Monday, December 31, 2007


Sweet baby jesus, i'm back in this woebegone city. It's vapid. Vacuous. Superficial. Not just ficial, it's superficial.

I can't get out of here fast enough. Perth is no different from any other mediocre city, i suppose. Christmas eve i spend on the streets. I'm trying to save my barely extant money by alternately couch-surfing, back-packing, and sleeping under trees on Adelaide Terrace. I wake Christmas morning in a homeless person's camp, under the fig trees next to the old ABC studios. Quite a contrast to the previous night's luxurious soirée in Huss and Veronica's swish penthouse apartment, overlooking the river.

The mosquito bites are a mild annoyance. Or were those fleas? It was a singularly uncomfortable night, either way, with my spare shirt wrapped abut my head to fend of those whining little bloodsuckers. I dust off my leather jacket, brushing away a flattened snail. Apart from swathes of polyethylene wrap, which served as bedding, the morning light unearths a ludicrously bouyant Bananas in Pyjamas motif on the banana-shaped cushion that served me as a pillow. Plus a couple of discarded backpacks, two carefully coiled pieces of electrical cable, and an empty can of eucalyptus spray. And, oddly enough, a hospital ID tag, with a picture of "Nathan", who looks Nigerian. With the word "Nurse" underneath. Nathan, the Nigerian Nurse. So this dump under the fig trees was probably home to a recent immigrant. Maybe Nurse Nathan is trying to save enough money to pay the bond on his first flat.

It is woefully hot. I fire up the motorbike and ride over to Matilda Bay, where the baking hot easterly is at least coming across the water. I fall into a fitful doze in the warm shade, only to be woken around midday by a worried-looking middle-aged Western-suburbs woman. She asks if i am ok.

Would you like some tobacco, or something? she asks slowly and condescendingly, as if talking to a very small child. Do i look like i have just gotten out of prison, or something? I politely decline, and roll over.

It must be the Christmas Spirit, i think. So volatile in the noonday sun.

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