Oh my belly

Bad start to the morning when I slept in and didn’t make it to the ferry to meet Ngaire and her sister. As it turns out, they were as rough as I was and admitted they’d have been bad company anyway! Plus, I discovered today that I can’t get a ferry to the island and then go diving – I have to book the entire trip in Perth first.

I was turfed unceremoniously out of bed at 10:30 as I had to change rooms. In fairness, checkout is 10:00 here so I was given a lie-in, and they were very polite about it! My new room is only 3 beds (one bunk, one single – mine) and therefore a few bucks dearer. It’s nice enough, as are all the rooms here. After doing the guest house/hotel thing with Hans for the last two months, it makes a nice change to be hostelling again with all the associated chatting to strangers.

I wandered up to the local Coles to get some food – beans, bread and milk. Oh, how I’ve missed cold milk! Back at the Hat, I got talking to a chap from Hawaii for a while as I attempted to eat my meal and failed dismally. My tummy just wasn’t playing ball! I drank plently, though. I assume I was more dehydrated than I thought.

My to-do list was quite impressive when I wandered into town and I forgot to take the package with me that I wanted to mail. D’oh. Not to worry. Postcards bought and stamped – they’ll be in the mail tomorrow. I had a good wander. Perth centre is pretty easy to navigate round. It’s not big and it’s a grid, making it hard to get lost. Appearance-wise I’d plop it somewhere between Melbourne and Cairns. If you’ve been to both, you’d understand!

Down by the river, the most noticeable landmark is the building housing the Swan Bells. A strange structure looking like a glass spire surrounded by curved wings. It contains several bells and is “probably the largest musical instrument in the world”. How it’s different to a church tower – and there are larger church towers – I don’t know. I need to do some reading!

To kill some time, I went to see Hannibal Rising which wasn’t as mind-rendingly awful as the earlier Hannibal. Mind, it was nowhere near as good as Silence of the Lambs. Thomas Harris should have stopped while he was ahead. Well-made and well-acted, but it could have been any old thriller but they somehow managed to shoe-horn Lecter in.

Oh, I also managed to get my Oz phone charged up again. If you want the number, just ask for it. I used it to ring my cousin in Brisbane but she wasn’t in – instead I got talking to her mum (my aunt) who’s visiting now! With any luck I’ll see her next month before she flies home.

Back to the hostel and I sat chatting to a German couple and a Swiss girl, then an Irish and a Scots lad joined us. Dinner was KFC – there’s one near and I couldn’t resist. By the time I got there, the restaurant was closed and I had to pretend to be a car at the drive-through. This happened to Matt and I in Stoke one night many years ago. Difference was that this time I got talking to a lass in the queue who was there with her daughter to get some popcorn chicken. I now have a guide around Perth tomorrow! Aussies are just so damn friendly!

So it looks like my plan tomorrow is to wander the town with Kathryn. As long as she knows all the cheap shops and tourist attractions, I’m laughing.

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