights and girls walking home alone and too far. Yet bottle shops are allowed to be open for 24/7! How uncool is that? It’s utterly, completely heinous, why don’t you just get better security and keep an eye out for the disruptive lot so that the rest of us don’t have to suffer! Actually train staff to use their common sense on their RSA’s (Responsible Serving of Alcohol certificate.) This city is known for its’ welcoming accommodation for the nocturnal socialisers, alcoholic liberalists. For us punters who enthral in the profession of like-minded, industry, community dwellers who just want a few night caps at the end of our shift away from our work place that we’ve had to endure for 10 hours observing other people abuse themselves, we fucking well deserve the right to be cordially invited. Sorry getting a bit carried away here, but on a reasonable and rational note, these poor businesses are going to suffer also. Unfortunately I will miss the protest march outside of the parliament building whilst at work, in a bar, until 3am closing!?

In Melbourne I have been out and down, even fallen down, but I continue to get up and go higher. Being here is like the looking glass that you see inside of yourself. Maybe it’s just because I’m still a backpacker even when I’ve stopped moving, just a single, 25 year old woman travelling, revelling, rebelling, to relish, embellish, cherish, to love, to leave…. This isn’t the final chapter yet, just my Draft; as I catch my drift.
Well Tabytha, take a bow and bid adieu,
cheers, mate!

© Tabytha Towe June 2008

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