Notes on traveling alone (Australia)

Restaurant leftovers are your new best friend. Leftovers and bloggers. Go into the church. For the price of a Starbucks drink that comes with 30 minutes of wireless access, you can buy 75 minutes at the Malaysian cafe three blocks away. When you walk alone at night, walk like you're on your way to kicking someone's ass. Trust the young woman with the big dress and big headphones and sharp eyes.

Buy cut flowers or fresh bread. The key is under a green can in the empty planter on the west side of the house. It's okay to feel like you're not okay. Write a letter. You will be.

Practice your accent to the cashier when you eat alone. You have a good sense of direction in any hemisphere. There are lots of jobs that pay cash. Put on lipstick when you are terrified. Tell everyone back home you are having a wonderful time; it's true. Keep your feet off the tram seats. A tablespoon of honey will not be missed. You are not worse off than you were at seventeen. The bartender who tries to insult you doesn't have anything you need. Carry tea bags and a thermos — ask for hot water and you shall receive.

11 comments:

Sarah Louise 10/04/2012 5:11 PM  

ich liebe diese "post" und dich. This is great. I remember what it was to be overseas at 17, 18, 19, 20, except that I had the power of the Embassy and my parents behind me. You rock, sweetie, and you inspire me. And I'm tearing up. Okay. So. And yes. Letters and lipstick.

When I was far away, up in my third floor room, and grumpy, I would sing "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" into the mirror.

xo,
SL

leonie 10/04/2012 10:50 PM  

wisdom that i understand.

beautifully written (and lived too i would say)

Lauren 10/06/2012 6:58 AM  

I love this infinitely.

Holly 10/08/2012 6:01 AM  

SL - I remember you saying that before, and that I went and listened to it (pick-me-ups are much more convincing when they carry connotations of a friend with them)...I like imagining you overseas at that age. Poland?

Leonie and Lauren - Thank you. <3

Jenica 10/11/2012 8:56 AM  

Love, love, love. This is so evocative and full of life. By the way, I have started walking like a kickass while alone at night and it is so very calming. (Besides, I like feeling like a kickass.)

Holly 10/13/2012 6:16 AM  

Jenica - Good! Good and good. The night is ours by rights...

Rachel Mac 10/13/2012 10:33 AM  

I loved this post, and also your most recent one. They weighed on me in a way that a lot of writing/literature doesn't do anymore. Maybe because I can sense the life in them, or at least the struggle (or maybe that is the life).
Regardless, thank you for sharing. You've caused me to pause and reflect and think, which doesn't happen enough as it should.

Holly 10/17/2012 8:04 AM  

Rachel - You're welcome, and thank you...thank you very much.

sui 10/19/2012 2:31 PM  

i love love this.

"It's okay to feel like you're not okay. Write a letter. You will be."

i'm wondering who the woman with the big dress and big headphones is ;)

also, one line from this reminds me of this: http://www.octopuspie.com/category/comic/fear/

actually i think you'd like this comic a lot. it's about a strong [chinese-american] woman living in brooklyn (!!!) (hahaha)

those details aside, it's awesome and well-written and realistic.

Holly 10/23/2012 5:47 AM  

sui -

Thanks, love.

I like that you read web comics as a coping mechanism; it looks good and I shall have to browse through the archives.

sui 10/24/2012 10:54 PM  

YES. in july during my days of lulling about inside on the couch (hmm, seems like a common trope for me this year in ny =_=) i read 9 years of questionable content (2200+ comics <_<), 22 volumes of nana (manga, reread), 5 years of buttersafe.com (the clever cute one i sometimes send you), 4 years of anders loves maria... basically the entire series of all of them. and september i read all of octopus pie, among others, haha. i really think you'd like that one!

less effort than reading a "real" book, and there are quite a lot of good ones out there, and they're often realistic (and written by real people, after all) that they inspire me and give me hope. ♥

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