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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Washing Down Under

My friend asked me what's the most memorable thing I did in Australia. I burst out laughing because my answer is not the whole day walkathon around Darling Harbour and Chinatown, my lonesome celebration of Australia Day at a cafe in Circular Quay or the very first time I went to a casino.

Many would equate Australia with their first time to earn away from the Philippines, or touch a Kangaroo. But I would always associate Australia to the very first time I did my laundry end to end.

Okay, I am exaggerating. I sought help from 2 machines which ate my AU$2 on two occassions. But I did the ironing after creatively converting the small dining table to an ironing board, and systematically pressing blouses and shirt, then denims and jackets and lasty hankies (after unplugging the iron to save energy). To my standard, I think I did a pretty good job with only one jacket burned at the collar and inside pocket. Hahaha. Come on, it could have been worse. I remember a friend in the US who never ironed a single piece of clothing for fear of burning everything. It's wash-and-wear philosophy to the very last letter.

My boss' wife actually offered to bring my laundry to a laundromat, and I also found one near where I was staying. At AU$10 per bag, it's actually very reasonable. I am not scrimping on cash but I wanted to experience living on my own for the very first time.

Eating didn't come easy as well. The first three nights, I managed to cook meals for myself. Ready to eat microwaveable dinner, noodles, and fresh fruits nourished me for 3 days. Then I realized I wouldn't survive so I might as well order from Cuisine Courier (

On the otherhand, strolling by myself was awesome.On Australia Day, I spent the whole day at Circular Quay, enjoying the sight of different people celebrating in different styles. And I have never seen so many Australian flags in one day! I took pictures of the famous Opera House (and up to this day, I still wonder why it's famous. I find it too dull. Oh well..) and Harbour Bridge and bought lots of souvenirs for relatives and friends. Why so many? Because, it's a cultural thing; we have to buy for the whole barangay.

On my last weekend, I braved the heat, took a bus and headed to Darling Harbour where I walked, sat, ate and walked again, and again and again. And since I was alone, I barely have pictures of myself. Of the few I got, half of my face is either gone or it's too dark the picture looks empty. Well, next time I am travelling alone, I better bring a tripod.


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