Tuesday, December 30, 2008

See you later Dull As

I awoke to much brighter spirits, the fear and uncertainty that were yesterday left in my dreams. I slept very well at The Comfort Inn- in fact,my mattress could have been mistaken for a cloud.

I spent most of the morning in Dulles airport and I now know why it is pronounced Dullas because it is exactly that- dull, dull, dull. The only interesting thing are the bizarre sky buses which look like demountable class rooms on wheels, not just any wheels but big wheels, like demolition derby sized wheels... other than that it is just like any other airport in any other city.

The shops at the airport are frightfully bad. Mostly they sell overpriced Obama memorabilia, seems like everything from Hope water to Change key rings are for sale and that´s not to mention the vast array of Obama T-shirts, hoodies, inauguration souvenirs etc etc. It is almost like the airport´s merchandise is branded Obama. I did not see any White House spoons, West Wing almanacs or Capitol Hill ... anything.

I was also disappointed that I did not see any Josh Lyman look alikes.

Before I left DC I wrote some thoughts about what I thought Mexico would be like- It was not an exhaustive or well thought out list just the usual stereotypes which I thought would be able to focus my first entry on the country.

1- Blinding white light.
2-Colourful- primary colours mostly.
3-Moustaches a plenty (24/7 Movember)
4. Sombrero worshippers-locals wearing them even though they are not at the SCG watching the Australian openers collapse against The Proteas.
5-Drunk- a nation in a tequila/Corona fuelled haze.
6-Slow- a place where time stands still.

After a non eventful flight (well non eventful if you count sitting next to the most loved up couple in the history of couples smooching their way across the Amercian South) . I was greeted by extremely efficient customs staff and left the airport in record time (there goes number 6 on my list) into the arms of a Ra embrace.

After a minute outside I reached into my bag in search of my over sized sunglasses (at least I got number 1 right) as I was blinded by the light- It is like Sydney sunshine; intense, hot and magic.

We stood outside the airport for about 20 mins catching up and deciding on a plan. We were thinking about going to Isla Mujures (the island of women) but thought the better of it as Ra had heard that accommodation was scarce and took the safe option and utilised our booking at Playa del Carmen.

We took a shuttle straight to our Hostel and were greeted by Rio (a Chinese looking Mexican??) who showed us our beds. We then set off to find somewhere that sold a metal chain so we could lock our bags together in the absence of a locker. I was shocked to be directed to a Wallmart, after walking past a McDonalds, Subway and Burger King ... my initial thoughts were that I could be anywhere-feels a little Byron Bay and a lot like Thailand etc etc. The world is certainly getting smaller.

I am looking forward to seeing a more authentic Mexico, one that embraces it´s heritage and I am sure that I will as we get off the well worn tourist path.

In my short stay here I can say I was surprised that it is not more colourful but I am sure it will be- it just is not the artists palette of vibrance I envisaged. I have only seen a couple of mostaches and I am yet to see a Mexican in a sombrero...

Will comment on the drunkenness of the nation after I have tasted some of it´s finest Tequila tonight. Ra and I have our party pants on and will report in tomorrow.

Lots of Love


Monday, December 29, 2008

The Journey

The journey has begun now, I am sitting on a deserted tube carriage on my way to Heathrow.

Walking out of my flat for the last time was difficult. My room became just a room, someone elses room. All the things that made it mine were missing, the memories hung in the air and I stood still and breathed it in as London moments flashed before my eyes. I was late and had to go quickly before I became too absorbed in reminiscing on what had been.

It is really sad that all of the people that made London so special for me weren't there to see me on my way. I have never set off on a trip of such magnitude with no one to take me to the airport. Such loneliness is testament to how far I have come and speaks volumes on why I need to go home.

I got angry with myself this morning, my backpack weighs a ton, definitely more than 20 kilos (i found out at check in it is 24.9... OMG).I left the flat with the intention of being a lush packer complete with various posh lotions and potions that I know now I will never use (a massive cull is in store).

