Spin the Globe with Justin Butner

A world citizen may provide value to society by using knowledge acquired across cultural contexts.

Arrival in Australia (Sydney)

I’m here. Checked into the hostel about 3 hours ago. I’m feeling… not much different. My teeth hurt but that is an ongoing thing. I’m a little bit hot since it is about 90 here today. I’m not overly energetic, but I’m also not nearly as drained as I should be for intermittent sleep bursts and 3 days of travel. Driving to the hostel the city felt familiar but different. It isn’t so unique as to blow me away, but the familiar aspects are an amalgamation of styles and themes and designs from various other cities, so I don’t think it is a copy per se.

The hostel itself is surprisingly nice (amazing what picking a well-reviewed hostel will do). However the room I’m staying in with 7 other guys smells like a room shared by 8 dudes. I intend to spend as little time in there as possible other than sleeping. The little bit of street we’re on is quiet as promised in the ad, and just a few blocks away from where the partying happens. I just walked through it because I needed to get some food and figured it would be more of an adventure to search for a grocery than to ask about one. The street scene wasn’t terribly lively, being Monday at lunch time in the party district and all, but I have a pretty strong feeling this is where those lacking drink and vice come to stock up. I haven’t seen so many strip clubs in such a small area since Bourbon Street.

My interactions with other people have at worst been cordial and efficient. If I had more energy to put into it, I’d probably have had more real conversations by now. I’ve forced myself to ask to borrow a cell phone to call the hostel rather than using the pay phone. But I know that needless pushing this early on will only burn me out. I’ve not really spoken to anyone (including myself) for the majority of the time here. Sometimes I actually try to interact. Much more often I will at least have a running commentary going on in my head, be it about people watching, my to do list, or singing some song lyrics. For once (and this is phenomenally rare) my mental soundtrack is largely silenced. This must be what it feels like when ADHD kids take Adderall or when someone whose brain works overtime smokes up. At least, that is what I’ve heard both of those described as.

The odd thing is that I would have expected that I’d feel frightened or sad to not be on my game at all times. I would have figured I’d be nervous that my brain was giving up and that I wouldn’t have that to set me apart. But right now it just sounds like peace. The peace of the fridge motor kicking in, of the occasional car rolling by, of birds in the distance. The peace of knowing down to my core that I am not in charge here, and I don’t need to be, that things will happen around me and I can just wander in and out of them as I see fit to entertain myself, of just letting go.

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This entry was posted on November 16, 2011 by in Australia, NSW (Sydney), Uncategorized.

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