Australia, March 27, 2000
The left coast is just as cool as the right
Yes, ladies & gentlemen, I made it to Perth.
I never really doubted I could, unlike so many Aussies and emails told me along the way. I knew that Australia, like the USA, is basically a friendly country and that cars, suburban homes, television, media hype, and a few thousand other reasons have separated and alienated us from each other.
In the ten days it took me to travel 4,000 km, five major cities, three minor cities, two mountain ranges and one desert, I encountered a wide range of people who all had wonderfully common threads.
None admitted they would normally pick up hitchhikers, yet they all picked up me. None were "hell rides" or even disagreeable, and guys like Graham, the Aussie Rules football fan, were a pleasure to share a 2,000 km cross-desert drive with.
All treated me as a new friend, and showed the greatest humor in entertaining my many Aussie questions. Also, all were enthralled with my stories to the point that, surprisingly, I don't want to tell another Surya-Story (tm).
I know you do not believe that I could possibly be tired of talking, but after thirteen rides, all expecting entertainment for transport, I'm worn out. Luckily, my ride today, from Coolgardie to Perth, was a couple more intent on arguing with each other than listening to me. I left them to bicker as I finished one of the many classic novels I was supposed to read in school, but only now find the time and desire to explore.
Today I am in Perth, and I am happy that I will spend the next few days here, enjoying the Indian Ocean at the local nude beach and the nightlife at the local bars and discos.
Thursday, I return to Sydney, by the fast, efficient, and impersonally airplane, without a shred of guilt. Some days, alienation is good.