Rescue from Uncertainty

Trip Start Dec 03, 2004
Trip End Nov 31, 2005

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Flag of Australia  ,
Tuesday, December 7, 2004

After two days in Australia I've met no-one. I've been lying on the bed in the Sydney hostel thinking that if I had the option to jump back on the plane home right now, I'd take it; but I then I laugh at myself. First time abroad, first time travelling solo . . . I'll figure it out eventually, right? Right?

I'm not homesick, just a little bored, too shy to do things when it seems like there's no-one to do them with. All I've seen of Sydney is the four square blocks around the hostel. No Opera House, no Harbour Bridge, just tall buildings. Looks like Vancouver.

The confusion about every little detail of "travel life" is rather overwhelming. Where did everyone else get those green cloth bags that they use to store food in the fridge? I tentatively enquired at the front desk.

"Yeah, you can get those at the supermarkets."

"Great. Where's a supermarket?"

"There's a Wharves just up George Street."

So I head out and follow George Street for a few blocks, and then a few blocks more. Every now and then somebody passes with a green bag full of groceries. I think I must have missed it until I finally realize: when someone says "Woolworths" in an Aussie accent, I hear "Wharves." But I've picked up a green bag and by that act, joined the backpacker culture.

Next dilemma to solve: how had all those groups of gabbing people at the kitchen tables met? Had they come to the country together, in giant groups of backpacking excitement? Am I really the shyest person in the world? Maybe there's a password I don't know (by virtue of not being British, since it seems like everyone else is).

Then, after a long afternoon of errands, I come back to my room and find a blonde girl (yup, Brit) on the bed across from mine.

"Oh hi," she says. "I'm Vanessa. I'm traveling alone adn I asked to be moved in here because I was lonely in my single room. My friend manages the hostel, and she's introduced me to some people, and we're going out tonight, if you wanna come. And then if you want we could go to the beach tomorrow."

Never has anyone said such welcome words to me. Yes, I want to go out. Yes, I want to go to the beach.
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