“Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.” -W.C. Fields

A decade ago Australia was the site of our first trip together. With Ezra living in Japan and I in Hawaii we had only a few dates under our belt. Besides visiting each other in our respective locales we had really spent very little time together. What better way to get to know someone than meeting up in the land down under for a cross country road trip. You learn a lot about a person when you travel…and spend hours together in a car. That was a great trip and originally when planning this one we thought we’d spend time biking here or maybe in New Zealand. In the end we decided that would be for another time. So here we are on a short layover before Papua New Guinea.

What to do when you only have 36 hours in a country? Head to Chinatown of course. After the kava debacle in Fiji I was out of my Chinese herbs for heat in the intestines (read between the lines) and thought I should replenish before going to PNG. Along with bookstores, farmers markets and garden centers, Chinatowns are my happy place. I had a green tea, picked up some ginseng and toasted seaweed and called it a successful day.

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With only a few hours left we headed to the South Bank along the river and watched a trippy light show that was part of an ongoing art festival. There were food trucks with vegan sausage and we treated ourselves to a couple IPAs. I had been feeling a little overstimulated being back in a big city. Why is everyone stressed out and walking so fast? After five months in the Pacific I guess I was on island time. However, I think I could adjust back with a good beer and faux meat products.

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One more night in our crap hostel then up at dawn for the airport. We arrived at the train station and saw we only had one minute to spare. Ez threw money at the guy and took off running down the stairs. I was sure I’d break my ankle as I limped after him yelling “wait, I don’t think I can make it” with my backpack swinging wildly. Somehow I slid through the doors at the last second and we collapsed into seats. We looked at each other and started laughing hysterically, probably in part due to lack of sleep. I think next time we may need to plan better. Like actually looking at a train schedule.