I have been a professional writer for five years.

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The Perky Perth Adventure

Everybody I know was in one way or another mocking me when I told them I’m going to Perth. There’s only nothingness in Perth was the general agreement. Boy, wouldn’t it be great to prove them wrong, thought I. Upon reaching the crappy and ironically inhospitable Ngurah Rai Airport check in counter, I stumbled on a notice board that says something like “we would not tolerate any inappropriate behavior toward our crew”. So I asked the chatty check in staff what’s that supposed to mean (I swear I’ve never encountered such a notice before in my travels) which then propelled me to a truly fascinating anecdotes about my soon-to-be-fellow in-flight passengers. “Oh we’ve had awful cases of drunken tourists throwing up during check in or drinking the whole stuff they bought in Duty Free and went totally crazy on board until we had to kick them out of the plane.” I asked B, my travel buddy: “Remind me, why we are going to Perth again?”

So off I went (gulp), on a three and a half hours economic flight, feet fortunately able to be sprawled due to half full airplane. Luckily it was a peaceful flight with no inappropriate drunken tourists. We were welcomed by a hard-core Slim Shady taxi driver with long red beard who produced gruffly sound. Definitely not the kind of a person you’d like to meet on 4AM in the morning although he turned out to be quite nice since he helped me with my luggage. After 20 minutes of deep pervaded silence in a cab, I jumped jubilantly into my friend, Miss C’s warm hug and home. There’s nothing sweeter than meeting a really good friend in a strange, new and exciting setting. I’ve known this girl since we played Barbie together on my terrace a century ago.

She introduced me to the ridiculous public transport ticketing. Ridiculous because it takes an awful lot of heavy, jiggling coins to buy a ticket. Imagine if you’re just about to be late and the train coming and you have to put the coins one by one into the slot with your shaky hands. Perth on 6AM was awfully quiet and chilly. The only thing that opened was McDonald’s and there’s no way I’m having my first breakfast there. We spent the morning watching at people going to work in all manner and fashion. Miss C had to work and so it was me and my travel buddy, B, exploring the “city”. You can already feel the Easter holiday in the air. Everybody was restless and counting the hours they had to labor until freedom (or otherwise will be known herewith as The Super Long Ridiculous Weekend or TSLRW for short).

Being a museum buff, Western Australia Museum was my first destination. It located serenely between an art school, art museum and public library. I would lie to you if I said it was a splendid museum. It wasn’t. Aside from the glassy eyed taxidermy native animals, I found it lack the interactivity to really grab attention. Starving and slightly weak in the knee, we went to a certain famous Vietnamese restaurant my friend insisted we must eat in Northbridge St. This Pan Asian- Australian culinary trip didn’t end there. We would eat Japanese and Korean food in the days to follow and I must say they were quite good and well valued, apart from being some of the places still open during TSLRW.

First day was spent in our couchsurfer’s house, a cool dude with his beautiful dog, Ruby. By a string of bad luck, his feet were being run over by a car and then he broke his teeth on the day we arrived. Yet, he still took us kindly into his house. Our introduction was painful, at least for his part. He couldn’t talk for a few hours and so I did a Small Talk Monologue with him grumbling as answers. Poor guy. Later when he finally able to talk, he knocked on my door and said “welcome to Perth” while offering a box of TimTam. I have had a very remarkable time talking with him, his painkillers, a bottle of shiraz and his dog. We shared the same ‘leftist’ way of thinking and twisted humor. By twisted humor, I’m refering to the time we watched “Dogma”, the sickest Christianity trashing film ever made (Alanis Morisette as a loopy God!) and laughed our assess off.

There was a fantastic sunset picnic by Trigg beach with a bubbly wine. There was a very nice visit to a petit book shop in Oxford St. that might be the only shop in Perth which opens until 9.30PM. There was a serious comparative study to find the best fish and chips in Perth, or Fremantle to be accurate (definitely Kailis). There was time petting the kangaroos, a Jabba the Hut wombat and a very sleepy koala in Caversham. There was a rolling down the hill and lost in summer dream time at King’s Park. There was a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time in Burswood, watching my first ever musical show performance live (Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Cats and the whole Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous repertoire). There was a relaxing bush walking accompanied by two hopping wild kangaroos. There was brunch that easily could feed three persons with full course menu back home but oh-well-I-was-in-holiday-screw-it. There was wine and chocolate tasting. There was a wonderfully short BBQ picnic by the Swan River. There was even a touching dawn service on ANZAC Day (when I cruelly forced Miss C to wake up on 4AM to attend) and a military parade which later provided me with a photo op with cute sailors. So yes, basically I got the best of what Perth could offer.

However if you asked me what was the defining moment of my Perth visit, it was the people I encountered. Aside from my angelic, generous and sweet Miss C also my cool couchsurfer, Mr. J, I met quite a few of remarkable “sandgropers” (Perth is almost mostly consisted of sand, hence the name). There were three extremely violent guys outside Burswood Casino that had to be taken down by three bodyguards each and in the process created quite a scene and free entertainment for me(and a whole new vocabulary of swear words). There was a very cheerful and by far the nicest shop assistant I’ve ever met in my life who beamed and smiled even when I only bought a 20 bucks discounted dress. And to even things out, there was also an extremely rude blonde who hissed at me when I tried my best to feed the hungry beast of train ticket machine with fat coins.

Go to Northbridge at Saturday nights if you still think Perth is dull. I met an extremely drunk woman (at least I hope she was drunk) who upon seeing a solidly calm street light, just threw herself and did an impromptu pole dancing that would make Carmen Electra proud. Perth is definitely not the most exciting city to visit (if it does, why they would fly to Bali anyway?) but it has its charm, quirk and certain perkiness. My theory is that Perth is just too quiet; its residents feel that they should be the one providing entertainment for themselves.

However one question remains. What’s with those dudes who walk barefoot around the city anyway?

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