there’s something about Australia that has embedded itself in me over the years. i think it originally started because of some sort of silly rebellion. while growing up, whenever anyone would talk about going overseas, it was always France, Italy, Rome… possibly Ireland or Spain. i had never really heard Australia come up, so it became my thing. As time went on, different pieces of the country began showing itself in random places and planting seeds in my head. then, a couple of years ago i started talking to an Aussie (who had been working in the states when he first wrote me) and unfortunately became pretty important to my heart. i say “unfortunately” because, well, look at the circumstances. but through the long talks he helped fuel my desire to travel and live a more daring life. i still have a lot to learn and a million things to see (i still have yet to leave the country), but i now know that things like backpacking in the land down under is a possible feat, even for a poor artist. i just have to problem solve creatively. recently i’ve been looking at getting a work visa or volunteering in exchange for shelter and i definitely don’t mind looking for hostels or campgrounds. in fact, i would prefer that. think of the people you’d meet! not to mention the money you’d save to keep moving…
now that i’ve given you a little smidgen of back-story on how much OZ means to me, hopefully you have an idea of how thrilled i was to find a native that said yes to a date and how personal it became for me, even if it was indirectly. and let me just add my not-so-secret secret: i adore Australian accents. typical maybe, but i accept it!
i actually met #10 at the Highball during SXSW. Bright Light Social Hour was playing the URDB World Record Break Cancer event and since my cousin and i have this wacky affinity for them, it was on the top of the “must see” list. i had briefly heard about the two Aussies that were breaking the record of traveling the most miles for a URDB event and spontaneity like that always impresses me. after the show, i introduced myself, told him about my idea and asked him to be a part. i actually tried persuading him to fly back in; i was thinking maybe date #30 could just be me hopping in his carry-on and we could have had our date on the plane. i’m sure i could have unzipped the bag a little so that we could converse! have a nice meal of pretzels and peanuts? it sounded good to me. he suggested skype. i’ll take what i can get.
since my computer is a great-great grandfather and doesn’t have video capabilities, i drove up to my crew-girl’s place to use hers and right as i arrived a delivery vehicle pulled up. date #10 had ordered food from Zen for me! from a different country! since they are 15 hours ahead, he had made himself a small morning brunch so that we could have a meal together. what a cool idea.
the whole Skype thing was a little rough to deal with because of some technical difficulties with the audio cutting out and the delay of transferring information. plus, being able to see myself on the screen just didn’t seem right. being reminded of my weird quirks right in front of my face as i was doing them started to really mess with my brain. i felt like i was talking to myself… at least he was okay with it on his end; he said that he loves being in front of the camera. i, on the other hand, am still getting used to it.
so what do i do to break the choppy fumbling and redirect my attention? pull out a game! when i was young i used to love watching Matlock and i thought i was going to be a lawyer or a detective when i grew up. i couldn’t be farther from that kind of career now but i do still love a good game of Crack the Case. i can’t seem to recall how i had acquired it but i will never get rid of it.
basically the game is full of murder stories and one side has to figure out whodunit or whytheydunit by asking the other side yes or no questions. i sat out on the balcony while my camera girl read the case to my date, that way he had all the information necessary to be able to answer my questions. i should’ve had him guess first; i did terrible. but in my defense, nobody in their right mind would have figured out how these three people were killed. nobody in their right or crazy mind would have even come up with this way to murder someone: rigging a VHS tape to electrocute someone once it’s ejected? really? sigh.
then of course he did very well for his first shot at case-cracking. kudos, sir. but i warn you… when i finally make it to the great outback, you better be ready for a rematch.
worst part of the date: not being able to have that personal interaction worst part of the day: skype cutting out best part of the date: the feeling of excitement and adventure that i get when i talk to him about traveling and life goals/opportunities. best part of the day: i’m on a bloody date with my favorite type of mate, what do you think?