Monday, June 20, 2005

June 20, 2005 - 6:11pm

IH is turning into a cemetary and I'm getting kicked out of here in 5 days. Not too long ago I went to Sydney where I had a grand ole' time. Riding on the coattails of mommy and daddy's bank account, Lane and I got to take a fancy tour around the city and visit the Blue Mountains. Later that night we went to see an amazing dance performance at the Opera House called "Grande". There were all these different dances set to famous piano pieces (with the piano as the focal point of the whole show) and some avant-garde multimedia shenanigans thrown into the mix to keep things interesting. The piano player even started plucking on the piano strings like a guitar during the performance. Early the next morning, the family split and I was left to my own devices. I scoured the entire city on foot, hit up the Sydney Film Festival with a screening of "A Day Without A Mexican" (about what happens when the Latino population of California mysteriously dissappears overnight), and finally settled in at a hostel in the seediest part of town, Kings Cross. I quickly made friends with these two Irish guys, Jamie and Ray, and we headed off for some partying at The Rocks (the oldest part of the city). We wound up at an Irish pub, and miraculously enough, everyone was Irish, not just people of Irish blood, but those actually from Ireland that speak with an awesome accent. Ray and Jamie said it was as good as being in Ireland. Afterwards, we made the long trek back to Kings Cross and visitied the shadiest strip club imaginable. The following day, the three of us took the ferry to Manly Beach, which provided us with quite a dandy view of the city. When dusk started to roll around, I said goodbye to the Irish lads and set off for a new hostel as far away from Kings Cross as I could get. In my new room, there were 4 guys and 6 girls: 4 Americans, 1 Canadian, 1 Frenchman, 1 Israeli, 3 British, and a partridge in a pear tree. We chatted it up for several hours and the other Americans kept trying to convince the others that peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches are actually tasty. The next morning I set off for Bondi beach with two girls from Montana. In an effort to prove to me how nice Montanans are, they packed me a PB&J sandwhich and fed me Tim-Tams. At 2pm, it was time for me to set off for the airport to make it back in time for dinner in Melbourne with the European crew.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

June 10th - 3am

I've got an exam in ten hours and I have yet to begin studying. I'm pretty sure that I don't care about it too much, though it is a little disconcerting watching everybody else around me frantically studying their asses off - kind of makes me feel like I'm just killing time before a brutal demise.

I've had other things to worry about. Tonight I discovered that my credit card has been frozen (and now cancelled) after somebody in Ohio was running up my tab. Before I could sort this out, though, I nearly had a nervous breakdown upon realizing that there is no general telephone operator in Australia. This made things especially difficult trying to purchase my last minute ticket to Sydney for tomorrow.

Lane and I went traveling to the Gold Coast for 6 days. I wouldn't be going out on a limb to say that it probably wasn't the ideal place for us in that everyone was very pretty, dressed very fancy, and were very superficial. There's not much of a place for a straight-edge buddhist crazyman in a party town, though the kid can sure dance like he's drunk even when he's sober. The world just ain't ready for Lane Robbins (nor Jared Robbins for that matter). We still had a jolly good time nonetheless, even if Lane keeps trying out his newly discovered Australian accent. We hung out with two English blokes the first couple of days, Stu & Raj. They all attempted to eat part of a red chili pepper and paid for it miserably, especially Stu who after fingering the seeds thought it wouldn't be such a bad idea to rub his eyes. Lane took a surfing lesson with a guarantee that "if you're not standing up by the end of the lesson, the next one's free." Well, Lane didn't stand up, and he didn't get another free lesson. He did get several vouchers for free Big Macs at McDonalds, but that doesn't do much good for a vegan.
Stu & Raj were traveling around on holiday throughout Australia in a camper van they rented (decked out in tag lines like "Man created alcohol, God created Pot. Which do you trust?" and spray painted portraits of Cheech and Chong on the side). It was all pretty ironic considering neither of them smoked, but Lane and I hitched a ride with them up to Brisbane for a day. We split off from the Brits, hit up a Koala sanctuary, and upon returning to the Gold Coast, were placed in a room with two English girls. They were straight outta high school, taller than me, and somewhat attractive. It was pretty awkward in the beginning, but nothing like a good episode of Australian Big Brother to smooth things out.
In sum, traveling with Lane made me feel like Tom Cruise in Rain Man. Regardless, I wouldn't trade him for any other brother in the world (though maybe a sister).