I felt nauseous on my walk to the train station, a massive knot filled my tummy, bigger than a large balloon and I was not sure I would make the last 200 metres. I sat down briefly and pondered the situation before grimacing with the weight and walking on- head high.

That brings me to now, where I sit on a desolate carriage alone with my thoughts.


I am now at the airport and getting ready to board. The knot from earlier today is back and my hands are shaking. Am I doing the right thing? Nerves I never knew I had have come to the surface. I am listening to my ipod as I write this- Joni Mitchell is playing and she's struck a chord with me.


I have now landed at Dulles International Airport (pronounced Dullas... not Dulls as I imagined). I was meet at the airport by Ian my tracksuit pant wearing Texan shuttle driver. I was the only passenger and we spoke not one word in the 30 minute drive here to the Comfort Inn. That was strange and so unlike me.

On arrival, I checked in and told reception I was starving- every bit the all American girl with a big toothy grin encased in scarlet lips with red nails to match directed me to Papa Johns the local pizza joint. It was sterile and the manager was on the phone to his ex wife Kathryn screaming about a custody dispute.. Welcome to America! I got a small take away pepperoni pizza which was massive and mostly uneaten.

Now I sit in my apricot coloured room waiting for the morning which will lead me to Mexico.

I cant wait to see Ra at the airport. I long for her embrace to take away the sadness that is leaving London.

Much love from the Comfort Inn Dulles International Airport.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saying Goodbye

It is never easy saying good bye to your loved ones- and that has not been truer than now.

These last few weeks in London have been tough, I thought that I was doing really well and then on my last day at the office as I walked out of reception for the last time- tears crawled up my throat and poured down my cheeks. I've cried a few times since, even though I am not sad to be starting the adventure of a lifetime. My sadness comes in waves and it is not knowing if, when or ever I will live in London again which is the cruelest part for me.

I have never felt a massive affection for London, never felt the love I have for Syders but now that I am leaving I have spent time reflecting on all the things I have achieved here. I have (in the main) enjoyed my time, created lifelong friendships and had more opportunities to learn and improve myself that one could ever wish for in a lifetime. It is the differences to Sydney and Australia that makes London so special.

I have spent the last few days in Oxford with my dearest friends here in the UK. Christmas was a lovely affair, full of everything English and even though it was not a white one- it was perfect, complete with carols, turkey, puddings, banoffee pie (OMG- it is so good), presents and family.

I am at home now- I will spend my last 36 hours doing the final pack, cleaning my room and ticking off the last minute things from my list.

I am meeting Ra at Cancun Airport on the 29th after spending 13 hours in Washington DC.

Until then- KP

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Twenty Boxes

I thought I would start blogging again- I really enjoyed it last time and only stopped because I felt that life had become too mundane.

Blogging for me is about describing some kind of adventure (I think the title gives this one away) and whilst living in London doing the Monday to Friday grind i felt a little bored with my own daily musings (but i guess that is why some blogs are amazing) the writer has the skill to make the uninteresting interesting etc etc.

It is freezing cold in London and I am currently packing up my life into 20 boxes ready to be shipped back down under to Sydney where I will land on June 4th.

I am in the midst of planning the grand tour- my personal Opus which will see me travel through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala- across to Switzerland, London (for 2 days) and then across to North Africa and down to Kenya, through Tanzania, Malai, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda (for the Gorillas only), Botswana, Namibia and South Africa- where i will fly to my beloved hometown.

Right now i am overwhelmed- My room looks like a tip and I have so many things to do... namely fit my life into empty brown boxes, organise hotels/hostels, try to tie up loose ends at the office and get in the mood for Christmas.

It promises to be a crazy last few weeks. Bring it on!

I hope you will enjoy the adventures of KP part 2.

Lots of love



Ps- I land in Mexico on December 29.