Hostels, where expats get started, baked and rejected. It’s like a 50-first-freshmen-week of sorts. Sinful behavior and enlightening lessons learned the hard way. The eyes open to a brazen new world. Fear for danger takes a back seat to the fear of regret. Wanderlust and junketeering* prevail.
Melbourne is considered Australia’s sports capital. Not sports I knew very well, mostly Aussie Rules, which is a mesh of American football, rugby and soccer, for as far as I could figure. “Rules” as a noun and as a verb fails to make contextual sense. This conundrum didn’t bother Aussies the way it bothered me. A testiment to Aussie ways, I suppose. The other beloved sports are Rugby and Cricket. I didn’t have enough interest to understand either. I was there for sport, but not those.
I quickly understood where the women drank and the people partied. A testament to American ways, I suppose. The day-to-day was dreamy. Nuances, like color coded money made it all feel surreal. This was good for the soul, bad for the wallet. The real joy is in the journey, no matter the tribulations or conditions, right?
The lovely pleasure of wandering through a heavy rain with new friends, and nothing but a hand drawn map and conflicting gut instincts. That’s what venturing a foreign land is!
The beer, the women, the exuberance live on limitlessly. A misconceived slice of humbling unicorn pie, I might add. Heaps of happy and nice people. We chat, we laugh, we split ways and forget each other just as swiftly as we met each other. But, if we exchange social media handles, we will know another forever. Seriously though.
Seeing new arrivals in a hostel is like watching a new bud in college about to blossom. You root for ’em! Hope they plant their feet and catch a clue; once upon a few days ago, that was you!
I am plopped and sunk into a cushiony couch of the hostel’s TV room, still Melbourne, Australia. I lift my eyes from Bill Bryson’s book to scan the room and find 8 backpacking ladies now in my presence. No men, strangely and awesomely. They don’t all know each other, but they’ve all something in common. Where was Aussie Andrew with his rooting whit? Just eight young German girls and Soja Rebelution singing a mellow morning ambiance from the corner stereo. Is there anything more to dream for than eight international adventurous, suddenly-appearing women?
These women have a special love for the world, and the world returns love, especially to lovely women. The hostel girls are their own species of women, they do it different, they do most better. They don’t notice I need to shave, they just notice I “speak like the movies”. They love hiking, swimming, canyoning and hate expensive restaurants. Clever, loving, cunning, resilient! It’s easy for them to say “fuck make-up”. They do not know where they will sleep tonight, but they do know where they will eat and drink tonight. They balance a sensible amount of fear with a courageous amount of curiosity. They don’t know utter defeat, and hopefully never will. They know they are young, and won’t be forever. They are dumb enough to try to see the entire world, but smart enough to take their time. God’s grace and everything great!
We have a responsibility to humanity to put good out into the world, always.
No matter how hard, mad or mischievous a man looks, he is but a man. He breathes the same air as you. It could be that all he needs, to keep from leaping off the next building he sees is eye contact and a nod. Remind him this cruel world will not conquer the human spirit, no matter how shit the day gets. And you’ll walk on and never see, hear or think of him again. But that bode of reassurance, or at least the memory of, will live on in our character forever.
Or will poison if that’s what you spit.
A HEART FULL OF LOVE AND A PAIR FULL OF MIGHT CAN CONQUER ANYTHING