Diary of The Travelling Seanchai :-

Home again where the people are half crazy!

Home again where the people are half crazy!

2007-09-07 to 2007-09-27


With the APEC leaders in town, security was unreal! Hundreds of millions spent on ensuring the safety of these statesmen and the news of the day went to a bunch of Australian comedians who ran alongside a rented limousine, went through the security barriers, got a police escort and then revealed that their passenger was none other than an Osama Bin Laden look-a-like… yes indeed, it was good to be back in Sydney!

I was back here to catch up with friends and to get my Australian citizenship but in true Consi fashion, we managed to screw that up! My date had been bumped to late October and it was hard for me to explain to them that I just wanted to get it and leave again! Apparantly, that`s just not the done thing!

For the first time in months my life took on a modicum of normality which was a little disconcerting at times after being so independent on the road. Still, it was great at times to just know where I was going, where the best bars were, picking up where I left off with friends and getting back to singing with the band on Sunday nights, without a doubt my happiest three hours of the week and one of the things that I always miss on my travels.

It was time to catch up with some old flames and create some new ones. It was time too to call in to some of my regular haunts and have a few free pints with the proprieters. It was time to eat the best Laksa in the world (Circular Quay). But this will never be a backpacker town to me, it`s not like I was clambering to get my picture taken by the Opera House, no matter how magnificent it is, this was my home for way too long for it to be anything different now.

So I decided to go down to Melbourne and take on the Great Ocean Road, a simply spectacular drive up there amongst the world`s most amazing. I had gone down to meet Hannah whom I met in Vietnam and Laos earlier in the year. She let me have her car and I set off on a beautiful day for 10 hours of driving (and all of this without the Consi halo!)

There are so many scenic spots where you have to stop, jump out, take a picture, devour the view and jump back in your car. I was heading towards the 12 Apostles, the amazing rock formations sitting out in the sea, constantly under bombardment. In fact there are only 11 Apostles left as one succumbed to the forces of nature (I presume that this one was Judas, he was well known for not being an `upstanding` character, Badum Tish!!)

The next night I caught up with several friends that I had met on my travels all over the world as they were all now in Melbourne and the stories shot around the table like a pinball machine, it was hilarious but it gave me a taste for the road again.

But first there was a citizenship ceremony to overcome! My friend Manni drove me out to Parramatta where I joined a large group of wannabee wallabees. I had stressed on what to wear as I didn`t have a suit but some people turned up in T-shirt and jeans, really taking this laid back Australian attitude to heart! We had to sing the, I`m sorry but far from inspiring, national anthem and after being thanked for wanting to contribute our skills and experiences to further benefit this country (I was dreaming of Fiji at the time!) we were sent out as bone fide, dinky di, fair dinkum Aussies!

So, clearly, it was time to go! A few more goodbye drinks and I was off to the airport bound for Fiji, a destination that has always struck me with fascination and I was to follow in the footsteps on an uncle of mine who had made a far more perilous trip over 50 years before….




Westin Gourmet

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