Tuesday, August 9

So Here I Am

The trip was hell. It always is, of course. But I made it worse with some ill-considered heavy drinking on my last night in NY. Malcolm and Patrick were bad influences (ok, I'm an idiot). When I got back to Washington Heights at 4am I had to park the tiger (I hadn't done that from drinking in nearly two years). When I woke up to pack at 8:30, I was still drunk. I didn't start feeling human until the cab ride to JFK. Given that start, I should be thankful that the trip wasn't worse. The main problem was freezing on the plane to Melbourne after leaving my jacket on the plane to LA (again, idiot).

One of my least favorite things to do while suffering from extreme jetlag is clean up cat vomit. Nevertheless, after stumbling into Chuck's dark and cold house in Melbourne, my first task was to locate the source of a very bad smell - it turned out to be multiple sources - and clean it up. Whoever looked after Chuck's house over the weekend must have left the cats way too much food. Not only did I find many piles of puke but there were also places where the cats had strewn kangaroo meat or mushed it into the carpet.

Cat puke aside, Melbourne is working for me so far. For starters, there are bike lanes everywhere. It's like some public policy makers actually tried to make the city bikeable. Imagine that. In the NY area a successful bike trip is one that doesn't include a side trip to the emergency room. But from Thornbury into the city I ride down a bike lane on a median strip with tended gardens on each side.

I have already found an apartment in Fitzroy. It took me a day an a half (clearly, Melbourne is not NYC). It's a tiny studio but, since I don't have any possessions, that hardly matters. It has a view of downtown and is half way between Smith Street and Brunswick Street (if that means anything to you). I was worried that Fitzroy would be gentrified to hell (it's been nearly 10 years since I was last in Melbourne) but it's not as bad as I had feared.

It is with increasing horror that I come to terms with how Americanized my voice is. Yesterday, someone asked me if if this was my first trip to Australia. I seem to recall that this isn't my first time here.


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